You know when you think someone is really cool and then you find something out about them and all of a sudden, even though it hardly seems possible, they’re even cooler? That’s the exact feeling I had when I learned that Parks and Recreation actress Rashida Jones has written a comic book. And not just any comic, but a spy thriller with a hot kick-ass female hero that also takes a satirical look at fame. See, even cooler.
Rashida teamed with writers Nunzio DeFilippisand Christina Weir and artist Jeff Wamester to create Frenemy of the State, a comic series that follows socialite heiress Arianna Von Holmberg who becomes a CIA operative.
Believe it or not, the heiress is based on Paris Hilton — or at least Rashida’s imaginary idealized version of Paris Hilton. As she told Vanity Fair:
Back when Paris was at her height of fame and people were just obsessed with her, I had this funny notion that she’s actually some crazy genius who knew exactly what she was doing, and she was just conducting this elaborate anthropological study on the world. I imagined that she was going home every night and whispering into her mini-recorder: “Day three hundred and twenty seven. I continue to have them all fooled.” That was sort of where the idea for this comic started.
And also, I’m obsessed with our country’s almost cannibalistic obsession with people who are famous for no other reason than that they’re famous. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to give somebody like Paris Hilton another layer? What if her fame is something more than just an overwhelming need to be an object of desire?” Ariana is a little bit reluctant to be in the spotlight, and there’s a sadness to that.
The comic was released last month and reviews have been great. Jezebel called it “a smart, reflective series about a woman in the spotlight” and that “it’s almost the ideal comic for women.” Rashida said she wanted to “take something that’s essentially a destructive role model for women and turn it around, empower her and give her an interesting struggle.” The comic is part of a whole series, and a new issue should be coming soon. Oh, did I mention it also pokes fun at the Perez Hilton’s of the world. Come on, how can you not love this comic?
The only problem? It’s already hard to find. Frenemy of the State is on backorder at several online comic retails like Amazon.com and tfaw.com. But it is available through its publisher, Oni Press. So grab your own cop and I’m pretty sure you too will be upgrading Rashida’s status from cool to coolest.