Monday, April 2, 2012

Captain Canuck Easter Eggs

These may not qualify as Easter Eggs in the "hidden treat" sense because they only became treats over time.

Captain Canuck is often referred to as an inspiration for many comic book creators.  The series itself reveals just how true that is as several of the letters or fan art on display were submitted by people who went on to make their own mark in the field.  Let's have a look...
  • Captain Canuck #4:  Matthew Paine of Brandon, Manitoba, submits a picture of a character called Black Corsair.

I believe that's the same Matthew Paine went on to work as a colourist, mostly for Marvel comics.  I am not entirely certain that it's the same person as the bio linked displays a different home town but it seems to fit.  Paine would have been about 19 at the time that  CC4 came out.

  • Captain Canuck #7: Mark Shainblum of Montreal, Quebec, appears in the letters page.

Certainly "sounds" like the Mark Shainblum that went on to write Northguard, among others.  The letter touches on religion, the holocaust and politics, all subject touched upon in Northguard and (quite obviously in the case of politics) Angloman (Ha!  Bob Ray!  Good one!).

  • Captain Canuck #8: Geoff Isherwood of Montreal, Quebec, contributes to the gallery.

And these days, he contributes to Heroes of the North.  The only thing that causes me some doubt here is that he has spelled his name with one "f" for quite some time now.  My guess is that there's an error in the Captain Canuck comic.

I've linked it before, but a pretty thorough review of his career is included here.  Not mentioned is a plot and design assist credit for the first chapter of Northguard.

I include the Jamie Grummett drawing as well because I believe he is the brother of DC and Marvel penciller Tom Grummett.

  • Captain Canuck #9: John Bell of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is printed in the letters page.

And one John Bell, born in Montreal but "with roots in Halifax", wrote a great deal of historical reference material in regards to Canadian comics, including one that is seemingly linked on every single page having anything to do with Canadian comics.  Check the "sources" link on that page for more details.

Mr Bell also contributed the foreword to the Northguard graphic novel.  That thing apparently became an all-star team for Captain Canuck fans.

I may be wrong about some of these, and it's even more likely that I did not recognize the name of someone in one of the Captain Canuck comics who went on to a publishing-based career of his or her own.  If that's the case, I'm open to corrections/additions.


  1. That is indeed the same Mark Shainblum from Northguard in Captain Canuck #7. It's always fascinating to read letter columns from that era; the community of letter writers is really small, and heavily skewed toward other creators. (Northguard #2 has a letter from Ty Templeton in it, for instance.)

  2. Up next: Northguard Easter eggs! :-)

    There's always that element of doubt. You'd hate to get an e-mail or comment from someone to say "Huh...that wasn't me. I've never read that book in my life". Lol...

  3. Hi guys!

    No element of doubt. It was, embarrasingly, me, because it was the most fanboyish of fanboy letters to the editor ever published.

    And yeah, it was also THE Geof Isherwood (who later did the first designs for Northguard before I teamed up with Gabriel Morrissette) and THE John Bell, whose book CANUCK COMICS I published in 1986.

    Very small little tiny nano world, isn't it?

    Anyhow, thanks for caring about my obscure contributions to pop culture.


    Mark Shainblum