Hellen Jo was born in Starkville, Mississippi in 1983. She spent her early childhood bouncing from state to state, until the Jo family ended up in San Jose, California, which she considers her hometown. She spent her formative years studying for the SATs and devotedly attending orchestra rehearsals.
Hellen moved to Berkeley in 2001 to attend the University of California, in the deeply misled hopes of becoming a German language professor. Instead, she discovered Eightball and Love & Rockets, as well as the worst comic zine ever made, which prompted her to draw her first mini-comic in 2002. She went on to self-publish two more poorly written mini-comics while drawing dozens of band flyers and contributing monthly comics to student publications until she finally dropped out of the UC. Afterwards, she self-published two large-format minis, the teen-horror-romance Paralysis and the now liquidated coming-of-age serial Blister No. 1. Since then, Sparkplug Comic Books has published the first issue of her comic, Jin & Jam, in 2008, and Hellen has contributed short comics and illustrations to various publications, including the Believer, Papercutter, Giant Robot, Electric Ant, and VICE. She has also shown her illustration work in a variety of gallery and museum shows and contributed to the independently-made video game, Calvin & Hellen's Bogus Journey. Her most recently published work was a special Crash & the Boys concert poster for the Scott Pilgrim promotional campaign.
Presently, Hellen lives in the Mission District of San Francisco. She is currently working on the second issue of Jin & Jam, as well as an as-of-yet unnamed watercolor comic for Koyama Press. Visit her online at http://helllllen.org, or write her at PO Box 40846, San Francisco, CA 94140.