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Jeffrey Jones The Definitive Reference

jeffreycatherinjonesdefinitivereferenceVanguard Publishing
Patrick Hill, Chad J Kolean, Emanuel C Maris, and J David Spurlock
$39.95
176 Pages

You may have noticed a mention of this book in a Gay Previews listing sometime late last year or at the start of this one. Having many memories of seeing Jones’ art as a teenager, I was
excited at the prospect of this book, and ordered a copy. Despite my younger self’s fascination with Jones art I admit to being mostly ignorant of Jones’ personal life, and hoped this book would expand my terribly limited knowledge of the artist’s life. There is an introduction by long time fan Patrick Hill, a foreword by Berne Wrightson, and an afterword by Michael Wm Kaluta. Each of these gentlemen provide evocative anecdotes about Jones, his then wife Weezie (Louise Simonson), other studio mates, and other acquaintances and comics talent old and new that gathered for friendly and informal First Friday art get together’s regardless of the day of the week. In his introduction Hill alludes to later periods in Jones’ life and there is the briefest and non judgmental mention of gender dysphoria along with a couple photos of Jones presenting as female. Without the benefit of reading these seem the the only acknowledgements of Jones’s transitioning. There may be other bits about Jones’ life to glean from the text.

While this book is not a biography it is quite admirable as a reference with gorgeous full color and black and white reproductions on heavy weight, glossy paper. The book is divided into seven sections and arranged chronologically. These sections include Items By and On Jones Alone, Portfolios, Sequential Art, Book Illustration, Periodical Illustration, Calendars and Albums, and Articles, Interviews, Reference Materials and Ephemera. Seeing all these photos made me realize what a prolific talent Jones was. The cross index is also split into corresponding sections which requires knowing how the piece in mind is categorized or looking through each section till you find the page listing. I suppose the editors had a reason for this choice but it doesn’t seem practical to me. Page layouts are clean and simple with large enough type that doesn’t make for eye strain. My one complaint is that some of the paperback images on several pages are reproduced too small to appreciate all that much. This would seem an understandable compromise the editors had to make in order to keep publishing costs in check for affordable copies for readers. A higher price would’ve made me think twice about purchasing this book. Happily, I can report the book has sewn binding! This makes for a better reading experience because the pages open more fully and will lie flat on a table. Sewn binding also makes for a stronger book structure so it will last for years and years.

Overall I look forward to spending many hours with this book!

Interested? Consider asking for this book as a hardcover or paperback from either your local comic shop or indy bookstore. Otherwise, you can find it at Amazon.

Read at Jeffrey Catherine Jones A Life Deeply Lived at The Comics Journal.

Jeff Jones Art

There is also this IDW book, Jeffrey Jones A Life In Art.

Official Trailer – Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones

March 7, 2015
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