The Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning are pleased to announce that Katherine Collins, the pioneering cartoonist behind the comic Neil the Horse Comics and Stories and noted comics journalist, will be the 2017 Giant of the North Hall of Fame inductee.
Ms. Collins was known as Arn Saba before transitioning into a woman in 1993. Saba’s mother and great-grandmother both were published cartoonists and Saba became encouraged to start drawing comics himself at the age of six. Saba spent several years contributing to Morningside, CBC Radio’s popular national morning show, where he carved out a niche as a commentator on comics and cartoonists. In 1979 he produced and hosted The Continuous Art, a five-part documentary series for CBC Radio that explored the cultural ghettoization of comics via interviews with cartoonists Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Milton Caniff, Walt Kelly, and Gil Kane, among others.
Saba’s character Neil the Horse appeared in newspapers from 1975 to 1982, and in 15 issues of his own self-titled comic book series, published by Aardvark-Vanaheim and Renegade Press, between 1983 and 1988. Neil the Horse Comics and Stories was the first (and according to Collins, last) musical comic book, featuring original songs and a cast of characters that appeared to have stepped out of a Max Fleischer cartoon. Collins will be a featured guest at TCAF this year and will attend the 2017 Doug Wright Awards to accept her honour in person.