Speech Bubble



The podcast that goes one-on-one with the writers, artists, retailers, publishers, critics and journalists inside the Toronto comic book scene.Aaron Broverman has been collecting comics in earnest since 1995 and has been a fixture of the Toronto comic scene since 2003. He was there when big name artists for Marvel, DC and Image were selling their independent comics in artist alley at local Toronto conventions. Now, he hopes to use his interview skills as a professional journalist for NOW Magazine, BlogTO, Huffington Post, Vice and Yahoo to bring his connections in the local comic scene right to your ear for some in-depth, candid conversations on all things comic book.


  • Chip Zdarsky (Again!)

    16/03/2020 Duración: 01h20min

    Chip Zdarsky Returns to Speech Bubble! Last time host Aaron Broverman and writer/artist Chip Zdarsky got together on the podcast it was for a live episode celebrating podcast sponsor Hairy Tarantula's 25th anniversary in 2017. Let's just say...he's done a lot since then. When last we left Zdarsky, he was just about to release the first issue of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man in two months. Since then, Peter Parker: Spider-Man has concluded, (and Zdarsky won an Eisner for his trouble) Sex Criminals is about to end its seven year, 32 issue run with a final, seven issue arc and Zdarsky is writing Daredevil and X-Men/Fantastic Four, as of this recording. He and Aaron talk about it all and literally everything in between (Invaders, Namor: The Best Defense, Marvel 2-in-1 and Spider-Man: Life Story). Listeners will learn how the pitch meeting for Daredevil at the Marvel Summit actually went, why Spider-Man: Life Story wasn't Marvel Universe: Life Story and what he thinks of people saying he should write

  • Michael DeForge

    02/03/2020 Duración: 01h15min

    Born in Kingston, raised in Ottawa and living in Toronto, Michael DeForge is a multi-Ignatz and Doug Wright award winning and Eisner nominated alternative cartoonist. His body of work numbers many web comics, zines, mini comics, graphic novels, anthologies and gallery shows. He's also a prolific commercial illustrator, having done many gig posters, media illustrations, film screening announcements and album covers. He is so prolific that he's often publishing at least two comic works a year either with Koyama Press or Drawn and Quarterly, including the award-winning series Lose, as well as graphic novels Ant Colony, Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero, Brat and more recent works like Stunt, Leaving Richard's Valley and his latest work, coming out the day after this Speech Bubble episode's release, from Drawn and Quarterly – Familiar Face. Michael sits down with Aaron to talk about the issues brought up by Familiar Face, including its inspiration – the simple fact that much of our lives are at the mercy of technology

  • Te'Shawn Dwyer

    17/02/2020 Duración: 53min

    Te'Shawn Dwyer is the co-founder of the From a Hat Studio artist collective with former Speech Bubble guest Paris Alleyne. Te'Shawn details the origins of the group, which was inspired by R.A.I.D. Studio -- another group of Toronto artists who pooled their resources to great success. On this episode, Te'Shawn talks about how the group was started by he and Paris as they were graduting from Max the Mutt College of Art and Design as a way to stay in touch and keep drawing on a regular basis. Soon they were joined by Matt Simas, Dylan Burnett (Interceptor, Ant-Man, Cosmic Ghost Rider, X-Force) and former Speech Bubble guests Jahnoy Lindsay (Luke Cage; Everyman, She-Hulk) and Jamal Campbell. (Naomi, Far Sector) From a Hat had them pick a character “From a Hat” and each draw it in their own style. These pieces became super popular online and on the comic convention circuit. Soon they were pushing each other to go up to have portfolio reviews from “The Big Two”: Marvel and DC. On the podcast, Te'Shawn details how

  • Kat Verhoeven

    03/02/2020 Duración: 01h27min

    Kat Verhoeven grew up in Canada's original capital of Kingston, Ontario in a single-parent household that encouraged artistic talents.Thanks to this, both she and her sister Mary Verhoeven grew to push each other in a friendly competition to see who between them was the better cartoonist – a jockeying that Kat says continues to this day -- with each taking a turn in the spotlight. For Kat's part, she put her drawing talents towards an innovative food blog called Drawn and Devoured, which came out along with her initial sensual food poetry zine, The Artichoke that she published in her final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. But for as much as she loved food and exploring all the culinary culture that Toronto has to offer, Kat reveals on the podcast that her relationship with food and her own body image was a destructive one for a time and through that struggle came her life's work so far, Meat and Bone from Conundrum Press. We explore what's truth, what's fiction and what's somewhere in between

  • Adam Gorham

    20/01/2020 Duración: 01h31min

    Adam Gorham is a comic book artist on such titles as TMNT Universe, Jughead: The Hunger, James Bond 007, Power Rangers, Marvel's Contagion and Rocket (starring Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy). He is currently drawing Punk Mambo for Valiant. Adam was born in Perth, Ontario but was raised in Mississauga, Ontario and still makes his home there now with his family. On the podcast, Adam goes through his long, strange trip from art school drop-out and disgruntled grocery store warehouse employee to working for major comic companies like Marvel, Image and Valiant. This includes finding his first gig as a comic artist on Craigslist, working with Toronto radio personality “Fearless” Fred Kennedy on Fred's self-published, three volume indie book Teuton, and eventually breaking out as the artist on The Violent, a creator-owned gritty crime book published by Image and written by Ghost Rider and Old Man Logan scribe Ed Brisson. Aaron also gets Adam's take on the New Mutants trailer since he worked on New M

  • Fiona Smyth

    06/01/2020 Duración: 01h09min

    Fiona Smyth is a legend of the Toronto arts community. A true renaissance woman, she's a sculptor, a muralist, a book illustrator an animator, an art teacher and an independent comic book artist. If you're a Toronto resident, you've probably seen her work without even realizing it. Her murals adorn iconic locations like Lee's Palace's Dance Cave and Sneaky Dee's (which is known to Scott Pilgrim Fans) where she designed their sign and bonehead cow logo. In 2019, she was inducted into The Giants of The North Hall of Fame as part of Canada's Doug Wright Awards for indepedent cartooning along with the late Inuit cartoonist Alootook Ipellie (1951-2007). Her psychadelic and fluid drawing style has graced a who's who of Canadian publishers, newspapers and magazines since the time she was a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design, (now OCAD University) where she now teaches a new generation of students how to make comics. She is best known for tackling feminist issues, including issues of sexuality, gender

  • Mariel Ashlinn Kelly

    09/12/2019 Duración: 43min

    Mariel Ashlinn Kelly Mariel comes from the world of zines. Those hand-stapled, photocopied and folded masterpieces of the small press that made her a BlogTO Zinester to watch in 2016. Mariel is still setting Toronto on fire with her work, but this time it's as one of the contributors to the Drawn Poorly anthology, published out of Manchester, UK. The project is a zine focusing on stories of mental illness, chronic illness and disability.. While doing small groundbreaking zines of her own like Pixie Dream Ghoul and Moth – a true story about the time she chased a moth around her dad's home – she is currently working on her own long-form graphic novel that has been a number of years in the making. Mariel drops some hints right here as far as what readers can expect when it comes out. Mariel is someone that has drawn her entire life and dabbling in publishing gave her all the skills she needed to publish her own comics. With a style that Aaron compares to Emily the Strange and a heavy influence from the New Y

  • Jenn Woodall

    25/11/2019 Duración: 48min

    Jenn is what you get when you cross a love for 80s and 90s manga like Akira and Sailor Moon with a passion for groundbreaking indie comics like Dirty Plotte, Eightball and Optic Nerve with some “take no shit” feminism thrown in. This Brampton-raised Toronto resident is best known for her self-published comics Magical Beatdown Volumes one and two and Marie and Worrywort: Comics About Anxiety. Both works won the Gene Day Award for outstanding self-published comics at the Joe Shuster Awards, as well as the Spotlight Award, honouring the identical circumstance, at the Doug Wright Awards – both in 2018. In this episode, Aaron and Jenn geek out over Jenn's love of manga and anime, especially the magical girl genre, which was a heavy influence on Magical Beatdown. They talk about why the comic is such a local phenomenon in the indie comics scene, juxtaposing whimsical fantasy with over-the-top violence and gore. They also reflect on why the work often serves as a powerful catharsis for all women who have been catca

  • Emmanuelle Chateauneuf

    11/11/2019 Duración: 01h03min

    Emmanuelle's story is an epic one. Perhaps that's why when she was connected with Ramon Perez (Jim Henson's Tale of Sand, Marvel Two-in-One) and was mentored under his tutelage with an eye to creating comics of her own, she came up with the beginnings of what would become her fictionalized autobiographical masterpiece Queen Street instead of the few drawn pages he requested. Aaron and Emmanuelle go deep on this story (her story) and all the multi-layered implications that as an exceedingly precocious 7-year-old she didn't truly understand, but as an adult in retrospect, had far reaching consequences on the rest of her life – both greatly positive and darkly negative in equal parts Aaron learns that Emmanuelle is exceedingly self-aware, but also still that gifted dreamer with a hugely developed imagination that she was as a child. Her inner child is still active and it's what makes her such a lush creator and artist. They talk about the influence of growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario as a half Filipino,

  • Nick Maandag

    28/10/2019 Duración: 01h20min

    Nick Maandag is a straight-laced accountant by day and a Joe Shuster and Doug Wright nominated cartoonist with a bizarre sense of humour by night. Early influences include the gross out humour of Ren and Stimpy and the subversive satire of The Simpsons. In comics, he moved on to the work of Robert Crumb and other underground cartoonists like Julie Doucet, Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge and Chester Brown and through their inspiration, decided to dedicate his life to making comics after a brief foray in animated film. His first project of note was Streaker's, which won Peter Laird's Xeric Grant in 2010 about three men who are connoisseurs of streaking and treat it like an obscure high art form. It was distributed by John Porcellino (King-Cat Comics and Stories) through Spit and a Half and Diamond and was his breakout work when the late publisher Alvin Buenaventura of Pigeon Press took an interest and commissioned his two follow-ups, Facility Integrity – about a corporation that controls its employees' bathroom breaks

  • Jay Stephens

    14/10/2019 Duración: 46min

    Jay Stephens is a Guelph, Ontario-based and Toronto-born comic artist and cartoonist who joins Aaron for a live episode from The Guelph Comic Jam on the day of the 2019 Joe Shuster Comic Book Awards, which honours Canadians like Joe Shuster – the co-creator of Superman – who make their living in mainstream comics. Jay began his career getting bankrolled by a Guelph comic shop called Collage, under Tragedy Sucks Comics, to create his own indie and underground comic anthology called Sin where many of his most well-known characters first appeared. These are characters like The Nod, (not to be confused with Domino's Pizza's The Noid) JetCat and Tutenstein. The Nod would go on to be the title character in The Land of Nod – Stephens' most critically-acclaimed comics work to date, having been nominated for both an Eisner and a Harvey Award. Meanwhile, Tutenstein would live on in a cartoon of the same name on Discovery Kids and JetCat would be part of Nickelodeon's KaBlam! segments. Speaking of animation, thanks to

  • Andy Belanger

    30/09/2019 Duración: 56min

    Comic artist Andy Belanger (Swamp Thing, Vampirella, WWE Comics) is an absolute wild man. His ambition knows no bounds and he's always been a highly competitive person in his field. Maybe that's why he has done so much. From talking his way into a gig drawing Friday the 13th for Wildstorm, and in doing so achieving his lifelong goal of working for DC Comics by age 27, to being the artist on the critically acclaimed Southern Cross for Image Comics and now being a professional wrestler for Montreal's International Wrestling Syndicate as Bob “The Animal” Anger. Aaron and Andy talk about it all, including how they met 16 years ago when Andy was in his rockabilly phase promoting his first ever self-published effort, Dead End 56 by selling comics out of the back of a classic car while flanked by rollergirls. They talk about Wolf for a little publisher that didn't last called Moonstone and his first real ongoing title as the primary artist, Kill Shakespear. Did you know that Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) almost wr

  • Ken and Joan Steacy

    16/09/2019 Duración: 35min

    Comics power couple Ken and Joan Steacy ring in their 40th wedding anniversary with a live interview on Speech Bubble during TCAF weekend and a graphic novel each. The first, Aurora Borealice from Conundrum Press made its debut at TCAF and is the first part of a three-part fictionalized memoir from Joan Steacy following Alice (standing in for Joan) and her struggle with illiteracy. As Joan says on the podcast, “I graduated high school functionally illiterate and I knew I had to do something about that.” The memoir also documents how meeting legendary media theorist Marshall McLuhan and his son Eric changed her life. How having people of that calibre believe in her gave her more confidence and how she embraced new technology to help overcome her struggles with reading. Meanwhile, she had to overcome being perceived as a dummy in her own family and she explains what it's like to be failed over and over again in school and then overcoming that to go to university. The graphic novel she releases now helped her ac

  • Kagan McLeod

    02/09/2019 Duración: 01h19min

    Kagan is a Toronto comics forefather, having founded RAID Studio with Ben Shannon, Cameron Stewart and Chip Zdarsky. He continues to be a fount of knowledge for artists coming up through the local scene, opening his studio for weekly life drawing nights. His latest book, Draw People Everyday from Penguin Random House Canada, comes from these life drawing sessions and the techniques he has picked up after years of drawing the human form. Kagan is probably best known for his magnum opus, Infinite Kung Fu – a mash-up of Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest 1970s kung fu movies with blaxploitation, zombie horror and spaghetti western films. He also teamed with Chip Zdarsky on the scifi romp Kaptara about a gay space explorer that crash lands on a planet right out of a Playmates action figure catalogue. Kagan gives Aaron the inside scoop on all this, including the status of Kaparta and why it stopped. Plus, he reveals an exciting new project that will mark his return to comics after a long hiatus. If that doesn't flo

  • Mark Alan Stamaty

    19/08/2019 Duración: 01h13min

    Mark first came to Aaron's notice on the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel. The hosts Jim Rugg (Street Angel) and Ed Piskor (X-Men Grand Design, Hip-Hop Family Tree) did an episode showcasing picture books that spotlighted Mark's underrated classic, “Who Needs Donuts?” On this episode of Speech Bubble, Mark explains the bizarre story of how the book got its non sequitor title among other unlikely tales from his life as a prolific cartoonist for The Village Voice, The Washington Post and other equally high profile American publications of record, including The New York Times Book Review. In all three of the publications named here, Mark wrote and drew long-running comic strips – the most well-known of which was arguably McDoodle Street, which developed quite a cult following in the pages of The Village Voice among the miscreants living in 1970s New York. He tells Aaron that inspiration for the content of such a thing came on long meandering walks through the city streets at all hours of the night where he wo

  • Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

    05/08/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    Twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are international comic book powerhouses whether doing a project together or apart. The two artists have collaborated on comics like the Eisner-award-winning Day Tripper and Two Brothers and the comic book adaption of Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties. They are equally potent as separate entities (although, they're never really separate since they share a studio). Of course, you know Gabriel as the co-creator of Umbrella Academy with Gerard Way (lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance) and Fabio as the co-creator of Casanova with Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals, Hawkeye, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen). The twins came to Speech Bubble's Never Sleeps Network studios in Toronto all the way from São Paulo, Brazil, as a stop-over before 2019's Toronto Comic Art Festival, for a rare and exclusive long-form interview together. During the interview they discuss their special bond as twins, doing everything together, including living together and sharing the same bedr

  • Scott Chantler

    22/07/2019 Duración: 56min

    Scott has approached rarefied air that very few Canadian cartoonists have ever reached. His historical graphic memoir Two Generals was nominated for two Eisner Awards, named one of Chapters-Indigo’s best books of 2010, selected as a Best American Comics in 2012 and named by CBC as a “Canada Reads” selection and one of the 40 best Canadian non-fiction books of all-time. Not to be out done, his book Northwest Passage also has Harvey and Eisner nominations to its name. Plus, his young adult comic Three Thieves won a Joe Shuster award as The Best Canadian for Comic for Kids. He's a contributor to the Canadian superhero anthology, True Patriot, which was edited by past Speech Bubble guest J. Torres and he's currently doing covers for the Bettie Page comic published by Dynamite Entertainment. The project he's working on (as of this recording) is a graphic biography of a jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke aptly named, Bix. On the pod, Scott comes to the recording session, fresh off his stint as a panelist on Librar

  • Ben O'Neil

    08/07/2019 Duración: 42min

    You probably don't know Ben by name, but if you live in Toronto and you've had ice cream at the Sweet Jesus Ice Cream Parlour you've definitely seen his work. He's the artist behind the original look of Sweet Jesus and now he has launched his first graphic novel, Apologetica. Published by past Speech Bubble guest Mark Laliberte's publishing imprint Popnoir Editions, Apologetica takes the state of the world to its environmental extremes. Ben talks about what influenced his vibrant, kinetic drawing style that seems to melt off the page at times and talks about his fascination with the aesthetics of activism. Apologetica is very much a lampooning of not just the state of our world, but the way the emotional millage one can get from the appearance of encouraging change means more than creating actual change in the age of social media. Sponsored by Hairy Tarantula Ben O'Neil's Website @yung.restless Ben's work with Sweet Jesus Aaron's review of Apologetica in Sequential Magazine #2 The trailer for Buzzard – T

  • Jamie Michaels

    24/06/2019 Duración: 31min

    Winnipeg's Jamie Michaels is arguably the best self-promoter we've had on the podcast and what he's promoting is a graphic novel about a little known happening in Canadian history at the height of fascism's march across Europe in the years before WWII. Christie Pits is a graphic novel detailing the little-known happenings behind Canada's only race riot – when Nazi sympathizers unfurled a Nazi flag during a public baseball game and Jews and Italians united to throw down against them in Toronto's Christie Pits Park. Coming out now, the work seems more relevant than ever with Trump in office and fascism seemingly getting more of a foothold than it has ever had since the Second World War in governments around the world. We talk about that on this podcast and why Jamie Michaels decided to make a little-known moment in Canadian history the subject of the second graphic novel he has written with art by Doug Fedrau. The first was Canoe Boys the story of how he and his friends canoed to Mexico for a bet and this pod

  • Jim Zub

    10/06/2019 Duración: 56min

    Mrs. Zubkavich's baby boy is the busiest Canadian comic book writer not named Jeff Lemire. His credits include Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons, Thunderbolts, Glitterbomb Skullkickers, Wayward, Champions, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers: No Surrender and Avengers: No Road Home, but that barely scratches the surface of his illustrious career. As if writing comics didn't take up enough of his time, Jim is also the animation program coordinator at Seneca College where, as he told our host Aaron Broverman on this episode, he actually has time to keep office hours. In his “spare time,” he co-hosts a live role-playing game podcast called The Danger Dice Gang featuring past Speech Bubble guest, and Jim's co-collaborator on Freelance, Andrew Wheeler. Jim has been on over 100 podcasts, so appearing on Speech Bubble is old hat for him. He tells Aaron how he broke into the comic industry through web comics and some help from Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) while doing animation as a day job. He eventually got a

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