Fan Expo '09: Kathryn Immonen Gives PIXIE the Spotlight


This weekend in Toronto at Fan Expo Canada 2009, Marvel Comics announced the December release of a new X-Men related mini-series starring Pixie.  X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back, written by Kathryn Immonen with artwork by Runaway’s Sara Pichelli, delves into the background of the mutantkind’s latest teen sensation.  The story features several of Megan Gwynn’s X-gal pals including X-23 and Mercury.  The story also promises to link Pixie’s lineage to a classic X-Men villain.

Newsarama contacted Immonen to talk about the portents of her new project with the hopes of spoiling some information regarding which X-villain is Pixie’s father.

Newsarama:  Kathryn, what was the basis for your pitch for X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back?

Kathryn Immonen:  I knew that Nick Lowe had been interested in getting a Pixie mini-series off the ground for a while and even though I am categorically incapable of thinking about more than one thing at once, and he knows it, he asked me to get something together.  So then it was a matter of trying to figure out what exactly was interesting to me about her.

Nrama:  What's the draw of a character like Megan Gwynn? 

Immonen:  Ultimately, it was the things that I found to be the least interesting about her (or at least the predominate aspects of her character which have an irritating ability to prevent conflict) which proved to be the basis for her undoing... at least in this story.  Even though she’s missing part of her soul and has literally (or literarily) been to hell and back, she’s still annoyingly upbeat. So I started to consider the possibility that her adaptability, her inclination to go with whatever is thrown at her, that these things could actually be liabilities. That she could be too willing to accept a situation with disastrous consequences.  I was also really interested in the curious nature of her mutation and whether or not it actually crossed the boundaries between mutant and magic.

Nrama:  How accessible is she in such a continuity-rich environment like the X-line?

Immonen:  I’m probably the worst person of whom to ask that question.  While I’ve got some real favorites, like the Dark Phoenix Saga and also a lot of Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men, I’m certainly no continuity wonk.  And I say that with no pride whatsoever.  However, I think Pixie is as accessible as we make her.  She’s super charming with a tendency to run her mouth.  It’s not a bad place to start. And even though she’s had a fair amount of screen time, I still think there’s a lot we don’t know about her. But even without all of that, and I’m talking about the nuts and bolts of adding to continuity, this mini-series is about friendship and betrayal, lies and bad decision making, stabbing and torture, cool girls and girls’ bathrooms.  What else could you want?

Nrama:  What sorts of trouble will Pixie be getting into during this mini-series?  Will she have friends along for the duration?

Note: Not Cover Art

Immonen:  Trouble?  The bad kind.

I’m absolutely thrilled to have X-23, Mercury, Blindfold and Armor along for the ride.  At the risk of repeating myself elsewhere, issues  of ‘family’ (chosen or not) have always been a big part of the X-Men.  These girls are all still, in many ways, just that...they’re girls.  They are also sisters of a sort.  Even if this time around, it’s more Borgia than Bennet.

Nrama:  What new insight will you be providing into the background of Pixie?

Immonen:  I can tell you that we will meet her mother and that Pixie’s parentage rather explains a thing or two.

Nrama:  Word on the street has it that a major X-villain is Pixie's father?  Care to whet the appetites of knowledge hungry X-fans with a hint or two?

Immonen:  She’s not a mutant. She’s a muppet. Her parents are actually Wayne and Wanda, the singing duo.

Nrama:  Are there other characters you'd like to explore particularly in the X-line?  What about the rest of the Marvel Universe?

Immonen:  I’m head over heels in love with Emma Frost and would die for a chance to air some of the dirty laundry contents of what is certainly a wondrously stocked semainier.  And if I’m being totally ridiculous, I think Frankie Raye got completely shafted.  Jeez, I just adore her but what are you gonna do.

Nrama:  What other projects are you working on currently that you are capable of mentioning?  Are you collaborating with your husband, Stuart, on anything in the near future?

ImmonenMoving Pictures is coming out from Top Shelf in the spring.  It’ll be launched at TCAF 2010.  We’re so excited because the whole package is looking beautiful and the superb editorial input we’ve had from Chris Staros has made it an even better project than we would have had otherwise.

Nrama:  Speaking of collaborations, who is the artist for the project?  How has your collaboration worked out so far?

Immonen:  It’s the marvelous Sara Pichelli and if the work on Runaways is any indication, she’s going to continue to amaze and astonish on Pixie.  I have had the enormous good fortune of working first with David Lafuente and now Sara , for which we all have both Nick Lowe and CB Cebulski to thank.

Nrama:  To finish up, if you could sum X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back into one sentence that would make fans camp outside the comic store until December to buy up every copy of the first issue, what would it be?

Immonen:  No pressure then.  We are going to see these girls as we’ve never seen them before, but more than that, as they’ve never seen themselves. It’s going to be a lot of fun as long as your definition of fun is something rather sinister and occasionally gruesome.

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