Nelvana Princess of the Northern Lights and Queen of Kickstarter

Not only is Nelvana of the Northern Lights one of the first comic super-heroines, preceding Wonder Woman by three months, she will also be re-introduced to the Canadian public thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter project that ran from October 1st to November 1st.

With almost 1,100 backers, the crowd-source campaign to reprint the adventures of Canada’s super heroine from the era of “Canadian Whites” earned almost 220% of its $25,000 goal. The project’s plan is to track down the 31 issues which were printed from 1941 to 1947, to recapture the original art and reprint the series. The organizers have obtained the reprinting license for the stories and can’t wait to share this aspect of Canadian pop culture history with new readers.

The campaign brought together many parts of the Canadian comic industry, including 16 local artists donating both prints and original artwork for the Kickstarter pledge rewards. The compilation will have forewords from by Michael Hirsh (Nelvana Animation Founder) and Dr. Benjamin Woo, a comic historian.The book’s design will be done by Eisner Award winning artist Ramón Pérez.

But none of that would have happened without the minds behind the project. It’s being run by two people, Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey, both of whom have a long held love of Canadian Golden Age Comics. For the last few years Rachel has run Comic Syrup: A Blog About Canadian Comic Books which explores the odd and wonderful creations that have come from Canada. Hope has used her passion in her role as a producer on the documentary “Lost Heroes” about rediscovering Canada’s comic history.

They are both excited to re-popularize creator’s Adrian Dingle’s story of an Inuit Princess/demi-goddess/secret agent who fought against the Axis powers, crime, as well as traveled to secret realms. Oh, she also has a pet polar bear.

JR Faulkner's Nelvana of the Northern Lights Print

JR Faulkner’s Nelvana of the Northern Lights Print

After months of pre-work, this campaign was fully funded in just four days and they were able to celebrate that fact at the campaign’s launch party held at another Toronto Comic landmark, The Silver Snail. By the end of the campaign they had raised a total of $54, 876 dollars. Now starts the hard work of capturing and restoring the artwork to have a print ready version. Given that comics were considered a disposable art form, it may take many copies of an issue to get a complete and clean version of the art. While this will take time, the project’s goal is to have printed copies of the compilation ready for spring of 2014.

Congratulations for all the hard work that went into this campaign, and best wishes for all the work ahead of you.