Way back earlier this season I posted about the life and adventures of Jinx, the Archie character now penned by J Torres and drawn by Rick Burchett. Having zero to zilch knowledge of the original Lil’Jinx strip, the new updated version first came to my attention in the Life With Archie mag some time ago, where it then went onto digital chapters, followed by a wonderful print trade collection in April 2012. Torres is now working on the next volume of Jinx, and I caught up with him at this years FanExpo for a few minutes.
Torres and I started with the character of Jinx herself. This young lady, aged up from a precocious four year old with a temper and mouth, to a rambunctious fourteen year old girl with a temper and a mouth, and now she has the power of texting. I wondered how Torres so tapped into the youthful mindset of today. As he explained “For Jinx in particular a lot of things that she goes through are pretty universal.” What Jinx encounters in life and how she reacts is already ingrained very much into her DNA. “A lot of it is from the character itself, the original strips had the dynamics and relationships that we are still using in the comics now” explained Torres.
With this update and modernization, I asked if some of the more topical tones caused any problems with Archie. No, Torres responded. “I haven’t had any kind of editorial problems or any major concerns so far” he said. “To be fair, they are giving me a little more leeway on Jinx than on the regular Archie” Torres said. As he elaborates, Jinx was designed to push more buttons, explore some new territory, be a bit more realistic. Kind of like a cross between iCarly and Degrassi.
The youthful vibe that permeates Jinx also translate to the use of technology in the stories. Life the current Sherlock BBC show, texting and smartphone use is everywhere and becomes a part of the tale. This was very intentional. “For Jinx we just wanted to make sure it was grounded in today’s youth culture” Torres explained. In fact, this concept is something Archie strides for. “You could say we are trying to be contemporary and current, and Archie always prides itself on that” stated Torres.
What is in the future for this new high schooler? With Jinx’s parents divorced and her living with her exasperated dad, we will now see the mother. “In the second book you really get to see her quite abit, and it is a very important part of the story” teased Torres. My fearless prediction, with no inside knowledge from Torres whatsoever, is that the mother will get remarried. Time will tell if I channeled my inner Professor Trelawney properly. Our heroine will also face her first dance and try to find a team sport to join. “Jinx is trying to find her groove” he said. The first of the new stories will be online either December 2012 or January 2013, with the print collection out in April 2013.
As for Torres other works, he premiered Bigfoot Boy at FanExpo that weekend. The story of a boy who finds a magic totem which transforms him into bigfoot. A new graphic novel in this series will launch every year for the next two to three years. He also is doing another series digitally through Monkeybrain called Aesop’s Ark, featuring a variety of animals on Noah’s Ark telling each other fables. Each issue is available for .99 at Monkeybrain and Comixology.
With all these digital first initiatives happening, I asked Torres about this new model. “I think it is a really smart way to go” he said, also stating he likes reading comics both ways. “I like it, it is a great way to present comics nowadays” Torres stated.
Torres is another great artist whose work is finding a new and appreciative audience online and off. Thanks to him and Archie, we now have the joys of Jinx in our lives. And if Jinx was here before us, she would roll her eyes, exclaim something about us finally getting it, then proceed to text away. And that would be so cool.
P.S. Jinx is copyright 2012 to Archie Comics.