Born 1 May 1926 in Providence Rhode Island, U.S.A. The family first migrated to Fort William (now Thunder Bay Ontario) and then on to Montréal. He was eight years old at the time.
Jack grew up at a time when cartoon strips and cartoon periodicals were a major form of entertainment in North America. From weekend supplements like “Tarzan” and “Flash Gordon” he learned the elements of figure drawing and from Superman and Batman he saw the possibilities of the graphic periodical. He also had access to British boy’s magazines like The Triumph and The Champion and from them came his “inspiration in writing exciting adventure stories”. His favourite character was “Rockfist Rogan” a boxer and an R.A.F. pilot flying the Hurricanes and Spitfires of World War 2. It is easy to see that this character and his setting were the inspiration for Jack’s character “Crash Carson” and perhaps Jack’s ability to accurately draw World War 2 aircraft.
In 1939 at the age of thirteen years he began producing mini comics which he wrote, drew, coloured, and assembled himself. He sold them in his Côte St. Paul neighbourhood for five cents a copy. He created characters like the “Panther”, a “Batman” look alike. His teacher suggested that he buy a bottle of India ink and submit his work to a publisher. His first entry was a drawing published in Better Comics 3, May 1941, a periodical published by Maple Leaf Publishing. Then in the fall of 1941 the recently started Bell Features created a drawing contest in WOW Comics 2, November 1941. Jack entered and won a pair of rolling skates. Encouraged by this win, he sent in a feature “Crash Carson” that he had been working on over the winter of 1941/42. Bell Features accepted it and “Crash Carson” appeared in WOW Comics 8 in the spring of 1942. A few months later Bell Features launched a new periodical called Commando Comics and asked Jack to contribute a serial to it. He created “Wings Over The Atlantic”. He worked on this feature for three issues then André Kulbach assumed cartooning duties for it. Also during this time he illustrated one of the colouring books in Educational Projects “Famous Stories In Paint Books” series. In WOW Comics 16, “Crash Carson and His Devil’s Angels” made their last appearance. Jack was offered a summer job in the publicity department of Defense Industries Ltd. which paid well. He first went to Bell Features and requested an increase in the three dollars per page Bell was paying him. Unknown to him other contributors were getting five and six dollars a page. Bell refused to give Jack a raise and so he left for the better paying D.I.L. While there. he and the Art Director Eileen who did occasional work for a children’s magazine partnered to produce a colouring book called A Cowboy Story and Coloring Book.
By September 1944, he was finally old enough to join the Canadian Army. He went to boot camp but before he could train as a paratrooper the war in Europe ended. He volunteered to join the conflict in the Pacific, but it as well suddenly ended.
It had been about the time he started working for Bell Features that Jack had begun his first formal art training at L’École des Beaux-Arts. This effort had been dropped and it was only after the war that Jack resumed his studies. His interest in cartooning adventure stories and the opportunities to do them declined and he entered ad agencies as a freelance illustrator and got into book production both as an illustrator and a writer/illustrator. One of his early projects was writing and illustrating Ten Canadian Legends published by Brunswick Press. For Canada’s centennial year he returned to Brunswick Press to write and illustrate eight of a series of Canadian history booklets called The Story of Canada under the moniker “ A Beaver Book for Young Canadians”.
In the 1970’s he began illustrating journalist Greg Clark’s columns in the Weekend magazine. In this he joined a series of Canadian icons including Jimmie Frise and Duncan Macpherson who had previously illustrated Greg’s work. Later he was responsible for a series of dust jacket illustrations for Clark’s books. Interestingly enough he never met Greg. Their contact was through the telephone.
About this time he assumed the pseudonym Jean-Jacques Tremblay and began selling paintings through galleries. His first solo exhibit was at Galerie Libre in Montréal in 1976.
In late 2014, Jack returned to sequential art, self publishing a digest sized experimental publication called Esthetic Comics limited to one hundred copies. It was sold at Conventions in the Montréal area. It’s style was reminiscent of the 1960/70’s underground commix.
He died 11 November 2018.
|WOW Comics, …. Bell Features & Publishing Co. Ltd.|
|9, no date: “Crash Carson and His Devil’s Angels”: 34-47
10, no date: “Crash Carson and His Devil’s Angels”: 36-47.
13, no date: “Crash Carson and His Devil’s Angels: 36-45.
|Weekend Magazine, vol.-no, date: Title: Writ., Greg Clark: pages|
|20-51, Dec. 19, 1970: “Ellie & The Myth Of Christmas”: 22-23.
21-11, March 13, 1971: The Mystery Of The Downtown Throng”: 14-16.
21-18, May 1, 1971: “The Bird Of Promise”: 8-9.
22-32, August 5, 1972: “Then He Kissed The Most Beautiful Girl”: Aug. 5, 1972: 18-19.
BOOK TEXT & ILLUSTRATION:
Content (History) & Cover (Book wraparound):
Story of Canada 3: The First Mounties. Brunswick Press (University Press of New Brunswick), 1967.
Part of a “Beaver Book for Young Canadians” series.
Ten Canadian Legends: A Story From Each Province In Canada. Brunswick Press (University Press of New Brunswick), 1955: 1-32.
“The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels. Ed., Dominick Grace & Eric Hoffman.University Press of Mississippi. 2018: “Alternatives Within An Alternative Form.” Writ., Ivan Kocmarek: 3-15.
Comic book Creator, 21, Fall 2019: “Trembles Confesses: “I Was the Son of a Superior Artist.” Writ., Rick Trembles: 32-39. (In addition to a mini biography of his father. It is an interesting account of the relationship between father and son.
“Heroes Of The Home Front, North End Books, 2018: “Ivan Kocmarek interviews Jack Tremblay.” 287-290.
An image of a mini comic by Tremblay, comic book CREATOR, 21, Fall 2019: 34
The First Mounties), 1967. Front cover.
Ten Canadian Legends,1955: 10.