Josie Schuller is looking to get a killer tan next year in Lady Killer 2.
Announced at Comic-Con International: San Diego, Lady Killer 2 continues the story of assuming housewife/professional hitwoman Josie Schuller and her very unassuming family. Originally conceived from a series of pin-ups by Joëlle Jones and partnered with collaborator Jamie S. Rich, but now with Rich as a Senior Editor at Vertigo, Jones is flying solo for the first time.
Newsarama spoke to Jones during Comic-Con to talk about the new mini-series, what’s it like working by herself, where she’s taking Josie this time around, and how accessible the sequel actually is.
Newsarama: Joëlle, in Lady Killer 2 you're continuing Josie's adventures but this time you're going solo. Does it feel weird for this being your first solo project or maybe daunting in any way or have you had this planned out in your head for a while?
Joëlle Jones: It definitely feels weird but it's something that Jamie and I had planned out from the beginning. Jamie was brought into the project really early on to assist in writing with the intention that eventually I would take it over myself. I'm really enjoying writing it on my own but it still feels weird not having him involved in the process.
Nrama: What made you want to go back in for seconds with Lady Killer 2...and does that have a subtitle?
Jones: I just didn't feel like I was finished telling Josie's story. I originally set out to do just the five issues but I didn't plan on having as much fun doing it as I did. By the time I started #5 I was itching to tell more of the story and draw more things! No title yet but if you have any ideas...
Nrama: Where are you taking Josie now? Are we going to see some globe-trotting from her? From the teaser image it at least looks like she's making a quick stop in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Jones: Josie and her family have relocated to Florida to start a new life specifically in Cocoa Beach where Gene has a new job. Josie has decided to go into business for herself and has to deal with everything that comes with it. The locale has been a great inspiration for me and has taken my love for all things kitsch to a completely different level.
Nrama: You had such a great ensemble of characters last time, who is back this time around from the first series?
Jones: Well, of course there is Josie along with her husband and two daughters. A funny dog I enjoy drawing, and a grumpy German mother-in-law. Along with a few characters from the first series that might be a bit of a surprise.
Nrama: Countering that, who are some new characters you can't wait to introduce readers to?
Jones: With the setting in Florida I have had limitless amounts of strange people to draw from. I think it should be interesting.
Nrama: Instead of doing the same thing with Josie balancing domestic life and assassinations, how are you going to differentiate the sequel from the first installment?
Jones: Because Josie is going it alone with her own business she will have a lot of struggles to get it going and keep it going. She also has to keep secrets and finally deal with her mother in law Frau Schuller.
Nrama: How much time has passed since the previous adventure? Do you feel Josie has evolved since then?
Jones: This book picks up just a year after the first series and all the characters are taking lessons they learned from the first arc and trying to make it work in a new setting. Josie is going to be in a bit of a pressure cooker and no matter how much she has grown, she may fall back on bad habits.
Nrama: You constructed some very graphic imagery with some of Josie's *ahem* assignments, does that trend continue here? Do you force yourself to become, I guess, creative in how Josie does her job?
Jones: Of course there will be graphic violence! I may even go crazier with it!
Nrama: Lastly, is this something readers who aren't familiar with the first volume be able to dive into, or is going back to Lady Killer highly recommended?
Jones: Something I really wanted to do with this next arc was to have it be a standalone piece that any reader could pick up anytime. If they like it and never read the first book they can grab it and get another chapter of a story they enjoy.