In this episode, we interview a creator I’ve wanted to speak with for quite some time: Eisner-winning comics writer Kelly Thompson! You may know her from her extensive work at Marvel (including a fifty-issue Captain Marvel run and the creation of Jeff the Land Shark), her creator-owned titles Black Cloak and The Cull at Image, or her upcoming Birds of Prey run for DC. Kelly’s work covers a very wide range of tones, from goofy misadventures to dramatic explorations of trauma and grief, and as you’ll hear, she likes to mix and match a variety of influences to create some truly unique stories.
Our conversation begins with a focus on The Cull, which recently saw the release of its first issue. The series sees Kelly Thompson reunite with artist Mattia De Iulis, whom she previously collaborated with on Jessica Jones: Blind Spot and Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter. Described as “Something is Killing the Children horror vibes mixed with The Goonies-style adventure”, the series follows five teenagers who go off to make a short film at a creepy rock by the ocean… only one of them isn’t being honest about why she really chose that location. It’s a spooky, character-focused drama with weird monsters, and there’s a lot of diving into the creative process in this interview.
Next, we talk all about Kelly’s breakout character at Marvel, Jeff the Land Shark, who will receive a third batch of It’s Jeff! Infinity Comics on Marvel Unlimited and a print version of the second wave of It’s Jeff! comics this Fall. This conversation covers everything from the drastic evolution of Jeff’s look over the past few years to common misconceptions about Jeff (he’s not a baby, just a little guy!). Kelly also talks about some of the directions that West Coast Avengers (the series Jeff originated from) could’ve gone and the untapped potential of comics for kids. It’s a fin-tastic time!