We Talk Lady Killer with Joëlle Jones

Joëlle Jones is back, and not only with a new series, but for another interview with us.  Her new series Lady Killers turned a lot of heads and got a lot of glowing reviews, with its mix of 50s style and brutal action.  We caught up with Joëlle to discuss her new series and to figure out how to get out those stubborn stains.

lk02Graphic Policy:  Can you talk about the inspiration for the main character?  It is such an unconventional mix but it works amazingly.
Joëlle Jones:  The main character and the idea for the book itself really came out of my love for vintage ads and violent movies. I’ve been collecting vintage ads and illustration for years and really wanted to work on something that would allow me to live in that world.
GP:  Does it worry you at all about the reaction of breaking down what is for many people still an icon (the loving housewife)?
JJ:  Not really, I don’ feel like the image of a perfect housewife is something that people take all that seriously and that it is ripe to poke fun of.
GP:  So much about this period is captured in perfect clarity, be it the main character acting as an Avon Lady, or the Kitty Kat club.  Did you do some research into the era first before writing?
JJ:  I did a fair amount in the beginning and as the series goes on and the situations get more involved I find myself having to do more and more research. I really enjoy it for the most part though. I love researching the clothes, cars, guns and historical moments. I’ve also gotten lucky enough to interview people that lived in Seattle at the time and get their impressions on the city itself.
lk03GP:  Josie is a character of contrasts, loving mother and wife but cold blooded assassin.  How do you balance the story telling to keep both separate and yet intertwined?  For instance, there are some very violent scenes, but also some pretty sedate ones.
JJ:  The contrast of her double life is what makes the book fun for me to draw and write. It is the central conflict and without it I doubt I would enjoy it as much. I find most people to be full of contradictions and Josie is just a version of that, maybe a version that never really happened but I think most people can identify with having to strike a balance in life that can be tricky at times.
GP:  There have not yet been the introduction of a main villain (or at least one that Josie hasn’t killed.)  Is there going to be anyone that can stand in her way?
JJ:  Sure, I have a character in the second issue that stands in her way and is a villain of sorts.
lk05GP:  One of the observations about heroes in comics is that they often use the same costume over and over again.  In the case of Josie she doesn’t really have a costume, but she is shown in different clothing during her other job, including the Kitten Costume which kinds of looks superhero like.  Do you think that the use of a costume is necessary for a hero in comics?
JJ:  No I don’t think a costume is at all necessary anymore. Comics have became so much cooler than that now and I think the days of needing a spandex uniform to identify what we consider heroes is over.
GP:  This is maybe more a question for Josie, but how does she get out all those blood stains?
JJ:  Lots of elbow grease and determination.