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Portrait of Arielle Jovellanos

Adjunct Faculty

Arielle Jovellanos

  • School of Art and Design
  • Illustration

Girl Taking Over
A Lois Lane Story

Co-Author: Sarah Kuhn

Can Lois Lane open herself up to friendship, romance, and being vulnerable in order to get the future that’s right for her? She might have to change her entire life plan to find out.

Ambitious small town girl Lois Lane tackles a summer in the big city with gusto, but a cavalcade of setbacks—including an annoying frenemy roommate, a beyond tedious internship at a suddenly corporatized website, and a boss who demotes her to coffee-fetching minion—threatens to derail her extremely detailed life plan. And, you know, her entire future.

When Lois uncovers a potentially explosive scandal, she must team up with the last person she’d expect to publish her own website for young women. And as Lois discovers who she really is and what she actually wants, she becomes embroiled in her own scandal that could destroy everything she’s worked so hard to create.

From beloved author, Sarah Kuhn (Shadow of the Batgirl, Heroine Complex), and with expressive and lively art by Arielle Jovellanos, comes a charming YA story about the strength it takes to embrace the messiness of life.

Cover of Girl Taking Over

How did you first come up with the idea for this work?
My fantastic editor, Sara Miller from DC, came to me with the pitch! Sarah Kuhn and I have known each other for years and have been trying to work together for a long time; we had been part of another comic anthology together but we were working on separate stories. I think from there we saw each others’ work and realized we had a similar vibe and place that we were coming from. This project turned out to be the perfect fit! I have a deep respect for journalism and I felt that illustrating a story about a teen journalist Lois Lane would be both very relevant to the moment and a lot of fun too.

What was your research process like?
Since the city in the book is a pastiche of LA, I had a bunch of LA friends go out and take photos of all the cute stores and interesting architecture. I also had a former mentee of mine, Elinda Xiao, help me with the fashion choices for each character – she did a great job!

Aside from that, it was really about reading and understanding the comic script and figuring out how I could compose the pages in a compelling way to serve Lois’ story.

How long did you work on this before it was published?
Maybe a little over a year and a half.

Does this work relate to your role at FIT? If so, how?
I actually started working on GIRL TAKING OVER at nearly the same time I started my first semester teaching at FIT, so in a way I associate both things with each other. I teach Visual Storytelling for Evolving Media and Advanced Visual Story Studio for seniors, and I absolutely love seeing these young storytellers learn and come into their own in my classroom. Many of my students read comics or want to make comics. I often show my past work and my process in class so students can get an idea of what the industry is like, things I’d wish I’d known when I graduated, and how to think narratively when designing characters.

What was your biggest challenge? What was most rewarding?
The biggest challenge was designing and drawing all the different sets – GIRL TAKING OVER basically takes place over the entire city! The most rewarding, honestly, was seeing the whole visual side of the project come together with Olivia Pecini on colors and Melanie Ujimori on lettering. The whole team has been amazing to work with.

Have you published any other books or have any upcoming publications?
GIRL TAKING OVER is my third published graphic novel! I’ve also contributed comic pages to other anthologies and projects. Some of my favorites have been FRESH ROMANCE, BLACK STAR, EVIL THING: A VILLAINS GRAPHIC NOVEL, and AGGRETSUKO: MEET HER FRIENDS!

  • Started teaching at FIT in 2021
  • Book published in April 2023