In light of my recent post on government or public service comic books, I’ve decided to focus in a little bit more and look at the career of Owen McCarron. Although he’s more well known and searchable on the internet than many other Canadians involved with comics, his company, Comic Book World, is not, which is why I’d like to highlight that aspect of his career.
It is perhaps the most memorable and weighted area of his career. While working in advertising at the Chronicle-Herald limited in Halifax, McCarron also spent his time creating puzzles for the fun and games section of the paper. It was also around the beginnings of his career that McCarron produced the art for some Charlton titles.
In the mid 1960s, McCarron transferred his talent and passion for games, puzzles and comics and created created what became Comic Book World, formerly Comic Page Features. Binkly and Doinkel were just a few characters in his long line of promotional and educational comics. Art very reminiscent of the seventies, I thought of Frosty the Snowman, the soft lines and very colourful style was the appeal for his young audience. Probably the intended goal, his comic company was very successful among private companies and government departments, commissioned to educate children about everything from ethics to safety and sometimes just interesting facts.
The comics were well received among among adults who appreciated the nature of them and the publishing house. One of the only Canadian companies flourishing in the “above ground” scene in the sixties and seventies, McCarron’s only real competition was Ganes Productions by Orville Ganes, located in Toronto. Both were the only successful comic book publishers in an otherwise American-comic-dominated Canada. Despite residing in Halifax, McCarron also received presidential recognition for his contribution to fun and educational comics.
For the most part, McCarron drew, inked and coloured almost all of the comics he produced under CBW and obtained help on several issues from writer Robin Edmiston. The team produced many comics before McCarron went on to produce “Marvel Fun and Games” for Stan Lee in the mid 1970s and some work for DC as well.
Finally, McCarron drew and contributed art to Captain Canuck comics and “helped to inaugurate the Canadian Silver Age of Comics” (Bell 102). He passed away in 2005. Here are a list of titles from Comic Book World as I find them. Also, here is his work on the Halifax Explosion and here is another bio worth reading.
- Adventures of Binkly and Doinkel, The
- Adventures of Skoodi the Rabbit, The
- Auntie Litter Comics
- Aylmer “Taste of Canada” Comics (with E.S. Pea)
- Cap’n Bluenose Comics
- Captain Enviro
- Colonel Ernie Comics #1
- Colonel Ernie Comics #2
- Colonel Sanders Comics #1
- Colonel Sanders Comics #2
- Gassy the Elephant Comics #1
- L’il Easy Saver Comics #1
- L’il Easy Saver Comics #2
- L’il Easy Saver Comics #3
- Wayne & Shuster Comics #1
- You and the Co-op