Richard Comely: Mormon Cartoonist
Richard Comely is the creative force behind Captain Canuck, the first self-published independent full-color comic book in Canada. The series was the first successful Canadian comic book since the collapse of the nation's comic book industry following World War II. Comely was the chief writer, and, over the 40-year sporadic run of the comic book, served as editor, artist, letterer, and colorist.
Comely is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was never hesitant to share his beliefs in the series.
- In the first issue of Captain Canuck, Comely informed his readers he was a member of the Church; in the second issue, he reprinted and featured an entire article from the Ensign, with permission; in later issues, Comely published pamphlets from the Church and a letter detailing the missionary work of Elder Ron Leishman, who was on his mission when Captain Canuck was first released. Shortly after, Comely received a call from a man in the northern U.S. telling Comely he planned to attend the LDS Church in his town because of Captain Canuck.
- Every news paper, pretty well every magazine, and every television network in Canada did several stories on Captain Canuck," Comely says. Even the prime minister and governor general printed a letter in an issue of Captain Canuck—a first for a comic book.
Canada Post put Captain Canuck on a stamp (1995) and he appeared on the cover of Time magazine (1997) and a number of other Canadian publications.
Soon after his baptism in 1971, Comely met Ron Leishman who had an idea to create a Canadian superhero. While Leishman served his mission to Belgium, Comely published the first issue of Captain Canuck.
Comely has been a commercial artist and writer since his teens. He has been a clothes stylist, graphic designer and has written and illustrated children’s books, greeting cards, newspaper features, and created promotional videos and advertising. He designed and manufactured the ComelyCrane, a portable, extendable jib arm. He also teaches art classes.
In 2012, Comely agreed to an exclusive licensing agreement with Fadi Hakim revitalize the suprehero under Captain Canuck Incorporated, which includes merchandise, new animation, a new comic book series. An animated series aired between 2013 and 2014, and then from 2015 and 2016.
Comely was born on October 9, 1950, in Oxford, England. His family moved to Canada when he was a child. He and his wife, Evelyn, are the parents of eight children.