So, Lady Killer #1 is here. Portlanders, don't forget about our Wednesday release party. It's going to be a blast. Info is here, or you can stream my Spotify playlist for the event, check the embed below.
Reviews have been really good.
* The Geek Initiative dissects the issue and finds it has a lot under the surface. They say it "begs the reader to examine the complexity of characters and people."
* Comics Bulletin lists us among their picks of the week. Pole position, in fact.
First up is Lady Killer #1 by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, published by Dark Horse. Jones is a big draw for me, capable of some very graceful lines, while Rich was a stalwart figure on the indie scene a decade or so ago, and always worth a look. They’re promising a weird juxtaposition of domestic bliss and visceral violence, in a way that reminds me of The Milkman Murders, a seminal work by Joe Casey and Steve Parkhouse that was tongue-in-cheek suburban horror, sort of subsuming the American Dream and traditional social roles
Early ’60s housewife turned killer for hire?! Sounds like fun to us, and continues the wonderful recent trend of lady badass series. Glad to see Dark Horse getting in on the game.
Writers Joëlle Jones (Helheim) and Jamie S. Rich (It Girl and The Atomics) set the stage in the premiere issue with some “if at first you don’t succeed” mano-a-mano murder worthy of Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain. Jones is also the illustrator of the series and keeps the line work crisp and the 50’s/60’s details accurate.
To go along with a very good story is page after page of some really great artwork from Joëlle Jones. Those familiar with her work already know the level of quality you’ll get here. Those that are new will be very pleased to see what awaits them in this issue. From the character designs to the décor and locations, you will be fully immersed in the time period. The action has a nice visceral flow to it that is more brawler than stylized martial arts scenes. All of it is made complete with the colors of Laura Allred. Making the entire visual experience one that is quite enjoyable and worth several looks after you read it the first time.
It’s like Mary Tyler Moore and La Femme Nikita had a baby, and that baby was Lady Killer #1. Man, I’m just 24 pages into this thing and I want to take this baby home, nurture it, care for it, and watch over it as it grows. (I think I just called a child and “it”… I’m not sure how I feel about that.)
Laura Allred has really outdone herself in the coloring of this comic. She perfectly accentuates Jones’ vibrant tone. Each panel looks like piece of pop art fit for a museum. This book has so much beautiful attitude emanating from it, and I can’t think of a single thing I’d change about the way it looks. Right down to the ink spray in the gutters of the pages, the design of this issue is something to admire.
There’s something uniquely appealing about the contrast in style that’s going on here, with the saccharine-sweet, whiter-than-white world of the early 60’s being juxtaposed with the brutal reality of the hitman (or hitwoman, in this case). Jones clearly takes great pleasure in playing around with this, having Josie switch from ice-cold – if slightly unlucky – killer to doting housewife at the turn of a page, and throwing in several great visual flourishes along the way.
Jamie S. Rich provides polish to the dialogue here, and it definitely flows smoothly throughout, from Josie’s earnest ‘Avon Lady’ routine during her opening contract to the flirtatious, innuendo-laden exchange with her handler Peck later in the issue.
This book may be a comedy, but the art in this book is no joke (insert rimshot here). Honestly, Lady Killer looks amazing. Joëlle Jones is such a talented artist that doesn’t get enough attention for her great work. Lady Killer truly feels like she is on top of her game. Jones is able to capture the feel of the 60’s without making the series look outdated or flat. Speaking of artists who don’t get enough attention, I almost jumped for joy when I saw Laura Allred was coloring Lady Killer. Allred usually doesn’t do a lot of coloring work outside of her collaborations with husband Mike Allred. So anytime you get to see Laura working with other artists it’s going to be a colorful treat.
* And let's close with an absolute rave, 10/10 from Coming Up Comics.
The hook alone makes this book worth reading, but what propels it to the level of perfection is Jones’ meticulous attention to details. Every line, angle, and trademark ink spatter she puts down on the page creates a world of aesthetic impact—these panels nearly pop right off the page with how perfectly composed they are. Heavily inspired by the era’s slick advertising, Lady Killer has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek when showing pictures of domestic bliss, where a dainty Josie cooks in a spotless apron while a huge knife features in the foreground.
Laura Allred’s coloring, however, is what truly brings this issue to life. There is quite literally no one else in the industry who could have colored this book better. Her choices always elevate, never muddle or hinder the artwork, and it’s this final wash of brilliant tones that brings Joëlle’s artwork to the next level."
Current Soundtrack: Snow Tha Product, "Hola;" Nicki Minaj & Jessie Ware, "The Crying Game;" Beyonce & Nicki Minaj, "Flawless (Remix)"