As a way to bring my little rock to the cenotaph, I have a curiosity you may like to put on your website. In the Jeff Jones site, the story THE BELIEVER by Jones and Wrightson is featured. It is mentioned that: «unfortunately the two colors were printed in reverse». The same version is reproduced in the recent book on Jones but it was published in an other way in France, in a four color process printing, in the magazine Special USA n°14/15 in June 1985.
So there it was, out of the blue: in tribute to Jeffrey Jones, a fellow I didn’t know and who didn’t know me wanted provide my blog with scans of “The Believer,” by Jeffrey Jones and Bernie Wrightson, as it was published in a French magazine in 1985, with the colours printed in a way that brought the piece more into line with the intentions of the artists.
I immediately accepted the offer. But it didn’t stop there. The next day, Rotomago emailed me another note, which read, in part, as follows:
Please wait one more day for the Believer. Since both versions are flawed, the original with reversed duotone, the French in four colors with an addition of blue and yellow, I’m actually building a third “virtual” one.
Since I hadn’t yet seen the French version, I had to take Rotomago’s word that it was flawed in some way, but I definitely was intrigued by the promise of a “virtual” version of the story. I did, however, email Rotomago to ask him, please, if he would, to send me the flawed French version as well as his new and improved version. I explained that my plan, hatched at that very moment, was to display the two versions that he would have in hand once he was done together with the original version, which I already had on display here at RCN, in a single post. I said I thought it would be instructive.
This morning, I received the files, and now here I am, ready to share them with you.
But please note: if you wish to share the “virtual” version of “The Believer” with others — I know I can’t stop you — I hope that you will acknowledge Rotomago as the wizard who has brought the story as close as it has ever been to the original intentions of Jones and Wrightson and perhaps even give credit to RCN as the source of the files. Or better yet, don’t just take the files and re-post them but instead simply link to this post.
Anyway, that being said, let’s take (another) look at “The Believer” as it originally appeared on the inside-front and inside-back covers of Vampirella #33, way back in 1974; notice that, although most of the panels look okay despite the printing error, one panel in particular, the last panel on the first page, is extremely difficult to decipher:
Next up is the version of “The Believer” that appeared, in French, in Special USA #14/15 in June 1985, just over ten years after the story’s original publication; notice that, with four colours at their disposal rather than two, the powers that be at Special USA took it upon themselves to tart up the art with obtrusive swatches of deep cerulean blue and acid yellow:
And now, at last, here’s Rotomago’s reconstruction of “The Believer,” with the colours as they ought to have been printed way back in 1974:
In the message that accompanied the files, Rotomago shared the following observations, which I will now share with you:
It surely would be feasible to make a decent reconstructed version fitted for publication. It would require multiple high-quality scans of both versions, a subtle balance of the colors layers, some alteration in the place of colors layers as the overlapping of colors is not always correct in the French version, a very long pixel by pixel cleansing (especially to remove the green stains [probably added by the French color engraver] in the background of Wrightson’s Page2 Panel2), as well as a slight increase in the size of pages to avoid blurring.
But for the web view, I hope that this far from perfect version, will do the job.
Note that after having spent some time studying these two pages on my screen, my fancy for them has even more increased! Such delicate and subtle pictures!
Although I, for one, sort of miss the fiery red-orange cast of Wrightson’s horned-god panels as they appeared in the original printing, I’m sure that fans of Jeffrey Jones and Bernie Wrightson will want to thank Rotomago for the terrific work he has done to reconstruct “The Believer” that should have been but wasn’t. But even if they don’t, I know that I personally want to thank him, again, for his surprising, unsolicited contribution to this site and for going the extra mile to enhance our appreciation of a story that many have admired over the years but none have seen reproduced in exactly this way before, ever.
Finally, one more time, here are the links to Rotomago’s blogs:
Earlier today, 19 May 2011, the following message was posted to the Facebook account of artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones:
JEFFREY CATHERINE JONES passed away today, Thursday May 19, 2011 at 4:00 am surrounded by family. Jeffrey suffered from severe emphysema and bronchitis as well as hardening of the arteries around the heart. Jeffrey’s dear friend Robert Wiener reported that there was a no resuscitation order as Jeffrey was weak from from being severely under weight and had no reserves with which to fight. In accord with Jeffrey’s wishes Jeffrey will be cremated. We have yet to hear details for a memorial service. Jeffrey was one of the greatest talents and sweetest souls we have ever been blessed to know. Rest in Peace, dear friend.
I don’t know what to say…
“Every work, hopefully, will leave me unsatisfied. This drives me on to the next one. As soon as I think I’ve done something great it’ll all be over. And I’m not sure I believe in talent, either.” — Jeffrey Catherine Jones
MURMURS > Jeff Jones: 1944-2011 by George Pratt — not a formal obituary, but a lovely and moving remembrance by a respected artist who, when he was just starting out, looked up to Jones as a role model and possible mentor but was quickly embraced by him as a colleague and a friend; what’s more, the piece is illustrated with examples of work by Jones from Pratt’s personal art collection as well as illuminating, hearbreaking documentary photographs both of a very frail looking Jones as she was nearing the end of her life and of various locations, both interiors and exteriors, where she worked and lived.
Jeffrey Catherine Jones, celebrated artist whose work is best known from the late 1960s through 2000s was born Jeffrey Durwood Jones, in Atlanta, Georgia and died May 19, 2011 at home at the age of 67.
Jones moved to New York City in 1967, and rapidly developed a reputation as an exquisite illustrator and graphic artist, painting over 150 book covers and creating the full-page comic strips Idyl for National Lampoon Magazine and I’m Age for Heavy Metal.
In the 1976, Jones joined Michael Kaluta, Berni Wrightson, and Barry Windsor-Smith in The Studio, a group of artists who helped redefine modern book and comic book illustration. In 1976 Jones was awarded the Yellow Kid award from the Italian International Comics and Cartooning Exhibition. By 1986, when Jones received the World Fantasy Award in Art for Best Artist, he had moved away from commercial art to pursue fine art painting. Jones most recently received the Spectrum 2006 Grand Master Award.
Jones has been called a genius whose works appeared both effortless in execution and blinding in their beauty. World-renowned illustrator Frank Frazetta called him “the greatest living painter”.
Jones began gender reassignment therapy in 1998 after which Jones lived as Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Her studio was in the Catskill Mountains where she painted local landscapes. She continued drawing until her death.
Jones’ work has been in continuous publication and her work is shown and enjoyed around the world. The documentary Better Things: Life & Choices of Jeffrey Jones is in production from Macab Films. She is survived by her daughter Julianna Jones Muth, and three grandchildren, Nikolai Muth, Adelaine Muth, and Merryn Arms.
A memorial to celebrate Jones life and recognize her death, will be held on Friday, May 27th, from 6-9pm at Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home, 411 Albany Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Hero Initiative, 11301 Olympic Blvd., #587, Los Angeles, CA 90064.
At 4 a.m., Jeffrey Catherine Jones passed from this life. She was cared for during last days and hours by her daughter, Julianna Jones Muth, and Mary Chiz Chisholm. More info on memorial plans will appear as they become known. Rest in peace and in the arms of your loving Higher Power, CJ.
We were working on a book together for better than four years now called Silent Light (Jeff chose the title), which I now feel obliged to finish more quickly. I also suppose we’ll find some worthy cause to benefit from this book’s publication because now it will disturb me to make any money from this project in Jeff’s absence. Jeff already created and signed several hundred tip-in sheets for it; Michael Netzer, our mutual friend, offered more than a year ago to write the introduction.
@macabfilms > It is with much sadness… by Maria Cabardo, director of Better Things, the forthcoming documentary on the art and choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones — Maria seems to have been the first person to make the news public.
I never knew how to properly refer to Jeff after the last hormone treatments (which he had first experimented with back in the ’70s with Bodé) and the adoption of the “Catherine” name. Jeff never had a sex-change operation (and said he had no intentions of having one) and never legally changed his name, so I was flummoxed as to what to call him in e-mails or conversation or when writing about him…so I directly asked him years ago around the time that we were working on the second of two books we did with him. He told me to call him “Jeff” or “Jeffrey” and since the law considered him a man, it was perfectly fine with him if I did, too. So I have always said “him” and “he” while others might say “her” and “she.” Mike Kaluta, his oldest friend, also refers to Jeffrey as “he” and I would challenge anyone who says that Mike didn’t respect (and love) Jeff.
We had asked Jeff how he wanted his nameplate to read on his Spectrum Grand Master Award and it says, per his instructions, “Jeffrey Jones”.
So…there’s no disrespect shown or intended.
May 19, 2011 1:49 PM
Ryalltime Blog > A visual tribute to Jeffrey Catherine Jones by Chris Ryall, IDW Publishing’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief — includes the title page and 15 double-page spreads from the recently published book, Jeffrey Jones: A Life in Art.
Cheryl’s Mewsings > Revisiting Jeffrey Catherine Jones (mirror) by Cheryl Morgan. Morgan’s complex, sensitive, and respectful personal reflection on the special difficulties of late-life gender transition illuminates Jones’s life and choices in a way that other, more polarized online comments have not. The article begins as follows:
The July Locus contains a couple of obituaries for the trans artist, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, who I wrote about briefly here. Both authors (Arnie Fenner and Robert K. Wiener) were good friends of the deceased; both consistently use the name “Jeff”, and both consistently use male pronouns. I am not, however, going to get ranty about this. After all, these articles have been written by people very close to Jones, someone I have never even met. I have no idea what the truth of the matter is. I do, however, think it is necessary to address the issue. It is human nature to assume that high profile members of a minority group are typical of that group, and reading the two obituaries people could easily come away with the idea that most trans people are tragic, crazy, and will come to regret their transition.
I’d like to state from the start that there’s nothing wrong with someone turning back from transition. There can and should always be an exit route, up until the point that the person concerned is convinced that what they are doing is right for them. Doctors and psychiatrists who encourage transition in the expectation of fees are just as culpable as those who peddle aversion cures. It is perfectly possible for trans people to find equilibrium and happiness without full transition, and if that’s what works for them we should support it. But equally there are reasons why transitions might fail, and by no means all of them mean that the person concerned was “not really trans” or that, as radical feminists allege, the whole concept of gender identity is a lie. [continued here (mirror)]
“If I am lucky all my triumphs will go unremembered until the end.” — Jeffrey Catherine Jones