Johnny Canuck


Johnny Canuck

Johnny Canuck was a Canadian cartoon hero and superhero who was created as a political cartoon in 1869 and was later re-invented, first in 1942, then in 1975.

Johnny Canuck was created as a lumber jack national personification of Canada. He first appeared in early political cartoons dating to 1869 where he was portrayed as a younger cousin of the United States' Uncle Sam and 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 II in the February 1942 issue of Bell's "Dime Comics" No.1. Cartoonist Leo Bachle created 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 Hitler and 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 leaf emblazoned on his forehead.

In 1995, Canada Post issued 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 Hechtman and Patrick Goddard, concerned the post-World War II life 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 Luongo was 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.

ee also

*Marianne
*Uncle Sam
*John Bull
*Johnny Reb
*Jacobin
*Deutscher Michel
*Columbia
*Britannia
*Finnish Maiden

External links

* [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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