Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, October 23, 2020


 "As free, as keen, as deadlyand as true as a well-aimed lance flying toward its target is that mysterious, daring will-o'-the-wisp known as Freelance!  So it is that this valiant adventurer ever marks his deeds with this "signature"...a little man on a flying lance...that no other shall pay any penalty for his never-ending battle against the sinister forces of destruction.  A man without a country, reared by an Indian tribe in a tropical valley hidden in the far north, Freelance is gifted with all the skill, craft and prowess of a native hunter...yet, trained in a great institute of learning under an assumed name, he is master of the arts of modern science[,] but it is the fate of this modern adventurer never to reveal his true identity to any man...always must he walk life's path alone...truly a Freelance!"

Created by Ted McCall and Ed Furness, Freelance has, in the opinion of Canadian comic book collector and fan Ivan Komarek, an essential Canadian quality and is a Canadian superhero in all senses of the word.

1n 1940, the Canadian government banned the import of American comic books and McCall saw an opportunity.  He owned the both the copyright and the plates for a comic strip he had started in 1935, Robin Hood and Company.  The strip proved popular and moved from one newspaper to more than 80 papers internationally.  The strip ended in 1939 when the artist joined the army.  Now, with the War Exchange Conservation Act, a niche became open for Canadian comic books.  Robin Hood and Company became the first title from Anglo-American Publishing.  After the original strips had been used, McCall brought in artist Ed Furness.  The two then created Freelance, "a daring guerrilla battling the Axis powers."  Freelance ran from 1941 to 1947, when Anglo-American closed up shop.  McCall, noted for his deft writing and well-rounded scripts, never worked in the comic industry again.

The August-September 1946 issue contained three slam-bang adventure of Freelance:  "The Mysterious Prisoner," "Underground Rockets," and an untitled story.


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