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1 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
Summer 2020 Hiatus
Hey Fan People, Speech Bubble is taking a break for the summer. Listen to this announcement to find out the amazing reason why. Aaron's Top 10 Episodes Chester Brown Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba Seth Cecil Castellucci Paul Soles - The Voice of '60s Spider-Man Willow Dawson Chip Zdarsky Live @ Hairy Tarantula Ho Che Anderson Live @ The Toronto Cartoon Arts Festival Kevin Boyd - Comics Coordinator at Fan Expo Canada (Three-Part Series) Joe Kilmartin - The One that Started It All Sponsors While we're on hiatus, please continue to support Hairy Tarantula at its online store. We still could use your support on Patreon Follow Us on Social Media for the Latest Updates Instagram Facebook Twitter
71 minutes | Jun 1, 2020
Jim Rugg is the Ignatz and Eisner award-winning cartoonist behind Street Angel, (co-written with friend Brian Maruca) Afrodisiac, Rambo 3.5, SuperMag and The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, which is co-written by past Speech Bubble guest Cecil Castellucci. But these days he is best known as one half of the immensely popular Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel with Ed Piskor (Hip-Hop Family Tree, X-Men Grand Design, and the upcoming Red Room) Though based in Pittsburgh, prior to COVID-19 and the proximity precautions that come with it, Jim was scheduled to attend The Toronto Cartoon Art Festival in May 2020 in support of Street Angel: Deadliest Girl Alive from Image Comics and The P.L.A.I.N. Janes from Little Brown and Company, but formerly published by DC Comics' now defunct Minx imprint. There, he was going to surprise attendees with his latest project, Octobriana 1976 -- the world's first black light comic book -- with AdHouse Books. In light of the pandemic, Jim has switched gears and he is now funding Octobriana 1976 on Kickstarter from now until June 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST. He comes to Speech Bubble in support of Octobriana where we talk about Octobriana's strange and controversial origin story, why Jim decided to print this comic with fluorescent ink and why rebellious women are characters he keeps coming back to. We also talk about his collaborators: Shelly Bond, Cecil Castellucci and Brian Maruca, while tracing his journey from self-taught comics fan to a professional cartoonist who has taught others at the School of Visual Art. For all you Cartoonist Kayfabe fans, we talk about the way the channel has suddenly become important to the larger comic book community and some very high-profile creators. We get behind what fans of the channel know as "The Cartoonist Kayfabe Bump" and Jim talks about his strategies for back issue diving and he speculates with Aaron about what the comic industry may look like post-pandemic. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula, which has supported us from the beginning. Please buy something from them in their time of need at their online store. Please also support Speech Bubble through our Patreon Page where for $3 a month you can hear audio blogs from Aaron and some process blogs from guests about some of their best comic book issues. @jimruggart Jimrugg.com Octobriana 1976 Kickstarter Page Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube Channel The Making of Octobriana 1976 The books that influenced Octobriana 1976 The story behind Octobriana Sponsor Hairy Tarantula Support Speech Bubble on Patreon for $1 or $3 a month
128 minutes | May 18, 2020
This conversation with The Hamilton Spectator's resident editorial cartoonist runs the gamut. Graeme Mackay (as Aaron learns, pronounced Mac-kai) is "The Last of the Mohicans." He has held his position since 1997 and,pre-COVID-19, was actually still been going into a newsroom when many of his editorial cartoonist colleagues either have been working from home for years or their positions have been eliminated entirely as newspapers tighten their belts.It's actually COVID-19 that forced Graeme to finally work from home and switch to digital drawing (something he would've had to do anyway as The Spectator was set to move offices later this year) and he and Aaron talk about that transition to digital and how Graeme is finding adjusting his technique after years of using traditional pen and ink.The two also talk about Graeme's serpentine route to working at The Spectator, from his interest in politics and glad-handing those in power to a brief stint in the deli section of Harrod's Department Store in London, England (and that time the late Dodi Fayed landed on the roof in his helicopter because he just had to have his favourite brand of mustard) to finally sending cartoons to various newspapers across Canada and being syndicated in many of them.They also talk about his earliest influences in cartooning, including the drawings of Richard Scary, and Graeme's uncanny ability to draw city skylines at just three years old. They talk about his earliest cartoons in the pages of Carelton University's student newspaper, the genius of Gary Larson's Farside and of course, Mad Magazine. The recent passing of Mort Drucker of The Usual Gang of Idiots there comes up as well. Meanwhile, both Aaron and Graeme share the fact that they were raised by television in common, which was another heavy influence on Graeme's career both in comedy with SCTV and in watching the news at a very early age.The two also discuss Graeme's favourite cartoons from his own work and the possibility of doing anthology or a "Best Of" somewhere down the line. Graeme talks about how supportive his editors have ever been and also those rare times his cartoons were spiked from publication. They discuss the fact that despite the fact he fears that the other shoe may one day drop and he may lose his job, he is a well respected cartoonist, having been featured in the "This Is Serious: Canadian Indie Comics" exhibit in early 2020 alongside Canadian comic book legends like Chester Brown, Seth and Fiona Smyth.Finally, not only do they talk about the way COVID-19 and the way the stay at home order is affecting Graeme's work, but also his part in "The Cartoonists Against COVID-19" social media exhibit spearheaded by The Association of Canadian Cartoonists to show solidarity with front line workers and to promote the work of the famous Canadian editorial cartoonists who may have lost work due to the pandemic. Then, the two wonder about whether maybe this pandemic will shake up the capitalist system in a good way. This episode is once again sponsored by Hairy Tarantula.Graeme Mackay's WebsiteGraeme Mackay on FacebookGraeme Mackay's YouTube ChannelGraeme Mackay, Wes Tyrell, Matt Weurker and Cartoonists Against COVID-19 on Politico#cartoonistsagainstcovidThe Association of Canadian CartoonistsOur conversation with Graeme's friend and fellow editorial cartoonist Wes TyrellSponsor Hairy Tarantula - Buy Comics online
60 minutes | May 3, 2020
If you recently watched the mailbag episode of Cartoonist Kayfabe spotlighting Group of 7 off the top or you listened to our episode with Group of 7 artist Jason Lapidus, this is the episode that will complete the Group of 7 trifecta because Chris Sanagan is the writer of Group of 7. Chris lives in Guelph, Ontario but spent many of his younger years as a Bay Street broker in Toronto before persuing a career as a historical achivist. You'll learn from this episode that Chris came up with the idea for Group of 7 after realizing that seven legendary Caadians were all fighting in Europe during WWI at the same time. With those Canadians as chess pieces, a sensibility taken from works like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the artistry of one of his best friends in the world, he's able to put together a pretty compelling package for any comic fan who also digs Canadian history.In the coversation, Chris highlights how all those elements came together – in particular, how he and artist Jason Lapidus first met – and their plans for the next Group of 7 storyline after the first six issues, which have recently been collected into graphic novel form as, Group of 7: A Most Secret Tale. It's available for purchase in May 2020. This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula – check out their online store Speech Bubble is on Patreon Donate and support us now@chrissangan@groupof7comics@ChrisSangan @groupof7comics on TwitterGroup of 7 OnlineBuy the Graphic NovelGroup of 7 on FacebookWhere Chris Sanagan Works – Archives OntarioGroup of 7 artist Jason Lapidus on Speech BubbleGroup of 7 on Cartoonist Kayfabe with Jim Rugg and Ed PiskorSponsors Hairy Tarantula
22 minutes | Apr 14, 2020
Al Ewing is best known as the writer behind the critically-acclaimed comic series Immortal Hulk. It's a comic nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2019. In the time before proximity precautions and the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Ewing was booked to appear at the Toronto Comicon. The convention was eventually postponed – along with every other public gathering – but before it was, Aaron had this conversation with Al in promotion of his con appearance. As a result, it's a little different than the typical conversations Speech Bubble fans have become accustomed to. Since Al lives across the pond in the UK, this chat is the first this podcast had recorded over the phone and Aaron was given a tight 20 minutes to speak with him. (obviously, Al Ewing is a very busy man) Never the less, when you get an opportunity to speak with Al Ewing, writer of, in Aaron's opinion, the best comic book Marvel is publishing right now and, as he told Chip Zdarsky, one of the top three writers working at Marvel – you don't say, no. So here we are. Though his accent can make him difficult to understand at times, you're in for a great and rare conversation. Obviously, the two talk about Immortal Hulk, and how the decision to make the big green monster immortal came to be, but they also dive into Ewing's earliest relationship with comics and his transition from fan to professional. You'll also hear what he actually thinks about the comparisons between Immortal Hulk and Alan Moore's classic, Saga of the Swamp thing? Plus, get a little taste of what it's like writing the next big Marvel Event – Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre – with Dan Slott. (Iron Man, Fantastic Four) This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Project I.M.P.A.C.T. – a new Canadian superhero comic with issues #1 and #2 available on Comixology. Speech Bubble is also now on Patreon @Al_Ewing Al Ewing on Marvel Al Ewing on Wikipedia The interview with Jim Zub referenced on this episode Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Project I.M.P.A.C.T.
63 minutes | Mar 29, 2020
In the first Speech Bubble podcast episode during the COVID_19 Pandemic, (complete with social distancing essentials like Zoom) Becka Kinzie joins our show. Becka is directly connected to our last guest Chip Zdarsky and his friend, previous Speech Bubble guest Kagan McLeod, since she was the colour flatter on Kaptara. Becka explains what a colour flatter does on this podcast, but that's not her only gig. She hails from Kitchener-Waterloo where she shepherds the web comic turned graphic novel Gehenna. The first, of what she reveals on this episode is a planned series of Gehenna comics, is called Death Valley. Think Scooby Do and the mystery gang with actual horror and violence thrown in. (at least, that's how Becka describes it) Her fascination with, and love of, horror comes from being raised in a conservative household and not being able to watch anything that was deemed too scary or too violent and then going hog wild on that stuff in her adulthood. In her teens, she was heavily influenced by things like Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl by Roman Dirge and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez and those influences definitely seeped into her work, along with a splash of anime, manga and Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Along with talking about Gehenna: Death Valley, Becka gives us a sneak preview of her upcoming project co-written with Speech Bubble “almost” guest Bob Salley. It's called The Beholden and will be published by Source Point Press, an independent publisher out of Detroit, Michigan. This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored as always by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co.. Speech Bubble is also now on Patreon where you can get audio blogs from host Aaron Broverman and a breakdown of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 by Chip Zdarsky for just $3 per month at www.patreon.com/speechbubblepod. @the_becka on Instagram @the_becka on Twitter Becka Kinzie's website Becka Kinzie on the True North Country Comics Podcast An Elegant Weapon Podcast (Mentioned on this episode) Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co. Find us on Patreon www.patreon.com/speechbubblepod
80 minutes | Mar 16, 2020
Chip Zdarsky (Again!)
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 the ongoing Fantastic Four title currently being written by Dan Slott. Plus, find out why Daredevil made it to the top of his “Character I'd Most Like to Write” list, how he feels about Sex Criminals ending (and what he and Matt Fraction might do when it does) and what lead to J. Jonah Jameison learning Spider-Man's secret idenity on his watch. Oh, and find out whether Kaptara with Kagan Mcleod will ever come back. Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula, where you will find comics and role-playing games at 3456 Yonge Street, and Bam Coffee Co. where you can get 15% off your first Bam Box of freshly ground coffee, comics, prints and a mug by typing SB15 at checkout. SPEECH BUBBLE IS NOW ON PATREON - Sign-up to hear Chip Zdarsky break down the Eisner award-winning Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 (#21), which he wrote and drew. www.patreon.com/speechbubblepod @zdarsky on Twitter @zdarsky on Instagram ZDARSCO INC. -- What Do You Want™ Subscribe to It's a Chip Zdarsky Newsletter, Okay? Chip's Tips Chip Zdarsky wants you to buy Daredevil Chip Zdarsky on CBC Chip's first appearance on Speech Bubble Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
75 minutes | Mar 2, 2020
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 whether we want it to be or not. DeForge also takes Aaron inside his early work drawing gig posters for the Ottawa punk scene for free concert tickets and tells him how he illustrated the music he heard. You'll learn what and who influences his signature art style, from pencils to inks, colours and panel construction. You'll hear his thoughts on the impending closure of Koyama Press and the story of how he first met its namesake publisher “Saint” Annie Koyama. Oh and how could we forget, his work as a designer on the Adventure Time cartoon. Michael tells the story of how he got the job and what he actually designed for each episode and he lets us know that his last work for the series will be found on the mini series, Adventure Time: Distant Lands. This episode of Speech Bubble is brought to you by Hairy Tarantula at 3456 Yonge St. for all your comic and role-playing needs and Bam Coffee Co. where you can get a Bam Box full of freshly roasted coffee and geek swag like prints and mini comics for 15% off by entering SB15 at checkout. @michael_deforge @michael.deforge MichaelDeforge.com Buy Michael DeForge's latest, Familiar Face Join Michael DeForge on tour March 2020 Familiar Face Publisher, Drawn and Quarterly Stunt, Publisher Koyama Press Buy the Seripop gig posters that influenced Michael DeForge Michael DeForge on IMDB Michael DeForge on Chapters.Indigo.ca Michael DeForge's All Dogs Are Dogs at Saw Gallery 2015 Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
53 minutes | Feb 16, 2020
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 the portfolio review process works and how eventually showing his portfolio and pitching creator-owned comic series concepts to independent publishers like Image Comics became discouraging enough that he eventually decided to stop waiting around for someone to give him an opportunity and instead created his own. What that became was his current self-published comic series Desert Messiah. Hear about how it's very much inspired by Te'Shawn's childhood love of anime and manga, including the seminal work, Lone Wolf and Cub. Te'Shawn gives a sneak preview of his plans for the series on this episode and explains why after two single issues (out now) he decided to work towards a full graphic novel, rather than put out issue three right away. This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co. where you can get 15% off your first Bam Box of fresh roasted coffee and geek swag like prints and a limited edition mug when you type SB15 at checkout. This episode of Speech Bubble is also dedicated to the memory of Toronto artist and friend Lamin Martin. @TeShawnDwyer @teshawndwyer Te'Shawn's Website Buy Desert Messiah #1 and #2 Buy the Black Comix Returns Anthology Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
87 minutes | Feb 2, 2020
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 in Meat and Bone, as Kat confronts her own struggles and polyamourous leanings in a fictional reality with an ensemble of fully realized and diverse characters that has never been seen to this degree in comics before and will stick with you. We talk about why both Barbarella and Toronto play such important roles in Meat and Bone and we dive deep on Kat's technique, tools and purposeful decision making that lead her to convey emotion using a different tonal colour palet for every strip and slight alterations to the look of each character. Fan People, this is when not drawing “on model” can pay dividends. If you listen to the episode, you'll understand why. We also don't forget discussing Kat's pre-Meat and Bone project, the Doug Wright and Ignatz nominated TowerKind, which exposes the fallacy of racially-profiling neighbourhoods in a post-apocalyptic Toronto seen through the eyes of children. Plus, we preview the upcoming Friendship Edition Anthology. (launching at TCAF 2020) This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula where a state-of-the-art coffee shop is about to be unveiled and Bam Coffee where you can get 15% off your first Bam Box of coffee, comics, prints and a limited edition mug when you type SB15 at checkout. @verwho @VERWHO Verwho.com Meatandbonecomic.com Conundrum Press – Kat's publisher Drawn and Devoured – Kat's old critically-acclaimed food blog Towerkind Kat's equally talented cartoonist sister Frienship Edition Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee
91 minutes | Jan 19, 2020
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 Mutants: Dead Souls with writer Matthew Rosenberg (4 Kids Walk Into a Bank) which was the book that was likely going to launch as the movie came out before the film got delayed. Adam also tells a wild story about randomly discovering his letter envelope art in a Wizard Magazine years after the fact. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co. If you want 15% off your next Bam Box of coffee and geek swag, including prints and a limited edition mug, use code SB15 at checkout. @AdamTGorham on Instagram @AdamTGorham on Twitter Adam's Portfolio Adam's Princely Dreadful Blog Buy Adam's original art Buy Adam's TMNT sketchcovers or Inktober sketches Adam's Modern Mythology Original Art Page Adam's page on Marvel.com Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
70 minutes | Jan 5, 2020
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 and idenity throughout her entire body of work, which spans 30 plus years. In 2018, Koyama Press published a retrospective of her career from 1985-2018 called Somnambulance, which features excerts from her comic Nocturnal Emissions, published by Vortex Comics, as well as work she did for Vice, Drawn and Quarterly, Exclaim! Snipe Hunt, Taddle Creek and even Urban Outfitters' Slant Magazine, among others. Other work includes Cheez 100, collecting the first 100 strips of her series Cheez that was published in Exclaim! Magazine, her first and only graphic novel, The Never Wheres and two critcally-acclaimed sex education books for kids written by renowned sex educator Cory Silverberg, What Makes a Baby? and Sex is a Funny Word. On the podcast, Aaron finds out how Fiona was recruited to create the Sneaky Dee's sign, what about her childhood and catholic upbringing pushed her to explore feminism in her art, what makes her work for kids different than her work for adults, what her southern good ol' boy pen name is and how it felt going from a punk student with a D.I.Y. ethos that's skipping class at OCAD to teaching at OCAD and becoming the authority she used to rebel against. Plus, find out if Seth lived with her, where she saw herself among the “Holy Triumverate” of Toronto's autobio artists (Seth, Chester Brown and Joe Matt) in the 90s and what it's like to be featured as one of Canada's Big Four comic artists in the recently closed This is Serious: Canadian Indie Comics at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Oh, and she reveals that she and Cory Silverberg are working on a third sex education graphic novel covering puberty. Also, did you know she wanted to be a realist painter? This episode of Speech Bubble with Fiona Smyth is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co. @fionasmythlukkie Fiona's Facebook Fiona's blog Fiona's Tumblr Fiona's Giants of the North Hall of Fame Write-up Fiona's Zines Online What Makes a Baby? How to Comission Fiona Smyth for a Project Learn How to Make Comics from Fiona – Starts Jan. 25, 2020 Society of Illustrators Weird Things Albatross Soup – a short film by Winnie Cheung with illustrations by Fiona Smyth Bradley of Him by Connor Willumsen – Koyama Press
43 minutes | Dec 8, 2019
Mariel Ashlinn Kelly
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 Yorker covers of Adrian Tomine, Mariel has always been drawn to telling her own personal stories, rather than working for Marvel or DC. On the pod, she discusses how her subject matter focuses on relationships – even the lack of one and the relationship with one's self – thanks to her early love of Archie Comics. Aaron and Mariel also go deep on a brief history of Toronto's zine scene and zines in general. They go back to the well on graphic medicine and Mariel's recent discovery that she had bipolar disorder and they talk about why a lot of Mariel's comics take place in the bathtub. Plus, for the movie lovers out there, the two do a small tribute to Toronto's Revue Cinema since Mariel draws posters for many of its screenings and does an ongoing comic strip for its program about the lonely life of a projectionist. This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by the Geek Gods at Hairy Tarantula and the comic book coffee stylings of Bam Coffee Co. Don't forget to use SB15 at checkout and get 15% off your first Bam Box of coffee and comic swag from Canada's best indie comic artists. @marielashlinn Marielashlinn.com The Department of Lost Things @MarielAshlinn Mariel Ashlinn Kelly on Facebook Mariel's Etsy Shop Mariel's Prints Mariel's shirts Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
49 minutes | Nov 24, 2019
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 catcalled and harassed by entitled men. They then move on to Marie and the Worrywort by tracing Jenn's ongoing battle with anxiety and depression and answering why she decided to go public in this comic. They talk about the emerging graphic medicine genre (comics covering mental illness, trauma, grief, disability and overall experience with the medical system) and why comics are one of the most effective ways to bring awareness and relatability to these still misunderstood issues. Plus, if you're an artist who also struggles with anxiety, Jenn has some great advice for you. This is episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula where you can get 50% off graphic novels, trade paperbacks art books and manga for the entire month of November. Take advantage at 3456 Yonge St. This episode is also sponsored by Bam Coffee Co. where you can order freshly roasted coffee and comic book swag, including a limited edition mug delivered right to your door as part of a Bam! Box. Listeners use code SB15 at checkout and get 15% off your next Bam Box. @funeralbeat @jenn_woodall Jenn Woodall's Big Cartel Store Jennwoodall.com Jenn on Gumroad Jenn's publisher Silver Sprocket Jenn's artist collective Friendship Edition Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
63 minutes | Nov 10, 2019
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, half French-Canadian who used ballet as her first gateway to putting her creative energy to use in the physical world. Speaking of the physical world, the idyllic time of Queen Street eventually gave way to the grey of adolescent reality. Emmanuelle addresses what became of her in those grey times as the recession loomed, addiction touched her life and she grew into the adult she is today. Emmanuelle unpacks the spoken and unspoken barriers she faced as a women of colour of lower middle-class and how her unspoken personality sometimes comes directly in conflict with outdated societal expectations and assumptions about how woman are supposed to act. Then, we talk about her chaste christian-catholic upbringing and how she balances that with a modern culture that is very open with sex and sexuality. She explains how she walks that emotional tightrope as part of her new adult's only erotic comic (exclusively available on Patreon) Princess Bunyi. With a strong manga influence ala Rumiko Takahashi, a heavy romance novel bend and a little dose of straight-up sexual fantasy. Princess Bunyi is now published monthly for Emmanuelle's Patreon supporters, so go check it out! This episode of Speech Bubble is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula, which is having a 50% off sale on all trade paperbacks and graphic novels all through the month of November. Go grab these perfect stocking stuffers at 3456 Yonge Street. This episode is also sponsored by Bam Coffee Co.. Their Bam Box combines amazing locally-sourced coffee roasted in Canada with comic art from some of Canada's greatest up and coming indie talents. Get 15% off your next Bam Box on their website by entering SB15 at checkout. @emmanuellechateauneuf @TheBatmanni @princess.bunyi Princess Bunyi on Patreon Buy Queen Street An interview with Emmanuelle on Canadian Filipino Net Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
80 minutes | Oct 27, 2019
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 to up efficiency – and The Libertarian -- about a libertarian that becomes infatuated with a socialist and must compromise his ideals as a result. Alvin also featured Maandag's work when he edited “Comics” in The Believer Magazine. Now, with Drawn and Quarterly, Maandag has released his first full-length graphic novel featuring three stories that highlight his absurdist sense of humour, including the title story, The Follies of Richard Wadsworth about a dimwitted philosophy professor. In this more than an hour conversation, Aaron unpacks how such a bizarre sense of humour can come from such a straight-laced individual. They also talk about how Maandag's style means the art is just a vehicle to serve the jokes and the writing, but is otherwise pretty minimalist. Plus, Maandag details his earliest interaction with Chester Brown and what it's like to be friends with him now. Maandag also explains how he always felt that he was always going to be successful at doing comics for a living. This podcast is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co. Don't forget to type SB15 at checkout to get 15% off your Bam Box featuring finely roasted coffee, a limited edition mug and more geektacular swag comic fans will dig. @nick_maandag Nick Maandag at Drawn and Quarterly Nick Maandaag at Spit and a Half Nick Maandag interview in Broken Pencil Magazine Nick Maandag in The Comics Journal as featured in Jeet Heer's The Comics Chronicles Nick Maandag in The Believer Alvin Buenaventura Obituary from The Comics Journal
46 minutes | Oct 13, 2019
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 his underground comics work on Sin, Stephens was soon plucked from that realm to work on a favourite of Aaron's childhood – YTV's absurdist '90s sketch comedy show, Squawk Box starring the very underrated, but never imitated child actor Dov Tiefenbach. Not only did Stephens write on the show, but he also created the animated short Wonder Duds about a hapless superhero who only ever did the bare minimum necessary to call himself a hero. In addition to being influenced by classic Hanna Barbara cartoons and Harvey Comics like Casper, Richie Rich, and Hot Stuff, he was also fascinated by creepy horror comics and monsters of legend, which was a heavy influence on his Cartoon Network show, The Secret Saturdays, which featured its own toy line from Mattel. As an artist who tells Aaron that he peaked kind of early, his latest work, Dejects, represents a revival of sorts featuring lost and rejected stories starring his most well-known characters: Tutenstein, The Nod, Wonder Duds and JetCat. It also marks a reunion with his old Tragedy Sucks editor Michel Vrana who has revived his old publishing outfit Black Eyed Books to put out Dejects. On the pod, Aaron and Jay get personal to talk about the ups and downs of his career. They answer where he has been and what he has been doing since his peak? They talk about his occultist upbringing, which had a huge influence on his art, what the comic scene is like in Guelph and his mainstream comics work with the original co-creator of the Teen Titans Bob Haney in what would be his last and lost Teen Titans script – eventually released in 2008 (four years after Haney's death) as Teen Titans: The Lost Annual. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula at 3456 Yonge Street in Toronto and Saskatchewan's Bam Coffee Co. Don't forget to go to bamcoffee.ca and use SB15 at checkout to receive 15% off your own Bam Box, which combines coffee and amazing geek swag our listeners drool over. @Jaypopgun Buy Dejects Jay's old archived website Jay's old Monsterama blog circa 2010 Jay Stephens entry on Lambiek's Comiclopedia Buy t-shirts with Jay's design Buy Welcome to Oddville Owl Magazine – Arrowhead (Jay's creation from the True Patriot Canadian superhero anthology) Black Eye Books – Jay's Publisher @blackeyebooks The Interesting Case of The Secret Saturdays JetCat on Nickelodeon's KaBlam! Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
57 minutes | Sep 29, 2019
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 wrote Southern Cross? Speech Bubble is the only place you'll find out why he didn't. Somewhere in there, they also talk about what it was like to work with Duncan Trussell and Donny Cates on The Simulationists for Heavy Metal Magazine and how that lead to illustrating a Tijuana bible that Trussell can hand out at shows. Plus, his plans to found a new Montreal studio space with Isola's Karl Kerschel, a sneak peak of his new comic project coming in October 2019 from TKO Studios, Pound for Pound with writer Natalie Chaidez (showrunner on USA Network's Queen of the South) and how he found his new found love of professional wrestling – a place for all that wild energy to go and possibly the greatest feat of embedded journalism known to man for what may be his most ambitious comic project yet. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula and Bam Coffee Co.. Don't forget to use SB15 at checkout to receive 15% off your Bam Box of coffee and geektastic swag. @AndyBelanger @Andy_Belanger Andy's Blog Buy Andy's original art International Wrestling Syndicate Bob “The Animal” Anger in action Buy Pound for Pound Buy Southern Cross Buy Kill Shakespeare The Simulationists interview in Paste Magazine 2016 Sponsors Hairy Tarantula Bam Coffee Co.
35 minutes | Sep 15, 2019
Ken and Joan Steacy
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 accept her own personal style and embrace who she is as a cartoonist. Ken began his career working for Marvel as an inker right out of school, but it wasn't the dream he thought it would be. He talks about having to carve his own path through the comics industry as a military brat. He went to Sheridan College and learned art fundamentals and basically started again to unlearn bad habits and learn good habits. He eventually would go on to win the Governor General's medal for his work in sequential art and draw books like Iron Man and Astro Boy. He talks about his journey toward authorship and away from being a cog in a wheel. His latest project War Bears happened thanks to an article he illustrated written by Margaret Atwood that takes place during the golden age of Canadian comics -- The Canadian Whites. The article was published to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and War Bears is its continuation – a further exploration of the story. He talks about what it was like to work with Margaret Atwood and the creation of Oursonette – a fiction hero of the Canadian Whites period. The two Steacys pack a great one-two punch as you listen to them react to each other's work as Joan explores her own history and Ken explores Canadian comics history both real and fictional. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula. @joansteacy Joan's blog Conundrum Press The Comics Journal interviews Joan The Comics Program that Ken and Joan teach at Camosun College Joan and Ken's son Alex's forthcoming webcomic Drainers Buy War Bears Buy Aurora Borealice Sponsor Hairy Tarantula
79 minutes | Sep 1, 2019
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 float your boat, find out what it was like for him to be a courtroom illustrator for some of the most high profile cases in Canada, including The Toronto 18, serial killer Russell Williams and disgraced former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi. This episode is sponsored by Hairy Tarantula. @kaganmcleod @KaganMcLeod Kagan's Website Buy Draw People Every Day YouTube Review of Draw People Every Day Buy Kaptara Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien Buy Infinite Kung Fu Infinite Kung Fu Trailer Infinite Kung Fu Launch Party Video The History of Rap Video The History of Rap Poster Sponsors Hairy Tarantula
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