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  • Drawing Fundamentals & Community with North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Register for North Van Arts' six-week Drawing Fundamentals and Community course with Artist/Instructor..
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  • Intermediate Acrylic Painting with North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Register for North Van Arts' four-week Intermediate Acrylic Painting course with Artist/Instructor Jeff..
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  • Art Rental Show at North Van Arts

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Come and visit CityScape Community Art Space to view the second installment of..
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  • All is True - #NorthVanArts Film Screening

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    The North Van Arts International Film Series is presented by North Van Arts..
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  • Didukh Building Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Learn how to make a didukh, a sheaf of grain traditionally prepared by..
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  • Vertep Building Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    In this workshop, you will create a Vertep (Christmas Manger) as your newest decor..
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  • Intermediate Oil Painting

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Paint a rainy urban scene in oils while you stay comfortably indoors! Learn..
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  • From Around Ukraine in Stitches

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    This new series, a Technique Taster of Stitches, will introduce participants to embroidery..
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  • WANTED: WEBSITE DEVELOPER

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Wanted: Website Developer Artists in Canada is looking for a website / UI developer..
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  • IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU

    Location: Toronto, ON

    AWOL COLLECTIVE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, September 14-September 29, 2019, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm...
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  • Call for Art - 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 5th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Leaves & Petals online art..
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  • Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit: Nikola Wojewoda

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre presents Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human..
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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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Captain Marvel

By Robert Amos February 23, 2004

} Captain Marvel I was invited to Legends Comics (636 Johnson Street, 388-3696) to see the current show of original ink drawings by UVic visual arts student Amy Cheng. Cheng’s work is amusing, though slight. Yet Legends Comics itself is anything but slight. It is a temple devoted to the culture of comics. A sense of my own ignorance came over me immediately. I didn’t know the language and didn’t recognize the points of reference. So I made myself comfortable at the front counter and let myself be guided by the informed and witty owners, Gareth Gaudin and Lloyd Chesley. The centre of the shop is filled with bins of comics I remember, antique editions of Donald Duck and Superman among them. In the back, a rack of Mad Magazine paperbacks recalled the first inklings of art which ever crossed my young path. Lining the walls are racks displaying an irresistible array of Head Comix and Japanese manga and new evolutions of superheroes and many many more categories unfamiliar to me. There are graphic novels and ... as I said, I was really beyond my depth here. What is going on? This isn’t a dungeons and dragons lair for role-playing gamers; it’s not like the shop next door which sells what Gaudin calls “bulk comics - family friendly, the Save-On Foods of comics”. This is a shop that takes all forms of the illustrated story seriously. “We want to put the book back in comic book,” Gaudin quips. Captain Marvel, Isue #68, December 1946 Legends was started ten years ago by Grant Wilson, and he made it a mecca of the cult. I’m told it is equalled in Canada only by Beguilings in Toronto, as a place where the emotional commitment to the art form was complete. Wilson recently sold the shop to Gaudin, his former staff member, and the equally committed Lloyd Chesley. Chesley filled me in on a bit of recent comic history. “The store opened on November 7, 1992 - the day Superman died... and the comic industry, too. The Death of Superman was the number one selling comic of all time; more than 8 million copies were sold. It came in a black bag with an black armband. Businessmen were lined up down the block - it was the height of comic books being collected as a commodity, rather than as stories and art. Immediately, everyone became so disgusted that the industry went into a depression. During the nineties there was no substance to the stories.” It was during that time that tiny publishers sought out serious and innovative writers, and the art form was slowly reborn. Art Speigelman’s Maus (a comic novel of the rise of Nazi power in Germany) showed many people the potential of the graphic novel. World famous publishers Drawn and Quarterly from Montreal courted artists who demonstrated a new, more profound intent. Chester Brown published his series devoted to the life of Louis Riel, itself a remarkable slice of Canadian history. During the past Christmas season Legend’s supply of this carefully-researched story sold out. But lest we get too reverent, Gaudin takes me back to the start. “My first comic book,” he recalls fondly, “was Godzilla 17, a Marvel comic. I bought it at Turner’s [at Richmond and Fort Street]. My mother was a hairdresser and she worked at Ladybird Beauty Salon across the street. I must have been three or four years old.” He has a copy of it in the store. It’s not a coincidence that most customers for superheroes material are in the 25 - 35 age range. I begin to reflect on how comics have influenced me. In my childhood, at summer camp we had stacks of tatty smelly comics - Uncle Scrooge and Gyro Gearloose, and the world of Bizarro Superman. Later, I was just at the right age to be swept away by the acid-soaked iconoclasm of R. Crumb, a draftsman who captured the zeitgeist of that moment more perfectly than any other artist. At Legends I find Crumb has continued his work (with wife and daughter as co-authors and artists) and many volumes of his early sketchbooks are also in print. What about Classics Illustrated? I’ve scarcely thought of those since 1962. Chesley tells me they are the most sought-after collectible comic of all. “We get request from New York,” he mentions. Gaudin adds that they have none in stock, except one copy of a German language version. Is this comic book genre literature or art? There are obvious predecessors. Goya’s satirical series of etchings, Los Caprichos, are now on show at the Vancouver Art Gallery. William Hogarth’s etchings were produced in a continuous narrative form. Expressionist artists created novels in woodcut at the time of the fist world war. Dickens’ novels were published as serials, as were those of Arthur Conan Doyle. The great French writer Alexandre Dumas had a veritable factory to keep up with the demands for installments of his popular novels. In fact, one of the best parts of Legend’s business that comics are published in series and customers come back again and again. Legends has a large subscription department with many standing orders. “The books come in every week,” Chesley points out. “People get really committed to them. You never saw a customer as happy as when his new comic comes in. We’re like bartenders here - we just cheer people up!”. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com