BELL Cyril (Cy) Vaughn
An article about Cy Bell written by Ivan Kocmarek:
Cyril Vaughn Bell was born in Peterborough on October 5, 1904. By the time he was six the family was in Toronto where his father worked as an Electrician for the local Streets and Railways. In 1929, along with his brother Eugene, he organized Commercial Signs of Canada mainly as a sign painting company. During the last half of 1941 and at the instigation of one of his young artists, Edmund Legault, Cy Bell’s company began putting out Canadian comic books to fill in a void caused by a parliamentary ban of the importing of American comics into the country that was put in place at the end of 1940. His first title was Wow Comics, and in the ensuing months he followed with six more titles, including Dime, Active, Joke, and Triumph Comics featuring such iconic characters as Nelvana of the North, Johnny Canuck, Speed Savage, Thunderfist, and The Penguin. In March of 1942, the company was incorporated as Bell Features and Publishing Company Ltd. and with its famous, trademark bell logo, the company’s output came to form one of the most recognizable set of books in Canadian war time production. During its peak years Bell Features produced about a hundred thousand comic books a week and employed over 60 artists. In 1947, Cy Bell wound up his company and turned the printing side of it over to his brothers leaving us one of the finest legacies in Canadian comics.
A comment on the character of Cy Bell
In a 1973 interview Dingle commented, “I remember taking all the debts and the broken partnership down to Cy Bell. To my surprise, I found the masthead for Triumph Comics was already made up and ready to roll. He was anticipating me. So he took over all the debts. And I was on salary then. And that’s how I really got started for those few years.”
Adrian Dingle: “… guy was a dynamo….He was a wonderful guy to work with. He was always so enthusiastic.”
Bill Thomas: “He was, yes. And very active, always active, always going.”
Adrian: “And we always seemed to manage to get paid, didn’t we? That’s quite astounding when you look back.”
“A conversation with Adrian and Pat Dingle and Bill Thomas.” Writ., Dave Sim,. Now and Then Times,1-. 2, Oct.1973: 27+.
Article written by Ivan Kocmarek attached to email.