It's time to get your orders in for Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle's new comic Jonesy! Just incase you didn't have enough reasons to grab the comic already, I promise you this interview will bring you some magical feelings. I had the pleasure of chatting with the creative team about their start in comics, the highs and lows of the job, and what makes Jonesy so great.
Christine Marie: Hi Sam and Caitlin! Thanks for joining me here on Bleeding Cool. We're here to talk about your new comic Jonesy, but first, let's start from the beginning. What inspired you to want to work in comics?
Sam Humphries: Reading a ton of superhero comics as a kid, a ton of manga in high school, a ton of indie comics in college, a ton of Euro comics in my twenties…etc. But really, the fact that I've read a lot of comics does not qualify me to make good comics. What qualifies me is my charm, and the fact that I have Mark Waid rewrite my scripts until they make sense and are good.
Caitlin Rose Boyle: I grew up in a rural town, where comics were not very accessible, so I skipped the superhero comics step – but I was huge into Maurice Sendak and Bill Peet as a kid, and that fascination with illustrators kept me interested in drawing up through middle and high school. You couldn't find single issue comics anywhere, but the local bookstore started stocking manga and I got completely hooked! Comics with female protagonists?? By women??? I didn't get the significance at the time, but looking back I know exactly why I devoured shoujo manga. Then in college, thanks to Pittsburgh's indie comics scene, I realized that comics could really be ABOUT anything; that realization finally kicked open the doors for me.
CM: How did you break into the industry? What was the first comic you worked on?
SH: I broke into comics by creating Batman, and my first comic was Detective Comics #27. Sadly, it's all been downhill from there. Nearly a hundred years of high expectations. You can't imagine how incredible the pressure is. Everyone keeps asking, "where's the next Batman, Sam??" Well, she's here. And her name is Jonesy.
CRB: I've been making comics for the internet & for small indie publications in some form or another since 2012. I post small autobio things on twitter, make short-form comics for fanzines, and more recently for anthologies like DOG CITY and Hazel Newlevant's Chainmail Bikini. I've also co-created an animated short for Nickelodeon ("Buck & Lou n' The Night Crew). Jonesy is my first industry comic though! And I'm SO JAZZED to be working with creator of BATMAN, Sam "BAT" Humphries. Just wow. It's an honor.
CM: Now that we know a bit more about you, let's talk Jonesy. The first issue will be releasing from BOOM! Box next month. Share with readers what her story is all about.
SH: Jonesy is a teenage girl who has the power to make anyone fall in love – but the power doesn't work on herself. And she's not a benevolent cupid. No, she uses her powers to mess with people. Mess with them hard. For her own enjoyment! Of course, things go horribly wrong from there.
CRB: It goes so, so wrong! And there's no undo button, so if Jonesy ever wants to fix things, she will have to figure out some creative solutions to the messes she's caused. Which is honestly what I remember from being a real teenager, with heightened reality and magic powers added into the mix.
CM: After reading the first issue, I was happy with how unique Jonesy is. Her character is certainly high energy and filled with a lot of passion. Tell me a bit about the creative process in working with her character.
SH: Caitlin and I have been working together on Jonesy for a year and change now. It started as a very brief idea, but when the two of us started collaborating, Jonesy became the unique little jewel soon to be tattooed on your bicep. I think the key here is Caitlin and I had a lot of time to relax and have fun with Jonesy. Coming up with ideas, talking about the tone, and getting to know Jonesy herself. When it came time to do issue 1, we were ready.
CRB: The back & forth conversations about what made Jonesy tick were absolutely crucial. After a year of Skype sessions, email chains, and a whole folder full of concept art, we're totally comfortable with Jonesy herself and the world she's inhabiting.
CM: When I first saw some panels from Jonesy, I immediately fell in love with the Lumberjanes-esque style it's illustrated in. As the creative team, was this something you did intentionally or did Jonesy manifest in that style naturally?
SH: The style of Jonesy is something that came about completely organically, straight from the magic hands of Caitlin Rose Boyle, who has been honing her beautiful and hilarious talent in webcomics, and now animation. I can't imagine creating Jonesy without CRB.
CRB: Aww Sam! Yeah, the look of Jonesy comes pretty straight out of my portfolio. As soon as I got involved, Jonesy was going to look like this. The bold line weight was a deliberate choice, mirroring Jonesy's BOLD personality & the cartoony nature of the world, but otherwise the style is just how my drawing style has developed over the years. I think if you put my manga influences, Sendak, and indie comics into a blender and add a pinch of contemporary animation, a very similar drawing would emerge. Or you'd break your blender, I guess.
CM: What has been the most rewarding and challenging part of working on this comic?
SH: The most challenging part of this comic has been forcing Jonesy to get in trouble. I feel like she's my fourth little sister, and all I want to do is protect her from harm. But that makes for boring comic book stories. So if I have to get her into trouble, I make sure it's worthwhile for her as a character – it makes her sharper, stronger, or more sarcastic. "The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted."
The most rewarding part is the next 999 issues of Jonesy that Caitlin and I get to create together.
CRB: For me, the most challenging AND the most rewarding part has been working so closely with a writer (SAM!!!!) to create this beautiful silly comic for everyone to read. I've worked on my own, and I've worked with a co-creator and a big team at Nickelodeon, and I've worked with other artists- but being the sole illustrator in a partnership has been a very new thing for me. I'm doing all of the designs & linework, and that's been such a fun challenge. I can feel myself leveling up as I draw each panel!
And how could I forget the next 999 issues? The biggest reward is obviously more Jonesy.
CM: Lastly, if you had to describe Jonesy in three words, what would they be and why?
SH: YOU LOVE JONESY and PRE ORDER NOW. I am hypnotizing you while you read this. It is working.
CRB: JONESY IS GREAT or IT'S THE BEST!!! JONESY JONESY JONESY!!!
Jonesy is set to release from BOOM! Box next month, but the Final Order Cutoff date is today.
Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, Bibliomaniac, Aspiring Poet/Novelist and Dark Side Advocate. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.