NYCC 2023 – Conversation With The Creators: “Kiff” Creators Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal + “Phineas and Ferb” Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh

New York Comic Con is really unlike any other convention I’ve ever attended. One moment, you could be at the Marvel booth with football legend Eli Manning on stage and then, the next, talking to the creators of some of the biggest Disney Animated Television shows.

Even though Kiff is only halfway through its first season and production on the return of Phineas and Ferb has really just started getting into full swing, Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal along with Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh made an appearance at New York Comic Con. Now, normally, this would coincide with a Disney panel — but, nope, they were there to play a drawing game (NOT Pictionary) in the EnterTOONment HQ kids area of the Javits Center. However, it did give me a chance to sit down with both these amazing duos and dive into the worlds of their creations.

From creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal, the series follows a squirrel named Kiff and her best buddy bunny Barry as they navigate school, relationships and their often-eccentric community in Table Town, a world where animals and magical oddballs tackle day-to-day life together. Kiff can be seen on Disney+, Disney Channel, and on the DisneyNOW app.

My first question, which I feel should always be asked, was how did this show come about? Heavens jumped right in with “Nick and I were doing work in similar sort of spaces in our lives where it wasn't work we were particularly choosing, but work that we had to do. Kiff came about because we were like, ‘let's just use this time to create something that is the funnest thing we can imagine and will be the funnest thing for us to work on, and will give us the best time of our lives.’ And we created a vehicle for us to have fun with.” Smal followed up, “When we (he and Lucy) met at a studio, it was like, we both have a similar sense of humor. Like, what if we kind of brought that together with complimenting skill sets? And, we both grew up watching the more absurd kind of comedy and that’s where it all comes from.”

Kiff, at least for me, is a show is very much a retelling of sorts of my childhood from sleepovers to just everyday activities. When asked about where it all comes from Smal chimed in, “The stories are always kind of rooted in very relatable experiences, that are all stories that come from our lives and our writers experiences, for example. That thing when someone comes over to your house and you say, ‘you know, help yourself,’ and then they help themselves a little bit too much to, like, the juice, you know – and putting, putting the characters in that situation where she doesn't know how to tell her best friend that he's drinking all the juice when he comes around.”

As I wrapped up with Smal and Heavens, I had to ask about something from the show that has gone viral, the “Chunky Text” song. Though they wouldn’t share who it was, they did let it slip, “The experience came from one of our writers. Her friend was the chunky texter who very much regretted the chunky text.” But Smal did admit that, when he wrote and composed the song, it really was just a dream to do.

When it came time to interview Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the creators of Phineas and Ferb, I had the wherewithal to just set up my camera because if anyone will give their story the care it deserves, it is themselves.

Now that we have made it through the interview stuff, it is time for the real reason you clicked on this article, the (NOT Pictionary) drawing game.

Jeremiah Good
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.