Tag Archives: alpha flight

Captain Canuck – he’s back!

That’s the teaser for a new Captain Canuck animated Web series announced on March 8. It’s being produced by Fadi Hakim and Alex Sengupta of Captain Canuck Inc., and Smiley Guy Studios. Look for an Indiegogo campaign to launch in a couple of weeks on March 28 to help raise some funding for the project. (see press release below)

9585169-canada--circa-1995-stamp-printed-by-canada-shows-comic-book-characters-captain-canuck-circa-1995I’m not all that familiar with the character. I mean, I’ve read a handful of the comics from his different incarnations over the years. But I couldn’t tell you a thing about those stories. I don’t even know his origin. And a quick image search will return a list of variations on the character. One of my favourite comics collectibles (for nostalgic reasons) is a set of stamps Canada Post put out in the early 90s (I think) featuring five characters created by Canadians: Superman (naturally), our man Captain Canuck, Johnny Canuck, Nelvana, and Fleur de Lys.

Alpha_Flight_cast_picture_(John_Byrne_era)However because I came of age in the 80s, whenever I think of Canada and superheroes, the first and only thing that pops into my head are John Byrne’s Alpha Flight. Such a great book, at least the first 24 or so issues while Byrne was still on the book.

Here’s hoping the new creative team can give Captain Canuck the treatment he deserves. Good luck Fadi, Alex and Smiley Guy!

Here is the press release from the announcement:

A Canadian Icon leaps off the Comic Book page and into Animation!

Toronto, Canada – March 8, 2013 – As superheroes dominate the big screen, Canada’s own iconic champion, Captain Canuck, created in 1976 by Richard Comely, has been reinvented for 2013 and is stepping into the limelight in an exciting new 5-episode animated web series.

Comely feels strongly about his character’s place in Canadian culture. “This is an important project and fans are letting us know. Captain Canuck is part of our collective identity, with roots in a period when our country was taking its place on the international stage. We imagined a future where Canada was an enlightened superpower, and Canuck was an extension of that.”

The project has been in development by Captain Canuck INC and their animation partner, Smiley Guy Studios. A sneak peek was released at Fan Expo last August, where new character designs were unveiled, directing fans to the updated captaincanuck.com website.

Voicing the Captain is Kris Holden-Reid (Lost Girl, Underworld: Awakening, The Tudors). “It’s a privilege and a joy to be playing Captain Canuck!” says Kris. “As a comic book lover myself, I’m thrilled to be part of re-creating a Canadian super-hero and bringing him to life on the screen.” Joining him as Canuck’s arch-nemesis, Mr. Gold, is Paul Amos (Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, Warehouse 13).

Toronto-based comic book artist, Kalman Andrasofsky (NYX: No Way Home, X-Treme X-Men, X-23) worked closely with Captain Canuck INC in reshaping the look of Canada’s hero. “This is a ground-up revamp,” says Kalman. “We’re trying to take all the best elements of the classic and also layer in new elements that speak to the way hero mythology has evolved since Canuck was created in 1975”.

Also on the project is animation director Sam Chou (Style5.tv). “Sam was the first call I made when I saw Kalman’s work,” says Mike Valiquette, Director of Development at Smiley Guy Studios. “You only get one shot to do a project like this right. That comes down to having the right team. Sam is the only guy I can imagine doing this and we’re extremely lucky to have him.”

With fan interest growing, Captain Canuck INC and Smiley Guy are launching an Indiegogo campaign for the web series at an exclusive event on March 28th. “Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo allow you to reach out to your audience at an early stage,”  says Fadi Hakim, President of Captain Canuck INC. “we are reaching out to Captain Canuck’s loyal fan-base and getting them involved from day one. Fans old and new can get themselves drawn into the series as animated characters, and a choice few will even be able to face off against the Captain in battle.”

More information at the official site.

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Dale Eaglesham’s Canada Day gift

Canada’s favourite Alphan artist, Dale Eagelsham, offers a sneak peak at Alpha Flight #3. It’s his little Canada Day surprise to the faithful.

I’m posting one pic here (spoilers warning if you haven’t seen the preview art to issue #2 yet) which has me extremely jazzed about the upcoming issue. Dale has a half dozen or so images for you to enjoy if you click through to his site.

Warning spoilers! (just in case, again)

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Celebrate Canada Day – with a cartoon

Canada’s most famous mutant, Wolverine, faces off against his old teammates and our nation’s superhero team: Alpha Flight.

Northstar and Aurora’s accents are off, and Puck sounds like a leprechaun. But these Canuck crimefighters finally got their 15 minutes of animated fame – after an aborted series back in the 80s – in this guest appearance on X-Men: The Animated Series from the 90s.

One thing they did get right: even in the comics James Hudson (aka Guardian) was a bit of a dick.

Oh well, Happy Canada Day.

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The return of Alpha Flight

Artist Dale Eaglesham talks about the big return of Marvel’s Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight, at his rural home in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. You can watch the video at this link: Homegrown superheroes take flight. (I wanted to feature the clip, but the Ottawa Citizen site is lame. It uses the silly interface a bunch of newspaper sites have adopted which doesn’t make the video embed code discoverable that would allow me to include it here – nor does it anchor link to the specific piece of content I want from the package. So instead you get this boring photo.)

Enough griping about a dying medium.

Can our heroes save Canada…from itself? Dale, Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente spin an 8-issue tale for fans of the original franchise who’ve been chomping at the bit for the return of the Flight.

Alpha Flight was the second #1 issue I ever purchased – the first being New Mutants. I loved John Byrne‘s art and followed the book religiously, but I will admit I didn’t totally get it at the time. I was 10 years old and wanted a straight-forward team book, so the whole fractured family thing was lost on me at first. I kept hoping for a big team battle at some point and then suddenly James Hudson is killed and that confused me further.

Until about issue 20 or so when I went back one day and read the entire run again – and loved it!

Once Byrne left, however, the book pretty much lost its focus. For some reason, I very clearly remember issues 51 with Jim Lee on pencils and whole bunch of new characters. I think Bill Mantlo was writer. It featured a strange cast of characters. The book no longer felt like Alpha Flight, and that’s about where I lost interest even though I kept picking up the issues for another couple of years.

But it’s back. We’ll see how it this one can recapture the magic of the original.

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