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Topic: Kitty Pryde Article in the Calgary Sun (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 04 October 2008 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 1  

Just got this forwarded to me from my friend who is also a friend of Kitty Pryde in Calgary.

The Real Kitty Pryde
"To Kitty, the real one"
X-Woman the Pryde of Calgary

by Louis B. Hobson
Calgary Sun

There are days Kitty Pryde wishes she could walk through walls like the X-Men character that bears her name.
It would get her out of some rather annoying and embarrassing situations.
Pryde is a renowned Calgary artist whose pictures have been featured in galleries from China to Grenada and Baton Rouge to Boston.
No matter where she and her paintings travel, someone will inevitably ask Pryde if she knows that there is a comic book mutant with the same name.
“I’m not amused by such recognition. I’m an artist. I want some credibility. I don’t want to seem to be basking in the notoriety this has brought me,” says Pryde.
The truth is the X-Men’s mutant Kitty Pryde -- who can walk through walls -- was named for Pryde.
It all happened back in 1973 when she was a student at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary.
One of her classmates was John Byrne who would go on to become one of the more prolific writer/artists for Marvel Comics.
“I first noticed John in our (still-life) classes. While the rest of us were drawing the nudes, John would be making sketches of Superman and Spiderman.
“One day he told me he loved my name and promised when he became famous at Marvel Comics, he’d name his first character after me.”
Pryde thought nothing of the compliment.
In 1980 when when she was living and working in Toronto, Pryde received a package in the mail.
It contained one page of Byrne’s original sketches for his Kitty Pryde character plus a signed copy of the comic book it eventually became.
He’d signed it: “To Kitty, the real one. Thanks for the use of the name.”
The X-Men comics became one of Marvel’s best sellers.
Kitty eventually morphed into an action figure like so many of her mutant friends.
“Kitty started out as a young girl with superhuman powers.
“By the time they created her action figure, she’d become a major chick.
“She may bear my name, but she wasn’t modelled after me. I only wish I had knockers like that,” jokes Pryde.
With the success of the comics, the emergence of the doll and even a disco record, things got pretty tricky for Pryde.
“For the first couple of years I got some good laughs out of the attention I received from X-Men fans, but that stopped pretty quickly when it began infringing on my work and life as an artist.”
In 1986, Pryde was hired as a guest art teacher for a Calgary school.
“The students didn’t give a damn about colour theory. They just wanted me to autograph their comic books.
“I desperately hoped John would kill Kitty Pryde off but instead he let her have an affair with Wolverine, the most popular of the X-Men characters.”
Pryde gained a bit of anonymity in the ’90s by calling herself K.D. Pryde, but fans would track her down and continue to do so.
“The more attention I received over the years, the more I realized that the art work and comic John sent me back in 1980 has incredible value.
“My lawyer now keeps them in his firm’s vault for me.”



Edited by Neil Lindholm on 04 October 2008 at 9:26pm
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Mike Farley
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 12:00am | IP Logged | 2  

Comic book Kitty Pryde has big knockers? She had an affair with Wolverine? 
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Taavi Suhonen
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 3:08am | IP Logged | 3  

I know that later artists added big knockers, but I don't remember her ever having an affair with Wolverine.

Edited by Taavi Suhonen on 05 October 2008 at 3:09am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 4:19am | IP Logged | 4  

This is a fairly old piece, isn't it?
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 4:21am | IP Logged | 5  

No idea. It was forwarded to me today and it did not have a date attached so I don't know.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 4:52am | IP Logged | 6  

I remember the "big boobs" and "affair with Wolverine" lines from several
years back, so this is either a fairly old piece, or some journalist is recycling.

Or even both!

Kitty's version of events is a classic "Tale that Grew in the Telling". I met
her, as noted, in 1973, when she was the girlfriend of a former classmate.
On hearing her name for the first time I noted it was a great superhero
name, and after her boyfriend, Tom, explained to her why I would say such a
thing, she said "Feel free to use it!" I suspect at that time neither of us
thought I ever would. I was not working in comics yet. Certainly there was
no "promise" on my part.

About seven years later, Chris and I were working up a new team of junior
members for the X-Men, and I came up with the idea of a girl who walks
thru walls. (Her powers were actually less important to me than the story we
could tell about their impact on her life.) Chris wanted to call her
"Thunderbird", but coming from the "Stan Lee School of Naming", where the
name should have something to do with the character, I couldn't see
that. This did plant the idea of bird names in my head, and I jotted down
some random ideas, wondering if any might work with the new character, or
suggest a different one. One was Kittyhawk, from which my brain jumped to
Kitty Pryde, and that became her real name.

I'd had no contact with the real Kitty for at least five years at that point, but
thru a mutual friend I arranged to send her the original art for one of the
pages on which her namesake appeared. She sent a letter back saying she
was flattered and delighted.

Didn't see or hear anything from her again until 1994, when I was visiting
Calgary to see my parents and we had a "chance encounter" in a movie
theater. That was when I found out about some of the unfortunate
problems Kitty had been having trying to establish a website and the like.
She did say there was a flip-side, tho. When she'd had shows of her art
over the years, some people had told her they'd come into the gallery just to
find out if she was that Kitty Pryde.

Of course, she always told them she was!
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Marcio Ferreira
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 7  

John, I know that she was a friend's girlfriend, but did you had a crush on her?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 8  

Not my type. I just liked the name.

(I did have a bit of a crush on the mutual friend who helped me send
the artwork to Kitty, but nothing ever came of that!)
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Danton Lopes
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 9  

Does your Kitty bear any ressemblance to the real one?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 10  

None at all, apart from being female.



Kitty's look came originally from a gal who lived down the hall from me in
the apartment building where I lived when I designed the character. She had
a somewhat unusual face, and that was what I wanted for Kitty. Later we
started referring to Kitty as a "young Signourney Weaver." Then Smitty took
over, and she turned into Brooke Shields.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 05 October 2008 at 9:47am | IP Logged | 11  

...a "young Signourney Weaver."

***

Natch!

Why was she Jewish?

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