Colección F 2015.003 - Canadian Whites Comic Book Collection

Original Objeto digital not accessible

Área de título y declaración de responsabilidad

Título apropiado

Canadian Whites Comic Book Collection

Tipo general de material

  • Documento textual

Título paralelo

Otra información de título

Título declaración de responsabilidad

Título notas

Nivel de descripción


Institución archivística

Código de referencia

F 2015.003

Área de edición

Declaración de edición

Declaración de responsabilidad de edición

Área de detalles específicos de la clase de material

Mención de la escala (cartográfica)

Mención de proyección (cartográfica)

Mención de coordenadas (cartográfica)

Mención de la escala (arquitectónica)

Jurisdicción de emisión y denominación (filatélico)

Área de fechas de creación


  • 1941-1946 (Creación)
    Bell Features and Publishing Company Limited

Área de descripción física

Descripción física

181 publications

Área de series editoriales

Título apropiado de las series del editor

Títulos paralelos de serie editorial

Otra información de título de las series editoriales

Declaración de responsabilidad relativa a las series editoriales

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Nota en las series editoriales

Área de descripción del archivo

Nombre del productor

Historia administrativa

This Toronto based publishing company was founded in 1939 under the name Commercial Signs of Canada by Gene and Cy Bell. They began publishing Canadian comic books in 1941, when the War Measures act limited the importation of luxury goods (including comic books) into the country. These publications were black and white, with full colour on the cover only leading to the term "Canadian Whites" being used to describe Canadian war-era comics. Located on York Street, the company published bi-monthly variety comics with Canadian characters and stories written and illustrated by Canadian authors and artists. Titles included "Active Comics", "Commando Comics", "Dime Comics", "The Funny Comics", "Wow Comics", "Joke Comics", and "Triumph Comics". Commercial Signs changed its name to Bell Features and Publishing Company in 1942, when Adrian Dingle and his Hillborough Studios joined the company, brining with it the Triumph-Adventure comic and the first Canadian female superhero, Nelvana of the Northern Lights. When trade restrictions ended in 1945, and American comic books returned to the Canadian market, the company faced difficult competition and circulation dropped. The company eventually closed in 1953.

Historial de custodia

Donated to Ryerson University Library and Archives from a private donor in 2014.

Alcance y contenido

Fonds consists of 181 comic books, produced in Canada, mainly during World War II, after the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA), on December 2, 1940 classified American comics as "luxury goods" and limited their importation. Generally referred to as the "Canadian Whites" (due to the fact that the comics were black and white, except for the covers), the comics were published by Commercial Signs of Canada, which consisted of brothers Cyril (Cy) and Gene Bell, with investor John Ezrin. Publication began in the summer of 1941 and included titles Wow Comics, Active Comics, Dime Comics, and Joke Comics. '

In the winter of 1942, Commercial Signs absorbed another publishing house, Hillborough Studios, and renamed the company Bell Features. The acquisition brought the "Triumph Comics" title, and two more, Dizzy Don Detective (later retitled The Funny
Comics), and Commando Comics, soon followed.

When WECA was repealed in June of 1944 and American comic books were once again available to Canadians, Bell Features attempted to remain competitive by expanding their market into the US and the UK, and by publishing some titles in colour. Due to a lack of available newsprint, however, the company shifted its focus on Canadian content and began reprinting American titles.

Source: Scanlon, Meaghan. (10 July, 2015). Written, Drawn and Printed in Canada ---- by Canadians!”
Bell Features, CanCon, and the Perception of Comics in Postwar Canada. Presentation for SHARP Montreal.

Área de notas

Condiciones físicas

Origen del ingreso


Individual comic books in the collection are catalogued in the Ryerson University Library catalogue. They can be found by doing a keyword search "Canadian Whites".

Idioma del material

  • inglés

Escritura del material

Ubicación de los originales

Disponibilidad de otros formatos

Restricciones de acceso

Open. Records are available for consultation without restriction.

Condiciones de uso, reproducción, y publicación

Instrumentos de descripción

Materiales asociados

Bell Features Collection, located in Library and Archives Canada, many issues are digitized. Online finding aid with links available here:

Walker, Alan. The Canadian whites : Historical perspective by Alan Walker. Toronto : Bell and Howell, 1972

Hirsh, Michael and Loubert, Patrick. The great Canadian comic books : historical perspective by Alan Walker ; designed and illustrated by Clive Smith ; afterword by Harold Town. Toronto : P. Martin Associates, c1971.

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Objeto digital (URI externo), área de permisos

Objeto digital (Referencia), área de permisos

Objeto digital (Miniatura), área de permisos

Área de Ingreso

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