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X-Artist Goes for the Goal

Yanick Paquette of YOUNG X-MEN fame attempts to compose the new theme song for a Canadian hockey institution

Hockey Night in
Canada logo

By Arune Singh What do one of the greatest super hero team in comic book history, the X-Men, and sports' greatest television program, "Hockey Night in Canada," have in common? Well, come this winter, one of Marvel's fan favorite artists! YOUNG X-MEN and X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY artist Yanick Paquette has created his own new theme song for "HNiC," as part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) "Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge." Thousands of contestants have entered already and Marvel.com spoke to Paquette about how he got involved. "Most people don't know it but I've been writing music since my childhood," explains Paquette. "In fact at some point I've seriously consider making that my profession. Thing is, what I really enjoyed back then was to write string quartets, fugues and orchestral pieces that weren't in as high demand. As I began to spend more time on comics, I put the music on hold

art by Yanick

and devoted my full attention to comics. Today, in between comics or after a day of penciling, I still write music as a hobby-Hollywood sounding scores, or fugues and so on. Anyway, I was on my break post-YOUNG X-MEN when a heard about this challenge and at the last minute I've decided to give it a shot." With "HNiC" being one of the oldest sports program on television and a true Canadian institution, its previous theme stands as sacred among its viewers. Imagine trying to compose a new "Star Wars" theme-competing with the beloved work of John Williams-and you'll imagine what it's like for anyone entering this competition. "Yeah, these are tough shoes to fit," Paquette admits. "I grew up with the original song and in many respects it's as significant to the Canadian population as the national anthem itself. Coming from Quebec, the 'Hockey Night in Canada' theme might even have a greater resonance [to me]! My idea, with this theme, was to go for some action music to outline the sport aspect while keeping a heroic characteristic to it." With over 14,000 different entries, the Canadian Hockey Anthem Challenge has garnered a lot of attention from all over Canada and hockey fans worldwide. If you want to help Paquette stand out from the crowd, there's a simple way:

art by Yanick

"At this point what fans can do is to register and give their appreciation of my song at [the official web site] and leave a comment. CBC will eventually pick a handful of compositions and the appreciation rate will factor in their choice. These tunes will then be open to a public vote to find a winner." Paquette described his entry as an attempt to please both traditional and rock fans, something influenced by his love of hardcore classical and Baroque music, but also by his love for the sport of hockey. "I'm from Montreal-hockey is almost a religion here," the artist notes. "Not only are the Montreal's Canadiens a pillar of the NHL but through hockey heroes such as Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Bernard Geoffrion, Guy Lafleur and more, many emancipated Quebecers find inspiration. All these guys were French Canadian and showed Quebecers that we could make our place out there somehow, despite the existing adversities. I clearly remember the exciting Stanley Cup victories of '86 and '93 by the Canadiens, but unfortunately I was too young for the 1979 victory." In addition to his music, Paquette has some x-citing new projects coming up: "I'm working on an eight page story for X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY. There might just be some more X-work in my future-stay tuned!"
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