“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Pencils and inks: Ron Wagner
Colours: John Wilcox
Letters: Tim Harkins
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
This week, Anna, Mav, and Andrew are going back to school (again) with Excalibur #33, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” part two of “Girls’ School from Heck!” And now that we’re here, talking leather, lingerie, kung fu, jelly donuts, and why Kitty’s always mad at hot girls with artist extraordinaire Valentine M. Smith—we may never want to leave. Plus, Kurt spends a bunch of pages wearing a speedo. We talk about that, too— and how it’s all connected and extremely character-driven!
On what makes Excalibur special:
“Excalibur is a little big funnier, a little bit wackier, a little bit ‘out there.’ They’re experimenting with a lot, both storytelling-wise and art-wise. Some of it hits. And some of it doesn’t. And that’s what you’re going to get when you’re trying something new. I’ve always really appreciated that.” -Valentine
On fashion statements:
“Kitty was working out. She didn’t need to bring that jacket. It was a deliberate choice. She brought it out. She sees the other girls watching her. And then she puts the jacket on and just struts past, head held high.” -Valentine
On some of that subtext:
“It’s important that Kitty never strikes Phoebe. Phoebe jumps on top of her, Kitty allows Phoebe to straddle her. Kitty’s a ninja. She can leave whenever she wants. She’s in no danger here. She is allowing herself to have this interaction with Phoebe. And I think that matters.” -Mav
“This is Claremont giving up on subtlety.” -Andrew
On bodies and parallels:
On bodies and parallels: “Kitty’s kung fu routine parallels Kurt diving off the lighthouse because they both have those internal thoughts about – I don’t feel like I’m at best. And that upsets me.” -Valentine
“Kitty’s style is all about form and function. She’s like, I’m going to tie my hair back in a French braid so that it doesn’t get in my face while I’m training. And I’m going to wear clothes that I can move it. I don’t really care how they look. I just want to be able to move, and I don’t want anything too tight, because that’s uncomfortable to me.” -Valentine
On clothes/changing and the spaces between:
“Kitty could have just put the jacket on and they could have both been warm. Instead, she puts on the sweatshirt that Huntsman’s been wearing for a while and definitely smells like her, then she gives Huntsman the leather jacket, which definitely smells like Kitty. There was a choice made there.” -Valentine
On more deliberate choices:
“I see this as an example of clothing choice and performance, either for themselves or each other. Everyone there has chosen to wear something. Maybe they were already dressed like this. Or maybe they put it on for the meeting.” -Valentine
On the deeper meaning of Sexy Nightcrawler:
“I really like how much joy Kurt’s taking in his body here. Because that relates to the disability context. He’s experienced this power loss, this physical insecurity. He can’t rely on his body the same way he did. To feel sexy, to feel beautiful, to feel at home in his body – it’s important to communicate that through the artwork here, because it’s important to his navigation of disability.” -Anna
On Nightcrawler and disability:
“There’s never been an official story dealing with Nightcrawler’s physical and psychological connection to his powers – how he perceives the world as a teleporter. When I think about his power loss, I think about that a lot. He can’t move through space the way he used to. His whole sense of himself has changed.” -Anna
Want more Valentine Smith?
Fine her on Twitter at @valentinemsm1th
And! Check out her store, where you can buy stuff like this! ↓
And as usual:
You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and on her podcast with Andrew and Michael Hancock, Three Panel Contrast (@3PanelContrast).
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).
You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).