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Author Topic: The Shusters: Canadian Comic Awards  (Read 1967 times)
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« on: January 31, 2005, 11:56:00 AM »

A news comic book award named after Superman creator Joe Shuster.

Press Release Co:
http://www.torontocomicon.com

Canada’s own comic book award to be launched in 2005; Initial presentation scheduled for gala Toronto ceremony in April
TORONTO (January 27, 2005) – Canada is about to get its own award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books: the SHUSTER, named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman.

The nomination process is now under way to select and honour the best work by Canadian comic book creators in 2004. Results will be announced and awards will be presented at a gala ceremony on April 30, 2005, at the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, which will be held at the National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Plans call for future ceremonies to be held at other major comic conventions across Canada.

From coast to coast, Canada is home to many of the comic book industry’s top talents. The SHUSTERs are a way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of Canadian creators – past, present and future.


About Joe Shuster

The SHUSTER Award is named in honour of the great artist, JOE SHUSTER (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and Siegel, that electrified the industry in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.

In 1924, at the age of 10, Joe and his family moved from Toronto to Cleveland, Ohio, where he met Cleveland native Jerry Siegel. During the early 1930s, the friends collaborated on producing science-fiction fanzines and contributing cartoons to local publications. After devising and polishing the basic concept of Superman in the mid ’30s, Siegel and Shuster tried to sell their creation to newspaper syndicates as a comic strip character, but to no avail. However, they did manage to break into comic books —notably, the forerunner of today’s DC Comics — with many memorable characters, including Dr. Occult, Slam Bradley and the Radio Squad.


Finally, in 1938, DC decided to take a chance on Superman, who debuted in Action Comics #1, the June issue. In an interview shortly before his death in 1992, Shuster told Toronto Star reporter Henry Mietkiewicz that Toronto’s skyline had served as the inspiration for Superman’s home town, Metropolis. In addition, Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, worked for a newspaper that in the earliest adventures was named the Daily Star, a tip of the hat to the Toronto Daily Star (as the paper was then called). In fact, Shuster had been a Star paperboy and had grown to love comics while sitting on his father’s knee and listening as his dad read the Star’s comic strips aloud.

Joe Shuster and his studio along with writer Jerry Siegel produced Superman comics until 1947, when Jerry and Joe, over well-publicized differences with their publisher, left the series. Failing eyesight eventually led to Joe’s retirement from comic books and strips but years later, due to the efforts of a number of the industry’s major talents, the incredible accomplishments of Jerry and Joe were finally duly acknowledged with well-deserved compensation; co-creator credit on all subsequent Superman stories and a resurgence of public recognition that they had not seen for decades.

Even Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler once counted himself among Superman’s fans. He noted that the Man of Steel hides extraordinary strength, speed, and stamina behind the bland, self-effacing guise of the weak and clumsy Clark Kent. He takes no credit for his own heroism, content simply to live his daily life in horn-rimmed glasses and blue suits. For this reason, Richler called Superman the perfect expression of the archetypal Canadian personality — a man whose modest exterior hides a "universal hero", famed throughout the world as the champion of everything virtuous.

Past honours for Joe Shuster

Joe Shuster and his famous co-creation were honoured in 1995 when Canada Post (the Canadian postal service) officially acknowledged the Man of Tomorrow’s Canadian roots by issuing a commemorative 45-cent stamp featuring Superman. The stamp was based on the cover that Shuster had drawn for the third issue of Superman comics, published in winter 1939.

In addition, a whimsical, one-minute film about Shuster’s early years aired extensively on Canadian television and in Canadian in movie theatres the late 1990s. The film, produced by the federal government’s TeleFilm agency, was part of the Historical Minute series that celebrated major milestones and personalities in Canadian history.

The SHUSTER Awards

The name of this award has been approved by the executors of Joe Shuster’s estate —his sister, Jean Shuster Peavy, and her son, Warren.

Categories for the 2004 awards include:

• Outstanding Achievement Award
• Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer
• Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist
• Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist
• Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Publisher
• Canadian Comic Book Retailer Recognition Award
• Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame Awards

The SHUSTERs’ nominating committee is selected by the awards committee and will be newly reconstituted for each year of the awards. The nominating committee consists of a cross-section of comic book journalists and experts from across Canada. They can submit any comic book, graphic novel or comics-related publication featuring work by a Canadian creator that was shipped to retailers between January 1 and December 31, 2004. Nominations will be announced in late February online and the nominated entries will then be open for a public vote by ballot and/or by email ballot.

For the purposes of the first SHUSTER Awards, a Canadian is defined as a native or inhabitant of Canada, or an individual who was born in Canada and now resides elsewhere (possessing either Canadian or dual citizenship). However, this is a fluid definition which is likely to be re-evaluated by the nominating committee in the coming years. The awards also will be expanded in the future to include additional categories, as suggested and determined by the awards committee.

Although these awards will be chosen, in their first incarnation, by a public vote, the process is open to change in the future to ensure that selection remains as fair and efficient as possible. In addition, five individuals will be selected for Hall of Fame awards in the first year, but these will not be open to a public vote. Instead, they will be chosen by a panel of Canadian comic book experts and historians. Also, a special tribute will be given in the first year of the SHUSTERs posthumously to Harry Kremer, the original owner of Now & Then Books in Kitchener-Waterloo --- a true pioneer in the industry and a constant and tireless promoter of the medium --- in the category of Canadian Comic Book Retailer Recognition Award. This has been chosen by the awards committee and will serve to usher in the Harry Kremer Memorial Award for Canadian Comic Book Retailer in the second year of the SHUSTERs in 2006.


Contact information

THE CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CREATOR AWARDS / THE SHUSTERS:

James Waley, chief coordinator: jnw_pique@hotmail.com
Kevin Boyd, associate coordinator: kevin@torontocomicon.com

More information also can be found at www.torontocomicon.com, which is the current location of the SHUSTER Awards website.

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