Friday, October 4, 2013

Nelvana of the Northern Lights!

What do you mean, "Who's Nelvana*?" Nelvana, simply put, is Canada's first superheroine, and Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey are working on a Kickstarter campaign to restore and reprint her old comics.

Why is this important, and why should you care? Because Golden Age comics are awesome, superheroines are awesome, and Golden Age superheroines are freakin' critical to the history of women in comics! If you've read The Supergirls, by Mike Madrid, you've seen how comics have changed, and some of the reasons why. Nelvana's appearance in 1941 makes her one of the earliest superheroines, period. It's important to know about these early heroines, and reprinting Nelvana's comics is an important piece of comics history.

Anyone who isn't Canadian may regard Canadian heroes as minor footnotes, but I do not, and certainly Hope and Rachel do not! Nelvana helped to fill a gap when American comics couldn't be imported to Canada during WWII. She is an important and interesting part of comics history, not just Canadian comics history. She was also Inuit, which makes her part of the First Nations (a "Native Canadian"), and considering how rare it is for non-white people to appear in American comics, people who want to see more diversity in comics should also appreciate Nelvana.

I feel a bit like an evangelist here, but I really really believe that knowing about these vintage heroines is hugely important when we study both women in comics, and the history of comics in general. Please, watch the video, visit the Kickstarter campaign page, and consider offering your support to this project.

* You can read a bit more about her on ComicVine's page for her here.

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