A character created by George Menendez Rae first appeared in Canadian Heroes 1- 5, March 1943 published by Educational Projects Inc. of Montreal. “Canada Jack” was probably inspired by the editorial cartoon character “Jack Canuck” originating the late nineteenth century
“Canada Jack” was athletic, an excellent horseman, a gymnast and a jiu-jitsu expert all of which gave him more than enough talents to combat the enemies of Canada. His costume like most Canadian hero costumes of the time was simple and practical, in this case a tank top with a Maple Leaf and the words “Canada Jack” on the chest, and gym pants with the inevitable strip down the side. Apparently Halperin insisted that “Canada Jack” remain realistic in order to be in line with the company’s educational mandate. This injunction seemed hardly necessary as the majority of the creators of Canadian wartime heroes kept them quite realistic. One feature that made “Canada Jack” distinctive if not unique was that virtually all of his adventures occurred in Canada where he fought spies and saboteurs, arsonists and black marketers. Not all adventures involved combat. “Canada Jack” and the big show is a story of how to raise money for the war effort
He was assisted by group of fictional youngsters called the “Canada Jack Club”, which tied in quite closely with the real life “Canada Jack Club” for Canadian Heroes fans.
As with many cartoon heroes, as the war ended, Rae apparently found it difficult to create a new roll for “Canada Jack”. Should he be an outdoors man or should he be a detective? Unfortunately Educational Projects ceased operations before this could be resolved.
In 2013, Bevan Thomas and the Cloudscape Comics Society of Vancouver created “Canada Jacques” or “Jacques De Canada” a homosexual hero. They linked him to “Canada Jack” in a way that it is doubtful Rae would have approved. Although described in an appendix in Epic Canadiana v. 1, essentially in the way that Rae created him, the group added that he belonged to the “Allied Enigmas”, their creation, and that he was a homosexual who committed suicide when this characteristic was revealed. Also see Johnny Canuck for information about how they linked that character into their universe.
Yet another “Jack” incarnation, this time called “Dominion Jack” was created by Jack Briglio and Ron Salas also in 2013. The name is different from “Canada Jack” but not as much as one might think. The original name for Canada was “The Dominion of Canada. Other aspects of “Dominion Jack” remain consistent with “Canada Jack”
BOOK GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY: Published by Cloudscape Comics Society. Black & white interior.
Epic Canadiana, v.1. Ed., Bevan Thomas. 2013: “Canada Jack”: 125.
Epic Canadiana, v.1. Ed., Bevan Thomas. Cloudscape Comics Society, 2013: “Canada Jacques: Hero
Play.” Writ., Bevan Thomas. Illus., Ksenia Kozhevnikova: 95-115.
PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY: Published by Educational Projects Inc. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
|Canadian Heroes…: “Our Fiction Feature: Canada Jack….” Car., George M. Rae unless otherwise noted: ….|
|1-6, Apr. 1943: “….”: 59-64.
2-3, July 1943: “…in The Big Show”: 50-55.
2-6, Oct. 1943: “… Kidnapped”: 53-58.
3-1, Nov./Dec. 1943: “…”: 50-55.
3-3, Feb. 1944: “… in Building A Mighty Nation”: 35-41.
3-4, March 1944: “…Talk Means Trouble”: 37-41.
3-5, April 1944: “…”: 59-64.
3-6, May 1944: “…”: 49-53.
4-1, June 1944: “… The Tough Guys”: 22-26.
4-2, July 1944: “… Rehabilitation”: 33-37.
4-6, January 1945: “… The Clean Up”: 41-45.
5-1, February 1945: “. . .”: 49-53
5-3, June 1945: “. . . ”: 54-58.
5-4, July 1945: “…” Car., Dez: 38-42.*
5-5, September 1945: “…Treasure Hunt”: 39-43.
*One of the very few if not the only “Canada Jack” not done by George M. Rae.
Guardians of the North: The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art, Writ., John Bell. National Archives of Canada, 1992: “Canada Jack”: 13-17. A catalogue for the exhibit of the same name.
Epic Canadiana, v.1. Ed., Bevan Thomas. Cloudscape Comics Society, 2013: “Canada Jack”: 125.
Globe and Mail, 23 Oct.1982: “Whatever Happened to …?” Writ., Peter Harris: Fanfare 7.
Toronto Star, 1 Feb. 192: “The Great Canadian Superhero.” Writ., Henry Mietkiewicz: J1.
“The Big Show.” Car., George M. Rae. Canadian Heroes, 2-3, July 1943: 50.
Notice how this fictional story coincides with the suggestion in the “Canada Jack Club” that members could organize a circus to raise money for the war effort. It is a good example of how Educational Projects integrated the fictional Canada Jack with the real life Canada Jack Club and put both in service of the war effort.
“Rehabilitation.” Car., George Rae. Canadian Heroes, 4-2, July 1944: 33.
A example of how Educational Projects blended the fictional “Canada Jack” stories with the real life “Canada Jack Club.”
“The Clean Up.” Car., George M. Rae. Canadian Heroes, 4-6, January 1945: 45.
“No title.” Cart., George M. Rae. Canadian Heroes, 5-3, June 1945: 58.
Perhaps the only story among the wartime cartoon stories that deals with art stolen by the Nazi.
No title. Car., Dez. Canadian Heroes, 5-4, July 1945: 41.
One of the very few if not the only Canada Jack story not done by George M. Rae.
“Treasure Hunt.” Car., George M. Rae. Canadian Heroes, 5-5, September 1945: 42.
“Treasure Hunt.” Car., George M. Rae. Canadian Heroes, 5-5, September 1945: 43.
The three examples above show how the authors of “Canada Jack” were fluctuating between an outdoor character and a detective type character.