Exclusive: Peek inside the punk rock world of ‘Josie & the Pussycats #2

As far as I”m concerned, Archie Comics has yet to miss when it comes to rolling out the relaunch of their classic comics. From the flagship Archie and Jughead to Betty & Veronica, each team has pulled off the trick of maintaining the essence of the characters while updating them for the 21st century. The most recent success? Josie and the Pussycats written by Marguerite Bennett (Angela: Queen of Hel, DC Comics” Bombshells) and Cameron DeOrdio and with art from Audrey Mok (Adventure Time: Marshall Lee Spectacular).

When I picked up Issue #1 last month, I wasn”t sure what to expect. Over the years, the Pussycats have been played straight as a pop band and – most notably in the 2001 film starring Rachael Leigh Cook – as a spoof of the music industry. The latest take blends both into something new. Josie is out of high school, playing to empty bars. She”s neither saccharine sweet nor cynically jaded. She is slightly selfish. As Josie”s roommate and “bimbo” best friend, Melody becomes a fully-fledged character under Bennett and Mok”s careful hands, complete with a one-off line indicating Melody”s dad is a transwoman. Then there”s Valerie. Brand-new to the group, she takes her place as the lead singer after an animal charity ball throws the girls together (after all, it”s still an all-ages comic).

HitFix Harpy got a chance to ask Mok via email what it was like to work on such iconic characters, as well as getting a sneak peek at some of the art from the upcoming Josie and the Pussycats #2 on sale next month!

The Josie and the Pussycats Hanna-Barbera cartoon has always been one of my childhood favorite shows, so when I was approached by Archie to work on the new Josie series written by Marguerite and Cameron, I was thrilled! 

After I read the script of the first issue, I fell in love with the characterization in particular, so I wanted to emphasize it through the little details. When it comes to characterization, to me, costume designs/fashion is an important part. What a character wears says a lot about his/her personality and personal style. When I work on the redesign of the iconic leopard print costumes, I wanted to keep the original design, so I only made a few tweaks to modernize it. And I decided to match them with different accessories and shoes according to each character”s style.