Chapterhouse Publishing has announced that Canadian actor, writer and director Jay Baruchel (Goon: Last of the Enforcers, How To Train Your Dragon), as he joins the Chapterhouse family as investor, owner and Chief Creative Officer.
Founded in 2015, Chapterhouse is Canada’s largest comic book publisher. The company, headed by CEO Fadi Hakim, has been making leaps and bounds promoting Canadian talent and flagship superhero Captain Canuck, along with more than 16 other monthly titles in addition to archive classics, graphic novels and prose novels.
Chapterhouse is proudly Canadian, flying the flag for diversity, with an appeal to comics fans worldwide – something that Jay and founder Fadi first bonded over. The team are also behind the acclaimed Chapterhouse Studios, home of the award-winning Captain Canuck animated series starring Kris Holden-Ried, Paul Amos and Tatiana Maslany.
“What started with a conversation about bringing Captain Canuck to the big screen very quickly evolved into my asking Fadi if I could invest in Chapterhouse,” says Jay. “As both a patriot, and a lifelong nerd, the breadth of vision and daring that Chapterhouse had already displayed in their two short years was nothing short of staggering.
“This was the kind of thing we’d talk and dream about as Canadian kids – a home grown Canadian extended comic book universe. This was both an adventure and holy mission, and one I knew I had to be a part of.” Chapterhouse and Jay are planning to take the company and their characters to new heights, as Jay succinctly puts it: “We want to be the home for superheroes the big publishers don’t have the balls to create.”
Canadian superhero Captain Canuck, created by artist/writer Richard Comely and illustrator Ron Leishman, first appeared in Captain Canuck #1 in 1975. Since his inception, he had fallen off the radar but, Chapterhouse has given life to the character once more.
Chapterhouse and Jay Baruchel want to tell stories that Canadians can be proud of, and that the rest of the world is excited about as well. Fadi explains, “We are one of the most ethnically and socially diverse countries in the world. I want our writers and artists to write and draw what they see, and not have to be apologetic for it, as Canadians often are. I want to see the Pitiful Human-Lizard ride through Parkdale atop the 504 streetcar to get around; I want to see Captain Canuck and Northguard back-to-back in a throw-down that levels Toronto’s Dundas Square, I want to see Redcoat and Kebec split a Donair in Halifax. I want to lionize the land I live in; I want its people to have a pipeline for their stories and ideas that are distinctly ours; I want the world to read them and wish they lived here… or at least visit!”
Chapterhouse founder Fadi Hakim’s love of comics all started with Canuck himself. Perusing the Dixie Fantastic Flea Market in Mississauga, Ontario, as a kid in the late 70s, skimming past the more mainstream choices of the era, his eyes were instantly drawn to Captain Canuck #1 – a bold cover with the Captain standing heroically in front of a hopeful, yellow sunset, hands placed on his hips, with the red and white Canadian flag waving majestically behind him. “It was like candy to my eyes, I had to have it and collected any Captain Canuck that I could get my hands on thereafter.”
Recently, Jay co-wrote the Free Comic Book day edition of Captain Canuck: Year One with Chapterhouse Editor-In-Chief and series writer Kalman Andrasofszky. The comic is first of a three-part series illustrated by Marcus To (The Flash, Red Robin), featuring a cover by David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight).
Now, after just two years, Chapterhouse has announced a partnership with Diamond Books, which means its titles will be distributed throughout North America and Europe. The Canadian publishing powerhouse intends to expand into other territories, and to reach brand new fans. The announcement is well timed, as the world could use a hero like Captain Canuck right now; someone who stands for all that is good and pure, and who is proud of his country, but concerned for people all around the globe, and who represents the Canadian spirit and the best of us all.
What do you think about the addition of Jay Baruchel to the house of Captain Canuck ? Let us know in the comment section below.