Interview: “Kicking Ice” Creators Stephanie Phillips & Jamie Jones

The sport of professional hockey has long been a male-dominated venture. That started to change with the establishment of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League in 2007, and more recently the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015. This bold new initiative inspired author Stephanie Phillips to create the graphic novel, “Kicking Ice,” which tells the story two young girls who play hockey and grow up to play in the NWHL. The book is intended to inspire girls of all ages to discover the joys of hockey along with the possibility that now one day they too could play as professionals.

I recently spoke to Phillips and artist Jamie Jones.

Kyle Scully: Stephanie, what inspired you to write this graphic novel?

Stephanie Phillips: I’ve always been a hockey fan, I grew up playing hockey, first roller hockey and later in High School I made the switch to ice. I remember just kind of following the start of the NWHL and with the Olympic year approaching, my initial idea was just to do kind of a web-comic about girls and women in sports. It became very centered around what I know the best and kind of spiraled from there, but my own personal love for the league and the sport itself.

KS: What was the pitch process like with the NWHL?

SP: When I first spoke with Ominous Press, my initial concept was an ongoing web comic about women in sports. Ominous was quickly asked, what if we do a graphic novel? I thought, I do have some contact with the NWHL and it might be really cool since they’re still in their infancy to give them a way to have their own superheroes of a kind, Continue reading “Interview: “Kicking Ice” Creators Stephanie Phillips & Jamie Jones”

Three Spooky Hockey Stories

spooky_hockey_comics_header

Hockey can work very well as the basis for a scary story. The game is played on ice — a cold, unforgiving environment that seems so alien when compared to a green baseball field. Hockey players wield sticks, wear masks, hit each other and fight. It is a violent, sometimes bloody sport; even more so 40 years ago. So it is not surprising that hockey found its way into the pages of several horror-genre comic books in the 1970s. Just in time for Halloween, here are three spooky hockey tales pulled from the pages of vintage comic books.
Continue reading “Three Spooky Hockey Stories”

Hockey and Superheroes: A Bizarre Team-Up

superhero_header

“Captain America: Civil War,” the new Marvel movie comes out today, and oh man, am I excited. The movie features Captain America, who was my favorite comic book hero growing up. (Yes, I self-identify as “lawful good.” Deal with it!) It’s got Iron Man and Spider-Man and all the other superheroes we love.

My first-ever job was working in a comic book store, as a dorky, flannel-wearing teenager who spent his $4 an hour on comics and hockey cards almost faster than he could earn it. (Well, it wasn’t like I had many dates back then.) Today, I still collect hockey cards, and while I’ve cooled my heels on comic collecting, I still enjoy a good superhero flick.

Hockey fans who also like superheroes — or comic book fans who are at least tolerant of hockey — will be interested to know that there have been several notable crossovers between superheroes and hockey. Like ketchup on ice cream, hockey and superheroes is a strange combination that always had ridiculous results.

Here are six examples of hockey and superhero crossovers.

Continue reading “Hockey and Superheroes: A Bizarre Team-Up”

The Hockey-Mask of Death!

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May–June 1974

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May--June 1974

One afternoon, my former roommate Dave — who played floor hockey with me in college — came home from his job at the local comic book store. “Sal, I found something you’d love,” he said as he handed me a beat-up old comic book from the 1970s. But this was not your typical Superman or Richie Rich.

ALL NEW! Strange Sports Stories exclaimed the title. Underneath it was a picture of two men playing hockey, and asking us the question “What was the sinister secret of the goalie who wore a hockey-mask of death?”

Dying to know? Then read on. Continue reading “The Hockey-Mask of Death!”