- Johnny Canuck
Johnny Canuck was a
Canadian cartoonhero and superherowho was created as a political cartoonin 1869 and was later re-invented, first in 1942, then in 1975.
Johnny Canuck was created as a lumber jack
national personificationof Canada. He first appeared in early political cartoons dating to 1869where he was portrayed as a younger cousin of the United States' Uncle Samand Britain's John Bull. Depicted as a wholesome, if simple-minded, fellow in the garb of a habitant, farmer, logger, rancher or soldier, he often resisted the bullying of John Bull or Uncle Sam. For thirty years, he was a staple of editorial cartoonists. Then, in the early twentieth century, he faded from view.
The character re-emerged during
World War IIin the February 1942issue of Bell's "Dime Comics" No.1. Cartoonist Leo Bachlecreated the character as a teenager, apparently on a challenge from a Bell executive. Initially, Johnny Canuck had no superpowers. Bachle explained:
Johnny Canuck's cartoon exploits helped Canada fight against
Nazism. Like Captain America, he met Adolf Hitlerand almost single-handedly ended the war. The use of such stock figures diminished in popularity after World War II. However, in 1975, a new comic book character, Captain Canuck, emerged. Created by Richard Comely (who was unaware of the earlier Johnny Canuck character) Captain Canuck was a superhero rather than just a hero, he wore red tights, and bore a red maple leafemblazoned on his forehead.
Canada Postissued a series of Canadian postage stamps celebrating Canada’s comic-book superheroes. [http://members.tripod.com/~MitchellBrown/cancom/stamps.html 1] Johnny Canuck is depicted as he appeared in the comic books, dressed in flight jacket, goggles, leather headgear and boots. Johnny Canuck is linked to a tradition of stalwart, honest, upstanding Canadian heroes.
In January 2006, "Johnny Canuck and the Last Burlesque," a musical comedy, premiered at the Mainline Theatre in
Montreal. The play, created by Jeremy Hechtmanand Patrick Goddard, concerned the post- World War IIlife of Johnny Canuck and his adventures as a burlesque star. The play starred Aaron Turner as the sexually naive Johnny Canuck.
Recently, Johnny Canuck has appeared in the NHL. In 2006, when
Roberto Luongowas signed onto the Vancouver Canucks, Luongo's vintage helmet had a depiction of Johnny Canuck. In 2007, Luongo's new helmet has Johnny Canuck featured rather promintently.
* [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0004144 "Canadian Encyclopedia" "Johnny Canuck."]
* [http://www.collectionscanada.ca/2/6/h6-208-e.html Canadian Heroes in Fact and Fiction]
* [http://www.skypoint.com/members/schutz19/jcanuck.htm Johnny Canuck]
* [http://www.montrealfringe.ca/johnnycanuck.htm Johnny Canuck and the Last Burlesque]
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