Gisele Lagace got her start in webcomics in the early 2000s, with Cool Cat Studio. Since then, she’s gone on to create a wide range of webcomics, including Menage a 3, a Three’s Company-esque adult romantic comedy, and Eerie Cuties, about a school for magical teens.
In addition to managing her own ring of webcomic titles, more recently, she’s also left her mark on cartoon characters straight out of your childhood. She drew several issues of Betty Boop and Jem and the Holograms, as well as reimagining the cast of Archie gender swapped.
Issue 1 of her newest title, Exorsisters (script by Ian Boothby), will be released tomorrow by Image Comics. (You can read a sneak peak online).
Q: You’ve collaborated quite closely, as a writer, with David Lumsdon and T. Campbell over the years. What do you like about working collaboratively?
I like that it sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone artistically. It’s also nice to be able to rely on another brain to solve a story problem.
Q: Anything you dislike about collaboration?
I guess I dislike it for the same things I like it for. At times, I can be sent outside my comfort zone a little too much, and too many cooks is also an issue sometimes with writing stuff collaboratively.
Q: David Lumsdon has his own titles now that grew out of Ma3, which you created. What’s it like having someone else working solo in a universe you built? Was it hard to let go of creative control?
I don’t have a problem with that. It also helps that I use T Campbell as editor on all properties, so I’m confident he’ll make sure everything works together. Maybe I put too much trust in people at times, but it’s generally the way I roll.
Q: I feel like there’s often a wholesome, lighthearted core to your work, even in your “adult” comics like Ma3. How would you describe the humor in Exorsisters?
I’m a fan of humor, so it’s no surprise it’s found in most of my works. For Exorsisters, I think you could describe it the same way you’d find it in shows like Buffy and Supernatural. The serious moments are serious but there’s always a bit of comedy to keep things from getting too dark or depressing. Sometimes the best jokes do come after a very tense moment as well.
Q: Do you get any say in how the story in Exorsisters goes? How do you work with Ian Boothby?
I try not to overstep. I think he does the same thing for me. If I feel something should really be changed, I’ll say so, but in general, we’re pretty simpatico up to now.
Q: As someone who grew up reading Archie Comics, what has it been like to be part of the first wave of female artists at that company?
I didn’t think too much about it to tell you the truth, but it is true that they’ve had more male artists than women over the years. It’s probably more balanced now.
Q: Did you ever feel limited growing up in the 70s by the fact that most of the artists and writers were male?
Again, I never really thought about it. I grew up with parents who let me play with boy toys and girl toys, so I guess I never really saw gender. I do see it now though as an adult that it was clearly more male oriented. I think Japan was more balanced on that front. Shojo manga was already popular in the ’70s when I was just a young child. Candy Candy was one of my favorite shows, and that was done by two women creators.
Q: The landscape for web comics has changed dramatically since you started in the early 2000s. What would you tell someone who wanted to get started in comics today?
For webcomics, I’d tell them to post it on as many sites/channels as possible to get as much people reading it. Line Webtoons seems to be pretty big right now. I’ve never done anything for them though, so I can’t comment on if it’s a good platform or not.
Q: You’ve said that you’re planning to wrap up Ma3 and Sticky Dilly Buns sometime in 2019. Any ideas about what’s next on the horizon for you after that?
We’ve talked about one-shots and mini series set in the Ma3 universe, so I think we’ll start with that. I won’t work on all of them, but with the help of others, I think we’ll see a few things come out of that universe even after the series have ended.
Q: Last year, you were turned away at the US border on the way to a convention. As a Canadian who works in the US, how do you feel about the current political climate? Did you have any trouble getting to NYCC this year?
Well, I don’t technically work in the US. I sometimes work for US companies, and some of my publishers for my creator own work are US-based. There’s always been issues with artists crossing borders. Not many people understand what we do fully, so there can be a lot of misunderstanding, which sometimes results in being refused entry. I had no problem getting to NYCC this year. I make sure everything is in order before I cross the border.
Q: What’s one thing, in your life or in the world, that makes you furious right now?
Hm… I wouldn’t say I’m furious about it, but I wish more people were reading comics! Other than that, again, I’m not furious or anything, but I wish people were more aware of intersex conditions as a whole. I feel it often gets buried by other things. It’s getting better though.