Posted in A to Z Challenge-Comic Creators Around the World

The Saint to the Honeymooners to Northguard. Quebec gives birth to creators.

Qatar is not the place to really go looking from Graphic Literature in the vein in which I am interested in at this time. I therefore headed to Quebec. I thought about provinces in China, but I thought a little closer to home would be easier. Have I ever told you how foolish my ideas can be?

Did I tell you I tried creators from Queens, New York? Not so easy either.

Canada went through some interesting things during WWII much like other parts of the world. Oddly US books were banned from being imported for economic reasons, but could be reprinted. This allowed for a  Golden Age of comic books in Canada. Canada also went through the 1950s censorship issues much as the rest of the various Western Hemisphere.

Golden Roy

I want to start today with a man named Joseph Michel Roy (1921-1996), better known as Mike Roy or Michael Roy. Researching about artists born in Quebec had been tough until the wee hours and I found this man. And did I find a creator or what?

Born in Quebec he headed south where he ended up in New York at the School of Industrial Art, also known as the High School of Art and Design. For those outside of the United States, think ages 14 or 15 up to around 18. The school produced several comic artists from this time period. During Roy’s particular time he was the first to get the break.1

In 1940, while still in school, Roy writes, pencils (draws), and inks the short story Tigerman2 in the comic book Daring Mystery Comics3.  Daring Mystery Comics was produced by Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics.4

tigerman
The only image of Tigerman I could find. May or may not be Mike Roy’s.
daring6
Daring Mystery Comics #6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to a high school friend of Roy’s, another Timely Comics artist Allen Bellman, he recalls Roy working on a Sub Mariner comic will still in high school, although it is not mentioned in a list of his works. The incident sticks in Bellman’s mind because Roy was then a big shot and hero because he had actually done what they all wanted to do.5 One thing to keep in mind is, Roy went to work for Bill Everett as his assistant and that may be why we don’t see Roy’s name on work for that particular issue. Or it could be that issue has slipped through the cracks.6

cap60

Roy did a lot of Timely books, Captain America #60 being of course being of interest to me where he had the lead story. But there were later books I found insanely amazing to find he worked on. Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners from the 1950s. The Twilight Zone from the 1960s.  Buck Rogers and the 25th Century in 1980.

gleasonAll of these are interesting and great but then we have a few things where Roy stands out.

Mike Roy’s Comic Strips

Roy has a tie to one of the most famous detectives in literary fiction, Mike Hammer. No, you won’t see Roy given credit for Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, but you will find his name with the comic Mike Danger in 1947, the first go round of Mike Hammer. It failed and Spillane, in three weeks, turned out I, the Jury.7

mikedanger
Crime Busters story.

 

We then find Roy on The Saint comic strip which began it’s run on Septemeber 27, 1948, written by Leslie Charteris. Yes, The Saint as in Simon Templar with George Sanders in the old movies and Roger Moore in the TV series.8

Saint Comic-Strip 1948[6]

Then we see him once again, in the detective genre with the Nero Wolfe comic strip from 1956 to 1958.9

Nero Wolfe 19570415-17

Mike Roy’s Native American Interests


Mike Roy was very interested in Native American culture. His strip Akwas from the 1960s showed this. It was set historically pre Columbus. He attempted to keep the strip in print by giving her super powers toward the end but it didn’t save it.10

akwas

Screaming Eagle, a graphic novel was Roy’s final work, published in 1998 after his passing.

“SCREAMING EAGLE tells a mythical version of Native history—from the early pioneering days to the end of the Indian wars. Not coincidentally, that period coincides with the life of the story’s fictional hero.

At the onset, white trappers shoot a bald eagle, then the boy Screaming Eagle. The eagle’s and boy’s spirits merge and Screaming Eagle comes back to life. He now has the power to turn into his namesake guardian spirit.

Screaming Eagle becomes the focal point for this simplified version of events. He’s there to counsel people in war and peace. He’s the embodiment of all the great Indian leaders, from Tecumseh to Geronimo.”~Robert Schmidt.11

screamingeagle

Mike Roy also co-founded a museum of Native American and Eskimo art.

Today

To end I will mention a creative duo specifically for Canadian Graphic Literature. writer Mark Shainblum and artist Gabriel Morrissette.  They are at least close to today but their work on specifically and obviously Canadian superheros is why I want to mention them.

The two created Northguard, an almost accidental hero in the fact he was really just doing his job and ended up being a costumed hero. The book was a serious effort during the 1980s to have home grown superhero comics with heroes having Canadian identity throughout, not just in name only. He also had a partner called Fleur de Lys from the emblem on the Quebec flag. The two appeared on Canadian postage stamps.12

ng1fleur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are successful Canadian comics but rare. With the amount of American comics and with a population that cannot support so many comics it’s difficult to create and maintain a publishing system. There are efforts and I may talk about them another time. But that’ all for today.
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Click the link below to learn about comics in the Philippines. Did WWII help or hinder their comic book culture? How about the rule of Marcos?

Can a part of Filipino culture come back to life?

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References

Return to Golden Roy
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Roy_%28comics%29
2 http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=106465
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daring_Mystery_Comics
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timely_Comics

Return to Timely Comics
5 http://www.comicartville.com/bellmanpg2.htm
6 http://beachbumcomics.blogspot.com/2014/07/comic-strip-artist-mike-roy-mark-on.html

Return to Comic Strips
7 http://cgcforum.gpanalysis.com/cgcforum_thread.asp?pagenumber=55&ThreadID=690754&threadName=A+Month+in+the+Life+of+the+Comics
8 The Roger Moore Handbook-Everything you need to know about Roger Moore. By Emily Smith Page 418. Tebbo Publishing Feb. 28th 2013
9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero_Wolfe

Return to Roy’s Native American Interest
10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akwas
11 http://www.bluecorncomics.com/scrmeagl.htm

Return to Today
12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northguard

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Author:

Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now on available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. "5.0 out of 5 stars: Now, I want to warn you… this is not your typical pirate tale! It’s BETTER!" "5.0 out of 5 stars: Totally unpredictable and a real gem of a discovery - Highly Recommended" "5.0 out of 5 stars: An action packed journey to piracy and revenge – all in the name of the crown, queen and county – set in 1705." He shares his life of problems and triumphs through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

3 thoughts on “The Saint to the Honeymooners to Northguard. Quebec gives birth to creators.

  1. YAY! Quebec, Cda. represent! My grandparents were born there and except for a brief stay in Detroit, my grandfather, whom I never met lived there his entire life. True to his Native roots, he had this primitive cabin on a small inland lake across from the wooded area where his tribe, the Ottawas had a settlement. We visited after he passed in 1971 (I believe it was) and I couldn’t take it. Creeped me out, so thank God my mother blew the outhouse up, a total accident, and we had to stay with my Uncle Vila and Aunt Bernadette in Wakefield for the remainder of the vacay. Yikes. Somewhere in the family are photos of my father’s great grandfather in full head dress as the Chief of the Ottawas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ronovan – I emailed you as you suggested article – Also, I have a request from you. I am in good hopes you can present or write about the Armenian Genocide. In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, some 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country.

    Like

  3. Doubtful I would have recognized any Qatarian comics, but several were familiar to me here. Interesting that the Honeymooners was a comic strip as well as tv show…wonder which came first? Around the same time I think. Anyhoo, I enjoyed this post 🙂

    Like

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