Excerpt from Sequential Tart 8/02: Paul Storrie
Shallow or Deep: Paul Storrie
by Denise Sudell
Sequential Tart: We haven't talked about your store in Mutant X [Dangerous Games, in Mutant X: Dangerous Decisions, June 2002].
Paul D. Storrie: It's based on the TV show. There was a Mutant X comic that has nothing to do with the TV show, and then a Mutant X TV show was developed in conjunction with Marvel — I'm not real up on that stuff, but I believe that's right. So I got to do a 20-page story for the second Mutant X special, with the lead story by Kathryn Kuder and Stuart Immonen. I got to work with a really talented guy, a newcomer by the name of Stefano Caselli. I've said already to several people, "Oh, watch this guy, he's going places," and the rumors I'm hearing around this show are, "He's already going places!" So, good luck to him, 'cause he did a great job.
ST: What's the story, and how did you get into it?
PDS: Actually, I'd been working with Andrew Lis, the editor on Mutant X — I'd been working with him on my Captain American: Red, White, and Blue story. I'd pitched him a project that didn't, unfortunately, work out, and we got going on this Cap: Red, White, and Blue story, and then I was talking to him one day about the Cap story, and I said, "Look, do you need anything else? I'm going to pitch you stuff, obviously, but is there anything you need right now?" And he said, "Well, I can't think of anything, but — hey, wait a second. Do you know the Mutant X TV show?" And I said, "In fact, I do." And he said, "We're doing Mutant X specials now. Would you like to pitch for that? I'm trying to fill up the slots on this book." And I said, "Heck, yeah." And it wasn't till a couple of conversations later that I said, "I just realized that I'm the guy who does comics based on TV shows based on comics." But it's a lot of fun. I've enjoyed doing that both on the Marvel and DC side of things.
I was actually saying to Devin Grayson, who writes the X-Men: Evolution comic for Marvel, and Jay Faerber is doing a fill-in on X-Men: Evolution as well — we were all out to dinner with this group of people, and I said "Oh, hey, the only TV-comic property I haven't worked on is X-Men: Evolution." And Jay said "No!"
ST: [laughs] "Ya can't have it!"
PDS: But, yeah, so it's a slightly different challenge to try and tell a good comic book story, please fans of the series — and actually I've stopped by the official Mutant X fan board out there in cyberspace, and the response seems to have been good. So I'm happy with that.
ST: Can you talk a little about the story?
PDS: I did [something] like a Superboy story for Shalimar Fox, the feral woman character in Mutant X — the story of Shalimar before she joined Mutant X. The basis for the series is that awhile back, a secret semi-government agency unlocked the secret of the human genotype, and they were able to genetically enhance certain people. And it was eventually discovered that these people ended up with certain types of powers, and now a new permutation of that agency is tracking down what they call the "new mutants" to study them and contain them. And one of the guys who originally worked on the genetics project, a mysterious guy named Adam, broke away, and is using his pretty vast resources to build a mutant underground, and also a team of underground freedom fighters called Mutant X, to try and keep GSA, the Genetic Security Agency, from trapping and exploiting new mutants.
Shalimar — her DNA has been doctored with animal DNA, primarily cat. And so she's very agile, she has heightened senses, when she exercises her powers her eyes flash amber — a kind of catlike-looking thing. Played by Victoria Pratt, who's a very successful health/fitness guru, instructor — I don't know exactly how to describe her, but very well-known in the fitness world. And she also played the part of Sarge on Cleopatra 2525.
ST: So this is live-action, not animated?
PDS: Live-action. Live-action syndicated show. John Shea, who was Lex Luthor in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, is Adam. So Victoria was on Cleopatra 2525, and she's taken on a slightly different role for this show. Very interesting character, very protective of her friends, her loved ones. And that's where I jumped in on this story. It's a story about Shalimar and her best friend from high school, and a graduation party that they attend. It starts off with normal kid things, and gets into — well, I guess, on certain levels, stays with normal kid things. The host of the party has invited Shalimar's friend along for less-than-honorable reasons. And it's not only the story of Shalimar protecting her friend, but it's also her getting used to being the way she is, and accepting that these changes that she's going through can be utilized to take care of others, help others, protect others.
ST: So you're doing really different kinds of work: doing light stuff like Gotham Girls, and doing fairly intense stuff like the Mutant X story, it sounds like.
PDS: Well, hopefully. Although I think that in serious stories, there's got to be an element of humor, and hopefully in humorous stories there's an underlying element of [slightly mocking tone] emotional verisimilitude. "And my Page-A-Day Calendar says . . ."
[normal tone] So I think that you have to have that blend. If you're unrelentingly dark, or serious, that takes some of the impact out. It's like when you do print artwork and it's all shades of gray, it can wash out. You need some contrast. And I think elements of humor can create contrast in a serious story, and some serious elements can give almost . . . [pauses] a better sense of anchoring a goofy story, if there's some emotional hook that you can [use to] jump into that funnier world.
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