|More from Kurt J. Kolka
**The Cardinal is registered with the U.S. Trademark Office
Read this week's THE CARDINAL comic strip at GoComics.com
THE CARDINAL in "Dick Tracy"
On Tuesday, June 23, The Cardinal gets a mention in the "Dick Tracy" comic strip by Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, which can be read at GoComics.com. How did this happen? Here's the official press release:
DICK TRACY JOINS WITH MICHIGAN CARTOONIST AGAINST BULLYING
If there’s one person who’s no fan of bullies, it’s DICK TRACY. And the famous comic strip, produced today by Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, will take a look at this subject in June. --But nobody bullies Dick Tracy, so for help on the subject, the strip’s talent went for help to an 11-year-old and his mother, as well as a home-grown superhero.
“Bullying is a part of life no one wishes to relive, but Joe and I have wanted to take a look at the subject for some time," says Curtis. "Tracy would take no guff from a bully, so the sequence features his tweenage granddaughter, Honeymoon. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life and they’ve come to the notice of a couple of her former friends. This leads to the appearance of two of TRACY’S advisors."
Collin Engler is a 11-year-old living close to writer Mike Curtis, and he graciously shared his thoughts and experiences with Curtis. “It’s real and it’s happening everyday in schools and other places.” Collin has organized an anti-bullying club at his school with the help of his mother Millie. She says, “Collin has taken bad experiences and turned them around into a force for good in his own world and I am very proud of him.” In her secret identity, away from DICK TRACY, Millie is a dedicated schoolteacher. “I want my students to be safe when they come to my classes each day.”
Kurt J. Kolka is luckier than Collin. He has his own superhero to combat the problem. Kolka, of Gaylord, Mich., is the creator and writer/artist of the comic strip, THE CARDINAL, set in southeast Michigan. The Cardinal is a college student by day and flies over the city at night. Kolka has been chronicling the adventures of the Cardinal for 25 years and led a massive anti-bullying campaign this past year (2014) resulting in a book and a website, www.BullyingIsNoLaughingMatter.com, which can be used by schools and other children's organizations. THE CARDINAL is available to read on Gocomics.com.
"I was very honored when Mike asked me to consult on the story," says Kolka. "I've been a fan of Dick Tracy for years and read it regularly online. To be able to watch the story and art develop and then give advice before it hits newspapers is an unbelievable experience."
Dick Tracy appears in Kolka's book, "Bullying is No Laughing Matter," among 35 other comic characters, like Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Pickles, Luann, Stone Soup and others, who take on the subject. And, in turn, The Cardinal will make a cameo appearance in Dick Tracy during the anti-bullying storyline this month.
Kolka says they will be celebrating this special event with a new Cardinal comic book, "Justice From Above ... The Cardinal" which will be released the same day as The Cardinal appears in Dick Tracy. Also, a Cardinal movie collection by the same name will be available through New Parable Films.
GoComics is also the home of DICK TRACY and another character who is no stranger to bullying--Little Orphan Annie.
“Last year, Joe and I did an epic giving Annie an ending to her adventures, which had disappeared from newspapers mid-crisis in 2010. We feel Annie and her cast are part of the Tracy world and we’ve added her to the story as a friend of Honeymoon’s. Annie has dealt with bullies in her own way many times in the original Harold Gray strip, and she’s ready to stand up for her friend Honeymoon.”
The sequence in DICK TRACY begins Sunday, June 21 in newspapers around the world and on GoComics.com.
History of "The Cardinal" comic strip
"The Cardinal" was actually first published as a comic strip in the "Campus Voice" newspaper at Concordia University - Ann Arbor in the fall of 1978. It ran for three years and was popular with students and faculty.
Eight year later, the strip's creator, Kurt J. Kolka, was asked to do a weekly comic strip for a Northern Michigan shopping guide. He had always wanted to use The Cardinal again, so he took out his old strips from Concordia and began looking them over. Soon, he realized with a little adjustment the comic could be adapted for a larger audience.
It premiered on March 4, 1990 to an audience of around 20,000 readers. Once again, it gained a following. Thus, two years later, The Cardinal debuted in his own publication, "Cardinal Adventures."
"Cardinal Adventures was a free, tabloid-size publication which was distributed to around 16 counties in Michigan and a few cities in other states. It had a circulation of 15,000 and ran through 2006.
In 2007, The Cardinal" came to Comic Sherpa / GoComics.com as a regular feature.
About "The Cardinal"
"The Cardinal" is the story of a group of people living in a fictitious university town whose lives are touched by an ordinary young man who believes he has been called to be a super hero. Some think he's crazy. Some think he's even dangerous. Maybe his heart is just too big for his head. Regardless of these, his vision will definitely impact his community.
My goal in this is NOT to just create another super hero strip. Rather, I hope to make this into somewhat of a hybrid strip. Yes, there will be action, danger and suspense, but also humor, tragedy and a sense of wonder and awe about life. My hope is that these stories will not just quicken your pulse, but also touch your heart.
Introduction to The Cardinal (Feb. 6, 2011 - Feb. 13, 2011)
"Mystery of The Cardinal" (Nov. 15, 2007 - April 13, 2008)
"Genesis" (April 27, 2008 - May 17, 2009)
"The UnSeen" (June 28, 2009 - March 7, 2010)
"Exodus" (April 11, 2010 - Jan. 20, 2011)
"Wrath of the Warthog" (Feb. 20, 2011 - Nov. 6, 2011)
"The Slave Dealers" (Dec. 4, 2011 - Aug. 26, 2012)
"Kidney Pie" (Oct. 7, 2012 - Dec. 1, 2013)
"Wounded" (Feb. 16, 2014 - Feb. 15, 2015)
"When Death Calls" (Dec. 4, 2011 - present)
Special Tribute to "Brenda Starr, Reporter!" (Dec. 29, 2011)
Special Tribute to "Annie" (Unofficial conclusion to series) (June 27, 2011)
The Setting and Characters
ARBOR CITY is a major university town in the Midwest, built around Great Lakes University. Over the years it has become known as a place for the advancement of medical science, for the arts and for natural beauty. Seven years ago, however, an evil force invaded the city, poisoning its leadership. Before this evil force was recently discovered though, its poison spread and now no one is sure how far its venom has circulated.
RICH BENTON is a college student who volunteers his time at the Old Arbor Mission. At night he often patrols the college town's slum area, Old Arbor as The Cardinal, a masked hero who believes it is his calling to protect the poor and homeless there. It is a calling he did not choose, but was chosen for him -- a reluctant hero, at best. He wants so much to help those suffering in Arbor City but questions what one young man can do. Armed only with the ability to fly and some faith, he must face what the poor and homeless continually confront on the dangerous streets after dark every night.
CHRIS McCOY has known Rich Benton since middle school and dated him since high school. They both attend Concord Ecumenical College in Arbor City. Chris is also his best friend and confidante, who knows the secret of his dual identity. She is studying nursing and enjoys horseback riding.
DETECTIVE JUSTIN TRUTH is a middle-aged detective on the Arbor City Police force. Never married, police work is his life. He enjoys hanging out with his boyhood pal, Prosecutor David "Otter" Ottenberg when not on the job. While knowing police work inside and out, his life had been lonely and discouraging in recent years. Then, he meets up with The Cardinal during his first adventure. Young and idealistic, The Cardinal brings a spark of life back into his life. Soon, The Cardinal becomes his secret partner on special cases.
DEB DEMUR, Newspaper Editor, has worked her way up through the ranks at the Arbor City News. Like Det. Truth, she finds herself married to a career which takes up most of her life. Used to thinking of journalism the old-fashion way after more than 20 years in the profession, she finds advancements in technology stretches her. While the future of journalism somethimes seems questionable, it remains her first love. The Cardinal to her is a mystery -- a masked "hero" who seems too good to be true.
MAYOR MADDY THRALL had been a single mom seven years ago, struggling to make ends meet. She had always said if she were put in charge she would make the world a better place for those the poor and the victims. Then, a rich, handsome stranger offered her that very chance. The road to the political top in Arbor City felt so good she forgot to ask if there was a catch. When time came to pay up, she was forced to sell her soul to keep her job.
REVEREND CHARITY had grown up in Arbor City. When his father went to prison, he helped his mom raise the rest of the kids. Working most of his waking hours afterward, he put himself through college and then seminary. His instructors said he could have gone on to pastor many large congregations and make good money. But, Rev. Charity chose to go back to the poor area he had come from to give hope to others who struggle there today. Besides being a pastor to the poor, he is a spiritual mentor to Rich Benton.
RAE is a teen mom. Her life has been rougher than most. It has taught her to distrust almost everyone, but especially those in authoriity. She gets by anyway she can financially. She knows what men will pay for. Despite her tough exterior, she has found one person who she has a soft spot for, a masked hero in red.
ANTONIO is one of many dangerous people in Old Arbor. His kind have control over that slum area. Drug dealers, weapons handlers, gangs, and even worse criminals refuse to give up their territory. Local politicians either can't or won't help stop the problem. Police are too understaffed and underfunded to be able to clean up Old Arbor. However, as the criminals see it, the greatest threat may be coming from a balding minister and a kid in tights.
Cardinal Mini Movies are Online!
Filmmaker John Martin of Medina, Ohio has been making a series of Cardinal mini movies which are showcased on YouTube. Watch the Cardinal come to life in these exciting new episodes!!
"The Cardinal: Protector of the Poor and Homeless"
"A Test of Faith"
"The Brown Recluse"
Beyond this, new Anti-Bullying videos are being produced! Some have even been posted on YouTube already!! Take a look at these:
The Cardinal: We Care 1
The Cardinal: We Care 2
Click here to read this week's THE CARDINAL comic strip! ________________________________________________________________________________
A recent appearance of the Cardinal in Ann Arbor, near the U of M.
An earlier version of The Cardinal which appeared in print.
SOME FAVORITE LINKS
The Cardinal Fan Page on Facebook
Concordia University: where The Cardinal was hatched
OTHER COMIC LINKS
Dick Tracy Museum Online
Mandrake the Magician
Alley Oop (the time-traveling caveman)
Brenda Starr, Reporter
Agnus Day, the Lectionary Comic
Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family
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