Josephine Davis is one of Red Hot Robot's youngest regular shoppers and one of Phoenix's youngest comic book artists.
The 11-year-old visits the comic/collectible toy shop on 16th Street to check out new work by a few of her favorite local artists and to convince her dad (local artist Turner Davis) to buy a small hunk of plastic for her latest collection.
Every once in a while, she'll bring in a large stack of stapled, yellow-paper packets.
Josephine, who'd really like to go by Jo, is the young author and sole illustrator the Flufies
, a series of pen-and-ink comics based on a group of round, bunny-like characters in everyday (and totally fantastic) scenarios.
We meet at Red Hot Robot on a Sunday. Jo's checking out the stock of her first and second books as well as the series of character prints she's drawn with pen on large paper.
She's also totally hooked on a few of the new illustrations on the wall.
As she turns back to the table with her own comics, she's introduced to a couple of store regulars and local artists Safwat Saleem
and Sebastien Millon
, who come to the Phoenix store to get the same comic fix.
All of their eyes widen.
The three talk inspiration (Jo lists "art, animals, bean and cheese burritos, dreaming and imagination" on her Flufies Facebook fan page
), monsters, and each other's characters.
Jo explains that she's not too sure where the Flufies come from; she has four hamsters, and she guesses they look a little like them. But each of her Flufies have distinct personalities and roles to play in the various adventures that she lays out in about 20 panels.
Millon, who's known for his own series of dark rabbits and creatures, asks her about her process. She says she starts on a blank, stapled packet, with an undetermined number of pages. She grabs a pen. And she draws.
She explains she doesn't have much of a plan when she starts. Her Flufies all have names including the Donut Flufie and Evil Onion Flufie, who get caught up in everyday, 11-year-old scenarios -- all with her own, very sarcastic touch.
Saleem and Millon admit they're dying to know if there are any new characters in her upcoming books. She laughs, and says there are definitely a few in the works, but there's no way she'll tell.
Read more about her comic and check a few out at Red Hot Robot in Phoenix and look out for her newest edition, which hits the table this weekend.