What can be more all-American than a housewife who hosts Tupperware parties, has a hot meal on the table for her busy husband when he comes home, and is always ready with a kind word and plate of hot cookies for her children after a tough day of school? Well, if you’re Josie Schuller, you’ve got one more thing to juggle, because she’s also a killer, running a successful assassination business on the side. I mean, a girl’s gotta have something to break up the monotony, right?
We first met Josie and the whole Schuller family in writer Joëlle Jones’ Eisner award-nominated Lady Killer series, but for the new storyline, they’ve just moved into a picture-perfect Cocoa Beach, Florida during the early years of the Space Race (the 1960s). Like Desperate Housewives, all the women in Cocoa Beach have lives completely independent of their worker-bee husbands, and while Josie is clearly trying to fit in with her Tupperware party, it’s a catty community of insecure, snotty women and she’s not really someone you want to piss off.
The bigger problem is that someone else in the family actually knows her side job and doesn’t like it much at all. But would you want to confront the stone-cold killer in your family, or would you try your very best to stay on their good side? Yeah, me too.
There’s a breezy fun about Jones’ story, a sort of Stepford Wives meets The Long Kiss Goodnight that is eminently readable — I’m definitely ready for the next installment as this first issue ends in a huge cliffhanger! — enhanced by the wonderful artwork of Michelle Madsen. Indeed, Madsen could easily be straight out of a time machine from an ad agency in the 1960’s, so faithfully does she capture technicolor shades of the era and enhances Jones’ art.
We were lucky to catch up with Joëlle to ask her a few questions about the Lady Killer 2 series. Here’s what she shared with us:
TFAW: What was your original inspiration for the Lady Killer series? I loved the first series, where will you be taking Josie this time around?
Joëlle Jones: The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few human heads. However, when someone from her past tails her on a hit, she may be in for more than she bargained for.
Jones: I’ve always been drawn to stories about people with dual natures…and I thought setting the series in this particular time in American history really highlights that duality.
TFAW: From the artwork, we figure that Lady Killer 2 takes place concurrent with the Space Race that was such a prominent part of Florida in the ’60s. Is that going to be woven into the story?
Jones: Yes! Josie and her family move to Cocoa Beach because of her husband’s job. He works for a company that is connected to the aerospace industry..
TFAW: Really love your style of art in this story too. How do you stay true to the ’60s artistic sensibility while still offering the visual pizazz that modern readers demand?
Jones: I’m constantly looking at the great illustrators from that mid-century period. I also try to keep up with current comics. So, I suppose those to things merge in my mind and translate to the page.
TFAW: A family where Mom has a secret identity. Any chance Dad or the rather witchy mother-in-law might have something up their proverbial sleeve?
Jones: Probably! But I’m not going to tell you about that here. I guess you’ll just have to read and find out!
TFAW: You’ve brought Michelle Madsen in for the fun this time around. How did she become involved with Lady Killer 2?
Jones: We only had Laura Allred for the first series and filling her shoes was a daunting task. I’ve always loved Michelle’s work and when we got the opportunity to bring her on to the team I was pleased as punch! She’s a perfect fit for the book. Amazing work!
TFAW: For those who haven’t discovered Lady Killer yet, what’s your elevator pitch for the series?
Jones: Ha! I get asked this a lot. “Donna Reed meets Dexter.”
TFAW: What other projects are you working on right now?
Jones: I’m going to be very busy for the next two years but I really can’t talk about it. Lots of exciting stuff!
TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?
Jones: I just finished reading Harrow County and I loved it! Thought it was fantastic. I’ve been digging some of the DC Rebirth books and I’ve also been going back to some 90’s Punisher books. All great stuff!
Lady Killer 2, #1, written by Joëlle Jones, art by Jones and Michelle Madsen. he first issue will arrive August 3, 2016, and the first two issues are available for pre-order – and you’ll want to pre-order this one, gang!