Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Joe Shuster Awards 2006: Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

Joe Shuster Portrait
Art by Dave Sim, based on a photo by Henry Mietklewicz

(Acceptance speech, 29 April 2006, as published in Following Cerebus #8)

I was at Paradise Comics a while back, and Pete Dixon swung his computer screen around and asked if I wanted to check out the Hall of Fame inductees for this year's show. I said sure, and I must admit that my first reaction when I saw my name there was to check to make sure there was only the birth year attached to it.

1956. Hyphen. Blank.

I must tell you, it came as quite as relief.

Speaking as the, so far, only living inductee into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame, I have to say that I have four small regrets that I have preceded four individuals in doing so and ask you to help assuage my conscience by giving a nice round of applause to each of them when I read their names out.

The first is the individual most responsible for there even being a Canadian comics fandom, writer, raconteur, publisher, gadfly, and pioneer Canadian comic-store owner Captain George Henderson.

The second is my personal mentor and compatriot and collaborator back in the early days of my career, the late Howard E. 'Gene' Day.

And the third and fourth are the Canadian trail-blazers of the graphic novel, The Sacred & The Profane, one of whom is here today, and I'll ask that he stand up and take a bow, Dean Motter. And his collaborator who isn't here, of course, is Ken Steacy.

Keeping this as short as possible - bearing in mind that my Collected Letters 2004 ran 600 pages, and that only covered January through June - I will only add that I hope Gerhard is less than seven years behind me when it comes to his own induction. Cerebus certainly couldn't have been completed without him. And I'd also ask that you applaud once more if you favour the idea of inducting the Toronto Trio next year, Chester Brown, Seth, and as honorary Canadian, Joe Matt. Chester's here today. Stand up, Chet.

I quite agree. Thank you all for this signal honour, which is most unexpected and most gratefully received. There's really nothing worse than getting a Lifetime Achievement Award when you're still working - and nothing better than getting one when you're all done. 

And there's really nothing better than being all done. So, I thank you. I'm all done now.

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