Jonesy #1 (of 4)

jonesy1Author: Sam Humphries
Artist: Caitlin Rose Boyle
Release Date: February 10, 2016
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC

Spoilers: Mild

Think you had a rough Valentine’s Day? Just be glad you’re not Jonesy, the titular character in BOOM! Box’s latest mini-series. Her Valentine’s Day goes from bad to worse to learning experience in pretty short order.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Writer Sam Humphries and relative newcomer illustrator Caitlin Rose Boyle have teamed up to bring us Jonesy, an enjoyable (and adorable) new series that’s perfect for the misfits among us. Currently pegged as a four-issue miniseries, Jonesy follows the adventures of the titular Jonesy – a high school misfit who probably reminds a lot of us of ourselves at her age. Tumblr-savvy, obsessed with anime and ferrets, and way too cool to care about something as dumb as Valentine’s Day, she’s pretty much your average teen – well, at least to an extent.

Unlike the rest of us at that age, she’s not just dealing the usual teenage angst and need to rebel. Jonesy is dealing with something else entirely: she has superpowers.

No, she’s not the next Peter Parker or anything. She’s not flying around or shooting laser beams out of her eyes. Her power is a bit more specific. She has the ability to make people fall in love. The downside? It doesn’t work on her. Sucks, right? Imagine being in high school where social status is often times determined by who you are dating or how good you look and having this awesome power than could put you on top… only to realize it doesn’t work for you. Rough.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that Jonesy #1 is set on Valentine’s Day. The issue gives us very little background on Jonesy’s powers and does more to introduce us to Jonesy as a character and individual. She narrates the issue – telling us about her parents, her friends, and her disdain for Valentine’s Day and her school’s carnation tradition – and so we get to experience the story from her perspective.

What does the first issue have in store for us? Jonesy’s rivalry with the popular girl in her classes, Susan, and a plan to get even with her on Valentine’s Day. What else? She uses her powers to get back at Susan only to have it backfire on her spectacularly. Not only does she feel guilty about what she’s done but she learns a bit about Susan – and perhaps herself – as well… before kind of going off the rails a bit at the end. (Seriously, I’m worried about this kid in the next issue.)

The series seems to follow a similar set up to those seen in other BOOM! Box series like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. You’ve got a very unique character in Jonesy and she does some pretty outrageous things. She has some pretty crazy adventures and makes some mistakes along the way. But it seems like in the end she becomes grounded. She learns from her mistakes.

Granted, I’m only guessing that’s how the rest of the series will play out based on this first issue. If that is how things go, though, I wouldn’t mind. I love Lumberjanes and Giant Days so it works for me. And a lot about this series is working for me, too.

Now, admittedly, the series is a little over-the-top at times. It’s one of those series that comes off as a little too cheesy and a little too fanservice-y. Jonesy comes off like she’s trying too hard to be edgy just to be edgy and I’m not sure if that’s just how the writer is developing her character or if Jonesy is supposed to be a bit of a caricature of the stereotypical high school punk.

She’s certainly relatable. Just the way she acts and her perspective on things reminds me of myself at that age when I really was trying to be edgy just to be edgy. We’ve all been there. But instead of being entirely realistic Jonesy goes a step further and plays into the sort of stereotypes and presumptions about characters and cliques you’d find in your typical teenage television drama instead of real life.

Still, those moments really kind of work for the series – at least so far.

Could the series go a little too far in it’s quirkiness? Sure. But I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. Jonesy reads kind of like a Cartoon Network series. It’s fun and at times outlandish. As long as the rest of the series keeps to a similar tone the next three issues are bound to be just as fun and enjoyable. Honestly, I’m already hoping that after a couple of issues the series might get the same green-light for more issues that Lumberjanes and Giant Days both got after hitting it big.

It’s really a fun book. And it looks great, too. I love Boyle’s style. It’s cartoonish and a little unconventional. It fits in well with other BOOM! Box series and has a similar feel to Lumberjanes, Power Up, and Tyson Hesse’s Diesel. If you want to see some more of her work, check out her website. She’s a newcomer to comics from what I’m told but I have to imagine she’s going to hit it big and soon. I really, really hope she gets picked to do an arc on Lumberjanes because I think she’d be absolutely perfect for it.

Basically, it’s a good looking book. And it’s a great read, too. I think it’s a pretty solid read for most people but it’s not for everyone. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t find all of Kamala Khan’s pop culture references and the obvious nods to social media and memes that you’ll find in the Ms. Marvel comics then you’ll probably want to steer clear of this one. If they bothered you in that series they’ll really bother you in this one.

But if you don’t mind a few nods to Tumblr and shipping, take a look! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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