The Vancouver Province
censored its political cartoonist
over threats from advertiser.

Item! The big news this past week is that The Vancouver Province censored its political cartoonist over threats from an advertiser. Cartoonist Dan Murphy created a video parody of an ad by Northern Gateway oil-pipeline company Enbridge and Enbridge threatened to pull a million dollars worth of advertising if the paper didn’t remove the cartoon from its website. The paper removed the cartoon, citing copyright infringement:

Murphy’s video used an Enbridge (TSX:ENB) ad extolling the virtues and safety of the Northern Gateway proposal, a highly controversial pipeline that would bring oilsands bitumen from Alberta to West Coast ports. The cartoonist took Enbridge’s original animated ad and undercut the pastel images of trees and happy families with occasional dollops of oil and interjected voice-overs.

Item! The controversy was on everybody’s lips this past weekend in Montreal, where the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists had its annual meeting. The meeting was also the occasion for the launch of a new exhibit on Quebec’s policart tradition, titled Cartooning Calamities at the McCord Museum, accompanied by a book Caricature – Cartoon Canada, edited by Terry (Aislin) Mosher. According to the exhibits curator in Montreal Gazette,

Long snubbed by the art world, editorial cartoonists deserve recognition as artists who cut through political bafflegab and corporate spin to help us make sense of an ever-changing world, says Hardy.
“They’re people we feel are always on the lookout for us, to try to make sense of the complexities of the governments we live under,” he says.

Item! As part of the event in Montreal this past weekend, Drawn and Quarterly’s Chris Oliveros was on hand to flog some books and he and writer Brad Mackay happened to bump into former Prime Minister Paul Martin who waxed enthusiastic for Doug Wright! You can read all about it on the D+Q blog. Great photos!
Item! Bryan Lee O’Malley gives us a sneak peak of the cast of his upcoming 2013 graphic novel Seconds. A limited edition print of the drawing (200 copies) will be offered on a first-come basis at the San Diego Comicon.
Item! The nominations for this year’s Harvey Awards have been announced. There were some Canadians on the list, including Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly, who ironically received 3 nominations for Best American Edition of Foreign Material. (Does a Canadian publisher not count as “foreign” for a U.S. award? Granted, we are all “Americans” here but then shouldn’t Mexican, Argentine, etc, publishers be included?) In addition, D+Q books received nods in the Special Award for Humor (Kate Beaton), Best Graphic Album Previously Published (Big Questions and The Death Ray), Best Cartoonist (Kate Beaton), and Best Single Issue (Optic Nerve #12). Individual Canadian nominees include the aforementioned Beaton (who was also nominated in the Best Online Comics Work category), editor Michael Choquette (Best Anthology and Special Award for Presentation: Someday Funnies), and cartoonists Darwyn Cooke (Special Award for Presentation: Parker Martini Edition), Ray Fawkes (Best Graphic Album Original: One Soul), Kagan McLeod (Best Graphic Album Original: Infinite Kung Fu)), Ramon Perez (Best Single Issue or Story and Best Graphic Album Original: Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and Jeff Lemire (Best Writer: Animal Man). Congrats to all seven Canadian nominees and best of luck in the final voting!
Item! In the other U.S. comics awards news, two Canadian comic shops have made the long list of nominees for the Eisner Awards Spirit of Retailing Award. The shops are Happy Harbor of Edmonton, and my own local comic shop, The Dragon of Guelph. Congrats to both shops!
Item!Today is a patriotic holiday in the U.S. Did you know that the U.S. national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was inspired by an event from the War of 1812? Also inspired by the War of 1812? A new graphic novel called The Loxleys and the War of 1812. As reviewed by Don MacPherson, the book features art by Claude St. Aubin, of Captain Canuck fame:
“…this was a time the Americans were trounced. Of course, the facts don’t necessarily bear that out; the script makes it clear both sides had their victories. But the Americans are also depicted as being uncivilized, unscrupulous and even barbaric at times. It’s hard to know how much of it is fact and how much is a matter of perspective. The Canadians and natives are portrayed as being ethical and honorable to the point of incredulousness, and the Americans as being greedy and hungry for territory they don’t need. It’s certainly an interesting change of pace, as Americans have been predominantly cast as the white knights of history throughout pop culture. It might make this something of a tough sell to an audience beyond Canadian borders.”
Item! Lastly, I saw this on The Comics Reporter today and had to share. The Australian Comics Journal is a blog/magazine devoted to “Australian Sequential Art” and chock-a-block full of great reviews and previews of great-looking comics you have never heard of. Always nice to see another English-language comics site devoted to a single country comics culture. Hail the Commonwealth of Comics!