Waterlogged Fundraising Video by CloudscapeComics. Cloudscape is currently having a fundraiser to crowdsource the production of their latest publication. Arrrgh, it’s going to be great! Join the campaign here!
Another item from MacLeod’s Books in Vancouver, this time it’s the Vantech yearbook from 1931.
Perhaps it might be appropriate to mention two upcoming events here. It’s soon the 100th Anniversary of the death of E. Pauline Johnson / Tekahionwake. Join The City of Victoria’s Poet Laureate Janet Rogers for a talk called The Inspiration of E. Pauline at Rhizome Cafe on Saturday, March 9th at 7:00pm.
Then the next day, it’s Poetry in the Park for Pauline: Poetry Offerings at Stanley Park, at Johnson’s Memorial at 1:00pm (Johnson’s birthday). More info at http://www.herstorycafe.ca/
And for those who visit VPL Library Square, look for the display cabinet filled with Pauline Johnson ephemera on the seventh floor in Special Collections.
Colouring Under The Vancouver Viaducts, an art book by Rebecca Bayer, created June, 2011. Her website mentions these are available for sale at Vancouver Special on Main Street. More of Rebecca’s urban inspired work can be seen at the space make place blog.
Through some great comic poetic justice league, the Cloudscape Comics Society has in their own some small way, turned the Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists into a reality! (ps: Seth’s book, highly recommended!) Yes, the Vancouver cartoonists held a 24hour comic drawing marathon in their new clubhouse in the middle of Memorial South Park Fieldhouse over the weekend. Here’s my photoset. Sponsored in part by the Arts, Culture and Environment Department, this project is part of the Field House Residency program of the Vancouver Park Board. Yay for park clubhouses! Now go help their drive for arts supplies for the comics community!
The 1923 UBC Yearbook, with a rather political cartoon titled Student Floats - Point Grey Pilgrimage from 1922 by someone named Homish or Hamish (his full name probably appears somewhere in this yearbook). This comic pokes fun at the future class of ‘26, who will no doubt be packed like sardines in the Fairview Campus. This was before construction of UBC at Point Grey was completed, and students upset with the lack of progress took their discontent to the streets. From UBC:
The increasing hardships in conducting classes at Fairview prompted UBC students to solicit public support through a petition to encourage the provincial government to resume work at Point Grey. A.M.S. president Ab Richards headed a “Build the University” campaign beginning in the Spring of 1922. An Executive Committee consisting of Richards, R.L. McLeod, J.V. Clyne, Betty Somerset, Marjorie Agnew, Jack Grant, Aubrey Roberts, Al Buchanan, Percy Barr and Alumni Association president John Allardyce coordinated the student activities…
The activities of the week culminated in a pilgrimage to Point Grey now known as the Great Trek. On October 28th almost 1,200 students with floats, bands and banners marched through downtown Vancouver and on to the Point Grey campus.
Arriving late in the afternoon, the students climbed the concrete stairs of the Science Building and hung their banners on the exposed girders. The students then formed a living “U B C” on the ground as a symbolic gesture to lay claim to the unfinished campus. The pilgrimage ended with the dedication of the cairn which still stands in front of the Chemistry Building. The students threw stones in the hollow centre of the structure which had been designed by the university architects and built from rocks gathered on the campus site. It was somehow fitting that the students completed the first structure at Point Grey. Richards expressed the hope that “very soon around this pile of rock, buildings will rise and a university be established which will bring credit to our Alma Mater and renown to the province.”
I showed you my favourite Vancouver high school yearbook of all time; this is probably my favourite University yearbook of all time! I’ll show another cartoon from 1923 soon, and then more from 1924 too! Thanks to Neil Whaley for this great artifact!
Bonus: Watch the story of BC Higher Education here.
Perhaps my favourite school yearbook ever, the 1940-41 Lord Selkirk Annual, artfully decorated with woodcuts throughout. Inside, this woodcut of the pacific coast by Jean Ortlieb was achieved when she was just age 14. Thanks again to Neil Whaley for sharing this with me!
BCIT Almanacs, published in 1979 and 1980 by BCIT and Michael Kluckner, along with a sketch of the BCIT Campus Centre from the 1980 edition. About the books, Michael writes:
I did two of them: one in 1979 and one in 1980. I then self-published a book called Vancouver Between The Streets in 1981 and negotiated a deal with the BCIT Students Association where they got the book with a section at the back of specifically BCIT information. I don’t know whether BCIT continued to produce an annual guidebook. I lost them as a client about 1982 in the great recession, although I continued to teach a course at night there until about 1985. Most of the fun working there was putting out the student newspaper.
If you find a copy of either one of these books, hang on to it; it is filled with all sorts of local businesses, attractions, and all manner of obscure minutia. In fact, it’s a bit like an early version of the Internet - everything you need to know in one book! You should be able to find Vancouver Between The Streets at the VPL; it also appears to be outrageously priced at various online vendors, from $72.69 at Amazon to $180.38 at ABEbooks and $192.21 at Alibris. A true cult title!
This post takes us all the way back to the late 1800s, when photography was just emerging and Canadian publishing was in its infancy. An enterprising man by the name of John McConniff appears to have been wearing two hats; one as a publisher, and another as a travel agent. As a travel agent, he worked out of the Union Ticket Agency in the Rotunda of the Windsor Hotel in Montreal. This hotel first opened in 1878 and is often considered to be the first grand hotel in Canada. While working in this environment, he produced at least 9 illustrated souvenir books of the most prominent cities in Canada. He offered these books for sale by mail or through local booksellers in each city. I believe these titles were published circa 1890-1893.
John McConniff must have been something of a renaissance man because these books were not your typical promotional tourist literature; he clearly wanted to produce books of the highest possible quality. He licensed images from early photographers such as William Notman (who was also one of the founding partners of the Windsor Hotel Company), he sought out superb illustrators and book binders, and he selected a local writer from each city to write about their region’s history, institutions, and places of interest.
What titles did he choose for his books? Drumroll, please!
- Illustrated Quebec, the Gibraltar and Tourists’ Mecca of America
- Illustrated Montreal, the Metropolis of Canada
- Illustrated Halifax, the Garrison City by the Sea
- Illustrated Toronto, the Queen City of the West
- Illustrated Ottawa, the Capital of Canada
- Illustrated St. John, the Loyalists’ City
- Illustrated Winnipeg, The Prosperous Prairie City
- Illustrated Vancouver, Golden Gate of the Pacific
- Illustrated Victoria, City of the Setting Sun
Of these nine titles, four are now available on archive.org; Illustrated Quebec and Illustrated Montreal are available in full colour, and Illustrated Halifax and Illustrated Toronto can be seen in black and white (from microfilm). Alas, the remaining five titles are missing in action, and Illustrated Vancouver is alarmingly absent!! This could be the very first edition of such a title, and given this historical significance, all efforts must be made to locate a copy! It does not appear that the VPL, the Vancouver Archives, the BC Archives, or UBC Special Collections have a copy, so perhaps we must rely on private collectors to locate Ottawa, St. John, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria. If you come across one of these missing titles, please consider scanning it and uploading it to the Internet Archive, or donating it to a local museum that could do the same.
There are a couple similar titles that I would like to point out; an earlier edition of a book titled Illustrated Toronto; Past and Present was published by Peter A. Gross in 1877. It is also available on the Internet Archive, and it features over 60 fantastic lithographs of the city. The colours have faded somewhat, but this is still a glorious publication, for those who have a fondness of early Toronto. Closer to home, we are lucky that Greater Vancouver Illustrated published circa 1906-1909 by Dominion Illustrating Co. survives in a number of local collections, MoV, VanArchives, and VPL to name a few. And if you’re interested, David Mason in Toronto may still have a copy for sale. I believe this title is primarily photographic, but it’s still an artfully produced publication.
I’m sorry I can’t show you the one title that would mean the most here, but I’m counting on the Internet to crowd-source us a copy of all five missing publications soon! These may be old, but they are not the oldest publications ever to mention Vancouver in print. That honour will be saved for another upcoming post!
The Evolution of the Vancouver Apartment, from Michael Kluckner’s Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, an entirely new book to be published April 30th, 2012 by Whitecap Books. A number of book launch events are scheduled to coincide with the release of this book next month; to learn more about them, see my cross-post at Vancouver Is Awesome.
Vancouver Nightmare, a young adult crime novel by Victoria author Eric Wilson, illustrated by Richard Row. Also shown, cover art from the first novel in his series, Murder on the Canadian, (with artwork of a VIA train heading from Winnipeg to Vancouver), the Emily Carr Mystery (showcasing the Salish Sea around Victoria), and an earlier edition of Vancouver Nightmare (also featuring a VIA passenger train, illustrated by Tom McNeely, a Toronto illustrator with over 50 years of work in his repertoire). From wikipedia:
Originally a public school teacher, Wilson’s teaching experiences pushed him into writing. Frustrated by some of his slow learners rejecting books as being too boring, Wilson decided to try writing stories himself. His first short stories were popular with his students, but publishers rejected his first five manuscripts.
Mix and Match Your Own Vancouver Special, a mixed media handmade pop-up book designed, illustrated, and constructed by Priscilla Yu, 2009. Priscilla writes:
The book showcases Vancouver’s most loathed boxy homes, characterized by its seeming love of stucco, Italian imported wooden front doors, and cookie-cutter design. Rethinking and embracing it’s aesthetic, in a whimsical way, the seven-paged book is an interactive experience, where the reader can play builder in selecting a series of “tops” and “bottoms” to create their very own Vancouver Special homes.
Priscilla Yu is a fourth year illustration student at Emily Carr University. She lives in and was raised in a surburb within Vancouver, and loves anything to do with houses.
Gastown Stories by Mary Drew, illustrated by Norman Drew. The book was published in 1980 by NC Press of Toronto. The character Chika was a favourite of the artist, and she was featured on their Saturday morning TV series as well. According to Drew’s own webpage, he would also like to release an e-book version of these stories and a DVD set of the original TV show, perhaps some time in the near future. From the title page of the book:
Mary Drew is a native of Sudbury, Ontario. Her children’s stories first appeared on the television series “Gastown Gang” in 1978. She has contributed articles to “Fun Times” magazine published in Canada by McDonald’s Restaurants.
Norman Drew was born in Kenora, Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Alberta in Fine and Applied Arts. As a motion picture animation producer, director, designer and animator he created cartoon episodes for Sesame Street, The Irish Rovers, The Beatles (Yellow Submarine), The Jackson Five, The Osmond Brothers (ABC-TV). His “Chika’s Magic Sketch Book” TV series is also produced for newspaper comic features. In 1978/79 he hosted a series of half-hour children’s shows on BCTV network called “Gastown Gang” based on his Gastown cartoon studio.
Actually, according to IMDB, Norman is one of a number of uncredited animators on the Beatles Yellow Submarine. I found this post by Norm Drew, where he reminisces about the making of the animated classic, which he posted on CartoonBrew.com back in 2010.
As one of the original animators on Yellow Submarine who worked at the studio in London in 1968, here are some of my thoughts about a YS remake.
At the time, we were aware it was a revolutionary graphic work. Some of us could see it would ‘break the animation mould’, though most of us didn’t foresee it would become a cult classic almost half a century later. John Lasseter is quoted as saying, ‘Yellow Submarine is my favorite animated feature’.
The production itself was more a creative ‘happening’ than an organized film production. We artists had great freedom and visceral involvement, far more than any highly organized production today…
Legends of Vancouver, the title page from the illustrated edition of the classic by Pauline Johnston, decorations by J.E.H. MacDonald, and published by McClelland & Stewart.