Hope Nicholson & Rachel Richey, the very busy organizers behind the Nelvana of the Northern Lights: Canada’s First Superheroine Kickstarter drive got online with Salgood Sam for a chat about the drive, Canadian comics history, crowdfunding and the national archives.

The Nelvana Kickstarter Interview with Hope Nicholson & Rachel Richey by Sequential Radio on Mixcloud

Links: Nelvana of the Northern Lights: Canada’s First Superheroine on Kickstarter! & The Facebook page: Her Wikipedia entry: Lost Heroes FB page
Racehl’s personal blog Comic Syrup: Adrian Dingle & Franz Johnston’s entries on Wikipida: John Bell on the Wiki: Beyond the Funnies & Guardians of the North sites: Library and Archives Canada: Nelvana Limited: The Canadian Superhero Renaissance on the Joe Shuster Awards blog: The Great Canadian Comic Books listing on amazon.ca: The Big Book, a post about the WECA comics on Comic Book Daily: True Patriot, a crowdfunded anthology series reviving some of the traditions of the WECA books with all new characters:  Heroes of the North, a youtube and comic book series depicting modern edgy heroes: The all new crowd backed Captain Canuck animated series.


  1. I’m making notes as I listen to this great interview.
    First up, Ted McCall created Robin Hood and Co. with Charles Snelgrove as a comic strip (along with Men of the Mounted with artist Harry Hall). the collected strips formed the first few issues of one of Canada’s first comic books – Robin Hood and Company. Once the reprints were finished artist Ted McCall and I think, Led Gilpin, took on the art chores.
    Joe Shuster and Hal Foster were born in Canada, as opposed to simply spending some time in Canada. Though I agree with Hop and Rachel’s frustration that they have more recognition than we have given to our own early indigenous comics.

    1. Author

      Merci Rob. I meant to ask them about your book, as i understand you’ve been working on one of your own about Nelvana?
      To be fair to Rachel, Rachel checked while we talked and later in the original recording clarified herself some of those details. But for the sake of running time and polish about 20 min of our conversation ended up on the cutting room floor. Mostly Ums ahs stutters and dead air but also some random bits that i didn’t have time to find a home for elsewhere in the audio including that.

  2. It’s a common misconception that Joe Shuster’s connection to Canada ends at the age of 10 when his father, mother and siblings relocated to the Cincinnati area so his father could continue his work in textiles. He would continue to summer in Toronto regularly until the summer of 1942 (aged 28). During his time in Canada he was drawing regularly and working on art projects with his cousin Frank, and there’s an early prototype drawing that he did for Frank’s U of T fraternity that has been on display this summer. After the success of Superman Joe’s visist became less frequent, but he was a contributor to the Toronto Star’s Annual Christmas Drive until 1941, contributing drawings and visiting children as the Canadian co-creator of Superman. Because of the war, and because of his job at the time working for National Periodical Productions, Shuster could no longer visit Canada without facing issues at the border. So for the same reasons that we were able to develop a home-grown Comic book industry (mainly the war prevented importation of US comics, Joe Shuster was also prevented from coming back to his hometown.

  3. Hal Foster, on the other hand, one of the most influential strip artists of the 20th century was an adult when he moved to Chicago to work in advertising. He would go on to draw Tarzan, selected by ERB himself, making the Ape Man one of the most popular strips of the 1930’s. Prince Valiant, his own creation, was sponsored by William Randolph Hearst himself, and debuted in 1937, a little over a year before Superman’s debut.
    Foster and Superman are known to us today because they took the only avenues available to them in the 1930’s for a Canadian artist — they went to work for American publishers and distributors. We often forget that Americans created comic books, it’s their format.
    The WECA era, as glorious as it is, and it SHOULD be seen… were created by opportunity. A unique branch plant-like bubble that blocked Canadian kids hungry for comic books and a few industrious individuals, also comics fans, filled that need. Unfortunately, once that bubble burst — and the American books came back, the Canadian comics disappeared almost overnight.
    It’s a unique era, and it should be celebrated and appreciated. God knows we’ve been doing that with the help of many fine folks over the last decade with the awards. But without the contributions of HAL FOSTER (the definitive action strip artist of the 1930s) and JOE SHUSTER (the co-creator of the 1st superhero!) there would have been no comic industry for the WECA era creators to emulate. We’d probably be looking at collections of Canadian versions of Mutt and Jeff otherwise.

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