Joh was created by writer/artist Peter Gross in The Books of Magic issue 51 in 1998.
Major Story Arcs
Joh works at The Inn Between, which is run by Accasbel. Accasbel acts as a surrogate father to her. The Inn Between Worlds is one of the four Safe Houses, also known as Free Houses, of the realms, for a very long time. These are places where anyone is safe and free to come, as per the rules created by the Lords of the Compact.
She befriends Thomas Currie while he stays there, working on his book on the Other. Currie also had many picture of Tim Hunter (from various dimensions) in his room. Joh, who did not know anyone else her age, got a crush on Tim from these pictures.
When a magic storm, released by the Other, weakens the borders between realms, Joh wanders through them, and meets up with several other beings, including Brother Hugh, Julie the Dancing Bear, Rosehip, Henry Lywood, and Tim Hunter, himself--but he is disguised by a glamour stone as Mary Hunter, so she does not recognize him.
Joh is more at home in the realms than most of the rest, and acts as somewhat of a leader or advisor for the group as they try to find their way out of the lands of the dead. She is always the most empathetic member of the group, understanding others' problems and being honest. She says that normally she gathers beings from destroyed realities, presumably bringing them to the Inn.
With the help of Henry, who dies in the process, they manage to get out of the lands of the dead and continue traveling.
They soon find the Day family, who are all ghosts. They are being kept there by the matriarch of the family because she thinks they didn't love her enough.
Brother Hugh attempts to use the pure faith of the youngest ghost child to ascend to heaven, but Rosehip intervenes. Then Julie the Dancing Bear rips Hugh open, revealing that he was just a skin bag holding together a giant mass of maggots.
Rosehip and Julie feel bad for Mother Day, however, who no longer has her ghost children, and they decide to stay with her until her time there is over.
Joh and Tim/Mary both go to the Inn, and Joh asks Accasbel to hire Mary.
Accasbel soon sets them to work. He is a strict but jovial boss and host of the tavern, always balancing out the different interests of his varied clientele, from living dreams to demons to angels to trolls to the dead.
When Tim finds a dream version of his father Tamlin, he brings him back to the Inn and eats with him in his actual Tim appearance. Joh, seeing him, is shocked, since she still has a crush on him from much earlier. Tim, however, has no idea. However, later when Tim is back in his Mary guise, Joh tells "her" that she is in love with Tim.
When Tim is back to being Tim and talking with Tamlin, Joh overhears him talking about his love with Molly, and she is hurt. Tim gets drunk, and admits to Joh that he is both Tim and Mary. She is even more hurt and slaps him. However, he apologizes later on and they make up.
One day, Accasbel asks Drunk to make him a special beer for the tavern. They spend a long time preparing it, with Tim's help. Joh isn't involved, but she spies on them through the window.
Meanwhile, the people at the tavern start worrying about the Wild Hunt, which has been recently released and is hunting down atavistic gods.
Eventually the beer is finished. Knowing the Hunt is coming, Accasbel sends Tim and Joh away for the day on an errand.
Accasbel has actually set the whole thing up--he has offered free beer by Drunk to all criminals, who in turn have chased off his normal clientele and staff, so that when the Hunt comes, only those who deserve it will die. Blood is the price of Drunk's beer. Unfortunately, Tim offered to do the errand on his own, so Joh is still at the Inn.
The Hunt is after Tim, but Accasbel won't say where he is, so the Hunt kills everyone in the Inn and then destroys the building. The Hunt is not bound by the Compact's rules of safety for all at the Inn. Accasbel hides Joh in a cabinet; she is the only survivor. She thinks Accasbel is killed along with the rest of the people in the Inn, but in the same way that the Hunt is not bound by the normal rules, beings like Accasbel and Drunk are also outside the normal rules and cannot be killed by the Hunt.
Tim finds Joh and they hide out in the woods. They kiss, and then sleep together. Tim thinks about how Joh is perhaps his best friend ever, but he always expected to have his first sexual experience with Molly (Joh being the third girl he is attracted to, with Leah being the second).
Tim leaves Joh alone in the woods without telling her that he's leaving. He leaves her partially to keep her safe from the Hunt, but also partially because he thinks they shouldn't have slept together. She is, not shockingly, hurt that he has abandoned her immediately after she has lost everything.
Later, Joh finds Accasbel, who is building a new Inn. She is happy to be home.