Who is Doc Stearne/Mr. Monster?
In the early 40s, artist and writer Fred Kelly created Doctor Jim Stearne, a normal medical doctor who finds himself pulled into a series of fantastic adventures with Gloria Gale and her father, Professor Edwin Gale. Throughout these adventures, Stearne discovers the power the occult has and vows to rid the world of evil.
After obsessively learning everything he can related to it, and medical theory surrounding it, he becomes MR. MONSTER! Or, an occult vigilante of sorts. Think Constantine or Hellboy but from the 40s. The series was printed throughout several titles before its final publication in 1947.
Why Doc Stearne/Mr. Monster?
There are so many facets to the answer of this question. He began as just adventurer/doctor Jim Stearne during a time when comics were light hearted and mostly for kids. This was a time when superheroes were what the world needed. After the war ended, popular genres in comics shifted and to more adult tastes and the late 40s saw the early development of horror and romance comics. This is where Doc Stearne became Mr. Monster and bridged the gap between these popular genres. The comic was definitely ahead of its time.
Doc Stearne/Mr. Monster is also one of the many great comics that came from the Canadian Golden Age. The first issue appeared circa 1943 and the final in 1947 making him one of the last Canadian Golden Age superheroes to be found in print, and one of even fewer to be found in colour! Mr. Monster’s first recognized appearance was in the same colour issue that housed the only colour story of Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Super Duper #3.
This strange comic book hero has an even grander history. In the early 1980’s, creator Michael T. Gilbert discovered the issue of Super Duper #3. So taken with the concept and lost history of the character he created his own stories derived from the original. Gilbert ushered his series to success as a comic book cult classic attracting guest writers such as Alan Moore, William Messner-Loebs and even an introduction by Will Eisner.
Fred Kelly’s initial character remains a favourite to this day among many comic fans.
Who is producing this book?
I am Rachel Richey, a deeply nerdy person regarding Canadian comics history, a part time illustrator and writer, and a longtime fan of Mr. Monster. I’ve worked with the John Bell Collection of Canadian Comics at Library and Archives Canada, documenting, cataloguing and researching all kinds of Canadian comics.
Most recently I’ve also worked to produce Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Last summer’s Johnny Canuck, both of which had hugely successful Kickstarters. So I know what I’m doing.
Fun things in this Kickstarter…
- STRETCH GOAL 27K UNLOCKED: THANK YOU PAGES WITH ALL BACKERS' NAMES IN THE BOOK!
- STRETCH GOAL 30K UNLOCKED: ALL FUNDERS $25 AND UP GET A MR. MONSTER SKULL STICKER!
- STRETCH GOAL 33K: ALL PHYSICAL BOOKS SIGNED BY THE EDITOR (ME).
- STRETCH GOAL 37K: A PDF OF THE COMPLETE STORIES OF FRED KELLY'S BETTY BURD!
The campaign we've been dying to see for years now, this Kickstarter includes:
- One complete collection of the original Doc Stearne/Mr. Monster stories! That's 8 issues! With essay and all other material, the book will be roughly just over 100 pages and will be traditional hardcover trade size.
- One foreword by multiple Eisner winner Ramón Pérez
- One essay by Michael T. Gilbert!
- A limited edition Mr Monster T-Shirt!
- SLIPCASED EDITIONS!
- A fantastic collection of art in a wide array of styles by modern artists! Note that images not portraying Mr. Monster are sample only and the image placeholder is not a reward incentive. Artists such as:
A special thank you to my youtuber friend, Daniel Coz, for shooting and editing such a fantastic video. The man's got comedic good sense and taste, what can I say?
Risks and challenges
Generally, considering most of the book is completed, the risks are relatively low. I'd say the biggest challenge at this point is the Canadian dollar!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)