Joëlle Jones is an American artist who is best known for her comic book, Lady Killer. The series was published by Dark Horse Comics. Jones collaborated with Jamie S. Rich on the stories, which follow a 1960s housewife with a secret: she is actually a hit woman in addition to a traditional wife and mom.
Jones’ art is perfectly suited to the era, so much so that she was inspired to create vintage ads that captured the aesthetics of the time while subverting the expectations of the viewer. For example, an advertisement for arsenic shows the Housewife bringing a meal to her husband… of poison.
This freezer ad demonstrates the ease of storing food – and dead bodies – in a deep freezer.
The clothing choice in this ad, the polka dot dress, was ubiquitous for the era. It also reveals what women were expected to do at the time: cook, clean and caretaker all while wearing full makeup and looking fabulous.
Jones first shared her vintage ad parodies on her blog, then appeared at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con with six limited edition prints. The prints were limited to 25 each and hand-numbered.
The heroine of Lady Killer, Josie, is the classic housewife and stay-at-home mom suitable for the comic’s timeframe of 1962. The comics show Josie navigating the substantial social changes of the 1960s, but instead of seeking a job outside the home as a secretary, artist or any other profession, Josie is caught in a dynamic where she is forced to be a contract killer. Adding intrigue to the story is the truism that she is very, very good at her job.
This perfect parody of Pepsodent toothpaste shows her gift for illustrations grounded in the era, mixed with a joke about getting away with murder, thanks to that dazzling smile!
Josie is portrayed at being on the cusp of great change in her personal life, which directly mimics the situation for women at the dawn of the 1960’s, when the birth control pill had just been legalized (but only for married women).
Lady Killer was nominated for Best Limited Series at the 2016 Eisner Awards. Jones also was nominated as Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist. Jones first studied traditional painting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. However, she dropped out of school to pursue her passion for comic book illustration.
In this advertisement for Coco Beach, Jones takes an arch look at travel posters and advertisements of the time.
A stylish Josie poses in her swimsuit and hat. She’s leaving her troubles behind alright – but those troubles involve a severely mutilated body.
In addition to Lady Killer, Jones worked with Marvel Comics to illustrate seven issues of its series, Mockingbird, and also issues for Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman. She worked with DC Entertainment to illustrate a four-part series, Supergirl: Being Super (which was written by Mariko Tamaki). She is currently inking issues of Batman, including the engagement of Batman and Catwoman and its violent and bloody aftermath.