My first creative work of 2012! 🙌🏽
Sackville Sailor is a show-within-a-show in the world of the Canadian Boys series. A children’s TV series with an accompanying storybook series which has been running on the COCBC – the City of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (an obvious take on the real-life CBC, or Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – since 1990. A year after its first airing, it would win the City of Canada Children’s TV Award for being the best of the newcomers to the City-of-Canadian airwaves in that year. Today, it’s loved by children and children-at-heart all over the city, with some very passionate fans.
As you can probably deduct from the title, Sackville Sailor follows a young cadet sailor, Sackville Charles-Lusbie, and his two crewmates, Oromocto McMinn and Aulac Beausejour, along with the Captain (real name: Lakeville MacNaughton) on board the Navy ship HMCOCS Glacier.
Unlike most cartoons, the characters never actually speak, their speech and actions instead being described and spoken by an unseen narrator. Each character is given a different ‘voice’ by the narrator, which changes based on their current emotion or situation. The (male) narrator provides the voices for all the characters, even the female – or noticeably feminine – ones.
Every episode – and by extension, the storybooks – follows the traditional three-act storytelling structure used prolifically in TV and film:
- A character (usually Sackville) discovers a problem.
- They attempt to solve the problem straight away, but this only worsens it, and they may even temporarily regress into their old ways.
- After some mulling over, they tackle the problem head-on and finally resolve it, learning some vital skills in the process.
(In some cases, however, there isn’t really a practical solution to a problem; rather, the characters just accept it as being a normal part of life, as with Sackville’s Nightmare.)
Now a (re-)introduction to the main characters themselves:
An 18-year-old cadet sailor who is just making a start at life in the Navy. Initially seeming daunted at the prospect of spending many times away from home (as seen in the first episode of Season 1, Sackville & the HMCOCS Glacier), he soon saw the brighter side of serving in the Navy and now enjoys honing his sailing skills on deck every morning. Owing to being a cadet, he is somewhat prone to making mistakes and causing a bit of havoc on board (such as in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, in which he became reclusive and refused to carry out any orders given to him). However, he’s always willing to try new things, and his fellow sailors are always there to help him out when he’s having troubles. Sackville is popular amongst the crew because of his sweet charm and manner. His favourite part of Naval life is the salute, which the crew give every morning to show their allegiance with fellow sailors on other ships and respect for the City-of-Canadian Navy.
A 19-year-old cadet sailor, slightly higher up in rank than Sackville. The only black crew member, he is also learning the tasks and lingo of Naval life, although he is not as error-prone as Sackville as he knows a little more. He is always all-ears and will readily carry out any errands given to him. Though he has had full emergency training, the Season 2 episode Operation Oromocto showed that he isn’t actually as competent in these skills as he always thought he was, because this was his first time in a real emergency and not merely a drill. Oromocto is Sackville’s main proprietor of good advice, and he’s always on hand should Sackville ever get stumped on what to do in a sticky situation. So far, he is the only crew member to have won a medal (the Canadian Cross of the Sea in the Season 3 episode Oromocto Braves the Storm, for responding quickly to a human emergency out in rough, cold seas).
A 21-year-old cadet sailor (despite having served in the Navy for at least 4 years prior to the events of the series). Of a higher rank than Oromocto and Sackville (although Oromocto may technically be promoted in rank due to winning a medal), he has the most Naval knowledge out of the ‘main’ trio, and uses this to help out Sackville and Oromocto when they run into problems or don’t know about a procedure. While Oromocto specializes in giving useful advice to Sackville, Aulac is more of a commander, giving out any orders to him on behalf of the Captain. (This is especially prevalent in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, in which he tries – unsuccessfully – to coerce Sackville into doing the daily cleaning routine.) Aulac has often had to save Sackville and Oromocto whenever they get caught up in heavy storms or crash into obstacles such as sea rocks or a harbour wall, like in the Season 2 episode Operation Oromocto, where he had to finish off Oromocto’s job of rectifying an emergency as he found out he wasn’t quite good enough to be up to the task. Aulac is good friends with the Captain, whom he always receives orders from to pass onto the other sailors.
The captain of the HMCOCS Glacier (his real name, Lakeville, was found out by Sackville in the Season 4 episode What’s the Captain’s Name?) The highest-ranked crew member, he oversees the running of daily tasks on deck, checks on the other crew members for behaviour, steers the ship and gives out orders. Considering his authoritative position, the Captain is somewhat stern, sometimes getting very angry with the sailors if they don’t carry out his orders as expected, as seen in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, where having finally had enough of Sackville’s defiance, he gives him a severe shouting-at in front of all the other sailors, causing Sackville to lose his confidence and dash away to his dorm, crying in humiliation. However, the Captain does have some compassion – referring back to Sackville’s Bad Day, he comes to Sackville the next morning, asking him to forgive him for hurting his pride and being so harsh on him. When he isn’t giving out any orders, he loves to host social gatherings for the crew on deck, where they can sing traditional sea shanties, eat, drink and be merry in a display of amity and unity. The Captain is on good terms with Aulac, who often gives out orders on his behalf.
So as to save on having to do separate weekly exhibitions for each drawing I’ve done for the Sackville Sailor series, I’ve compiled them all into one handy little gallery: