Zubby Newsletter #17: Canadiana

HAPPY CANADA DAY to my fellow Canadians (or anyone looking to celebrate our country and ideals)!

Most Canadians aren’t rah-rah nationalistic and, with all the clichés around us being unassuming and apologetic, it would be easy to just let the holiday roll by without saying anything about what it means to me to be Canadian, but, in short-

Growing up Canadian taught me to collaborate, communicate, and care for others. This country has given me the incredible opportunity to find my place and thrive doing the things I love while taking care of those closest to me.

My grandparents came here seeking a better life for themselves and their children and, with determination and good fortune, they built it, bit by bit. The stability and kindness at the heart of what it means to be Canadian made their better future and mine possible.

Wherever I go and whatever I do, Canada is a crucial part of who I am and my storytelling voice (even if I camouflage telltale “Canadian-isms” enough to vanish amongst Americans when I’m south of the border).

Over the years my writing has focused on a lot of fictional places, but Canada does occasionally pop up in my work, most notably-

CHAMPIONS – The Champions are the young heroes of Marvel and I introduced a new Canadian teen hero named Snowguard to the team back in 2018. It made quite the ripple in Canadian news at the time and her first appearance sold through multiple printings.

If you want a done-in-one Snowguard story that encompasses what the character is all about, check out Champions Annual #1 co-written with Nyla Innuksuk and illustrated by Marcus To, reprinted in the Weird War One trade paperback.

ALPHA FLIGHT: TRUE NORTH – Alpha Flight is Marvel’s Canadian super team, first introduced back in 1979 as antagonists to the X-Men before getting their own series as heroes in 1983. Like a lot of Canadian comic readers, my brother and I collected Alpha Flight and enjoyed seeing places we recognized, even when they were spun out or exaggerated in fictional ways.

Getting the chance to write an Alpha Flight story in 2019 as part of Marvel’s 80th anniversary was an absolute blast. Max Dunbar’s always stellar art elevated a neat little mystery around Snowbird’s origin I wanted to explore and it turned out great.

More SDCC Exclusives

Colleen Doran illustrated an incredible Conan variant cover that will be on sale at the Titan booth at San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been a fan of Colleen’s work for ages and it’s an honor having her contribute this piece as part of the new series launch.

Also, here’s my Diablo IV Barbarian. His name is “Conanza”-

When I showed this screencap online the always amazing Lar DeSouza took that name in a whole different direction

Links and Other Things

• The late Jesse Hamm’s breakdown of Alex Toth’s approach to inking is always worth reading and learning from.

• David Finch’s tutorial on using line weights is direct and helpful.

• Here’s a traditional east coast Canadian recipe for you- COD AU GRATIN (or, as the Newfies say it, “Cawd Grawt’n”). I’ve cooked this up several times for Stacy to remind her of home and it’s flavorful comfort food, especially in the colder months. Enjoy!

That should cover things for this week.


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