I’ve read a lot of webcomics in my day, but there are only a handful that I continue to enjoy years later. One of the first ones that really stuck with me was Penny and Aggie by Gisele Lagace and T. Campbell. After that finished I followed them as they added more to the Pixie Trix Comix portfolio like Menage a 3, Sandra on the Rocks and Eerie Cuties. As a huge fan, I can’t tell you how excited I was that Gisele Lagace, the creator of these comics, agreed to an interview. A huge thank you to Gisele for taking the time out to answer these questions!
What interested you about comics as an art medium?
Well, I started reading them really young and never stopped, so I guess you’d need to ask the 5 year old me!
You seem heavily influenced by the Archie comic style – are there plans to expand beyond this style to try something different for a personal project?
I think people see what they want to see in my style. I’ve seen regular Archie readers call my style “anime” or “manga.” To them, it’s not Archie style at all. For now, I don’t plan on changing things up too much unless it’s needed for a new project. I experimented with my style so much on Penny & Aggie that looking back, it’s pretty jarring. I’m trying to avoid that with my current projects.
Of the webcomics you’ve worked on – Cool Cat Studio, Penny and Aggie, Magick Chicks, Eerie Cuties, Sticky Dilly Buns, Dangerously Chloe and Menage a 3 – which was the most fun? The most challenging?
Hm… I find series get challenging around the end of their life. The cast by then will have ballooned, and trying to fit it all in a nice package can be tough. Like, “Have we resolved his or her story?” and multiply that by the amount of cast members. As for most fun, it’s hard to say. Each one is fun in its own way. It’s probably why I like to have more than one comic on the go. Keeps things interesting.
You’ve worked with various artists and authors most recently Eisu, David Lumsdon, Shouri and T Campbell. How did you meet them?
T Campbell emailed me one day to offer advice on Cool Cat Studio. I liked what he had to say, and the rest is history. Eisu, I knew from Keenspot, and always liked his style. When time came to find an artist for a Sandra On The Rocks side story in Ménage à 3, he felt like a natural choice. I asked and he accepted! He’s now the artist for the ongoing series too. Dave, I met in a book store. He’d give me suggestions on comics to read, and we soon noticed we liked similar stuff. When I decided to start Ménage à 3, I asked him if he wanted to help me write it, and he did! Shouri, I met when she sent me art samples of her work to participate in a call-out for guest strips on Eerie Cuties. I really liked her work and thought she’d be a good fit to collaborate with. I asked, and she accepted! I’m pretty lucky. 🙂
How far ahead do you plan ahead plot lines for your comics? Have you needed to make changes on the fly due to a surprising character direction?
We try to plan ahead as much as we can but we’re flexible. If the characters take us in another direction and it feels natural, we’ll tweak things as we go. In general, we still end up where we wanted to be. It’s just how we got there that might’ve changed a bit.
Of the Pixie Trix crew, which character would you like to explore more deeply?
Hm… well, at the moment, all the members of Ruby’s yaoi club in Sticky Dilly Buns are characters I want to explore more deeply. And will!
You’ve run a few several successful Kickstarter campaigns. What was your experience the first time around and what did you learn from it? Do you have any plans for more?
I’ve learned that it’s a lot of work! Shipping takes forever. We plan on doing it yearly. We may tweak things a bit for the next one though. We offer too many add-ons, and it gets complicating at the shipping stage. We need to make things more simple.
Your comics vary wildly in terms of genre from sex farce to the supernatural. What attracted you to these very different stories and how difficult was it to draw and plan the basic story at the same time?
Ménage à 3 came to me really fast. In one evening, I had the whole set-up done. Things did change a bit once we got started, but all & all, that world was built up quick. Eerie Cuties took much more time. I had to think up monsters. How they’d interact. Find them cool names, etc. I probably spent a couple of months planning that one before it got started. But once the world was built, the writing came fairly easily.
Menage a 3 is your only R-rated webcomic. Were there any stumbling blocks you ran into regarding the comic?
Well, it’s not easy getting advertisers for an R-rated webcomic. I guess that would be the biggest stumbling block in regards to Ma3.
What has been the most difficult aspect of creating and running the webcomics?
It never stops, and you don’t get breaks? lol That’s probably it. People expect an update, and you have to provide. We’ve missed some updates due to the occasional convention or the Christmas holidays, but all & all, there’s no vacations. One day, I’ll have to treat myself to one. Probably won’t know what to do with myself!
Are there any future spinoff comics or new comics in the works?
More than likely. I always have ideas running in my head. I’m sure some will come to fruition one day.
Do you have any advice you’d like to give aspiring webcomic artists and writers?
Do it ’cause you love webcomics. Don’t expect to be paid. Certainly not at the beginning. And write or draw about a subject that you love. This way, if you don’t make money, at least you’re happy doing it regardless. 🙂