Jeffrey Catherine Jones
January 10, 1944 – May 19, 2011Jeffrey Durwood Jones, aka, later Jeffrey Catherine Jones, was an Illustration artist, comic book artist and writer, and oil painter (once called by Frank Frazetta "The greatest living painter") has died at the age of 67. Was a member of the 1970s "The Studio" with other comic book artists M. W. Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson, and Barry Windsor-Smith. Was the author of long-running single page comic series "Idyl" and "I'm Age."
In Jones' autobiography (online at the web site Jones' updated over many years, probably from at least 1999 onward), she describes the trauma he experienced from his father:
"When first I saw my father I must have been about three. Back from Germany, he telephoned, and expectantly my mother and I awaited his appearance. When he knocked on the door there was a rush of big and little feet. My mother opened the door to the man she loved and said, "Jeffrey, this is your dad." I was speechless, for he just stood there on the porch, moving not an inch -- huge, about ten feet tall, perfectly straight, in full pressed uniform with bars and medals dripping from his chest. I don't remember what was said. I didn't know who this man was, but I did know right then and there that I would be always defenseless against him.
My life describes the stories of boys and men for thousands of years: boys who were beaten by their fathers, boys whose capacity for love and trust was crippled almost at birth. Men, whose best hope for contact with other human beings lay in detachment, as if life were over. It's how we keep, in turn, from destroying our own children and terrorizing the women who have the misfortune to love us"
White Bird - 1976
Catherine Jeffrey Jones - Guardian of Dragons
Jeffrey Jones 2002 painting "Guardian of Dragons." See enlarged.
Film: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones
A film documentary was underway at the time of Jones' death, titled "The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones" it includes much inteview material with Jones and other artists. The web site about the film is here.
A portion of the film will be presented at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. Here's the description:
Better Things Panel Description: Comic-Con International 2011 Thursday, July 21st
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Jeffrey Catherine Jones: The Documentary — Filmmaker Maria Cabardo is joined by artists Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), Mark Bode (Cobalt 60), Rick Berry (Double Memory), and George Pratt (Batman: Harvest Breed) for a preview and discussion of her upcoming documentary feature Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Using interviews with Jones and a wide range of family, friends and colleagues, the film explores the late artist’s fascinating, challenging life and unique journey through the worlds of comics, illustration and fine art. Room 4.
Jones was popular with a certain traditionalist group of comic book fandom, and that's a pretty big lobby. Like a lot of other comic book artists, I was influenced by the artists of "The Studio" who had found ways to transcend comic books without exactly leaving it entirely behind either, and even more telling is that none of these artists made apologies for their work in comics (something rather standard with older generations of artists who got out of comics for illustration). I followed Jones' painting sales on ebay and his personal blog while it was maintained off and on, and he was prolific sometimes and there was near silence for long periods at other times. There are myriad books and collections of his work in and out of print. Probably the best compact collection is the 2002 Underwood Books "The Art of Jeffrey Jones" book. (Amazon.com)
The best remembrance of Jones that I've read is by George Pratt at his Word Press blog here - This is just a brief excerpt (below):
"...Bernie Wrightson came over that day and showed us his pen and inks for Stephen King’s “The Stand”. We went to his house and helped him plant trees in his backyard and he agreed to go painting with us the next day, along with Dan Green, another great artist.
I remember Jeff playing America’s “Horse With No Name” on his guitar and thinking that the song was perfect for him. He played and sang quietly.
We slept in various places in Jeff’s home that night. Jeff in his room with the television set to static, white noise turned up really loudly. I could barely hear it where I was, but I bet Kent and Sheri had a time of it. They were on the floor next to the easels and I was in the costume room, a small closet off the hallway to J’s room."
[Below: A photo of Jeffrey Jones in the mid-1970s, from the Dragons-Dream book "The Studio"]
Spirit of 1776 - Jeff Jones
Jones' 4-page story "Spirit of '76" originally appeared int he Last gasp book "Spasm" from 1973. The Pacific Comics reprint is in color. See page enlarged.
1972 Jeffrey Jones Conan Book Cover
See this Jeff Jones paperback book cover enlarged.
Original Page May 2011 | Last updated June 2012