Jeffrey Catherine Jones was an artist ahead of their time. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Jones escaped a tumultuous childhood, and attended college at Georgia State College, meeting fellow artist and then-wife Louise Simonson. Upon graduation, the growing, young family relocated to NYC and the two artists started their illustration and comic careers. Jones’ science-fiction, horror, and fantasy illustrations first appeared on magazine and paperback covers for books including Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, Ted White’s Fantastic, Andre Norton’s Postmarked the Stars, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars, among others. During the 1970s, Jones co-founded the collective “The Studio” with colleagues Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael Kaluta. During this time, Jones’ strip Idyl began appearing regularly in the newly formed National Lampoon, and in the 1980’s another strip, I’m Age, was featured regularly in Heavy Metal. Disenfranchised with the comics and commercial art scene, Jones would retire and focus on fine art, creating masterful oil paintings. At a time of self-reflection and discovery in art, Jones would also come to terms with their own identity. In 1998, with the support of daughter Julianna, Jones began transitioning using hormone replacement therapy, and changed their name to Jeffrey Catherine Jones. The last years of Jones’ life were complicated and difficult as Jones strived to understand her place in the world, artistically and personally. On May 19th, 2011, after battling illness, Jones passed away surrounded by friends and family.
* Out of respect for the artist, we have chosen to use the neutral third person pronoun when referring to a time before Jones’ transition, as Jones is no longer with us to clarify what pronoun they would prefer.
Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Idyl. National Lampoon, 1974. Ink.