Friday, May 20, 2011

Jeffrey Catherine Jones R.I.P.

Renowned fantasy and science fiction illustrator Jeffrey Catherine Jones passed yesterday at the age of 67. The causes were complications from emphysema and heart disease.

Jeffrey Catherine Jones was born Jeffrey Jones in Atlanta, Georgia on 10 January 1944. She attended Georgia State College and moved to New York City following graduation. She did some minor work for Gold Key Comics and also provided illustrations for Warren Publications, and the science fiction magazines Amazing and Fantastic. She also provided work for the comic book companies DC and Charlton.

Miss Jones would not remain in the world of comic books and magazine covers for long, as she would be occupied for most of the Seventies with painting covers for Ace paperbacks, including ones for Fritz Leiber's "Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser" series. In all Jeffrey Catherine Jones would do over 150 covers for Ace. It was in the early Seventies that her comic strip "Idyl" first appeared in the National Lampoon. From 1975 to 1979 she worked alongside artists Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Michael William Kaluta as part of The Studio. In the early  Eighties Jeffrey Catherine Jones's comic strip "I'm Age" first appeared in the magazine Heavy Metal. The Eighties also saw her do work for the various independent comic book companies as well as Marvel's magazine Epic Illustrated.

 After the Eighties Jeffrey Catherine Jones's work would take on a more expressionistic bent and she would leave paperback illustration and comic books entirely.  In 1998 Miss Jones underwent sex reassignment surgery and lived the last years of her life as a woman.

None other than Frank Frazetta called Jeffrey Catherine Jones "the greatest painter in the world." I am not sure I would entirely agree, but Miss Jones was definitely one of the greatest. Even in her early years, Miss Jones's work had an expressionistic quality that set it apart from the work of other artists at the time.  One could easily identify the artwork of Miss Jones, something that could not be said of many of the fantasy and science fiction artists of the Seventies and the Eighties. Original and different, Jeffrey Catherine Jones was one of the greats illustrators of the 20th Century.

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