Interview: Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich on Dark Horse’s Lady Killer

Lady Killer #1

Lady Killer #1

Joëlle Jones’ art has been seen as such comics as Helheim, Dr. Horrible, and Adventures of Superman. Jamie S. Rich has written such comics as Madame Frankenstein, It Girl & The Atomics, and A Boy and A Girl. They’ve collaborated on 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, and Spell Checkers. Now they’re teaming up again with Dark Horse’s Lady Killer. Westfield’s Roger Ash talked with Jones and Rich to learn more about this series.

A vintage ad parody by Joëlle Jones done prior to Lady Killer.

A vintage ad parody by Joëlle Jones done prior to Lady Killer.

Westfield: When I first heard of Lady Killer, I immediately thought of a series of parody vintage ads Joëlle did a few years ago. Is there a connection between them and the book?

Joëlle Jones: There is. I had come up with the idea 3 years ago but I stayed too busy to ever get a chance to draw or write any actual pages, the ads were my way to get it out of my system while waiting for the actual book to take shape.

Westfield: Why did you decide to do this as a period piece?

Jones: The idea for the book was always set in the late 50s early 60s. I have a huge love of the illustrations and ads from that time and wanted to do something set in that visual world.

Lady Killer #1 preview page 1

Lady Killer #1 preview page 1

Westfield: How did the two of you work on developing Lady Killer and how do you work as co-writers?

Jamie S. Rich: It was an evolving process. We went through a couple of rounds. In the early pitch, there was a lot of back and forth, with me typing up ideas and bringing them to Joëlle, and her making changes and suggesting new things. I took a couple of stabs at different scripts, but when it came down to doing it for real, Joëlle took the lead. She began plotting everything out, and as she wrote the first couple of issues, we’d meet and talk things through. When the art was done, I went back and worked over the dialogue. As we progressed, she’d toss me different sequences and I’d tinker with those. Honestly, we’ve been kind of all over the place with it, and it’s pretty unconventional, but it’s working.

Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the story and who are some of the characters they’ll meet?

Rich: The further into this arc we get, the more you’ll see who Josie is working for and who is in the same field. In the first issue, we meet Peck, who is basically her “handler,” but he’s only the next rung up the ladder. Much of this initial story is Josie waking up to her situation and really taking a look around. A fun part of setting the story in the past, is that it allows us to target certain types that everyone knows, and mess around with them. Different walks of life, different social constructs, and all the politics and baggage that come with them.

Lady Killer #1 preview page 2

Lady Killer #1 preview page 2

Westfield: Even though the subject matter of the book is grim and there’s a lot of drama in the first issue, I found there was plenty of humor as well. For example, I thought the beginning of the opening sequence was really funny. Do you see humor as an important part of the story?

Rich: We both have a fairly dark sense of humor, so it was kind of natural to go that way. Given some of the violence, I think we have to go in with a little bit of a smile or it would be a very different book. Joëlle is also very good at subtle social satire, so there are some really fun sequences in the suburbs on the way.

Westfield: If this initial series does well, do you have more plans for Lady Killer?

Jones: I guess we will see. It would be nice to really play with these characters some more since I am having so much fun with them.

Rich: I’d like to see where else we can go with the idea, too, and as a fan of Joëlle’s, see what she cooks up. It’s been a joy so far!

Check out the Lady Killer tumblr, featuring process art, inspiration, and fan art.


Lady Killer #1




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