Tee Franklin took the stage at Image Expo today with artist Maria Nguyen to talk about Jook Joint, an upcoming five-issue Image Comics mini-series.
"It touches on topics that are really not discussed in comics," Franklin explained about the book, calling it a trigger warning. "Domestic violence. Abuse. Rapists. Sexual assaulters. Child molesters. This is what this book is about. It's gonna ruffle some feathers, but, you know me, it's what I do."
Franklin described the series as "a time period horror set in the swamp," and pointed to "dead people" on the slide. "There's rules, and if you don't follow the rules, you're gonna be dead in the Jook Joint."
Franklin said it was the first time that she was meeting Nguyen in person, revealing that they found each other on Twitter. Franklin said that the series was personal for her.
"I am a domestic violence survivor and I wanted to be able… I can't kill the people who abused me in my life, but writing about it and having her draw is pretty freaking cathartic," she said. "If you have an opportunity to get away with murder, would you do it? That is basically what Jook Joint is about. It will be released in Fall of 2018, but more so in October for domestic violence awareness month. Image has agreed to do variant covers, proceeds will go to the Joyful Heart Foundation."
"Juke Joint follows [main character] Halia(?)," added Nguyen. "She is not only the owner of this very popular jook joint, but she is also a voodoo priestess. Anyone who crosses her path, as you can see, they ended up on the floor."
"It was really great joining Tee on this one because I got to draw a lot of gore and it's one of my favorite things to do," Nguyen continued. She added that the comic will be colored by Lynn Scurfield, lettered by Taylor Espisito and edited by Brendan Wright. Look for it in October from Image.
UPDATE: The press release version:
Fresh off the buzz for BINGO LOVE's release on Valentine's Day, Franklin took to the stage to announce a new project with Image Comics—JOOK JOINT—with Maria Nguyen.
JOOK JOINT is a 5-issue time-period horror miniseries about a brothel/jazz club exposing the social evils of racism, rape, domestic violence, and inequality.
Because of its subject matter, JOOK JOINT is set to launch in October 2018, in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Franklin and Nguyen will work with Image Comics on coordinating special charity variants to benefit Joyful Heart, a non-profit founded by Mariska Hargitay which places focus on healing, education and advocacy.
"As a domestic violence survivor, this is a story I've been working on for years. It's been extremely cathartic and therapeutic. It was important for me to have an artist who understood what JOOK JOINT meant to me, before inviting them to embark on this journey with me," said Franklin. "I appreciate that Image Comics has allowed me to tackle this subject matter, in addition to working with us on charity variants for Mariska Hargitay's Healing Heart foundation. I now have an opportunity to use my talents to help survivors like myself. People have helped me when I was going through a rough time in my life and now I want to give back."