Jeffrey Catherine Jones, the fantasy artist who helped introduce fine art and illustration influences to comics in the ’70s and beyond, has died of complications from emphysema and bronchitis, according to numerous reports. She was 67.
In the early 70s, then known just as Jeffrey, Jones helped form The Studio, a group of cartoonists/illustrators that included Mike Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson and Barry Windsor-Smith. Jones was known for her lyrical linework and ethereal paintings, which prompted Frazetta himself to say that Jones was “the world’s greatest living painter.” Although she produced the comics strip Idyll for National Lampoon in the ’70s, Jones was best known for her book covers, prints, and painting, with only a brief dabbling in comics.
In recent years, she had experienced many ups and downs, including a period of extreme financial need that friends had rallied to get her through. Her health had declined due to several long-term issues, however, and in recent weeks has been moved to a hospice. Friends on Facebook report that she died surrounded by family, and with her art posed on easels around her room.
Jones was prolific on Facebook, posting a constant stream of sketches, including the one above, posted just 9 days ago, all showing her mastery of line and form.
Filmmaker Maria Cabardo has been working on a documentary about Jones called BETTER THINGS, ample proof that Jones led a rich, fascinating life filled with astounding art.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.