Sandy Carruthers is a Canadian artist and retired graphic design instructor, known for his work as the first illustrator of the original Men in Black comic book series, and as creator of the webcomic series, Canadiana: the New Spirit of Canada.
Carruthers was born on May 11, 1962 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and describes his earliest memory of anything comic book related as watching Batman on TV when he was three. He began drawing at four when he recreated an illustration of a robot stamp. Even at this early age, he was able to accurately reproduce a larger version of this stamp.
Carruthers trained at Holland College between 1979–1981 in its Commercial Design Program (later renamed Graphic Design) which he taught full-time for 25 years until he retired in 2017. He also attended Sheridan College in Ontario, taking its Illustration program and took a correspondence course with The Joe Kubert School.
Carruthers first started working in comics at Malibu Graphics and worked on many black and white titles. His biggest success was The Men in Black (comic) (Lowell Cunningham, creator/writer), which he illustrated. The comic later becoming a film, Men in Black. He also worked on Captain Canuck. He worked as the Editorial Cartoonist for the Charlottetown Guardian newspaper. He published a book of his editorial cartoons entitled Sh-It Happened.
He has worked on several graphic novels for Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group (Minneapolis, U.S.) including Yu the Great, written by Paul D. Storrie, Sunjata: Warrior King of Mali (a 13th-century West African story), written by Justine and Ron Fontes. He also illustrated three graphic novels in the style of interactive storytelling: Terror in Ghost Mansion (Paul D. Storrie, writer), "School of Evil" (Marie P. Croall, writer) and "Peril at Summerland Park" (Paul D. Storrie, writer).
His other past main work was the webcomic Canadiana, also known as the New Spirit of Canada. Beginning in 2004, it drew heavily on the traditions of the superhero genre, centred on the adventures and personal life of Jennifer Neuwirth. Carruthers is aided in chronicling Canadiana's adventures by penciller Jeff Alward and scripter Mark Shainblum, the latter of whom is known in Canadian comics as a practitioner of superhero genre deconstruction via Northguard and parody via Angloman. The series had resumed regular serialization in January 2007 with the assistance of artist Brenda Hickey, but has since been deactivated.
Carruthers was working with the Charlton NEO group: a revival effort to bring back Charlton Comics. His art can be found in Charlton Arrow # 1, 2, and 3 with the reworking of 'SPOOKMAN' (with writer Roger McKenzie and editor Mort Todd), a PD character created by Pat Boyette in 1968. He illustrated 'TRAVEST: Spirit Talker', a western he and Roger McKenzie co-created for Charlton Wild Frontier #1, and a horror story 'Skin in the Game' with writer Paul Kupperberg.
He has recently signed up to work with writer Nicola R. White and illustrator Kara Brauen as both colorist and letterer on a 5 issue run of 'Wild Rose', a haunting Irish folktale set against the backdrop of London and rural Ireland in 1790.
In September,2018, Carruthers started a new partnership with fellow comic creators Robert Doan and Greg Webster to produce SANDSTONE COMICS PRESENTS, an anthology series published by SANDSTONE COMICS. This series will be launched in March 2019, and will be produced on a bi-annual basis.
- Stewart, Dave (1997-06-20). "Hollywood beckons Sandy Carruthers". Charlottetown Guardian. p. A8.
- Edwardson, Ryan (November 2003). "The many lives of Captain Canuck: Nationalism, culture, and the creation of a Canadian comic book superhero". Journal of Popular Culture. Bowling Green: Blackwell. 37 (2): 184–201. doi:10.1111/1540-5931.00063.
- Alexander, Dave (2002-07-09). "Where are the guardians of the north?: Canadians would sooner satirize than embrace their superheroes". Edmonton Journal. p. C1.
- "Retired Island cartoonist launches new book". Charlottetown Guardian. 2003-07-14. p. C1.
- Sandy Carruthers official site, with some of his work.