Meredith McClaren Takes Over Art Duties on IDW’s Jem and the Holograms — Don’t Panic

I'm not gonna miss Sophie Campbell's artwork at all! I'M FINE!

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IDW’s comic adaptation of Jem and the Holograms has been one of the most refreshing reads I’ve come across in a long time. Writer Kelly Thompson, who’s also working on BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers: Pink and Marvel’s A-Force, is the queen of making already-existing properties and characters feel like they’re brand-spanking new. Artist Sophie Campbell’s pencils have so much infectious joy and life in them that she was the perfect choice for Jem and the Holograms, and her work was a huge part of the draw. Sadly, Campbell’s time with the Holograms is at an end.

*HYPERVENTILATES*

Sophie Campbell, who is one of my favorite comics artists out there (and if you haven’t yet ogled Wet Moon, GET ON THAT), ended her run on Jem and the Holograms with issue #17. After an issue #18 that featured art from Jen Bartel, a new artist is taking the ongoing artistic reins as of Issue #19. Her name is Meredith McClaren.

In an interview with Comics Alliance, McClaren talked about taking on this new role. Thankfully, she acknowledges just how much Campbell’s work has meant on this book, and seeks to build upon it, rather than changing things up too much — at least at first:

It’s still really early into the book. So I’m more looking to make the transition between artists okay for the reader and not too jarring. I’m really just playing with the sandbox Sophie laid out for now. There might be a few characterizations that I give my own hand to, but I probably won’t even recognize that I’m doing it.

Before working on the series I was already very attached to Roxy, and she remains my favorite. But we’ve introduced The Stingers now, and I find that I’m really enjoying drawing Rapture and Minx. I can’t wait to see what Kelly has planned for us there!

Ah yes, The Stingers.

This comic just keeps getting better and better. Now that I think about it, the end of the “Dark Jem” storyline and the introduction of The Stingers would be the perfect place for a new artist to jump on board. Especially one that already has prior experience working with Thompson:

Initially, we had talked previously about the possibility of me doing a variant cover or two. But to be offered a whole story arc is so, so exciting. Heart in a Box was a really lovely product of Kelly and I’s joint efforts and I’m happy to be working with her again.

heartbox

You know what? I think I can calm down now. I think Jem and the Holograms is safe. Checking out this gorgeousness above, I think that my favorite band in comics is in good hands. As much as I’ll miss Campbell’s work here, I’m looking forward to seeing what McClaren brings to the table. For the full interview with McClaren, head on over to Comics Alliance.

Jem and the Holograms #19 comes out next month.

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.