Broken Pencil Does SPX!

Patriotism is so passé. That is until you’re deep into the Bethesda North Marriott at the 21st annual Small Press Expo, face-to-face with the cultural juggernaut your puny sense of national identity is constantly comparing itself to. Broken Pencil’s got your CanCon angle from the indie-comics convention floor, asking Canuck creators what it means to be Canadian at SPX:

spx15-meags-fitzgerald“My SPX experience has been super positive. I feel like people may be more interested in my work because I’m Canadian. There’s an exotic angle to it. It’s a good ice-breaker.”

Meags Fitzgerald



“I lived in the US for four years and SPX was one of the first shows I ever went to. It has a special place in my heart. In Toronto, we’re really spoiled for the amount of comics culture, shows and resources we have. It’s such a great community. But I think it’s really important to not be so insular, go out into the world and connect with, at least North America.”

Adam Aylar











“I’m actually here specifically to be Canadian, representing a wide variety of Canadian cartoonists. I think Canada’s making some of the best comics in the world, but the distribution into the United States where the majority of people tend to live is not what it could be. So I’m happy to be down here repping people who are doing some amazing, amazing work. I started off doing SPX helping out Coach House Books. They had published Martin Vaughn-James’ The Cage, a lost classical, one of the first proto-graphic novels. It had been out of print for over 30 years. For me, it’s the highlight because it’s not just an important and amazing book, it’s something that no one’s seen or heard from in decades. Not only are we brining it back, but we’re bringing it back in places where people can try and find it.”

Chris Butcher

spx15-jenn-woodall-trevor-henderson“One of the best parts of going to the States to represent my art is that I get to meet a lot of people who I’ve met online in person. It’s really rewarding. It feels great.”

Trevor Henderson

“Being Canadian at SPX is representing Canadian comics and zine culture, which is super important. We don’t have as many comics festivals or conventions that are dedicated to small press, so being able to come and table here lets your work reach a much wider audience. We’d like to do more US shows in the future. It also means being confused by all the green money, compared to our colourful monopoly money.”

Jenn Woodall



“We get more for our money because of the exchange rate, as Canadians, US dollars are more in Canadian! I always feel like Americans are kind of jealous that we live in Canada. They wouldn’t say it to you, but you can see it in there eyes.”

Caitlin Major

“I get to tell people I’m from Toronto and they say, you don’t sound Canadian. And I’m like, that’s because I’m Australian. And they give me a funny look. We moved to access people who are interested in comics, because not as many people are interested in Australia. SPX is good. It’s got the same vibe as TCAF, but it’s a bit more commercial.”

Matthew Hoddy


“For me, practically nothing. Everyone here is a hyper-sensitive artist, including myself.”

Ethan Rilly










(Jonathan Rotsztain)