Created by James Moffatt (pseudonyms include Richard Allen, Hilary Brand, Ray Court, Johnny Douglas, Francis Duke, Ray Ferrier & Leslie McManus; also house pseudonyms Hilary Brand & Hank Janson; 1922-93)
Over the years, Canadians have been in turn greatly bemused and painfully embarrassed at the American media's distorted and generally cock-eyed view of our country (Hell, comedian Rick Mercer's made a whole career out of it), but this one's so bad it's painful, or at least painfully funny.
The JOHNNY CANUCK series makes those sappy Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald/Renfrew of the Northwest Mounted movies look like hard-hitting CBC documentaries. The only solace we poor misunderstood Canadians have here is that that, despite the finger-pointing monicker, this dick is apparently all-American.
And that's just from the preface. And it only gets better (or worse, depending on your point of view.) In Blue Line Murder (1965), for example, Johnny is hired by the Lakeview Otters, a professional hockey team (granted, the name's no more ridiculous than The Mighty Ducks), to investigate the murder of their star defenseman, Tex "Cowboy" Brandt (Tex is evidently his real name, but "Cowboy" is a nickname). But wouldn't you know it? Soon Johnny's up to his one-quarter Sioux Indian neck in neo-Fascists from the American Freedom Front Party.
Johnny appeared in eight paperback originals for Compact in the mid-sixties, and each one's an alternative classic, 100 per cent American cheese. There's no connection between him and the original Johnny Canuck, a Canadian cartoon hero who first appeared in a 1869 political cartoon and was later re-invented as a Second World War superhero in 1942.
But that still begs the question: who was this guy Moffat? He evidently wrote under a slew of pseudonyms (including Hank Janson), but what planet was he from?
-- from Blue Line Murder
-- Paul Bishop on Blue Line Murder
Respectfully submitted (snicker, snicker) by Kevin Burton Smith.
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