Joëlle Jones, an Eisner-nominated comic artist whose work has recently been featured by the “Big Two” publishers, DC Comics and Marvel, was one of several creators featured in last year’s New Talent Showcase #1. Showcase featured work from creators new to DC, who had passed through their Talent Development Program, workshops taught by established writers and artists at DC such as Scott Snyder (writer of Batman from 2011-2016), and Jim Lee (artist and co-publisher for DC Comics). The special issue features short stories with spotlighting characters such as Wonder Woman, Superman, and Harley Quinn, who features in Jones’ contribution “Good Morning, Gotham!”
I had the opportunity to speak with Jones via e-mail about her creative influences, writing comics, the DC Writers’ Workshop, and advice she has for aspiring creators.
Levi Raab: What are some of your creative influences?
Joëlle Jones: For me it changes all the time. I can get really into an artist one month and then discover someone new right after and get obsessed with their artwork. Right now maybe Pete Hawley and Jorge Zaffino.
JJ: No, I have been writing and drawing a series called Lady Killer published by Dark Horse for the last couple of years. It was tricky at first but I tend to write and draw at the same time so after a while it became very fluid. I think writing for other people is much more difficult.
LR: What were the workshop classes like/what were some of the topics covered?
JJ: We would all video ourselves into the same meeting and usually just jump right in. Discussing scripts turned in and covering that week’s topic. We went over many subjects and it really gave me an insight into writing superheroes. I found it invaluable.
LR: What was the most important thing you learned from the workshop?
JJ: I still don’t really think of myself as a writer but I felt I was somehow given permission to go big and be bold. I tend to be timid since I am so new to it but just to be given the tools and the confidence made me feel more capable.
LR: Is there any advice (whether for art or writing) that you’d like to pass on to the readers of this blog?
JJ: Just the clichéd stuff you hear all the time. Work every day; if it’s writing just write, and if it’s art just draw. There really is no work around for it and nothing will improve you faster.
– Levi Raab