Kickstarter brings female superhero back to life


After 66 years Nelvana of the Northern Lights is finally back to save the day, thanks to Kickstarter.

The first Canadian female superhero returns from her long hiatus with the reissue of the Nelvana of the Northern Lights comics as an anthology.

Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey ran the Kickstarter campaign for Nelvana’s return.

Nelvana issue #1

Nelvana issue #1

Nelvana starred in the Triumph-Adventure Comics, which ran for 31 issues in the 1940s. Nelvana, originally created by Adrian Dingle, is a demi-goddess with telepathy, heat vision and the ability to travel at the speed of light.

Kickstarter is a website where people post the ideas that they want to be funded. The project has 30 days to reach its goal. If the project does not reach its goal within the 30 days the donors are not charged and the people running the campaign get nothing. Those who fund projects, also known as backers, get things such as email updates about the project and rewards that range from thank you letters, posters or the product that was funded.

In the past few months Kickstarter has been gaining traction with projects like the Veronica Mars movie, which fans helped fund. The movie is based on the beloved TV show that was cancelled after only three seasons. Kickstarter also helped turn the cartoon short Bee and Puppycat into a web series.

“It’s changed the industry because now creators of their work have to get out in the spotlight. Promotion, publishing, distribution…it makes the creator more well rounded and puts them in the position of having to know all aspects of their craft,” said Richey, a comics historian and a co-creator of the reissued Nelvana comics.

The Nelvana Kickstarter campaign started on Oct 1, and in five days it reached its goal of $25,000. After the 30 days the project was funded 220 per cent, for a total of $54,876.

“It was really exciting, at the time we could not take it in that much because we were preparing for our launch party. But it was really exciting that we were able to turn initially what was supposed to promote the campaign into a celebration instead,” said Nicholson, another co-creator of Nelvana. “It felt like a relief actually. There was always a worry that something would go wrong. It was a great deal of relief once the campaign ended.”

Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey  at Nelvana launch party

Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey at Nelvana launch party

“Now we can go to cons [conventions] to promote Nelvana. Now we can increase the print run. Nelvana can be bigger and we can reach further than we originally intended. It was also a huge sigh of relief. We now have a little bit of grace if anything goes wrong,” said Richey

Nicholson and Richey are hoping to get scanning equipment and leave for the National Archives of Canada at the end of year to begin digitizing the original comics.

The Complete Nelvana Collection should in comic book shops by April.

Also check out the Sheridan Sun’s Canadian superhero timeline.