On the Saturday evening of Niagara Falls Comic Con 2015, Big B Comics in Niagara hosted a special event to celebrate the history of Canadian comic books. The Canadian Comics Corner launch party attracted fans, Canadian comic book creators – past and present, and Canadian comic book historians to Big B’s Lundy’s Lane location for the unveiling of a section of the store which has been transformed into a museum for some of the first comic books ever produced in Canada by Canadians.
The comics housed in the Canadian Corner are impressive and range from some of the original “Canadian Whites” (Dime Comics, Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Johnny Canuck) – comics created by Canadians during the 40’s, to Captain Canuck and Orb Magazine in the 70’s. The Corner also features modern Canadian comics, original artwork and even Captain Canuck action figures.
Walter Durajlija, Big B’s owner, feels that having the Canadian Corner in the Niagara store makes a lot of sense. “The Niagara Falls area is very vibrant for tourists and we had this idea for featuring and celebrating Canadian comics. We thought, hey wouldn’t it be great if we got some great museum pieces, some history of Canadian comics, stuff not for sale but for display.” The location of the museum gives tourists the opportunity to see comics created by Canadians outside of the usual titles from Marvel, DC Comics and other publishers south of the 49th parallel.
The launch party’s guest list featured a who’s who of Canadian comic books. Canadian comic book historians Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey were on hand and collected editions of Brok Windsor 1944-1946 (edited by Nicholson) and Richey’s Johnny Canuck were featured prominently in the Canadian Comics Corner. Other notables in the crowd were Orb Magazine founder, James Waley (Orb Magazine), Captain Canuck co-creator Richard Comely, Kevin A. Boyd (Shuster Awards), Leonard Kirk (Fantastik 4), Francis Manapul (Detective Comics) and Degrassi alum Pat Mastroianni.