A question I receive quite often is “What is the next Canadian WWII comic that you’ll reprint”? For those who don’t know, I started off my press publishing Canadian comics lost in time from the 1940s. These included Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Brok Windsor, Polka Dot Pirate, and Wow Comics #01.
And unless something unexpected happens, those will be the last ones I do.
Why? Well, the simple reason is that the only reason I published these books in the first place is that they were completely inaccessible. That is no longer the case! Library and Archives Canada has now archived every comic in their collection (OCLC: 1007761166), which includes a full collection of every Bell Feature comic, of which they own partial copyright of, along with Nelvana Animation. While their collection is lacking in other publishers (including Maple Leaf Publishing, Anglo-American, and Superior publishing) I would imagine these collections will eventually migrate and be digitized through other institutions in the future.
But, you might wonder, how do you access them?
There are two ways that I will outline.
One, is by using the finding guide at the LAC, this is by far the easiest way, however occasionally links change, so I’ll explain the other way as well.
The finding guide is here, and the links to download the PDFs can be found in the column marked ‘link to ecopy’ after each title’s description.
When you get to the page for the title, you’ll want to click on the ‘View Description’ tab, and then the links to each issue download will be under ‘More Information’.
For example, see the screenshot below.
And that’s it! Once you’re in this screen, you can right click on each link and click ‘save link as’ to have a copy of the issue on your computer. Remember to have Adobe Reader or Acrobat installed to read them.
Thanks everyone and happy reading!
Hope Nicholson is a comics historian with a focus on WWII Canadian comics and female representation in comics.