Independently Well Done highlights completed and/or noteworthy story-arcs published by indie and small press creators.
Written By: Sam Humphries
Art By: Caitlin Rose Boyle
Published: Feb-May 2016 by Boom! Box
The wonderful thing about comics is not superheros, or villains, or even the beloved stories that we all know. No, I’d dare say that the most wonderful thing about comics is the fact that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you you’re interested in, someone is making a comic that you can love. Sure, there are plenty of arguments in today’s comic fandom about inclusion and representation, and I agree with much of it, although not necessarily the way it’s always expressed. Regardless of the arguments going on, I’d dare say that no matter who you are there’s a comic being published that fits you perfectly. It might not be the biggest, or most popular, but who cares, if it fits you and you love it, then I guarantee that makes the creators happy. Creators all over the world are breaking out and making comics that fit their interests, telling their stories, and by doing so the definitions of what a comic can be are being expanded greatly. One such comic I’ve found that broke the mold and shattered preconceived ideas of what comics should be is Jonesy, by Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle, published by BOOM! Box.
The first issue of this, initially, four-part series (it was picked up and is now a continuing series) was released on the same week as Valentines Day. Normally, that’s not that big of a deal, however, leveraging that specific publishing date, along with one of the best comic writers out there Sam Humphries, and the absolutely adorable and fantastic art of Caitlin Rose Boyle, Boom! Box released this gem of a book into the world and I couldn’t be more thankful. Jonesy is one of those books that I, initially, grabbed because it looked different. Boyle’s art is eye grabbing, with her cartoon’ish flair and over expressive panels, it really is everything a book like Jonesy needs to be great. I can’t actually picture another artist that could do Jonesy better than Boyle. What she brings to the story with her style and choice of layouts and paneling honestly makes this book what it is.
Of course, without Humphries at her side, the character and high jinks of this adorable character would never grace us. Humphries fantastic writing truly brings Jonesy to life. In all honesty, this is just one of those books that by the time you make it to page two of the first book, you’re in love with the character and just want to sit and read her adventures all day.
So, what exactly is Jonesy all about you might be asking? Well, Jonesy is a comic about a young high school girl who really does her own thing. She’s dramatic, extremely dramatic, but in the most adorable ways possible. She has an obsession for making zines, even though no one reads them, she might be addicted to anime, and absolutely loves girl bands. If that doesn’t hook you already, I guess I’ll mention that she also has the ability to make anyone fall in love with anything. All she has to do is say it, and wham-o, love is in the air. Also, you might notice that I said the words “anyone” and “anything.” Yup, you read that correctly, at one point she commands everyone in the school to fall in love with ferrets so everyone donates money to an animal rescue. As I said, she can make anyone fall in love with any thing, well, with one exception. Unfortunately, Jonesy can’t command anyone to fall in love with her…bummer right, especially for a young girl who has a crush on a teen idol singer. As bad as it is, Jonesy makes due with her secret powers, and manages to fix…and create…a whole bunch of problems.
One of the strengths of this four-part series is found not just in Jonesy but in how she interacts with her family and friends. Most of the time, side characters simply serve as a storytelling vessel to bring the main character to a place where they do some great thing. In Jonesy, this just isn’t the case. Over the course of four issues, every character is given depth and provides something impactful and meaningful. Throughout these first four issues everything that’s introduced, from a school dance to her dad’s obsession with donuts, creates a wonderful world wherein we the readers are immersed in this young girl’s world. You end up feeling apart of Jonesy’s family, you connect with her friends, feel her stress, and even cheer her on as she tries to solve the problems around her. You want her dad’s donut shop to be a success, you want him to find love again, and all of this is due to the time and effort Humphries and Boyel put into the characters that make up Jonesy’s world.
By the end of the first issue I just sat back, surprised at how easily I fell in love with this comic, and each and every issue that came next, I was floored at how well Humpries and Boyle continued to deliver their story. By the end of issue four, I knew I wanted more, and to my delight I learned this book would be continuing. As for what genre this book sits in, well, I have no clue. I might classify as a young-adult, or young-teen book, but truthfully anyone can enjoy this. There’s just a sense of carefree attitude and levity mixed with the problems a young girl would take serious, and somehow that combination works incredibly well. That might not sound like something a nearly forty year old man can relate to, but Humphries and Boyle pulled it off. I don’t know what it’s like to be a high school girl who loves making zines, but what I do know, I love Jonesy and would easily put this comic into the hands of anyone looking for something different.