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Paul “Moose” Mackinnon and an Alternative Cape Breton

Paul “Moose” Mackinnon and an Alternative Cape Breton

(p.53) 4 Paul “Moose” Mackinnon and an Alternative Cape Breton
The Canadian Alternative
Ian Brodie
University Press of Mississippi

A history of off-Island governance and capital ownership has informed Cape Breton, Nova Scotia’s self-definition of alterity. The counter-cultural movements of the early 1970s, which arose at the same time as the onset of post-industrialism and a subsequent, precipitous economic decline, brought new artistic media to express this sense of otherness: acid rock, alternative theatre, and underground comics among them. With his “Cape Breton Liberation Army,” Paul “Moose” MacKinnon created a platform for simultaneously exalting and deflating Cape Breton exceptionalism: a resistance militia whose plans after self-determination largely comprised playing pool and listening to blues music. This chapter traces the history of MacKinnon’s comic legacy within the Island’s attempted turn from an industrial to a cultural center, and challenges MacKinnon’s own assertion that he was never trying to be political.

Keywords:   Alternative Comics, Cape Breton, Post-Industrialism, Regionalism, Self-publishing

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