|First appearance in comic||
|First appearance with dialog||
May 20, 1909
|Place of Birth||
|Age at start of comic||
Ruby Pepper (father)|
Atlas May (godfather)
|Relatives||Unnamed Younger Brother and Sister|
Ivy Pepper is the daughter of Ruby Pepper and goddaughter of Atlas. She is first depicted in a photograph in "Introduction 3", and first appears with dialog in "Formaldehyde". She usually works as the cashier at Little Daisy.
In the comic
In "Formaldehyde", Ivy and Mitzi are discussing Lackadaisy's finances in Little Daisy when Rocky returns from his run-in with the pig farmers. Mitzi asks Ivy to escort Rocky when he goes to talk with Viktor about retrieving the car, believing her presence will make Viktor less likely to throttle Rocky.
In "Quantentheorie", Ivy persuades Viktor to accompany Rocky as he retrieves the car, without killing him. She shows no hesitation in playfully attacking Viktor in order to gain his assent.
Ivy meets Freckle in "Surreption", when Rocky brings Freckle to Little Daisy. Ivy takes an immediate and intense interest in Freckle, though his reaction is akin to terror. Though Rocky is atypically protective of Freckle and rejects Ivy's suggestion that he bring Freckle to Lackadaisy, Ivy distracts Rocky and then slips a Lackadaisy pin to Freckle.
Ivy next appears in "Growltiger", dressed up and reading McClure's in Little Daisy while waiting for Freckle to arrive. Freckle shows up in "Latecomer", but his anxiety prevents him from going inside until Ivy approaches him. They make their way to Lackadaisy in "Wishy-washy". Ivy cuts Horatio off abruptly when he asks whether Ivy has, "found another one already". While Ivy wants to dance with Freckle, he does not share her interest, and is surprised to find himself in a speakeasy at all. The issue is rendered moot when Rocky and the the band practically run them over. Rocky is less than pleased to see Freckle, and Ivy explains that she invited him because Rocky would not, and because her last "dance partner broke his arms and legs in some horrible accident". Due to the incoming pig farmers, Rocky begins leading them out of the club, and in "Killjoy", Zib manhandles Ivy out of the club. Ivy tells Horatio that she will go to the garage to reenter Lackadaisy in "Caveat".
Ivy makes her way into the garage in "Rowdydow", only to find Benjy Jessup making his way toward the exit. Seeing Viktor approaching from the other direction, Benjy attempts to shoot him, but Ivy throws off his aim. Benjy almost shoots Ivy, though this appears to be accidental, before Viktor punches him out. In "Stranglehold", Ivy realizes Viktor has been shot, and though he claims...poorly...that he does not need a doctor, Ivy leaves to get assistance, though Benjy asks her not to. Ivy proceeds to call Doctor Quackenbush from Little Daisy in "Quacksalver". After telling or reminding Quackenbush that she is Atlas's goddaughter, Ivy mentions that Quackenbush owes them a favor, though Quackenbush apparently believes that it is Lackadaisy who owes him a favor. Though Ivy notes that Quackenbush is, "awfully uppity for a horse doctor parading as a-", Quackenbush agrees to look at Viktor...after Ivy agrees to pay in cash. Seeing Wick outside Little Daisy, Ivy rushes to him, exclaiming that he has money, and in "Wherewithal" plays on his sense of chivalry to convince him to pay for Viktor's medical care.
Ivy returns to the garage in "Houdini", finding Viktor in a rare state of vulnerability. Ivy asks where Benjy has gone to, and after Viktor claims he let Benjy go, Ivy asks Viktor what really happened. Viktor then claims that Benjy vanished, only to have Ivy call him a bad liar, though she does not press the issue further. It seems evident that she has not noticed the tail sticking out of the back of the truck. By "Lassitude", Doctor Quackenbush has already arrived and removed the bullet from Viktor's chest as Mitzi and Zib arrive from Lackadaisy.
Ivy next appears in "Academia", when Rocky and Freckle visit her college because Rocky intends to use her as a shield against Viktor. Ivy tells her friends that her father wants her to come home for the summer; she is intentionally failing English Composition so that she will be able to stay in St. Louis to take a make-up class. Their discussion is interrupted when Ivy sees Chad, her ex-boyfriend. She is disappointed when he retreats from her, and wonders, "why does that always happen?" Upon seeing Rocky, Ivy assaults him in "Bee-line", blaming him for the prior night's events. She is mollified when Rocky explains his reason for coming to her, and tells him that Viktor is "pretty listless"; she visited him earlier, left the radio tuned to "something cheerful" and intends to bring him copies of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Ivy, Rocky and Freckle arrive at Viktor's apartment in "Deadeye". Though Viktor slams the door in their faces, Ivy persists in entering. After dropping the magazines in Viktor's lap, she introduces him to Freckle, declaring that they are dating. At that, Viktor directs his glare beam at Freckle. In "Dotage", their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Mrs. Bapka, Viktor's upstairs neighbor, who desires Viktor's assistance with her sink. When he is unable to get to his feet due to a coughing fit related to his injuries, Freckle and Ivy go in his place at Rocky's suggestion. While Freckle examines Mrs. Bapka's sink in "Handyman", Ivy asks him whether it is true that he killed the pig farmers. Before Freckle can respond he is distracted as sardines spill from a sink pipe onto his face, and withdraws from under the sink without answering Ivy's question, leaving her dubious. Ivy and Freckle talk further in "Sandwich", with Ivy trying to determine why Freckle is spending time working with Rocky if he does not like what he did the prior evening. She dismisses his claim that he is working with Rocky just because he needed a job, but before she can gain more useful information from him they are both distracted by the sandwiches Mrs. Bapka has made for them...with the sardines Freckle removed from her sink pipe earlier.
In "Rhubarb", Ivy returns to Viktor's room after Freckle and Rocky have left. She asks him whether he is the reason that Chad is afraid of her, and he replies that, "Chad vas...bad". Ivy next asks about Claude, and Viktor states that, "Claude vas...flawed". Ivy proceeds to ask about Cecil, and Viktor says that Cecil was "no good". Ivy asks why Viktor has been sabotaging her social life when they are friends, but Viktor states that they are not friends and that she should not stay in St. Louis, especially given the events of the prior evening. Ivy asks whether Viktor is playing "concerned patriarch" only because he is bored due to his injuries keeping him from the activities he used to perform, but before he can respond she proclaims him a "monster" and leaves. In "Gallivant", Ivy yells to Viktor from outside his apartment that she is giving up on him. While storming off she runs into Freckle and Rocky. Rocky offers her a lift, and after pausing to kiss Freckle and stating that, "we'll do it again", she sits between them. They arrive at Freckle's house in "Homestead", where Ivy horrifies Rocky and Freckle by asking whether she can meet Freckle's mother. As Freckle gets out of the car Ivy reminds him that he owes her a date. Rocky then asks Ivy whether she would like to go "location scouting" with him, an offer she happily accepts.
In "Begorra", Ivy and Rocky travel to a farm located in Defiance, and locate a spring house filled with bottles of liquor. Ivy asks Rocky how she can get Freckle to talk to her. Rocky suggests sports, but when Ivy indicates that she would prefer a more profound conversation, Rocky warns her against it. While they are peering in at the booze a source of illumination comes up from behind them, drawing Ivy's attention. The light is revealed to be from the headlamps of a hearse that is facing them in "Corpse-lights". After Rocky and Ivy provide explanations for their presence at the spring house that apparently fail to satisfy whomever's within the hearse, it moves closer to them. Ivy and Rocky throw a soda bottle and a rock at the front of the hearse, causing little apparent damage. The hearse then charges forward, prompting Ivy and Rocky to run for a nearby cornfield. In "Dead-run" the hearse pursues them through the corn. Rocky and Ivy try to hide in a barn to escape the hearse, only to realize the barn already has a car-sized hole in it. They next place a sickle mower across the barn door opening, expecting it will flatten the hearse's tires, but the sickle mower becomes lodged beneath the hearse as it continues to pursue them. Rocky and Ivy flee into another cornfield in "Haymaker", but trip over an irrigation pipe. The pursuing hearse severs the pipe and hits Rocky. He sustains a head injury shortly before a piece of the pipe lands on him along with the sickle mower. When Ivy finds him he has a visible head wound and is unconscious beneath the pipe and mower. Ivy unsuccessfully tries to rouse Rocky in "Predicament", but is forced to abandon him when Abelard and Bobby, who were in the hearse, near her location. Ivy makes her way to Abelard's hearse, finding a gun inside it. Ivy threatens Abelard and Bobby with said gun in "Jellybeans", though after Bobby indicates that he believes Ivy and Rocky are just trying to steal their liquor, Ivy points out that they intended to purchase it. However, Bobby states that their simply being present is now an issue. In "Brimstone", Abelard begins advancing on Ivy and demands that she give him the gun, but quickly backs down when she fires several bullets into the hearse. Ivy asks them what it will take to convince them that they are all on the same side, and Bobby asks what bootleggers Ivy is affiliated with.
Ivy, Abelard and Bobby return to the Arbogast Funeral Home, where the latter two work, in "Undertaker". In "Medicament" and "Gravediggers", Ivy talks with Bobby and Elsa regarding their involvement with Lackadaisy. Though Elsa cuts Bobby off mid-story, asking him not to tell Ivy such awful stories, Ivy asks to learn more, and Bobby continues the story in "Bushwhack". In "Bookkeeper", Bobby tells Ivy that he believes Mordecai began keeping books for grifters and gamblers in New York City when he was very young. At some point this went awry, as Atlas found Mordecai while the latter was riding a getaway train towards Chicago or Detroit, and being pursued by unhappy associates of his. Bobby also notes that Mordecai has always been lacking in the social graces; there are rumors that Mordecai may have a bullet fragment in his skull that is responsible for his condition. Bobby continues his ruminations in "Powder-keg"- he never asked Mordecai directly whether the rumors were true, but believes that Atlas viewed Mordecai's social issues as an asset, and was heavily involved in getting Mordecai settled and working for him in St. Louis. Bobby proceeds to talk about Viktor, noting that he believes Viktor, like many others, was traumatized by his experiences during World War I and was drawn to conflict upon his return to the United States. Bobby relates more of Viktor and Mordecai's pasts to Ivy in "Transgression" and "Bygones", until Abelard cuts him off. Ivy asks them to go into business with Lackadaisy again, but they flatly refuse.
Bobby and Abelard explain to Ivy in "Coercion" that they are now working for Marigold, who insist on exclusivity. By threatening them with Viktor's retaliation for their wounding of Rocky, she convinces them to negotiate. Ivy and Elsa speak privately in "Brokerage", and after indicating that she believes Ivy is in over her head and that Viktor did not send Ivy to Defiance, Elsa reveals to Ivy that Viktor has a daughter. Elsa additionally reveals that Viktor has a wife in "Antidote" who his daughter lives with. Ivy expresses surprise about this, not least because she has "rifled through all his stuff". When Ivy asks where they are, Elsa states that she believes Viktor's family is not in St. Louis because Viktor believes it is best for them to be elsewhere. When Ivy asks why Elsa is involved with bootlegging, Elsa tells her that after the war she did not want to be in a place with people or noise. Before giving Ivy medicine for Rocky, Elsa adds that she hopes Ivy does not have reasons to be a bootlegger...and is smart enough not to invent them.
Rocky and Ivy return to St. Louis in "Posterity", and it is revealed that Rocky lives in his car. In "Breakdown" Ivy suggests taking Rocky to Nina's, but Rocky is less than enthused by that notion. He reveals to Ivy that while his mother was ill and his father was working, the McMurray House was often a better home to him than his own home. Rocky caused a few issues though, and ultimately accepted responsibility for a larger problem, causing him to be kicked out of Nina's house, in part so that Freckle could attend school with fewer distractions. Ivy does not entirely seem to realize how upset Rocky is about this. Their conversation is interrupted when Ivy stalls the vehicle and they are approached by a stranger who asks why they are out late at night. In "Intersection" it is made apparent that the stranger is working with Marigold and is not alone. Ivy decides that Rocky will stay in her dorm overnight. Rocky and Ivy reach her dorm in "Camouflage". Olivia, Helen and others gawk at them while Rocky calls Mitzi. Ivy then escorts Rocky to her dorm room, attracting more gawkers along the way. That evening, Ivy has a "Nightmare" involving a younger version of herself, Mitzi, Viktor, Mordecai, Rocky and Freckle. She awakens to find Rocky gone, though he has left a note indicating that he will meet Ivy at Lackadaisy and desires her assistance to pick up booze from Defiance.
"Scrapbook" includes a photo of Ivy and two companions wearing laboratory coats. In "Tannenbaum", Ivy gives Viktor a green-and-yellow hat and matching yellow scarf, though only because she does not want her father to know that she spent money.
Ivy appears in a New Year's picture taken in Lackadaisy in 1926, shown in "New Year".
Ivy was born on May 20, 1909 in Kansas City, Missouri, making her 18 years old at the time of the comic. Ivy's height is approximately 5'1". Tracy notes that, "Ivy wears bright colors I associate with spring and youth". With regards to her voice, Tracy has stated that Ivy is, "Pert, cute, high pitched, but with a self-aware, sardonic edge. There's a bit of deliberately disarming con artist beneath the daintiness". Ivy is of above-average intelligence. She has driven a car "once or twice".
Ivy's father is Ruby Pepper, a long-time friend of Atlas, enough so that Atlas is Ivy's godfather. When Ivy was younger, Ruby would bring her to St. Louis with him, and while visiting Lackadaisy she would be treated like royalty. Ivy has a much younger brother and sister, young enough that she was essentially raised as an only child. Her siblings are part of the reason that Ruby is no longer involved with Lackadaisy as well as why she has as much freedom as she does.
Ivy has a somewhat forceful personality. She is likely one of the few individuals who can assault Viktor without him retaliating and has no qualms about expressing a strong interest in Freckle immediately upon meeting him.  Ivy appears to have few qualms against deceiving her father. In "Academia" she tells her friends that she is failing English on purpose so that she can stay in St. Louis, while in "Tannenbaum" she gives Viktor a hat and scarf so that her father will not know that she spent money. Ivy states in "Medicament" that she wishes to stay in St. Louis.
Tracy has described Ivy as a "fickle teenager". Regarding how Ivy feels about her involvement in an illegal business, Tracy noted that, "Ivy might have been partial-witness to some nasty things and she certainly has some inkling of what goes on behind the scenes, but she enjoys a degree of separation that allows her to partake of the spoils without herself making any major moral compromises. For her, the ethical implications remain largely unexamined, so it still seems all a rather grand, exotic adventure she’s in a privileged position to experience....thus far". Additionally, regarding her youth, "Ivy was precocious but over-indulged; a princess in a gangster’s bootleg barony hovering between innocence and immersion in an underworld. I don’t think she’s grown out of it yet". This innocence may be observed in "Breakdown", as Ivy seems somewhat oblivious to how distraught Rocky is over the course his life has taken. She has also told her dorm mates that she has gangster connections. Ivy changed her hair to its current "flapper" style when she was in her early teens, though her interest in Lackadaisy developed much earlier.
Ivy's interests include light-spirited modern literature and film, though she is content to talk about almost anything or anyone. She also enjoys provoking others to discuss themselves. Ivy is fond of petit fours, and will claim to enjoy drinking a Tom Collins, a Parisian, a White Lady, or other drinks that she has heard others discuss. In fact she has not drank alcohol often and does not care for it, though she has enjoyed champagne punch. Ivy took piano lessons as a child, though not happily. She enjoys reading, "McCalls, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Red Book Magazine (Redbook) and perhaps just about anything else that'd give her an excuse not to read her coursework". According to Tracy, for Christmas Ivy would most like hats. Ivy will smoke on occasion around her friends or to maintain her image, but does not care for it.
"Growltiger" establishes that Ivy is taking classes at a university, and apparently enjoys reading McClure's, while "Scrapbook" shows Ivy and two companions wearing laboratory coats. She is a member of her school's rifle team. Her college campus is seen in "Academia", and includes a building modeled on St. Louis University's DuBourg Hall. Attending college in St. Louis was Ivy's idea; she was motivated by the idea of working for Mitzi and gaining access to Lackadaisy and jazz.
In "Growltiger", Mitzi idly asks whether Ivy has, "lured another poor boy into meeting you", suggesting that Ivy may have a penchant for bringing men to Little Daisy and possibly Lackadaisy. This is brought up again in "Wishy-washy", in which Horatio asks whether Ivy has "found another one". Ivy notes to Rocky and Freckle that her previous "dance partner" had his arms and legs broken in a horrible accident.
Ivy has an ex-boyfriend, Chad, who appears in "Academia" with broken arms and legs and retreats when he sees her, leading Ivy to ask sadly, "Why does that always happen?", indicating that Ivy has had similar experiences in the past, though whether with Chad or other individuals is unclear.
Ivy meets Freckle in "Surreption" and immediately takes a strong interest in him, though Freckle appears frightened of her, or at least her forthrightness. In "Wishy-washy" Ivy wants to dance with Freckle, though he does not share her interest and appears more scared by the idea than anything else. Nevertheless, in "Deadeye" Ivy tells Viktor that she has decided that she and Freckle are dating. Ivy asks Freckle whether it is true that he killed the pig farmers in "Handyman", but he fails to answer the question and leaves her dubious.
In "Gallivant", Ivy kisses Freckle while getting into a car with him and Rocky, and states that they will kiss again in the future. Freckle seems agreeable to this.
During "Begorra", Ivy asks Rocky how she can get Freckle to talk to her. When she dismisses Rocky's suggestion of discussing sports because she wants to pry deeper into Freckle's pscyhe, Rocky advises her against it.
Regarding the potential relationship between Ivy and Freckle, Tracy noted: "It's simple, uncomplicated affection. It's not terribly deep (at least not as yet), perhaps not destined to last, but with any luck, it'll at least demonstrate to Freckle that there's more to life than the maddening, guilt-addled exercise of appeasing the two domineering angel-devil family figures perched on his shoulders."
Ivy appears to have a well-established relationship with Viktor. She is willing to confront him physically without fear of retribution, considering him a "big teddy bear"; it's unclear whether Viktor enjoys or merely tolerates these confrontations. Ivy is one of the few people whom Viktor appears to let his guard down around, as she has actually seen him in a vulnerable state.
In "Rhubarb", Ivy realizes that Viktor has been sabotaging her social life and that he does not want her to be involved with Lackadaisy. She rebuffs his concerns, calling him a "monster" and storming out. In "Gallivant", Ivy yells to Viktor from outside his apartment that she is giving up on him.
Ivy and Wick are familiar with each other as of "Wherewithal", likely because Wick is a long-standing patron of Lackadaisy. Ivy knows Wick well enough to play on his sense of chivalry when it suits her purposes. Their relationship appears to be somewhat formal, with Wick referring to Ivy as, "Miss Pepper".
Zib appears to show some degree of deference to Ivy, calling her "Miss Pepper".
Though it has not been made explicitly clear in the comic, Tracy has noted that Ivy is going to college at SLU.
In response to criticism regarding Ivy, Tracy noted that Ivy will play an integral part in the story; she is not incidental.
"Preview 0004" shows Ivy and Freckle sitting together more companionably than has been shown in the comic thus far. "Reader Question: Ivy and Viktor" reveals Ivy's reaction to the notion that people might fancy the notion of her and Viktor in a relationship.
Tracy has noted that she has a floral theme with regards to Ivy - "Ivy’s flowers are always in spring colors - spring for the virtues and pitfalls of youth or burgeoning adulthood; the perennial nature of the culture of youth, metamorphosing continually but remaining the definition of a given place in time (particularly in the 20th Century); unperturbed cheer, being trendy, fresh, in-step and wholly there at that precise moment, however naive."
- ^ Character Profile Page
- ^ a b "Medicament"
- ^ "Brokerage"
- ^ "Gallivant"
- ^ "Preview 0020"
- ^ a b c Forum post by Tracy - May 18, 2010
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - October 6, 2009
- ^ a b c Forum post by Tracy - October 20, 2012
- ^ "Posterity"
- ^ a b "Quantentheorie"
- ^ "Surreption"
- ^ a b c Forum post by Tracy - January 27, 2011
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - September 9, 2009
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - April 14, 2013
- ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - December 9, 2012
- ^ "Academia"
- ^ "Tiny Narratives (Q&A)"
- ^ "Quacksalver"
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - March 6, 2014
- ^ "Houdini"
- ^ "Killjoy"
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - February 24, 2011
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - June 22, 2011