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Author Topic: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline archiver_USA

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What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« on: April 12, 2010, 08:41:16 AM »
I was thinking about the Timely books. US versions are published by one of the Goodman companies, distributed by a US company clearly to US customers. The Canadian Timely use the same are, but the books are published by a Canadian company and distributed by a Canadian company to Canadian customers.

The flip side is Superior books. These are published by a Canadian company, but US versions have US distribution marks. And there are statements of ownership per the "Acts of Congress" requiring such things for US magazines. Are these true Canadian books if the target market was the US? I'm not sure if there are Canadian versions (Canadian distribution marks) to some of these Superior books, but if there are, wouldn't there be US versions of Superior books and Canadian versions of Superior books, just like there are for Timely and DC books?

So, what makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
Is it when the book is printed in Canada.  (then all US books today are Canadian?)
Is it when the publisher/editorial office is located in Canada.
Is it when the book is distributed in Canada.
Do all three condition need to be met or just a two, or one.

Just curious about what the rule is for tucking a book into the Canadian section of the site...

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What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« on: April 12, 2010, 08:41:16 AM »

Offline John C

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 02:47:26 PM »
I don't think I've ever known the formal policy here, but a good guide is where the title was first sold and/or where it was intended for sale.  Publication is, after all, a legal concept.

Today, the lines are blurrier (especially with the Internet), but remember that there were tariffs and other import/export restrictions at the time making the definitions a little more substantial.

Offline Yoc

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 03:19:20 PM »
I've never given it that much thought.  Superior was a Canadian publisher first so I've always lumped them in there.

-Yoc

Offline darkmark

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 02:44:15 PM »
For GA books it's not too hard to tell, most of the time.  They'll say "Printed in Canada" or some such.  Also, they'll often be truncated from the U.S. editions...36 pages rather than 52, for instance.  Plus different prices. 

Offline archiver_USA

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 03:29:07 PM »
For GA books it's not too hard to tell, most of the time.  They'll say "Printed in Canada" or some such.  Also, they'll often be truncated from the U.S. editions...36 pages rather than 52, for instance.  Plus different prices. 

Truncated versions of US editions are "easy", and you can usually tell a Canadian Timely book because it was distributed by Canadian distributors "SDD" or "CDL".  But what about something like:

Milt Gross Funnies #1
Printed In Canada
Publication office: Rotary Litho Co. Ltd., 60 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Canada
Circulation office: Empire State News Co., 77 E. Eagle Street, Buffalo, New York
Distributor: IND (Independent News Co.)

The book was published and printed in Canda, but was using a US distributor. Is this book truly Canadian if the target market was in the US?

And if it is a US book based on the target market then what about:

Strange Mysteries #16
Printed In Canada.
Publication office: 2382 Dundas St. W., Toronto 9, Ontario, Canada
Distributor: ANC (American News Co. Inc.)

Again, published and printed book in Canada but with a US distributor. Should all Superior books be considered "Canadian" or are there Canadian and US versions of Superior books just as there are US and Canadian versions of Timely books?

Offline jfglade

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2010, 10:27:21 PM »
 Just to make the subject even murkier, I'll point out that Steve Rogers/Eric Schumaker posted a story from one of the "Canadian Whites" which featured Captain Marvel Jr. in a story written an American writer (Binder, if I remember correctly) who wrote many stories for Fawcett, which was then illustrated by Canadian artists and published in Canada. Canada declared war on the Axis earlier than the U.S.A. did and one of the earliest effects was that the importation of American comic books was deemed non-essential, which resulted in Canadian Comics designed to fill the vacume. Fawcett material was very popular in Canada, and Fawcett collarerated with a Canadian publisher (if I wasn't so darned tired I could probably remember which publisher, but I am certain it was not Superior) to take scripts written by Fawcett writers, and turn them into "Canadian comics." I believe that some of the same scripts were later recycled and were published by Fawcett in the States with artwork by the regular freelances who provided work for Fawcett, so essentially there are both Canadian and American versions of some stories.

Offline John C

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Re: What makes a Canadian comic Canadian?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 04:02:05 PM »
The book was published and printed in Canda, but was using a US distributor. Is this book truly Canadian if the target market was in the US?

As I said, my perspective is a copyright perspective, since that determines what's in the public domain.  And in that case, it's a matter of where it's published.

Publication, for copyright purposes, is defined as offering copies of a work for sale and/or distributing it outside a circle of associates.  So I'd say that if the book was exclusively (or first) distributed in the United States, then it's not Canadian, because the copyright would be assigned and expire on United States terms.

In the case of reprints/rewrites, that's pretty much the situation we have with many licensed works:  Even if its own copyright is clear, it might not be legal to distribute because the underlying/original work may have a current copyright.

That is, a hypothetical rewritten and Union Jacked "Captain America" story might be public domain (though I know absolutely nothing about Canadian copyright law), but it still wouldn't be legal to reprint without Marvel's permission.