Friday, January 31, 2014

The Haunted Stamp House

Canada Post issued a bilingual commemorative stamp package on October 1, 1997, inspired by the 100th anniversary of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Four scary stamps were produced, depicting supernatural creatures (a werewolf, a goblin, a ghost, and a vampire) as seen through the imaginations of four Canadian illustrators. The thematic collection, depicting a dilapidated haunted house, included a stamp pane of sixteen stamps--which, when placed inside the cardboard sleeve, allowed for the monsters to peer out of the windows. The package was designed by Louis Fishauf.

Information included with the release notes that "legends of these imaginary creatures are known the world over, and can be found at the root of much Canadian folklore. Although tales of vampires appear only in isolated pockets of Canadian culture, every region of the country has its own ghost stories. Legends of werewolves abound in French Canada, with its myths of the tormented loup-garou. Goblins come in a variety of forms, from Quebec's mischievous lutin to the elusive Maritime will-o'-the-wisp."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Experience the New Flesh, while it lasts

This is the final week for David Cronenberg: Evolution, a major exhibition about the writer/director/actor, being held in the HSBC gallery at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (closes January 19th). I spent several hours wandering through the exhibit last month, and had a great time reading about his work and viewing props from his films. Cronenberg's evolution as a filmmaker was part and parcel with the evolution of the film industry in Canada, especially the horror genre; even if you're not a fan of his work, this is still definitely something you should see.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dracula: The lost Canadian edition from 1900

First Constable edition, 1897
Bram Stoker's Dracula was first published in England by Archibald Constable and Company, in 1897. Extensive research by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and J. Gordon Melton has uncovered all the significant editions that have been printed over the years, and the results were compiled in their definitive bibliography Dracula: A Century of Editions, Adaptations and Translations (1998). In 2011, the two included a list of critical updates as part of Dracula in Visual Media, by John Edgar Browning and Caroline Joan Picart.

Thanks to newly-available resources from the University of Toronto Library, which were digitized by the Internet Archive in 2012, I believe I've unearthed a forgotten Canadian edition of Dracula, which was published in Toronto by The William Briggs Publishing Co., in July 1900.