Comics / Spotlight

Canuck Comics

By Hervé St-Louis
October 1, 2011 - 13:16

Canadian comic books have always been inspired by Canada’s main cultural influences, the United States and France.  Today Canadian comic book creators, quietly make their way in both American and European comic book industries with a strong sense of diversity in both French and English.

Comic books in Canada are schizophrenic. Both solitudes, the French and the English tend to forget that the other side is also making comic books. Even in a city like Montreal, home of Francophone culture in Quebec and Canada, the local Anglophone community acts in its own universe with strong ties to the comic book scene in the rest of North America, but seemingly blind to the strong cultural mix happening just a few blocks away.

This is the comic book world in Canada. It’s created conflicts to which even The Comic Book Bin has been a player in the past. Comic books in Canada like many other forms of art are influenced and satellites of greater movement outside of Canada. Canada is thus a unique place that speaks at once with the most innovating forces in comics, but which also does not own the key to its own destiny. Canadians are not particularly concerned about their home-grown comic book industries. Even Canadians who regularly buy comic books, do not go out of their ways to support local talents. These talents, have to succeed on the in international markets and as is usual in Canada, whether in the French or English solitudes, recognition often comes only when foreigners have already weighted on and decreed critical acclaim on a Canadian comic.

Within the English comic book market there is also a question of class. Some comics are seen as inferior and less noteworthy to others. The fight goes on. The French market is a little better integrated having long understood that comics don’t have to be all things to all readers. Some comics can exist for literary-minded readers, others can be published for kids and the middle ground can just entertain without requiring an advanced education and mastering of literature to be enjoyed.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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