If you recognize the “bought it at the five-and-dime” song lyric in my title, chances are you are Canadian. Canadians celebrate summer in a way that few other nations do. Maybe it is cause of our cold winters. Maybe it is due to our abundance of beautiful lakes and rivers, forests and mountains. But for us summer is cottages by the lake, BBQ’s in the back yard, towels on the beach, tunes cranked and cool refreshing beverages close by. The comic folk also look forward to the summer Annuals or Specials. Back in 1980, CKR Comics published the first Captain Canuck Summer Special. Sixty-eight glorious pages of Captain Canuck goodness for an 11-year-old Canuck fanatic to devour.
To assist in relaunching Captain Canuck a new Summer Special was released in 2014. Again, an oversized 64-page celebration of Captain Canuck, Canada Day and all that is fun about one of our national superheroes. Last year Chapterhouse skipped a summer special in favour of releasing a book for Free Comic Book Day which offered a preview and some background for the new ongoing Captain Canuck series. Well, the Summer Special is BACK! And just like the 2014 special this one is packed with Canadiana.
The comic opens with a letter from the Canadian Prime Minister, Justine Trudeau (our President for you American friends and neighbours). A real letter, not a work of fiction. “I am thrilled to stand next to Captain Canuck in this special Canada Day edition!”, he writes. Prime Minister Trudeau goes on to express how Captain Canuck’s dedication to others, willingness to help those in need are distinctly Canadian qualities. Not exclusively Canadian but …
The first story is by Jason Loo and Kalman Andrasofszky, writers of the Pitiful Human-Lizard and the new Captain Canuck respectively. For those that haven’t had a chance to read a Pitiful-Human Lizard comic do so immediately. Jason’s writing and art style create a comic that is quintessentially Canadian. Fun, irreverent, personable and just plain fun. I know I am over using the word “fun” but that is the essence of a Pitiful-Human Lizard comic. This time the Pitiful-Human Lizard teams up with Captain Canuck to defeat an artist whose sculptures come to life a wreak havoc on the streets of Toronto.
What follows are a series of short stories introducing us to the ever expanding line of Chapterhouse Comics. The newly revamped Northguard, another Canadian super hero originally from Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette. All New Classic Captain Canuck which is a series telling tales of the original Captain Canuck. Life, Death and Sorcery, a magical fantasy comic by Danny Zabbal appearing quarterly. The amazing surreal adventure comic Spirit Leaves by Rossi Gifford. And the science fiction masterpiece Fourth Planet by Fred Kennedy and Miko Maciaszek which is currently my favourite Sci-Fi comic being published. All are fantastic comics and hopefully after reading a taste of each series you will be compelled to pick up the individual comics.
But the best addition to the book is Die Kitty Die by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz. This incredibly talented duo is best known for their many many years of work at Archie Comics. Bringing their house-style art to a new project, Die Kitty Die is a tongue-in-cheek satire that follows Kitty, a long time comic book character that is facing replacement by a revamp at her publisher. Sexy, hilarious, and full of more industry inside jokes than a Comic Con green room … simply brilliant. Die Kitty Die started as a Kickstarter 4 issue series which will be reprinted monthly by Chapterhouse with the series continuing with original material this Fall.
So really, the Chapterhouse Summer Special 2016 is more like a catalog of the company’s line-up but the quality of the offerings is so great you will have to add a few of the books if not all to your pull list at your Local Comic Shop. Honestly, buy one less variant cover from the bigger publishers. Drop that comic title you are still buying but is the one you always read last. Hit up the Diamond Previews catalog and thumb over to the Chapterhouse section, head to www.chapterhouse.ca and pick up a subscription and missed back issues, or head to Comixology and grab your Chapterhouse fix digitally. You won’t regret it.
Title: Chapterhouse Summer Special 2016 | Publisher: Chapterhouse Comics
Writer: Anthony Falcone & others | Artists: Leonard Kirk & others | Cover Artist: G. B. Trudeau