Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Me and the Cap'n : Episode 4 - All Good Things Must End

Late summer 1980 : things seemed to going fine in the world of Captain Canuck and me. I was enjoying the contents of my membership kit, and every two months a new issue of CC arrived in the mail wrapped in a swell illustrated mailer like the one above. The first CC Summer Special had come out followed by issues 12 and 13. A new logo, improved stories, both daily and colour weekend newspaper strips either starting or in the works and hints of bigger things to come. Sure... the second issue of the newsletter was a few months late, but that was a minor annoyance.

Well, March of 1981 brought Captain Canuck issue 14, but there was a lot more in this issue's envelope than normal, starting with the letter above stating that...

...Captain Canuck had been canceled!

I'm not privy to the whole story but it seems once again the higher costs of producing a quality comic book in Canada proved too much for the CKR team. Plans for selling public shares in the new "Captain Canuck Corporation", the completed issue 15, and the partially completed 1981 Summer Special were all shelved.
The world mourned. Alright, maybe not the world, but I was definitely disappointed.

As a consolation prize for the remaining issue(s) left on my subscription that I'd never receive I was sent some extra stickers and crests, the late ( and now out-of-date ) second newsletter with "CANCELED MAR. 1981" stamped in red throughout, and the first three weeks of what would have been a great daily newspaper strip autographed by George Freeman and Jean-Claude St. Aubin. Now that I think back, it's also possible I got the newspaper samples through CCC member #137 ( see Episode 3 ), but I'd like to remember it as a parting gift.

So ended my brief membership in the Captain Canuck Club, a fondly remembered eight or nine month period in late 1980 and early 1981. Captain Canuck was a fun comic book a few years ahead of it's time, and as a avid comic book geek and a proud Canadian I was glad to have had the opportunity to enjoy it while it lasted. For more information on CC in general, later incarnations of the Captain and info on the limited edition version of issue 15 that came out a few years ago check out D.K. Latta's CC tribute site.

HOWEVER.... Since I wouldn't want to leave this week of nostalgia-fying on a sad note I thought I'd end things by including this look through the wayback machine at a be-bellbottomed and sun-visored 12 year old me participating in a city sponsored mural event ( actually just a way of covering up the plywood surrounding a new hotel construction site ) in June of 1981. I guess the recent cancellation of the Captain Canuck comic had inspired me to try to create my own little tribute to CC. I'm not sure how long the painting lasted, a few months at least, but if it continued the legacy of the Captain Canuck legend just a little bit, I was happy.

As an aside... a week or two after I painted this, my Aunt informed me that vandals had defaced my CC painting adding, as she described it, "pubic hair" to the nether regions of my loving tribute. Horrified, I had my mom drive me down to the construction site, only to discover that what my aunt saw as graffitied "pubic hair" was in fact my attempt at shading in that particular area of Cap's costume!
I'm not sure if I was relieved or artistically deflated!


Stephen said...

Great series - you should consider collecting these pieces together in a single spot.

This brings back a lot of memories. I'll have to try and find my old Captain Canuck comics to take a look.

David, CCC Charter Member said...

See - I'm not the only person who enjoyed this series of posts!

Wishbook said...

I loved this miniseries!

I'd wondered (until this last episode) if Captain Canuck had actually been penned by Canadians...or opportunistic Yanks. ;)

Anyway, were the adventures particularly Canadian--at least in setting? Was Captain Canuck a paragon of long-held Canadian values? :)


Glen Mullaly said...

Thanks Mike,

I thought the series was very Canadian, but I would have been looking for that. CC was an ex- RCMP officer, many of the comics took place in Canada, and the original back-up stories featured VERY Canadian heroes.