By Justin Francoeur
In our own backyard of Ottawa houses is an impressive array of diverse talent, and I often make note when I discover an Ottawan who has written for film, TV or comic books.
Janet Hetherington has been a part of comic book fandom, in one way or another, since the late 70s. At the time, Hetherington was on the organizing committee of the early Ottawa Maplecons (remember those?). During the 80s and 90s, Hetherington wrote as a “Canadian Correspondent” for magazines such as Amazing Heroes and Wizard Magazine, and had a six-year stint writing the Elvira comic book series by Claypool Comics in the early 2000s.
Do you remember those Canadian-themed superhero stamps issued by Canada Post in 1995? Janet worked on those too.
A Carleton University j-school graduate, Janet still keeps extremely active in the comic book community:
- presently working with Bedside Press (based in Winnipeg) on a story for an anthology called Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, coming to Kickstarter in July,
- she has a new one-page comics story in the upcoming Secret Loves of Geek Girls redux mini-zine book being published by Bedside Press, coming to Kickstarter in June,
- she is now working on a screenplay for local director and producer Brett Kelly, called Murder in High Heels, and,
- Hetherington will be featured in the upcoming Secret Lives of Public Servants web series being produced by Ottawa’s Amen Jafri, which started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on May 10 and runs through June 7.
Coincidentally, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Hetherington’s self-published Eternal Romance anthology. Highly influenced by the romance and suspense DC comics she grew up reading, Janet had written and illustrated this limited series that is now collected as a trade paperback.
“There were a lot of romantic aspects to these titles… always trysts going on.”
Why romance? “I grew up reading classic romance comics, but romance has always been a part of the superhero genre too,” Janet says. “I read Chris Claremont’s X-Men (Marvel) and I read New Teen Titans (DC). There were a lot of romantic aspects to these titles… always trysts going on. Look at Nightwing and Starfire. And Scott Summers and Jean Grey. I am really looking forward to the Dark Phoenix movie that’s been announced,” she adds.
Janet will be at Ottawa Comiccon this weekend. Stop by her table in Artist’s Alley and ask about comics. She is knowledgeable as she is friendly, and loves a good chat.
Ottawa Commiccon is this weekend, May 12–14 at the EY Centre (4899 Uplands Drive). Three-day passes cost $65–229 ($12 for children). Single tickets cost $25–39 ($5 for children). Visit www.ottawacomiccon.com for the full lineup of guests and programming.