365 Reasons to Love Comics #257
A great artist you may remember from the 80s and 90s is making a comeback! I’m gonna talk about him. (Archive.)
257. Kelley Jones
Kelley Jones is a great artist, but I wouldn’t call him mainstream. His exaggerated style is geared towards the horrific and macabre, and he pulls it off excellently. He brings a different sensibility to comics with his art, pulling in moods and feelings from pulps and classic horror rather than four-color adventure. Jones puts a lot of work into composing the atmosphere of his works in order to instill those twinges of terror into the readership. If Edgar Allan Poe wrote comics, he’d choose Kelley Jones to draw them.
Kelley’s worked on books like Micronauts, Deadman, Sandman, Conan, Cal McDonald, and others, but it’s Batman he’s most known for. He teamed with thoroughly underrated writer Doug Moench on a variety of Batman projects. There was their Batman/Dracula trilogy of Red Rain, Bloodstorm, and Crimson Mist, and Batman/Dark Joker: The Wild, which scared the daylights out of me when I first read it. Kelley became the go-to Batman cover artist for quite a while, such as during the Knightfall crossover. Eventually, he and Doug Moench had their own run on the book, and it was good.
Our own Greg Burgas tells us that the Moench/Jones Batman run is a Comic You Should Own. I link to it, thusly, but it appears the PopCultureShock site has eaten all his old columns. Bah. I’m quite pleased to hear, however, that Messrs. Moench and Jones are reuniting for an upcoming Batman mini-series! Yeah!
Kelley Jones’ Batman is a force of nature. The cape has a life of its own, and the bat-ears grow to a yard in length if need be. He truly becomes a dark creature of the night, more monster than man– a being of shadows.
Any other fans of Kelley Jones in the audience? What are your favorite aspects of his art?