The fantasy painting by Daina Graziunas displayed below accompanied the story “Hope’s End” by Marv Wolfman, published in Epic Illustrated vol. 1, no. 2 (June 1980), pp. 22-23. I have removed some text and the magazine gutter from the image so we can all better appreciate Daina’s art. Apologies to Daina, however, if I’ve somehow messed it up.
Yes, I am familiar with the work of Clarence Coles Phillips. In fact, a book about Phillips and his work was published in 2019. Lovely!
Whether or not you think that a big Frazetta and Burroughs fan like a young Jeffrey Catherine Jones might have been “inspired” by Frazetta’s title-page illustration for Burroughs’ Tarzan and the City of Gold, you surely must agree that Jones’s fan art is all kinds of wonky. Particularly egregious from a pure drawing standpoint is Jones’s botched handling of the perspective of the woman’s arms and the failure of construction that is her shrivelled right hand. Frazetta handles the same pose/angle/elements simply and with aplomb, and he is able to do so partly because he has made the throne large enough, or the woman small enough, to give himself room to operate. In particular, notice that the cylindrical forms of both of the woman’s arms are reinforced by the curves of the wrist and upper arm bands — Jones does this on one wrist, and it’s effective — and the spaces between the large, swooping arms of the throne and the outstretched arms of Frazetta’s woman effectively, along with the subtle dimensional edges of the throne and a bit of tone, push the back of the throne back in space, so that the pose is believable. In fact, as an overall strategy here, Frazetta maintains a strict contrast between the open, unrendered figure and the very simply shaded/rendered elements that surround her. Jones, on the other hand, fills the spaces between the woman’s arms and her body with black ink, and makes the woman too large for the throne, so that the arms have no space to extend toward the viewer and rest on the arms of the throne in a natural way. What Jones does not seem to realize at this point is that no amount of deep shadow and scratchy rendering can solve bad figure construction.
There are other problems with Jones’s illustration, of course, but I’m just gonna leave it there.
Anyone who has delved into the archive of this site will know that I am a huge admirer of Jones’s work, but what this illustration shows is that everyone has to start somewhere, and that that somewhere is often far distant from where one ends up. In other words, and in short, there’s hope for us all, if only we will do the work.
After a longish silence, here you have it, folks… yet another cover scan of an old paperback from my personal collection:
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Dig the fancy bladework of the attacker in Maren’s painting!
More cover scans today, all of paperbacks in my personal library:
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Late to the party again… but life (and laziness!) gets in the way… anyway… last year, near the end of the summer, Donald M. Grant published the first-ever all-in-one collection of two comic strips by Jeffrey Jones: Idyl, which originally ran in National Lampoon in the 1970s, and I’m Age, which ran in Heavy Metal in the early 1980s.
I received my two hardcover copies of the collection in the autumn of 2015 — I ordered from Amazon.com as neither the hardcover nor the softcover edition was unavailable through Amazon.ca, although I suppose I could have ordered directly from the publisher, which would have netted me a complimentary copy of Jones’s cartoon book, It’s Garbage Coming — and now I’m here to let you know that I have one complaint and one concern about the book.
My complaint is that Grant has failed to include one of the I’m Age strips in the new collection and instead of going back to press to correct the error has been encouraging buyers to download a JPEG of the strip via a link on the order page, print it off at home, and slip it into the book, which I’ve done, of course, though I’m not happy about it. The overall number of strips is small. Was it really such a difficult task to create a complete, master list of strips and proofread the collection accordingly? Mistakes happen, sure. And yes, yes, going back to press to correct a publisher’s error (vs. a printer’s error) would have been prohibitively expensive. But COME ON!!!
My concern is that the introductory and other text in the collection completely ignores Jones’s struggle, in later years, to claim a more authentic identity for herself as a woman. No mention, even, of the name change from Jeffrey Jones to Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Now, Jeffrey Catherine Jones was, by all accounts, perfectly content to let her old friends continue to refer to her as Jeffrey, and of course, the major collection of her art published during her lifetime, with her participation, after she began her transition, bore the title, Jeffrey Jones: A Life in Art. Still, it seems wrong to me for Jones’s “friends” to act, now (or then), as though Jeffrey *Catherine* Jones never existed! The omission is especially egregious in George Pratt’s “Afterword,” which recounts an outing that was filmed, in part, by Maria Paz Cabardo for her documentary, Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones. If you’ve seen the footage, you know very well what I’m talking about!
In fact, I think a strong case could be made that, far from being irrelevant to the strips, Jones’s ongoing gender-identity struggle was central to them. Pity that neither Jones’s publisher nor her friends were ready, willing, or able to imagine the possibility!
Anyway, I do love the work. And I do recommend the book, because the sad fact is, it’s the only game in town if you want to have two of Jones’s three major comic strips available in your non-virtual library in a convenient format at a reasonable cost.