Sudbury's first superhero will make his comic book debut at Graphic-Con 2016.
Ottawa-based comic book publisher Expired Comics created Big Nick, a former mine rescue worker turned superhero, last year when company owners and creative leads Martin Deschatelets and Kevin Montpellier were invited to attend Graphic-Con as special guests.
To thank organizers for the invitation, Deschatelets, an illustrator by trade, created Big Nick so Graphic-Con could use a Sudbury-themed hero for their advertising materials.
Deschatelets and Montpellier also brought some Big Nick merchandise to the event, which proved to be very popular with the Sudbury crowd.
“We got so many requests for an actual comic book, which we were not even thinking about,” Deschatelets said.
In March, they got to work on a story and Deschalets did the illustrations for the 28-page comic. It took two months of work to complete the comic.
While Expired Comics is based in Ottawa, both owners drew on their Northern Ontario roots to draw inspiration for Big Nick and his story.
Deschalets grew up in Sturgeon Falls, and Montpellier is originally from Chelmsford. They met while attending college in Sudbury.
“Everything about the character represents the region of Sudbury, from the colours of his costume to the belts he's wearing,” said Deschatelets.
Big Nick was a mine rescue worker from Sudbury who got trapped in a mine shaft during a collapse. He was able to save everyone in the mine, but sacrificed himself during the rescue.
Thirty years later, something is going on in that same mine shaft, and Big Nick emerges, having not aged a day.
When he exits the mine, he has super strength, can manipulate minerals and the ground, and can change his size, to grow up to 100 feet in height.
He uses the Big Nickel as his shield while he battles evil creatures around Greater Sudbury.
Deschatelets said the comic features a lot of action and humour, and appeals to all ages. There are a lot of inside jokes and references only people from the Sudbury area will get, he added.
Expired Comics will bring 500 copies to Graphic-Con on Saturday, June 11, and will sell them for $10 each.
If the comic is a success Deschatelets said they have plans for more Big Nick stories.