|Born||July 23, 1962|
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Batman & Dracula: Red Rain
|Awards||Inkpot Award 2014|
Kelley Jones (born July 23, 1962) is an American comics artist best known for his work on Batman with writer Doug Moench and on The Sandman with writer Neil Gaiman.
Kelley Jones was born in Sacramento, California and grew up in Citrus Heights. He began reading comic books when "My brother came home one day, with a stack of comics (from school)...He had in there Marvel Collectors' Item Classics and Marvel's Greatest Comics, something along those lines, and they were reprints of the '61, '62, '63 period. They knocked me OUT!" In 1979, Jones met artist Marshall Rogers at a San Francisco comics convention. After reviewing Jones' artwork, Rogers praised it and told him "You will make a great Batman artist someday. If you keep doing this, I can see you doing a great Batman!"
Kelley Jones entered the comics industry as an inker for Marvel Comics with his first published work appearing in Micronauts #52 (May 1983). He penciled issue #59 (Aug. 1984) and when the series was relaunched as Micronauts: The New Voyages in October 1984, he continued penciling the series through most of its 20-issue run. At DC Comics, Jones redesigned Deadman, making the character look thin and skeletal. Deadman's face, formerly drawn to resemble a normal human's head with pale white skin, now looked like a skull. In 1990 and 1991, he drew several issues of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series with contributions to the "Dream Country" and "Season of Mists" story arcs. Jones and inker John Beatty collaborated with writer Doug Moench on a series of Batman tales including Batman: Dark Joker – The Wild and the vampire Batman trilogy beginning with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain. Jones drew the covers for many of the chapters of the "Batman: Knightfall" crossover storyline. He became the penciler of Batman with issue #515 (Feb. 1995) and worked on such story arcs as "Contagion". Moench and Jones co-created the Ogre in Batman #535 (Oct. 1996).
He illustrated The Crusades for Vertigo (2000–2001) and the four-issue mini-series Conan: The Book of Thoth for Dark Horse Comics with writers Kurt Busiek and Len Wein in 2006. Since 1997, Jones has also produced a number of works as a writer-artist for Dark Horse, including several miniseries and one-shots starring his creation The Hammer (1997–1999): the one-shot ZombieWorld: Eat Your Heart Out (1998) and the four-issue miniseries The 13th Son (2005–2006). In 2008, Jones returned to Batman, this time in a twelve-issue series titled Batman: Gotham After Midnight, written by Steve Niles. In 2009, he illustrated the Batman: The Unseen five-issue series, re-teaming with Moench. In 2014, he provided artwork for "The Pale Man", part of "Batman: Endgame" focusing on a group of serial killers and an Arkham nurse who are forced into telling "a story" by the Joker. Jones drew part of the fourth and final issue of the Frankenstein Alive, Alive! limited series for IDW Publishing. The series' original artist, Bernie Wrightson, was unable to complete it due to ill health before his death.
In 2015, Len Wein asked Jones to collaborate on Convergence: Swamp Thing and its success led to the two of them working together on a Swamp Thing miniseries, The Dead Don't Die. That series was also a success and an additional series was commissioned. The project was halted due to Wein's death.
Jones later illustrated Lobo vs. Roadrunner, followed by 2018's Justice League America Annual. He returned to working on Batman in 2018, illustrating Batman: Kings of Fear, a six-part miniseries.
In 2019, Kelley Jones unveils having worked on illustrations for the new Creepshow series as well as his 12-page comic book adaptation of "The Raft", that Marvel asked him to work on for accompanying the release of the Creepshow 2 movie, in 1987.
Kelley Jones was nominated for both a Harvey Award and an Eisner Award for his work on Deadman: Love after Death and again in 1990 for Batman: Red Rain. The latter work won him a Diamond Gem Award for best artist in 1990.
Jones won an Eisner in 1991 for best run for The Sandman arc "Season of Mist".
Jones won the best artist at both the Rondo Awards and from MTV in 2008 for his work on Batman: Gotham after Midnight.
Jones was presented with an Inkpot Award in 2014.
Where all previous artists had shown the character looking exactly the same as he had in life as Boston Brand, Jones' depiction took a distinct turn at Albuquerque as his Deadman looked like a human skeleton wrapped in the familiar costume.
The Sandman saw a variety of artists grace its pages. Sam Kieth drew the first few issues, followed by Mike Dringenberg, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran, and Shawn McManus, among others.
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Writer Doug Moench and artist Kelley Jones introduced a pair of new villains into Batman's world with the Ogre and the Ape.
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Jones turned to completing the fourth issue of IDW Publishing’s Frankenstein, Alive, Alive! The miniseries by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson — calling back to Bernie Wrightson’s 1983 Frankenstein adaptation — was unfinished at the time of Wrightson’s death last year, but before he passed, he asked his friend Jones to finish it.