As the song goes, the power of love is a curious thing.
In the case of BOOM!’s upcoming Jonesy by Sam Humphries and fresh talent Caitlin Rose Boyle, love is also getting revenge on your high school rival by creating an army of enamored zombie-like admirers. Announced back in September, Jonesy tells the story of a girl who has the mysterious power of making people fall in love with one another, but just not with her. Which is fine as she’s nonchalant towards relationships and thoughts of love, borderline totally against it. The four-issue mini-series hits shelvesub February, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Newsarama recently caught up with writer Humphries about Jonesy, what made him want to return to BOOM! for the project, working with Boyle and the input she provided, and the power of love as a storytelling device. The Bryan O'Malley variant to the right is a just-revealed incentive cover that retailers can order if done by Monday, January 18.
Newsarama: Sam, so this isn't your first foray into romance comic books, but Jonesy is far from Our Love is Real. Tell us a little bit about Jonesy and what makes her so relatable, because I certainly wasn't that kid who got any carnations, but I did have a ferret!
Sam Humphries: Jonesy is a teenage girl with the power to make anyone fall in love -- but the power doesn't work on herself! She's not above using her powers for mischief, or for her own entertainment. She's got confused and intense feelings about love, and she's sick of the world trying to tell her how to feel. That just about describes everyone I know. So Jonesy is a revenge fantasy for everyone confused about love. She's gonna show the world what's really up.
This book is gonna be great for fans of Lumberjanes and Scott Pilgrim, but also for fans of my Marvel work as well. It has the humor, the romance...and super powers!
Nrama: She has these powers that are sort of like using love as a weapon. I mean, Cupid used arrows and that's considered a weapon for sure. Was there any correlation between those two?
Humphries: Jonesy is not a cupid. Cupids are cute and benevolent — literally, "cherubic." And lame! Jonesy is a troublemaker -- she's sarcastic, and mostly over it, most of the time. She's resigned herself to being the school weirdo, and doesn't care about being cute or cherubic for anyone else. You don't wanna cross her. But deep inside, she's got a heart of gold. Especially if you are a ferret!
Nrama: Newcomer Caitlin Rose Boyle joins you along for this misadventure. She’s worked for the likes of Nickelodeon Studios, so what was it about Caitlin's style that made it a perfect fit for this world?
Humphries: To me, Jonesy didn't become a real project or real character until Caitlin came on board. Her artwork is beautiful, funny, warm, and heartbreaking. Paired with Mickey Quinn's electric colors, we got a book you can really fall in love with!
Nrama: We're only in the first issue here, can you tell us a little about Jonesy and Susan's relationship? Does it grow into a friendship or is this more of a mutual understanding for the time being of who they actually are instead of how they used to perceive one another?
Humphries: Well...I guess I could just say wait and see, haha. But Susan is a long-term character for us. She's not going away anytime soon. You'll see a lot of her in Jonesy #2, and beyond.
Nrama: Did you put any of your personal experiences of high school into this?
Humphries: Yes -- in high school, I also had the power to make anyone fall in love. There was a huge sex scandal between my history teacher and Prince. I know how to have fun.
Nrama: ...I'll leave that where it is.
Some of your earlier works have come out of BOOM!, what made you want to return for something like Jonesy?
Humphries: The incredible work they've done at Boom Box -- with Lumberjanes, Giant Days, and the rest -- has really paved the way for a book like Jonesy. Three years ago, this book would not have been deemed "commercially viable" by most publishers and retailers. But the tide has turned! It really is a new era out there, with an audience hungry for books like Jonesy. We couldn't be more happy to be back in the BOOM! family!
Nrama: When designing Jonesy and this gallery of characters, what was the percentage of input between you and Caitlin?
Humphries: Jonesy is a fifty-fifty co-creation by me and Caitlin. And when it comes to visuals, many times she brought more to the table!
Nrama: With books like Fresh Romance and Jonesy, do you think romance comic books could make a small comeback? Is that something you'd like to see?
Humphries: Well, when you consider sales from all comics, including manga, then romance comics have already made a comeback in America, a huge comeback! Love stories are so universal, I think there's plenty of room in this marketplace for books like Jonesy and Fresh Romance.
Nrama: Lastly, do you feel love is overcomplicated or under complicated when it comes to being used a storytelling device in comic books? Like, who do you really believe could be in love with one another?
Humphries: In some ways, love is the underpinning of every story ever told. The Revenant, a brutal, stark movie about survival, is a love story. Star Wars is a love story. The Bible is a love story. Legendary Star-Lord is a love story. And yeah, I just compared Star-Lord to the Bible, hahaha.