Graphic Novel Review: Jonesy Vol. 1 by Sam Humphries & Caitlin Rose Boyle

Jonesy Vol. 1 by Sam Humphries & Caitlin Rose Boyle

Genre: YA, Super Powers

Publisher: BOOM! Box on February 10, 2016

Source: Publisher

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.

Jonesy is a self-described “cool dork” who spends her time making zines nobody reads, watching anime, and listening to riot grrrl bands and 1D simultaneously.

   

Jonesy is the kind of character that I could totally see running a book blog. Or at the very least, a very active niche Tumblr account. She’s a huge fan of pop music and anime, and even prints her own fandom zine that she tries to distribute to her peers. She marches to the beat of her own drum and it doesn’t always go over well, but Jonesy gives it her all and always makes a statement. But the most noteworthy thing about Jonesy isn’t her love of fandom culture or her unique sense of style…it’s her magical power. Jonesy can make people fall in love – with people, or with objects.

Just imagine your pushy, matchmaker friend had the ability to compel you to love someone else. That’s Jonesy. And as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a surefire recipe for some crazy drama. But underneath the over the top antics is a really creative and fun narrative. From Valentine’s Day to Prom, Jonesy tells readers directly all about her most loathed topics. She’s also very vocal about her love for ferrets, her dad’s donut shop, and the pop-star Stuff. It’s all super cute and sweet, and it feels like a very genuine glimpse into the kinds of things that occupy the mind of a teenager.

Another win in my mind is the fantastic representation in JONESY VOL. 1, which features people of colour in all facets of the story and celebrates women of colour in particular. Jonesy herself is Latina, and her oldest friend Vikram and her new pal Susan are also PoC. Add to that the queer-friendly vibes (Susan has a crush on another girl) and this graphic novel is a perfect example of diversity in a fun, cute story. JONESY VOL. 1  also avoids many pitfalls of YA material, as Humphries transforms Susan from adversary and mean girl cliche into one of Jonesy’s closest friends. They call themselves The Secret Crush Investigation Squad and it’s amazing.

Image: Caitlin Rose Boyle & Sam Humphries

If you’ve read any other BOOM! Box titles like Lumberjanes, then you’re probably familiar with their flavour of storytelling: zany and sometimes absurd stories are the vehicle for some deeper truths about life, adolescence, identity, and popular culture. Sure, Jonesy has the ability to make people fall in love (with mixed success) and uses her powers mostly for her own purposes, but the heart of the story is about her struggle to make friends, fit in at school, and grapple with the reality of her parents’ divorce. There’s a lot going on underneath the surface of JONESY VOL. 1, and I think those seeking out diverse comfort reads will find great success with this story.

My only real issue with this graphic novel is the repetitive nature of the overall storyline; JONESY VOL. 1 is composed of four single issues, and each one has a “drama of the week” feel to it with Jonesy misusing her powers and then scrambling to put things to rights. I’m sure that this approach to storytelling works really well when readers are following the series with single issues, but when they’re all bound together in a volume it can get a bit tiresome. That said, I do like the overarching plot of the series, namely figuring out the extent of Jonesy’s powers and the b-plot following her idolization of the pop-star sensation, Stuff. I have some theories on where the story might go, and I’m excited to see how they pan out.

JONESY VOL. 1 is a clever, diverse graphic novel that’s full of heart and humour. Fans of comics and newcomers alike will find something to love here!

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  • She looks kind of scary to be honest, mad eyes

    • Hahaha, nothing scarier than someone with the power to make you fall in love against your will!

  • I agree with Blodeuedd. She looks kind of scary. But she sounds like an interesting character. My daughter likes graphic novels. I bet she would like this book.

    • Maybe she’s drunk with power, haha. Jonesy is definitely a fun character, and this is an all ages comic so I bet your daughter would enjoy it! 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    Sounds good! I’ve been thinking of trying Lumberjanes so there must be something about these- zany ways of telling thought provoking stories- that appeals to me ha ha. She has a cool power but I LOVE that she makes zines- are they e- zines or does she actually make physical ones? Just curious. 🙂 Looks like a lot of fun.

    • Clearly I’m the same way, because I’ve really liked every single zany, strange comic I’ve read from BOOM! Box so far! Her power is pretty cool but I agree: her interests are way more interesting. She makes physical zines! There are a couple pages in Vol. 1 that serve as a sneak peek into the zine and it’s super cute and cool. 🙂

  • This sounds really cute. I have to admit the artwork isn’t really grabbing me, but I suppose it’s very stylistic, and I’m sure it appeals to a certain crowd.

    • The artwork in all-ages comics can be a bit too cutesy for some people, so I totally get that! It’s a perfect reflection of the characters and the story though, since it’s so tongue in cheek and fun. 🙂

  • Jonesy is adorable! I can well imagine her running a Tumblr, lol! And given she has the power to make people fall in love, it jsut adds an extra layer of quirky to all of her. I think the art is pretty fun and vibrant too

    • Isn’t she? OMG she’d definitely run a Tumblr dedicated to all things Stuff, tracking down photos of him and posting lyric analysis, hahaha. I can see it now! Personally I’m a big fan of the artwork too! The colourist did a great job here.

  • Isn’t that a clever power to have? But I can imagine how much havoc it could also create, especially if I had that kind of power. It’s a bummer that it’s a bit repetitive however. Still it sounds like you had a blast reading this one! 🙂

    • Oh my god, same! Admittedly I am a bit of a wannabe matchmaker so I’m sure it’d get out of hand. 😂

      Despite its issues I had a lot of fun with this one!

  • This sounds pretty fun but I can get how it might be a bit repetitive. You may be right that it works a bit better if you’re buying it as each issues comes out rather than collected together. I can see the falling love ability could easily go horribly wrong, there are just some things you should not mess with. But falling in love with an object, that sounds like it could be hilarious.

    • I definitely think the format would work better for single issues…but I’m lazy and cheap, which means I’ll be saving myself for the trade volumes, hahaha. The ability to make people fall in love sounds like the sort of thing that would be fun and cute in fiction and horrible in real life. Let’s just say that there’s a scene where a mob of people fall in love with a cowgirl hat…LOL.

      • I know that feeling. It’s why I’ve never really but single issues for any comic. Also they’re hard to come by in the UK. And that’s exactly it. Amazingly entertaining to read about but IRL it would be a nightmare. And they fall in love with a cowboy hat? That sounds hilarious.

        • The cowboy hat scene had me in stitches! Hopefully your library picks up a copy of this one so you can read it, because it was super cute.

  • Ahh this sounds so cute and fun! I love the art style! it is similar to what I do for my cartoons 🙂 Great review Danya!

    • Oh yeah, Jonesy is definitely a cute and fun comic! You draw cartoons, Prabhleen? That’s so cool! 😀

  • Hahaha, I can see why you’d like this, given your love of shipping. Also, I *love* the art style! Reminds me of Steven Universe.

    • Wow, I never thought about that but you’re right…Jonesy’s power is basically high level shipping, hahaha. The art is so cute! I think it fits the story really well too. And Steven Universe looks awesome from the clips I’ve seen!

  • Oh my gosh, that is such an adorable style 😀