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R.I.P. Jeffrey Catherine Jones (1944-2011)

This is a post I meant to make a couple of days back, but better late than never.

Thursday May 19, 2011, the woman that Frank Frazetta once called "the greatest living painter," Jeffrey Catherine Jones ("Jeff Jones"), died. If, like me, you grew up in the 1970s and '80s, reading magazines like Heavy Metal and novels by the likes of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fritz Leiber, Andre Norton, and Robert E. Howard, then you are likely familiar with the work of Jeff Jones, even if you have no idea who she was.

In particular, a lot of people don't know she was a transwoman. She also suffered from mental illness, and to quote Wikipedia, "In 2001, she experienced a nervous breakdown and lost her home and workspace. In 2004 she had her own apartment and started producing work again."

And now another visionary is gone from the world, and we are poorer for the loss. There are some examples of her work behind the cut.


May. 25th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Jeffrey Catherine Jones
God, I just read this.

Even before Lovecraft (and shortly after Tolkien) I found Fritz Leiber's marvelous Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories published by Ace. The Jeff Jones (back then) cover art for those five books struck me then and strike me now as the most apt and magical covers for fantasy fiction ever. I just purchased new 'used' copies of 'Swords Against Death' and 'Swords in the Mist' because my originals were falling apart after +35 years.

I'm afraid I am one of the many who was unaware of her struggles in life. Its times like this that I sincerely wish for some sort of karmic balance that pays back the people who give so much. I can't quite bring myself to hope for it, but it would be nice.