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Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe Hardcover – Nov 11 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn; First edition (Nov. 11 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550026593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550026597
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #286,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


What do Superman, Prince Valiant, Cerebus the Aardvark, and Spawn have in common? Their creators ― Joe Shuster, Harold Foster, Dave Sim, and Todd McFarlane are Canadians. And while many of the cutting-edge talents of contemporary comix and graphic novels are also from Canada ― artists such as Chester Brown, Seth, Dave Cooper, and Julie Doucet ― far too few Canadians realize their country had a remarkable involvement with the "funnies" long before.

Invaders from the North profiles past and present comic geniuses, sheds light on unjustly neglected chapters in Canada’s pop history, and demonstrates how this nation has vaulted to the forefront of international comic art, successfully challenging the long-established boundaries between high and low culture. Generously illustrated with black-and-white and colour comic covers and panels, Invaders from the North serves up a cheeky, brash cavalcade of flamboyant and outrageous personalities and characters that graphically attest to Canada’s verve and invention in the world of visual storytelling.

"This is a scholarly book, complete with footnotes, a bibliography and website addresses where you can find out more about this subject and even look at some samples of that new phenomenon, online comics. This was an interesting study." (Dan Davidson The Whitehorse Star 2007-06-08)

"Canada's distinctive contributions to cartooning get a new history all their own in the cleverly designed Invaders From the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe by John Bell." (The Calgary Herald 2006-12-17)

"The book's 60-plus images rightly place the spotlight on the art ... Kudos to publisher Dundurn for using colour, fully remastered, for all images that originally used it, as well as for using heavy paper stock - there's an almost tactile thickness to the images that gives them an impressive air of scrapbook solidity." (Gary Butler Quill and Quire 2007-02-01)

"Filled with interesting facts and vivid illustrations, the book chronicles the history of comics and comic art." (Ria Newhouse VOYA 2007-04-01)

"Invaders From the North is the best kind of pop culture book: quirky and fascinating, with a fresh look at something most of us take for granted." (John Threlfall Monday Magazine 2007-05-10)

"It's a beauty of a book, a must for the growing legion of fans of an art form that stands as a legitimate bridge between high and low culture." (Toronto Star 2006-11-12)

"... an original work that scholars, collectors, fans, and enthusiasts of all ages should plan on adding to their libraries." (Alex Good The Record 2007-01-20)

"Canada's distinctive contributions to cartooning get a new history all their own in the cleverly designed Invaders From the North." (Nancy Tousley The Calgary Herald 2006-12-17)

"... Canada clearly has a comic book heritage worth celebrating, and this is a worthy tribute." (York Membery British Journal of Canadian Studies 2007-01-01)

"Bell's book is to be welcomed as part of a larger movement to recover Canada's lost popular culture." (Jeet Heer Literary Review of Canada 2007-06-01)

"Bell's book is well researched and illustrated." (Chris Robinson Ottawa X Press 2007-02-01)

"Refreshingly, John Bell takes a more inclusive view in his history of Canadian comics and cartoonists, Invaders from the North ... The research behind Bell's book is impressive, as is its scope." (Claude Lalumire The Gazette 2007-01-06)

"Bell sticks to his strengths and offers a solid history ... Invaders from the North ... is still the most thorough examination of Canadian comics to date." (Scott Marshall New Brunswick Reader 2007-01-06)

About the Author

John Bell is a senior archivist at Library and Archives Canada and a leading authority on the history of English Canadian comic books. His contributions to the comics field include two books, Canuck Comics and Guardians of the North, and the websites Guardians of the North and Beyond the Funnies. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Format: Hardcover
Essential reading for those interested in the quiet history of Canadian comics. Written with verve, it is still an academic-level researched work by a good archivist. The unspeakably hideous cover has probably scared away many a reader who would have loved reading about the Canadian connections and creators of Superman, Prince Valiant, Cerebus, Spawn, and the newer legends like Chester Brown, Seth, Dave Cooper, and Julie Doucet. This is not a complete tome or all-inclusive, but it is a great overview and has helped prompt the fantastic current ongoing rediscovery and reprinting of Brok Winsor, Johnny Canuck, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, etc., by Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey.
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