Here’s my chat with Dennis Slater about his talk, in partnership with the Chinook Country Historical Society, at the Calgary Library about comic books and comic strips during the first and second world wars.
Dennis is a jazz journalist for arts and entertainment magazines, museum curator at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and was curator for an exhibit that dealt with censorship in Canada in the 1950s. That led to his interest in comic books during the world wars.
In our chat we talk about wartime comic book heroes from WWI’s Young Canada Boys to WWII’s Captain Daring. During the first World War, Canadian children thrilled to the adventures of the Young Canada Boys, The Brighton Boys and The Belgian Twins. By the Second World War, Canadian superhero comic book characters were battling enemies overseas. Dennis talked about censorship in Canadian comic books in the late ’40s and ’50s, about the ban on US comic books during WWII which led to the rise of Canadian comic book companies, the regional aspect of Canadian comic books, John Bell’s book Invaders From The North, and how Iron Man was first a Canadian creation.
We also talk about Ivan Kocmarek and his upcoming book Heroes of the Home Front – with more 300 pages of the history of Canadian comics in the World War II era from Bell Features artists and over 150 pages of original art.
You can discover more about the Chinook Country Historical Society at http://www.chinookcountry.org/ and on Twitter at @chinookchs
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