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Speech Bubble

An Arts, Visual Arts and Society podcast
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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.


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Emmanuelle Chateauneuf
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.
Nick Maandag
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
Jay Stephens
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.
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Podcast Details
Feb 26th, 2015
Latest Episode
Oct 28th, 2019
Release Period
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Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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