PREPRODUCTION NEWS - MINISODES:
Summer is Finally here! It has been a very long winter and it feels good to finally get some warmth, isn't it? It also means that we can resume shooting with temperatures more suitable for our heroes that are latex clad. Preproduction is now underway for the Wild Rose, Terra Nova, Mantis (not latex clad but still... It is set in North Korea) and Borealis.
We want to also congratulate John Albert (pictured below with Hornet and Mantis), who purchased not one but two (!) set visits on the Wild Rose and Mantis shoot. John had previously participated on the Jackpot set visit and even earned himself a cameo in the episode, alongside Dominic Walsh! They both did a pretty good job: look for them on the Jackpot Episode: Dominic get stabbed and John gets a bullet in the head right after... Look for more fans cameos and other cool surprises in the upcoming episodes...
John Albert with Hornet (Marie-Claude Bourbonnais) and Mantis (Marie Ty)
Some of you may have noticed changes on the website. We have added a massive footer to make navigation accessible everywhere.
We also added an Official Heroes of the North Retailers list - all Retailers that carry Official Heroes of the North Merchandise is listed there. If your local Retailer is interested, they can always CONTACT us.
Speaking of our Contact page, we have added several sections that deal with specific issues such as Retailers, Conventions, casting, artists and writers submissions, etc. We even added a Live Chat feature for those pressing questions that cannot wait a return email! Please don't abuse it!
You will also notice a sponsors list, which is for companies that contributed financially to the show and helped produced the upcoming episodes. If you own a company and wish to be a sponsor or if you want to recommend it to a friend who owns one, they just need to visit our SPONSORS section.
Ernie Hudson with Hornet (Marie-Claude Bourbonnais) and 8 Ball (Anderson Bradshaw) and some brave Ghostbusters at the Niagara Falls Comicon. Photo by Carol Grant.
CONVENTION SEASON IS OVER! FOR NOW...
We had a busy spring attending tons of conventions. It was exhausting but also very rewarding but we are glad it is finally over so we can enjoy some weekends... The last convention we did was Niagara Falls. It was a first for us and it was lots of fun. Definitely one we will keep an eye on.
JACKPOT BY DONALD CARON
This image above is the latest illustration by Donald Caron and it has been quite a hit at conventions so far! This stunning illustration is finally available in our store, by public demand! Donald is well on his way to illustrate all the Heroes of the North characters, with a Wild Rose, Mantis, Borealis and Lighthouse illustrations all currently in the works...
Our Mini Comics are a popular section of our Members section. It allows us to feature short stories in the Heroes of the North universe drawn by up and coming Canadian talents. The latest one is a Black Terror tale called Winging It! by Yann Brouillette & Jono Doiron with Colours by Aljosa Tomic, and it is one of those tales where Black Terror awakes from his drug induced trips to find himself in odd situations.
We are a bit behind on the mini comics release due to the conventions but we are back on track and we will make up for lost time! Thank you for your understanding! You guys are the best!
COMPENDIUM AND LEGACIES TRADE PAPERBACKS
Legacies and COMPENDIUM start shipping next week! Both trade paperbacks are near sold out already! Get your copies while there is still some! Or get them from our official retailers, listed below! Most have ordered copies.
While at the Calgary Fan Expo this spring, Gibson Quarter was asked to do a commission of Iron Ore, Labrador's protector. The costume for our armor clad hero was designed by Christopher Yao.
Actress Sandra Belrose (Wild Rose) has done a Q&A session to answer all of her fans burning questions. Enjoy!
Long time no talk!
We have been incredibly busy behind the scenes trying to overcome several challenges on many fronts. It has been a while since we put out one of those “keeping you up to date” posts but here it is:
PRODUCTION: Completing the financing for the show for one has proven to be much harder than anticipated. Location hunting - especially finding a suitable studio at a price we can afford - has also proved to be much more difficult and it is causing delays in production of the minisodes. We are trying to iron out the issues and we hope to resume a stable release of episodes soon. We will make it up to you by producing two more minisodes, one involving 8 Ball and a mysterious new character as well as TERRA NOVA episode. Meanwhile everyone is hard at work prepping for the moment they will called...
EVENTS: We will be attending Free Comic Book Day at Fantasy Realm in Cornwall, Ontario and at La Boîte à BD de Laval this year. The event is on Saturday, May 3rd this year. We also contribute a cover for la Boîte à BD Free Comic Book Day special edition comic featuring Johnny Comix, of course, but also our very own Fleur-de-Lys, illustrated by Brad Coffey. We will also be attending the Ottawa Comicon and the Moncton Comicon this spring.
PROMOTION: The Nordik figurine is now on sale at 50% off! Get one while supplies last! It also helps us fund the show so everybody wins! MEMBERS get an even better deal in the SPECIAL OFFERS section.
COMICS: Our LEGACIES trade paperback is now available for preorder - it will be available for the Free Comic Book Day.
ROKU: Roku owners rejoice! Your favourite web series will soon be available on the ROKU network! Keep your eyes peeled for updates!
- The second part of the Nano serial is now available in the MINI-COMICS section;
- A whole lot of new offers have been added to the SPECIAL OFFERS section. Even if you are not interested in the offers themselves, it is worth a visit because you will find some casting news and interesting tidbits of info there. Take our word for it, you will not regret it!;
- GOLD MEMBERS will get to see more pictures of the progress on the Crimson figurine with members exclusive photos in the SHOOTING LOG.
In the Jackpot: Royal Flush episode, you got to meet Jackie’s ex-boyfriend, William aka “Wild Card”, played by Brad Hamelin. If you have seen the episode, you know that things did not end too well for him and a portion of his face. In this design by Christopher Yao, we get to see the final look the man will have as he will rise to power in the underbelly of Montreal and become the owner of an underground casino…
What happened between the episode and this new look will be covered in a comic book titled Wild Card: Face Off, which will be found in the New Beginnings Trade Paperback. And Wild Card’s brand new look and anger towards Jackie (now turned Jackpot) will be in full display in an upcoming episode…
￼Hi ya there folks! How are you all doing? We sincerely hope you are well. Sit down and brace yourselves. This is going to be a LONG one!
Most of you are probably aware that we are about to launch our second Season. We have great things in store for this season and we cannot wait for you all to discover them!
First things first, to celebrate the launch of the second Season, we have decided to do a complete overhaul of the website. We wanted to simplify and focus things a little more, make things easier to find and see. And we think we have achieved that goal. If you have not already, please visit www.heroesofthenorth.com and let us know what you think!
Another thing we decided to do is put our best foot forward - that means showcasing one of our strongest asset: the fantastic visuals we have accumulated over the years, be it photographs or illustrations. That is the reason behind the magnificent slide show you will find on almost every pages of the menu. On the lower left of every pages, there is a minus sign which allows you to hide the menu so you can watch the pictures in all their splendour. To get the menu back, just press the plus button. What is not to like?
The STORE was the most complex part of the revamp, besides the Members section. By the way, we found two Hornet figurines cleaning up the warehouse. They had fallen behind a shelf! We put them up in the store today and one already sold barely an hour after the update! So there is one left for some lucky visitor! There is also one Fleur-de-Lys left! Grab them while you still can! You will also notice that we have put Black Terror, Madame Doom and the Canadian Shield figurines back for preorder - we should receive them VERY soon so we feel confident to put them back up there. Oh! And Nordik is on sale at 50% off!
Another new thing available from every pages is the small red Members Login button on the right. That’s right, we finally got around to do that darned Members section.
Now that is something we have struggled with for a long time. We always wanted to keep the show free as much as possible. But it is just not realistically possible. We tried to raise funds through Indiegogo - several of you actually contributed and did a fantastic job of spreading the word. But it just was not enough in the end. That meant we had to find the funds somewhere else. And those funds have a cost.
The show manages to finance itself somewhat with the merchandising sales and especially the conventions. Conventions get so crazy sometimes that we wish there was one every weekend - the show would never have cash flow issues and we could improve the production values to near Hollywood levels. But reality is otherwise and while we do thrive in the spring and fall, winter and summer are harsher periods. If we hope to repay the funders monthly interests, we need to generate a consistent income. Hence the membership idea.
We made three plans, the description and advantages can be found in the MEMBERS section of the site. They basically break down like this:
BRONZE - $4.95 a month: Lets you watch all the videos and read all the comics, full screen, no ads. You also get to join the community forum in the members section. You can unsubscribe anytime. There is a button to that effect at the bottom left of the MEMBERS section.
SILVER - $9.95 a month: same privileges as Bronze plus a few added bonuses and access to behind the scenes materials.
GOLD: $14.95 a month: This is the whole enchilada! It is like buying the super duper limited edition Director’s cut DVD! You will get all the nitty gritty and behind the scenes information. You also get a copy of the DVD at the end of Season at no charge (as long as you remained subscribed for the duration of the season, of course!).
For those who want to only watch episodes or read comics, we also created a $2.99 a month VIDEO PASS that will allow you to watch all the episodes of Season 2, with no ads either on the video or on the site itself - a privilege for all subscribers. For those who only come to read the comics but want to read them on site, not download them, there is also a $1.99 per month subscription that allows you to read all our comics online, again with no ads. Both plans also allow you to join the Members community but with limited access.
The videos themselves will be Pay-per-view outside of membership: .99 cents for the minisodes and $2.99 for the ten longer official Season 2 episodes, allowing viewing for a 24 hours period. It allows people to give it a whirl and decide if they want to subscribe or not.
We think that these amounts are reasonable and that there is sufficient choices for all budgets and interests. Please let us know if you think there should be more or less options.
There will still be free content along the road, tagged with ads on the public side of the site and always without ads in the Members section, regardless of the plan taken.
We know that some of you will not be happy with the changes. We tried hard but we did not meet our goals. We want to do the best show we can and move forward, not backwards. We have already given away tens of thousands of dollars of free content. And we will continue to give some of it away. But in order to secure a future for a show we love to do, we have no other choice but to take this road for now. That being said, if someone has a better idea, please manifest yourself. We are ALWAYS open to suggestions.
Let us know if you think we have failed or not with the redesign or with the membership concept. We love to get your input.
Like you all, we are looking forward to a fantastic year 2014! And we hope to see lots of you online this Friday night for the launch of our first minisode, JACKPOT: ROYAL FLUSH introducing Dominique Arganese as the titular character. Can't wait for you all to discover the newest femme fatale of the Heroes of the North Universe!
Enjoy the Second Season!
The Heroes of the North Team
Here is the inked version of the cover of our third trade paperback, coming out this summer, called New Beginnings. The cover is illustrated by Christopher Yao, who designed most of the Season 2 costumes. This trade will feature stories about all the new characters we created for Season 2. We can’t wait to see it in full colours. Can you?
Here is the costume design for Iron Ore, protector of Labrador. Design by Christopher Yao.
This superb piece was created by Lyle Dunlop.
Actress/Model: Sandra Belrose
Character: Wild Rose
Photographer: Vincent Cadoret
Costume Design: Christopher Yao
Costume Created: Polymorphe
Editing for the Jackpot: Royal Flush, the first minisode of Season 2 is in progress - in fact it is almost done and the episode should head out for sound design and mix next week, which means it should be ready on time for its anticipated release date at the end of the month! The story is written by Michel Brouillette and stars Dominique Arganese as Jackpot. It details the tragic origins of the character. You can watch the teaser for this minisode right below:
Production on Season 2 is underway. A big change for the second season will be the use of considerably more CGI, including virtual sets and props. Things are progressing quite a bit on this front, with several set pieces already done ahead of the actual live action shooting that will take place in April and May 2014. Here is a sneak peak of the work in progress for the landing pad of the Medusa Arctic base that will be feature prominently in Episode 2. Who says landing pad automatically says flying vehicle to land on it! So here is a rough sketch for a Medusa VTOL type of vehicle… Both elements are being handled by ZED VFX.
For those who are still wondering - it apparently was not clear at the end of the teaser because of the Grindhouse style titles - the second Season will begin on January 30, 2014 with the Jackpot: Royal Flush episode.
Here is the synopsis:
Jackie Pothier just lost everything. Her pride and joy, her martial arts school, has been foreclosed, thanks to her self-centered gambling boyfriend, William Carter.
Trying to regain what he lost, William plays against Irish mob leader Ray O’Flynn. Things do not go as planned and Ray shows up at Jackie’s to collect his due. Things degenerate quickly and Jackie finds a new strength and a dark side of herself as she tries to survive this night of violence, pain and murder...
This episode will be followed by:
WILD ROSE: TRIAL AND TRIBULATIONS (February 28, 2014)
MANTIS: A WING AND A PRAYER (March 30, 2014)
SASKANA: SEED OF WRATH (April 30, 2014)
BOREALIS: CROSSING OVER (May 30, 2014)
We just completed shooting for the first of five Origins minisodes. This one stars Dominique Arganese as Jackpot, a former martial arts instructor pushed to the dark side by sinister events.
Christopher Yao knocks another one out of the park with his stunning costume design of Terra Nova, protector of Newfoundland!
Prep is well underway for shooting the first Origins minisode next week - JACKPOT: Royal Flush, written by Michel Brouillette. Auditions on Monday. Props pick up on Tuesday, Fight training, costume fitting and photoshoot on Wednesday, second unit shooting on Thursday and All out brawling on Friday! Busy week ahead! It will be also the time to fulfill several of the shooting related IndieGogo perks.
We start shooting a first batch of Origins Episodes next week. That was not the original plan - we had to switch everything around due to a series of unfortunate circumstances that made several actors unavailable for a long period. And then winter came... So we will be shooting Season 2 in the spring instead, which is good because we have several scenes set in the spring!
However, that does not mean you will have to wait that long for your fix of HOTN episodes! We will shoot a series of 5 Origins minisodes (around 10 minutes each) which we will premiere starting at the end of January, releasing one a month until May. By then, Season 2 will have been shot and we will be releasing a 20 minutes episode every month from June until March 2014.
The first episode to go under the camera will be a spectacular Jackpot origins episode called Royal Flush, possibly one of the best episode of the series so far, written by Michel Brouillette. It will be up at the end of January.
Christine Trinh is Borealis, Nunavut’s protector, in Season 2 of Heroes of the North.
A little less than two weeks ago, we launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign in order to raise funds for our second Season. Today, we received this email from IndieGogo:
Our fans and supporters have been so generous in sharing the campaign! This is for them! Help us make Season 2 a reality and support the campaign!
Following in the footsteps of Bianca Beauchamp, we are happy to confirm the return of Edith Labelle as the Province of Quebec’s very own superheroine, Fleur-de-Lys… Welcome back Edith, we missed you!
We are happy to announce that Bianca Beauchamp who played the deadly assassin known as Crimson will be back for the second Season of the adventures of the Heroes of the North!
More casting announcements and confirmations in the days to come!
For Halloween 2012, Canadian actor Nathan Fillion disguised himself as his own version of a World War II Canadian superhero and tweeted several pictures in said costume. A fun yet innocuous gesture that resulted in us getting thousands of emails, tweets, DM and FB messages and comments as a lot of people thought he was doing his version of our Canadian Shield character. We even ended up doing a blog post about it. We seriously doubted he was aware of the show and we were convinced it was totally related but it was fun.
Flash Forward to May 2013 and Heroes of the North is headed to the second Edition of the Ottawa Comicon. And surprise, Nathan Fillion is the guest of honour this year. So we decided to go try to talk to Mr. Fillion and tell him the Halloween anecdote and how it affected us and our site traffic positively and we wante to give him a Canadian Shield comic book at the same time and tell him a little about the show.
When we got to him, at the signing booth, his first reaction was to react at the 8 Ball costume, ask Anderson Bradshaw to step back and using his phone, he flashed a picture or two. We got to tell him the anecdote and a little about the show and gave him a bunch of our comics. He was very enthusiastic and appeared delighted. “I did not know about this!”, he said.
We went back to our booth and the day proceeded briskly. Around 12:30, during lunch hour, as things quieted down, Anderson and Marie Ty decided to do what we call a flyer run: going to different booth and into the crowds, taking pictures and chatting with people and distributing the show’s flyer.
Cliff, one of the organizer of the Comicon, came by and said: “You will never guess who specifically requested to come by your booth!”. We had no idea. He said: “Our guest of honour, Nathan Fillion, asked to come visit you guys. He will be here between 12:40 and 1:15. Don’t tell anybody because we don’t want to create a commotion.”
We of course agreed. And started to run around and chase our missing flock. There was so much people, we did not manage to find them on time. Mr. Fillion arrived with his entourage, but we did not have the actors with us.
“Where is everybody?”, asked Mr. Fillion as he approached. “We are looking for them! We got warned of your visit after they had just left!”. He looked disappointed. “I will try to pass by again later!”, he said before being hustled away. As he disappeared around the corner, 8 Ball and Mantis arrived…
8 Ball and our producer ran in the direction they had disappeared but they lost them in the crowd. And we thought we had missed a great opportunity. But 8 Ball went to the signing area and managed to speak to the management. He came back with the following news: Mr. Fillion would meet us at 3 PM in the VIP area, backstage for a few minutes before his next appearance. Class act!
So about an half hour before three, we braved the crowd and headed down to the other end of the convention centre with everyone in tow, leaving only one man at the booth.
We got there a little faster than we thought, waited a little and then Mr. Fillion walked in, camera in hand, clicking away: “Look at you guys!” He took several pictures with our Heroes, Hornet, 8 Ball and Mantis, both with him and individually and then we took a couple of pictures as a group with him holding the Shield, which had started this whole thing in the first place.
So now the story is wrapped with a neat little bow. We wish to warmly thank Mr. Fillion for his time and generosity as well as everyone that made the encounter possible!
And that concludes our Nathan Fillion adventure!
We are preparing for Season 2 and there is a whole range of new characters that will appear in that series. One of them is a University of Ontario physician that will become the superhero known as Nano. Here’s a look at the spiffy logo deigned by André St-Amour who also illustrated the first Nano introduction comic, which will be available as part of the Season One trade paperback. We cannot wait until you discover all the wonders we have cooked up for you, the fans!
Last weekend we shot the first scene of Heroes of the North Season 2! You can view the results on our Facebook page. It was a cold day and a tough shoot because it was raining heavily, especially in the afternoon. But everyone involved had a lot of fun! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Casting has begun for Season 2 of Heroes of the North - episodes shooting will be spread out throughout the year. But we are starting this very weekend with a really fun bit of action set during the Vietnam War. Trying to escape the Viet Congs, a soldier and his pregnant wife are trying to cross the jungle in the hopes of reaching the borders of neighbouring Cambodia. We won’t tell you what happens next but let’s just say that the events of this episode will see the rise of two new villains, Black Mantis and Iron Panther, both of whom will bring many woes to 8 Ball down the road. The astute amongst you will remember Iron Panther being mentioned during the fight between Steel Tiger and 8 Ball in Episode 7… How is that for foreshadowing? We told you we had a plan all along!
In the meantime, we want to welcome the lovely Uni Park to the Heroes of the North family. She will play the mother of Black Mantis as Napalm and agent Orange will drop around her this very weekend...
Here is the costume design by Anderson Bradshaw for Black Mantis, a new character from the Heroes of the North universe, that will make its appearance in Season 2. She is a villain with intimates ties to Medusa and even more disturbingly, 8 Ball and the lethal Iron Panther, who will also make his ominous debut in Season 2.