From this blog, entry dated September 3, 2005:
"Yesterday (Thursday [Sept. 1]) was a great day where I met with a woman who may sign on to be the artist for 12 Reasons Why I Love Her. She's new, but she's really good and had come highly recommended by a couple of heavyweights. Weirdly, she lives three blocks from me and we clicked on a lot of things, like our cats, Audrey Hepburn, Pulp, and Suede (though she is the first person I've ever met who is a fan of the band and calls them the London Suede; I'll have to fix that)--meaning there will be no communication problems. So far, we understand each other quite well."
It doesn't feel that long ago, but yet it's hard to remember a time before this. I still remember sitting in the corner of the coffee shop and spying Joëlle Jones in line with her art portfolio. And I remember going home scared that she wouldn't like my script as much as I liked her art and not knowing what the hell I'd do if that were the case. (Part of me suspects her dark secret is that it was the case, but she drew the book anyway, bless her black heart.) Since then, 12 Reasons Why I Love Her has gone through multiple printings, been translated into three languages, and we've created two franchises and multiple short stories--including one featuring that same coffee shop where we met ("Gone Doggy Gone" in Portland Noir). Not bad.
The above is one of the first sketches Joëlle did for 12 Reasons. It was a pretty easy approval process, she nailed Gwen and Evan pretty much immediately. As noted in the quote, communication has never been a problem when it comes to our collaboration. It's like she's unpacking the artifacts of my skull whenever she puts ink on the page. I've been amazed at her growth over the years, too. I've seen stuff you guys haven't seen yet that is going to make you realize that, for as much as you like the work Joëlle has done, you haven't given her nearly enough credit for how great of an artist she is. I only wish my progress as a writer was nearly half as pronounced as her progress as an illustrator. There are days when I am convinced my career would be toast if she hadn't kept drawing my junk.
I mentioned to Joëlle last week that our working relationship was having its fifth "birthday," but I'm sure she forgot already. I'm the sappy girl of this group (obviously). Even so, it was pretty close to midnight last night when her first pages for Spell Checkers vol. 2 landed in my inbox, a momentous occasion unto itself. They are exceptional. I couldn't ask for a better creative partner.
It's been a good five years of harassing that girl. And one day I'm gonna smack her with that dead rat, just you wait!
Current Soundtrack: The Velvet Underground, Peel Slowly & See discs 2 & 4