Friday, May 25, 2012

A Conversation with Red Leaf Comics' John Michael Helmer

The information below is the result of ongoing e-mail conversation with Red Leaf Comics publisher John Michael Helmer.  John had sent me an early look at one of the covers for All Canadian Comics which drew my curiosity.  This resulted in something of a Q & A which is adapted and duplicated here now (with consent from Mr Helmer, of course).  Indented comments are Mr Helmer's.

...We have a pack of titles coming out covering several different genres and our digital sales at the webstore are strong. We’re very excited about All Canadian Comics #1, Abominable Tales #1, The Leaf #4, Sky Watcher #5, and G.I.s vs Zombies #2. All will be available this year at some point.

The format (for All Canadian Comics) will be twenty to twenty four pages of action and drama each issue. Our goal is to make it 100% Canadian. Most of the creators, writers, and artists ARE Canadian and issue #2 stands to meet that goal. No doubt, ALL the featured characters are Canadian based: heroes, villains, and creatures! Available in print and digital versions with two different covers.

#1 will feature three amazing stories. First off, Mark F Davis' The American Guard travels to Canada on his quest to discover who he is. The American Guard meets up with the Canadian Guard and the fists start flying from there. Mark’s character first appeared in the pages of Surprising Comics and I had a chance to write a ten page story. So I immediately took the AG to Canada and the rest is history.

Canadian Guard is a patriotic hero, selected from the best of the best, so to speak. Mark has designed a guard for every country. I created the Canadian Guard to reflect a sense of strength and intelligence. He’s also someone who will help others in need, regardless of who they are, all of the time.
As to whether the Canadian Guard will appear in other comics or stories...
No doubt. I’m sure Senior Editor Hal Hilden will craft something amazing for the hero.  Hal and I have been working together for several years. He’s a Canadian creator out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He wrote MacSorly #1 –a Canadian Mountie tale of The Leaf before he became The Leaf –Canada’s Greatest Hero. Hal is supervising the title from Canada; he contacts the writers and artists, connects creative teams, and schedules the stories. With Hal in control, the book will be, as it should, 100% ALL Canadian. Hal also wrote the second story: Ministers of Magic.
Ministers of Magic?
I will defer to Hal for that explanation, but as I have read the first few pages, there are hero magicians from each province and an old, wise veteran teacher. They battle it out for a winner-take-all title of Master Magician of Canada to protect the dominion.

And the other story in the first issue?
My favorite: Ogopogo –the Lake Monster. Something is alive up north and it's protecting the lake. I tried to stay true to the actual legend, yet add a new twist. I hope fans enjoy.

So when will the book be out?
Digital sales this week. Print sales as soon as it arrives from the printer. You can get your copies at our webstore.  I encourage fans to check out our books and we’ve got some awesome stories for The Leaf this year and into next! The Leaf, starring the modern version, battles a villain named Pheromone in his evil attempt to destroy Toronto in The Leaf #4. Michael McSorly then travels to Berlin, Germany and uncovers a secret weapon buried in a bunker since 1945 in The Leaf #5.  Check us out at:

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