Neil the Horse Creator Gets Lifetime Achievement Award
by BK Munn
The Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning has announced that Katherine Collins will be the 2017 inductee to its Hall of Fame, The Giants of the North. Collins is the creator of Neil the Horse, one of the handful of comic book series published during the 1980s in English Canada. The book was a whimsical throwback to the world of pre-World War II cartooning and popular culture, starring the titular Neil, a rubber-limbed horse drawn in an Ub Iwerks style, in a series of fantasy adventures alongside his best friends, a cigar-smoking cat and a sexy animated marionette, trying to make it as song-and-dance hoofers in the world of musical comedy. The feature had its start as a self-syndicated newspaper strip in 1975, becoming a 15-issue comic book series published by Aardvark-Vanaheim and later by Renegade Press. Collins, who signed her work as Arn Saba, was also an early historian and writer about comics, producing work for major print outlets and for the CBC in the 1970s.
Collins will be inducted into The Giants of the North in a ceremony taking place at The Wright Awards during the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on May 13.