About this project
$25,000 - Alex Perkins miniprint (8.25 x 5.5) for all funders who will be receiving a tangible item by mail.
$30,000 - Softcover book for all original art funders ($250/$500 funders).
$35,000 - Bookplate for all funders who will be receiving a hardcover/softcover book.
$40,000 - Exclusive miniposter by Nicholas Burns for all funders who will be receiving a tangible item by mail.
$45,000 - Nelvana bookmark set for all funders who will be receiving a tangible item by mail.
$50,000 - Every Kickstarter funder thanked in the Nelvana collected edition (hardcover and softcover)
Who is Nelvana?
Nelvana of the Northern Lights is Canada's first superheroine and one of the most popular creations of the Canadian Golden Age of comics. YES! Canada has a golden age of comics!
She was first published in December 1941 in Triumph-Adventure Comics, and ran as a feature for 31 issues, even having her own merchandise and graphic novel. She's one of the very first female superheroes ever created, predating Wonder Woman by several months.
Nelvana of the Northern Lights was created and developed by Adrian Dingle. The idea was conceived after hearing Inuit stories of a mysterious goddess-like figure relayed to him by his friend Franz Johnston (of the Group of Seven). Dingle decided to 'make her into a doll in a miniskirt' and thus Nelvana, defender of the Northern people and enemy to the Axis powers, was born.
After creating several comic book characters in the 1940s and becoming the art director of Bell Features, Canada's largest comic book publisher, Adrian Dingle went on to become an accomplished and recognized talent in Canadian fine-art.
Wait, What's Canada's Golden Age?
In 1940, Canada implemented the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) which banned the import of luxury goods from the United States. Among these products were comic books.
The market now wide open, Canada began creating their own titles, which are now referred to as the 'Whites' for their lack of interior colour. While millions of copies were sold across dozens of titles from 1941 to 1946, when American comics returned to the newstands at the end of the war, the local industry couldn't compete with their high volume and low printing costs in colour. All comics produced during the WECA period are considered to be part of Canada's Golden Age.
The page below is from a rare colour comic produced for Bell Feature's most popular storylines.
Who Are You?
I'm Hope Nicholson and my partner is Rachel Richey. We are long-time comic fans and academics currently based out of Toronto, Canada.
We are the holders of the exclusive rights to reprint Nelvana of the Northern Lights.
Both Rachel and I are passionate fans of the Canadian Golden Age of comics, and have been for years. We're thrilled that we finally have the opportunity to share this passion with you.
Rachel expresses this through her blog Comic Syrup, and I am a producer on the documentary Lost Heroes, about Canadian comic superheroes.
We organize and host comic events in Toronto and are proud to support established and up-and-coming local talent.
This is us, spreading our passion at Toronto's Fan Expo convention in August 2013:
Why Reprint Now?
While producing Lost Heroes, I became in close contact with the copyright holders of Nelvana of the Northern Lights. After a year of chatting with them, I broached the idea of bringing Nelvana back to readers, and was honoured to be granted an exclusive reprint rights license for the stories. I'm thankful for the support of Corus Entertainment, Michael Hirsh, and the National Archives of Canada for making all this happen.
After years of communicating via e-mail, Rachel and I now live in the same city and have made strong connections with comic book artists, retailers, and fans. All of whom have shown enormous enthusiasm for this project and pledged their support. We're doing it now because finally, we feel confident that it CAN be done now.
Where Is the Money Going?
Even though we don't have to create the work itself, there's still a lot of time, work and travel needed to put this collection together. We will need to travel to the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and private collections throughout Ontario to capture scans from their collections, as the original art plates have long since been lost. We will need to buy and rent equipment and software in order to capture and restore the collection in high-definition, with minimal alteration to the original artwork. We then will need to produce and ship all of the books and incentive prizes to all of our funders.
What Happens if Nelvana is Over-funded?
Rachel and I intend to put most of our funds into printing more runs and selling directly to comic book stores so even more people can learn about Nelvana. We also will be participating in various conventions so you can meet us in person.
The support for this project will show there's a market for Canadian Golden Age comics, and there's more than a few other Canadian superheroes we'd love to bring to your attention once this is a success: Adrian Dingle's The Penguin; Jerry Lazare's Wing; Leo Bachle's Johnny Canuck...
We will be putting the book together ourselves, but we so have some help from our friends.
Eisner-award winning artist Ramón Pérez will be in charge of our book design and head up most of the aesthetic designs of the project
Forewords will be contributed by Michael Hirsh (Nelvana Animation Founder) and Dr. Benjamin Woo (Comic Historian).
Original art created exclusively for this campaign will be provided by the following talented local artists (in the cases where the original art has not yet been completed, horizontal examples of the artists style are presented instead)
Ramón Pérez (Tale of Sand, Wolverine and the X-Men)
Francis Manapul (Witchblade, The Flash)
Jeff Lemire (Essex County, Sweet Tooth)
Ray Fawkes (One Soul, Constantine)
J. Bone (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Super Friends)
Adam Gorham (Teuton)
Steve Manale (Superslackers)
Jay Stephens (Tutenstein, True Patriot)
Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing, Marvel Knights: Spider-man)
Kalman Andrasofszky (Captain Canuck, X-23)
Michael Walsh (X-Files: Season 10, Zero)
Scott Hepburn (Orchid, Star Wars: Clone Wars)
This project is our passion, and we can't wait to share Canada's greatest superheroine with you.
Risks and challenges
We don't currently know which issues are in the worst condition. Through exploring the collections in the National Archives and private collections, we'll get a better idea of how much work it will take to delicately and carefully capture the artwork in each issue (at least 300 separate pages in total).
Because of this, it's difficult to get an exact timeframe of when the book will be ready to print, though we are determined to have it in your hands in Spring 2014.
Canadian Golden Age comic books are some of the rarest in the market, it's estimated that less than 10 issues exist of each one. It's suspected that there are a few issues that simply no longer exist in any form (or are hiding in your grandparents attic!)
Luckily, through our connections with the collector community we know the locations of at least one copy, in some cases up to 3, of each needed book of the Nelvana storyline! Each of the collectors have committed to this project and are willing to have their issues used when necessary in order to get this content published again.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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