The 1st Shuster Awards took place at Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon on
Saturday, April 30th 2005.|
The 1st Shuster Awards Ceremony started at 5pm. It
was standing room only with a mix of pro's, fans
and other people involved. The one pro that was
noticeably missing was Seth. He's involved in
another Canadian Awards ceremony that's
picked by judges, while this one is picked by
The awards were hosted by Rick Green (the
Frantics; Prisoners of Gravity; the Red Green
show) and Rob Salem (Toronto Star & Drive-In
Having Rick Green was a big deal. In the late 80's
his Prisoners of Gravity tv show talked
intelligently about comic books and had a lot of
great interviews with big names at the time.
Anybody in Ontario that read comic books during
the 80's & 90's probably watched his show
And now the Winners (with my notes).
Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Publisher
Awarded to Arcana Studio publisher of Ant, Kade,
Ezra, and 100 Girls.
Outstanding Canadian Achievement Related to Comic
Books Awarded to Dave Sim and Gerhard for
completing the landmark 300 issue run of Cerebus,
the longest running creator owned & published
comic book series.
(Sim and Gerhard got a standing ovation.)
Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer
Recognition Award Awarded to Harry Kremer, the
late owner of Kitchner's Now and Then Books. This
award, in the future, will be a voted award and
renamed the Harry Kremer Memorial Outstanding
Canadian Comic Book Retailer Award.
(For those that don't know, Kremer was very
enthusiastic about comic books and spread the love
with more than just words. He supported his former
employee, Dave Sim with money during the early
years of Cerebus.)
Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer
A tie was declared and awards were given to Ty
Templeton for his work on Batman Adventures, and
Sarah "Samm" Barnes for her work on Doctor
(J. Michael Straczynski made a surprise appearance
in order to support Sarah Barnes. She had worked
with him on a TV show called Jeremiah.)
(Also: When Ty Templeton took the stage he said he
just shook hands with Jerry Robinson and he's won
this award, he said his life is now complete.)
Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist
Awarded to Kaare Andrews for his work on
Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Year One.
Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist
Awarded to Darwyn Cooke for his work on DC: The
(Darwyn Cooke was moved to tears over his award.
He said people far better than him never got the
appreciation he was receiving now.)
In addition to the six category winners the
inaugural six Hall of Fame inductees were also
presented, posthumously, to surviving family
The six Hall of Fame awards went to:
Joe Shuster the Canadian-born artist and
co-creator of Superman, and the comic book pioneer
the awards were named in honour of.
Jerry Robinson told the story of the settlement he
and Neal Adams got for Siegel and Shuster. He also
told a funny story about how he and Joe would
often go out on double dates. Jerry would line up
Shuster with the most beautiful women he could
find and Shuster would always complain they
weren't tall enough for him. Jerry and Joe would
often take weird night courses for fun and one
time they had accidentally enrolled into one
teaching communist theories. At the end Jerry
Robinson got a standing ovation. After he left, Ty
Templeton left briefly to meet with him.
Shuster's sister Jean told us how her father was a
bad business man who tried to run a garment shop in
Toronto, but when it failed he moved the family
down to Cleveland and that's where Joe would meet
Jerry Siegel. She joked if her father had been a
better business man we wouldn't have had Superman.
Also with Jean was Rosie Shuster of Saturday Night
Leo Bachle a.k.a. Les Barker, creator of Johnny
Writer and comics historian Robert Pincombe remembered Leo as a consummate
storyteller, sharing one of Leo's real-life experiences, just
as Leo himself told it. He then told a funny story
about Leo's trip to Libya. Libya had a lot of armed guards around and
everybody was afraid of them. Leo saw one guard standing there for a long
time and he asked him if he could get him something. The guard was impressed
by Leo's bravery and generosity. He told Leo he didn't need anything, but
asked him to come back at 11pm as he had something he wanted to show him.
Leo's wife did not want Leo to go, but Leo went anyway. The guard drove Leo
a long, long ways out of the desert and showed him some old ruins that were
very recently uncovered by a sandstorm. They were under military protection,
but they could go there at night undetected but they had to leave before
sunrise or they'd be caught and killed. The guard had a belief that Leo
would know something about the ruins, he though Leo might have been there in
a previous lifetime. He asked Leo to look around. As Leo walked around he
went up to a wall, examined it, removed a stone and behind it was another
oddly shaped stone.
The guard insisted that Leo keep the stone and he was convinced that Leo was
in fact there in a previous time and knew of the stone. They then took off
as it was getting close to sunrise. The guard asked Leo on the way back for
a prediction or something as he was now convinced Leo had some special
powers. Leo wanting to say something to the armed guard so he didn't feel he
wasn't getting snubbed and pissed off told him the country would be soon be
overthrown by a military leader. Leo said that because he thought the guard
would like that prediction.
Little did Leo know that the prediction would come true one year later with
Khadafi taking over. He would also later discover that in an early issue of
Johnny Canuck he had drawn a trip to Cairo and in it he drew the exact same
stone he found there. Leo's family even brought the page and showed the
drawing of the stone in a couple of panels.
Then he said it was a bunch of hooey. He didn't mean the story about Libya,
that was all true. Leo didn't believe in past lives.
Adrian Dingle, creator of Nelvana.
I've got a photo of his grandson holding the
award. We spoke for a while afterwards. He is into
comics a little bit, reading the "big" books like
Hal Foster, creator of Prince Valiant.
Dave Sim contacted the Foster estate and they
requested he accept the award on his behalf. He
spoke of how important Foster was the early comic
artists, both in comic strips and comic books.
Most of the golden age artists wanted to be like
either Foster, Milt Caniff or Alex Raymond. Most
of all action cartooning comes from either one of
those three sources. He said Foster in particular
was a master at autonomy and illustration, his
influence goes through to Frank Frazetta, Bernie
Wrightson and many, many others. Dave got very
emotional over being asked to accept the award on
the Foster Estates behalf.
Ed Furness, artist and co-creator of Freelance.
Rand Holmes, underground cartoonist and creator of
Ed the Sock (from Comedy Central) presented this
award, using plenty of raunchy humor that was very
much in the spirit of underground comics that Rand
About the Award: Dave Sim designed the font/did
the lettering for the Shuster Awards and Tom
Grummet drew the picture of Shuster on the award
See my pictures of the Shuster Awards here.