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Timeline of HRM & NS Comics History

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1860s to 1910s

Confederation to First World War

Canadian comics at this point in history are largely represented by political and editorial cartooning, centred in Toronto and Montreal.

1920s

Postwar Recovery

NS-born J.R. Williams (no relation to the American cartoonist with the same initials) starts publishing his long-running newspaper comic Out Our Way in 1922.

Halifax-born artist Hal Foster's first significant work is on the Tarzan comic strip launched in 1929. Before that he illustrates catalogs for Eaton's and other stores.

1930s

Prince Valiant

Eventually inducted into the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame, Peter Whalley attends King's Collegiate School in Windsor.

Hal Foster kicks off his classic adventure comic Prince Valiant in 1937.

1940s

"Canadian Whites" published in WW2 are the first sustained outlet for home-grown comics in Canada.

Underground comics artist Rand Holmes is born in Truro in 1942.

Wolfville native Robert Wm. Chambers works for Terrytoons animation.

The Chronicle and Herald papers merge. Chambers had worked for them both as an editorial cartoonist; he continues to work at the Chronicle until his 1977 retirement.

1950s

Enter the Comics Code


Halifax-born Owen McCarron, a mainstay in creating puzzles for the Chronicle-Herald and other papers, also works as an inker on a variety of titles for Charlton, DC, and Marvel; he also creates educational comics for government and corporate clients.

Canada's Superior Comics publisher folds after the juvenile delinquency hysteria that led to the Comics Code forces them to defend themselves in a variety of trials, including a death in Westville, NS.

1960s

Underground Comics, Maaaaan

Owen McCarron draws an unused cover for Amazing Fantasy number 10, the first appearance of Spider-Man.

Glace Bay born Blaine MacDonald becomes the first winner of the Salon of Cartoons in 1963, and wins the NCS Editorial Cartoon award in 1969.

Dave Cooper is born in NS before moving to Ottawa as a child.

1970s

Dal hosts the first Halcon in 1977

Montreal comics fixture Rupert Bottenberg is born in Wolfville.

Owen McCarron works on Ghost Rider and Spidey Super Stories for Marvel.

Bruce MacKinnon publishes his first comics at the age of 14 in Antigonish. Meanwhile fellow Antigonish-born cartoonist Robert Wm. Chambers retires from the Chronicle-Herald.

1980s

Ian Wilkie opens a comic shop on Robie Street in 1983.

The Odyssey-2000 comic shop also opens on Quinpool.

The Maritime Amateur Press Association (Mar-APA) publishes a few dozen monthly issues with contributors from around the Maritimes and eastern US, including NS natives Louis Little and Scott Marshall.

Bruce MacKinnon is hired at the Chronicle in 1986 as their first ongoing editorial cartoonist since the retirement of Robert Chambers.

Hal-Con (then spelled "Halcon") ends its original run after ten annual conventions in 1987. 

Marvel publishes Owen McCarron's Fun and Games as an ongoing title.

1990s

The Coast is Founded

Strange Adventures opens in Fredericton and Halifax.

Louis Little publishes his EC-influenced SF comic 3 To Infinity.

Dave Howlett publishes his comics zine Scenester.

Sean Jordan, Alex Kennedy and their friends start publishing Adventures in Paper-Routing. Jordan later wins a contest for him and Strange Adventures to appear in an issue of Superman, where the hero visits Halifax. 

Strange Adventures publishes several collections of local cartoonists' work in a small press format, and a standard format comic book called Halifax Explosion.

Meanwhile in Wolfville, Andy Brown and friends launch Conundrum Press, which has grown to be one of the most highly regarded Canadian comics publishers.

The Coast also starts publishing (then-)local artists like Marc Bell and Michael de Adder. They also start their polls for the "best of Halifax"; Strange Adventures wins the first of many Gold awards. 

The first Halifax Zine Fair is held.

Faith Erin Hicks' Demonology 101 webcomic starts.

2000s

Hal-Con Returns

Halifax native and NSCAD graduate Steve McNiven starts his long career in superhero comics with CrossGen, shifting to work with Marvel on a variety of titles, including Civil War and Wolverine.

Joey Comeau and Emily Horne create their popular webcomic a softer world.

Faith Erin Hicks publishes her first graphic novels.

The Anchor Archive zine library and distro is established in 2005.

Haligonian artist Mike Holmes begins his long-running comic True Story for The Coast in 2006; he goes on to work on a variety of mostly humour related comics including Adventure Time and MAD.

Hope Larson and then-partner Bryan Lee O'Malley live in Halifax for a few years, where they work on their early graphic novels, one of which is titled after the song "Scott Pilgrim" by Halifax band Plumtree.

Self-publishing veteran Mark Oakley also relocates to Wolfville, where he begins his webcomic Stardrop and continues to intermittently publish his fantasy series Thieves and Kings.

Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant! webcomic starts in 2007 and wins the Doug Wright award for promising new talent in 2009.

Strange Adventures wins an Eisner for excellence in retail.

Dave Howlett begins his tribute to 1980s wrestling called Slam-a-Rama.

Darwyn Cooke moves to the city, where he adapts several of the Parker crime novels by Richard Stark.

Cooke and J. Bone win the Outstanding Artist Shuster Award in 2007 for Batman/The Spirit #1.

2010s

RIP, Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016)

Kate Leth progresses from working at Strange Adventures to publishing her popular webcomic Kate Or Die! to working on a variety of licensed comics as well as original creations like Spell on Wheels and Power Up. She also founds a group for female comic shop owners and employees called The Valkyries.
 
Hal-Con is revived in 2010 and grows steadily, adding related shows like Geequinox.

NSCAD graduate Eric Orchard wins the Silver award for comics in the 17th Spectrum Awards for contemporary fantasy art.

Kate Beaton collects Harvey, Ignatz, and Eisner awards for her popular webcomics.

Strange Adventures organizes a new comics convention, the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival; it becomes a popular annual event.

Conundrum publishes 20x20, a twentieth anniversary retrospective of their work.

Jordyn Bochon and Tim Carpenter's comic Welcome to Hellifax becomes a fixture in The Coast, in rotation with Mollie Cronin's Art Brat Comics and Paul Hammond's Hey You Guys.

Faith Erin Hicks wins the Eisner award for both The Adventures of Superhero Girl and The Nameless City, and publishes her first YA novel Comics Will Break Your Heart.

Popular webcomic artist Jeph Jacques moves to Halifax.

Kyle Bridgett graduates from NSCAD and decides to stay, teaching how to make comics in their Extended Studies program and working as a prolific freelancer, contributing regularly to MAD magazine.

Jay Roy opens the Cape & Cowl Comics and Collectibles shop in Lower Sackville. The Monster Comic Lounge also opens on Gottingen Street, and Giant Robot Comics opens in Dartmouth.

Scott Marshall moves back to Nova Scotia after spending most of his life in NB or Ontario, and publishes a reasonably popular webcomic called The Insult as well as a retrospective book called Young, Dumb, and Full of Comics.

The Grandway Comics team publishes their first slate of titles, plus a promotional comic for local magician The Amazing Mr. J influenced by Owen McCarron.

Emily Redmond and Aaron Hourie publish the first issue of a wordless action comic called Hystereo.

Steve McNiven continues to work steadily with Marvel, including high-profile titles like Spider-Man: Brand New Day and Secret Empire.

PEI-born Jed MacKay moves to Halifax and freelances for Marvel as a writer on titles including Daredevil and Spider-Verse.

The Anchor Archive Zine Library, after moving with Radstorm to Gottingen street, organizes the 20th annual Halifax Zine Fair in 2019.

Shuster award nominee Ed Brisson, a writer who has worked with Dark Horse, Image, and Marvel, moves to the city in 2019. 

Michael Shilliday and Paige Cameron kick off their webcomic Edge of the World and publish the first chapter as a comic zine.

HRM Making Comics Meetup starts in 2019, publishing a new group zine called Proxima.

Artist and graphic designer Rob Hansen publishes the first issue of Chetwynd.

Christine Waugh publishes a comic called Broken, inspired by a recurring dream.

Chapterhouse Comics Writer/editor and Sackville native Tony White publishes the first issue of Nor'Easter, a new superhero comic. He also contributes scripts to a number of Chapterhouse titles.

Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes publish the first two volumes of their Hobtown graphic novels, The Case of The Missing Man and The Cursed Hermit, with Conundrum.

2020

?

Time will tell.

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