by Jarrod Jones. “In terms of organizing, I’m always organizing,” Gisèle Lagacé tells me.
Gisèle’s always busy. As a full-time comics publisher, illustrator and once-aspiring musician (she used to tour in a band called Barbarella), she’s not afraid of the hustle. Pixie Trix Comix, Lagacé’s publishing hub named for a fictional comic book store featured in her widely popular webcomic Ménage à 3, is the logical progression of her creative verve. So it’s something of an understatement when I say that her latest Kickstarter campaign is reliably ambitious. For Gisèle, ambition is just the name of the game.
How would I describe Gisèle’s energy? I’d point to her company’s name. “Pixie Trix Comix.” Comics made with a pop sensibility and an independent spirit. I’d direct you to her artwork, which features appealing characters with manga eyes who are often decked out in stylish attire. And that bring us to her style, which is a fusion of Rumiko Takahashi and Dan DeCarlo, of music and comic strips made underground—think Archie Comics (though she’s drawn her fair share of those, too) if Archie dared a zine imprint.
This year’s Pixie Trix Kickstarter is a doozy. I’ll let Gisèle explain what’s up with the current happenings at Pixie Trix in our interview below. We also talk a bit about working with Eisner-nominated writer Scott Duvall and, with a week remaining in the Pixie Trix Comix Kickstarter campaign, we dig into all the sugar-coated goodness that’s coming from her latest Pixie Trix hustle.
Hello, Gisèle! Thanks so much for taking the time. Congratulations on your fully-funded Kickstarter!
Gisèle Lagace: Thank you!
1. I wanted to start with the extensive nature of this Kickstarter. Three books! That’s quite a lot to juggle in a single campaign—how do you go about organizing this annual fundraiser?
Yes, three books is a lot to juggle for a single campaign but that’s how we started doing Kickstarters with our first one in 2014. It’s our normal! We always had many webcomics on the go, so it simply made more sense to fund the printing of more than one collection at a time. This year though, with our past series concluded, we only had the first collection of our new series—Pixie Trix Comix—to fund. To keep with the tradition of many books per Kickstarter, we added two special one-shots based off two of our concluded series. These are great for new readers and fun for old readers who miss these characters. In terms of organizing, I’m always organizing. I’m already planning our 2021 Kickstarter!
Do you ever hit any snags during these campaigns? If so, how do you navigate them?
We don’t hit that many to be honest. We may have had a few issues budget-wise earlier on but after six Kickstarters, you start to know what to expect and how to plan for it.
2. Let’s get readers excited about pushing ‘Pixie Trix Comix: Volume 1’ well past its stretch goals. What’s the rapid-fire pitch for ‘Pixie Trix’ for the uninitiated?
Pixie Trix Comix was a comic book shop first seen in our previous series, Ménage à 3. We’re using this comic shop as our setting, hence the name of the series. Jung, a struggling comic book shop owner, has decided to start publishing comics to diversify his business. He’s helped by his girlfriend, Ramona, and other employees who work there. This first book is about their struggles with this new endeavor but also about their struggles—re: comedic struggles—in their own personal lives.
3. Then there’s ‘Zii and the Troublemakers’. You worked on this book with writer Scott Duvall. What was the impetus behind making a book about a rock band on tour? What did you and Scott want to convey about life on the road with this book?
I started my career as a musician, so I’ve always enjoyed telling stories about bands. I think my passion for music shows through in past projects I’ve done, i.e. Archie Meets Ramones and Jem and the Holograms. When Zii, a musician, was introduced in Ménage à 3, I knew I’d eventually do a special on her on the road. At the end of Ménage à 3, Zii hits the road with her band. This special one-shot felt like the perfect opportunity to explore what happens next for her.
Scott is someone I’ve known for many years. He shares a love for music too. We had often talked about collaborating on this project if it ever happened, and here it is! I’m so happy we were able to fund it.
How would you compare the tour life of a rock band to, say, the convention life of a comic artist?
Oh, it’s very similar. Might be why I like both careers. It’s not always fun being away from home, but when we’re at home too long, we get antsy to get back on the road.
4. You’re also launching a new one-shot for ‘Eerie Cuties’ with this Kickstarter called “Sisters”. This series wrapped up about five years ago—what is it about the Delacroix sisters that keeps you coming back to ‘Eerie Cuties’?
The hilarity of a blood thirsty vampire next to one who drinks chocolate instead? [Laughs] Even though the series has technically ended, many stories can still be told in this universe. With a large cast, we can do specials on various characters. I missed the vampire sisters, and wanted to draw them again, so this special is making it happen.
5. The Collector’s Edition of ‘Pixie Trix Comix’ comes with a 6-pack of trading cards featuring superheroes called the ‘Ultraluminals’. What was the inspiration behind these cards?
The Ultraluminals is one of the series the cast of Pixie Trix Comix is working on within the series. The Ultraluminals look like the cast of Pixie Trix Comix as they are using themselves as models for these heroes. It’s quite fun.
What kind of info or stats can fans expect on the backs of these cards?
Real name, height, weight, first appearance, how they got their powers, personality traits… stuff like that. I really enjoyed working on these cards.
6. I would describe your work as a cross between Rumiko Takahashi and Dan DeCarlo—a heightened, more animated style of Archie Comics. What do you love to draw the most? What gives you a charge?
I think that’s how I would describe my style too. Takahashi and DeCarlo are huge influences. I enjoy drawing a lot of things but drawing funny scenes are usually what puts me in the best of moods. I also like to work on unexpected scenes ‘cause I know the readers will be shocked and intrigued as to what comes next. And let’s not forget the sensual scenes, those are always fun to draw—chicka bow-wow!
You can score some Gisèle Lagacé comix by contributing to the Pixie Trix Comix Kickstarter now.
Check out this 3-page preview of ‘Zii and the Troublemakers’, courtesy of Pixie Trix Comix!
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