Originally from Northern California, Joan trained as an artist at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design.
Joan has been drawing comics for numerous gay and mainstream publications since 1989, including the Advocate, the Village Voice, Gay Comix, and Girljock magazine. After training as a visual artist at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, Joan worked as a freelance artist in San Francisco before heading east and landing a job as an assistant editor at DC Comics, working in the Trading Cards department.
Joan went to DC Comics in 1995 as an editor in the Trading Cards department and moved to the Vertigo imprint, where she worked on projects including the Eisner/Harvey-nominated Uncle Sam and the Harvey-winning You Are Here. She also brought writers Brian Vaughan and Will Pfeifer to DC with the Finals miniseries and the 1999 run of Swamp Thing.
She and co-editor Axel Alonso won the 1999 International Horror Guild Award for the horror anthology Flinch. Ironically, she currently edits the Johnny DC comics line for kids based on the animated characters of DC, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. She also edits Birds of Prey, the upcoming relaunch of Manhunter, and the DC FOCUS books Hard Time and Fraction.
Joan is also a cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared in Gay Comix/Gay Comics, Ms. Magazine, The Village Voice, and The Advocate. Currently, her strip "Bitter Girl", about cranky single dykes in the big city, is distributed by Q Syndicate. Weekly installments and an archive can be found at PlanetOut.com.
She now lives in New York City, where she collects stories of love and loss in the big city from wonderfully bitter friends and her own faulty memory.