Kelley Jones

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Kelley Jones
Kelley Jones by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jones in March 2018
Born (1962-07-23) July 23, 1962 (age 56)
Sacramento, California
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Batman & Dracula: Red Rain
The Sandman
AwardsInkpot Award 2014

Kelley Jones (born July 23, 1962)[1] is an American comics artist best known for his work on Batman with writer Doug Moench and on The Sandman with writer Neil Gaiman.

Early life[edit]

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!"[2] 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!"[3]


Kelley Jones entered the comics industry as an inker for Marvel Comics with his first published work appearing in Micronauts #52 (May 1983).[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] In 1990 and 1991, he drew several issues of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series[7] with contributions to the "Dream Country" and "Season of Mists" story arcs.[8][9] 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.[10] Jones drew the covers for many of the chapters of the "Batman: Knightfall" crossover storyline.[11] He became the penciler of Batman with issue #515 (Feb. 1995)[12] and worked on such story arcs as "Contagion".[13] Moench and Jones co-created the Ogre in Batman #535 (Oct. 1996).[14]

He illustrated The Crusades for Vertigo (2000–2001) and the four-issue mini-series Conan: The Book of Thoth for Dark Horse Comics[15] 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.[4] 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.[16]

In 2015 Len Wein asked Jones to collaborate on Swampthing Convergence,and its success led to the both of them doing a miniseries,Swampthing,The Dead Don't Die.That series was also a success so that a second series was commissioned,but was halted due to Wein's passing.

Jones went on to illustrate Lobo vr Roadrunner, followed by the Justice League Annual

Jones returned to Batman illustrating Batman:Kings of Fear in 2018,a six part Batman mini series to much acclaim.


Kelley Jones received an Inkpot Award in 2014.[17]

Jones also received an Eisner in 1991 for best run on Sandman Seasons of Mist

Jones was nominated for a Harvey award for Deadman Love After Death and Batman Red Rain

Jones was nominated for an Eisner in 1989 best artist for his work on Deadman and again in 1990 for his work on Batman RedRain.

Jones won the Diamond Gem in 1990 award for best artist for Red Rain

Jones won the best artist in 2008 by the Rondo awards for Batman:Gotham After Midnight

Jones won best artist in 2008 by MTV for his work on Batman:Gotham After Midnight


Dark Horse Comics[edit]

  • Aliens: Hive #1–4 (1992)
  • Conan: The Book of Thoth #1–4 (2006)
  • The Hammer #1–4 (1997–1998)
  • The Hammer: The Outsider #1–3 (1999)
  • The Hammer: Uncle Alex #1 (1998)
  • The 13th Son #1–4 (2005–2006)

DC Comics[edit]

  • Action Comics Weekly #618–621, 623, 625–626 (Deadman serial) (1988)
  • Batman #515–519, 521–525, 527–532, 535–552 (1995–1998)
  • Batman vol. 2 #35 (2014)
  • Batman & Dracula: Red Rain HC (1991)
  • Batman Annual #27 (2009)
  • Batman: Bloodstorm HC (1994)
  • Batman: Crimson Mist HC (1999)
  • Batman: Dark Joker – The Wild HC (1993)
  • Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1–12 (2008–2009)
  • Batman: Haunted Gotham #1–4 (2000)
  • Batman: Unseen #1–5 (2009–2010)
  • The Books of Magic Annual #3 (1999)
  • Countdown to Final Crisis #19 (2008)
  • Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Red Rain #1 (2008)
  • Crusades #1–20 (2001–2002)
  • Crusades: Urban Decree #1 (2001)
  • DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 (2007)
  • DCU Halloween Special '09 #1 (2009)
  • Deadman Exorcism #1–2 (1992–1993)
  • Deadman: Love After Death #1–2 (1989–1990)
  • Detective Comics Annual #11 (2009)
  • Doom Patrol vol. 2 #36 (1990)
  • Flinch #3 (1999)
  • Harley Quinn Annual #1 (2014)
  • Joker's Asylum II: Clayface #1 (2010)
  • Manhunter #3–4 (1988)
  • The New Teen Titans vol. 2 #47, Annual #4 (1988)
  • The Sandman #17–18, 22–24, 26–27 (1990–1991)
  • Sleepy Hollow #1 (2000)
  • Spectre vol. 3 #16 (inker) (1994)
  • Superman/Batman #65 (2009)
  • Swamp Thing vol. 2 #94, 100 (1990)
  • Swamp Thing vol. 6 #1–6 (2016)
  • Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 (2018)

IDW Publishing[edit]

  • Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #4 (2018)

Marvel Comics[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Greenfield, Dan (July 7, 2015). "The Secret Origin of Kelley Jones". 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Quinones, Peter (Winter 2017). "Bloodwork: Geeking Out With the Maestro of the Arts Macabre". Comic Book Creator. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (14): 36–37.
  4. ^ a b Kelley Jones at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Lantz, James Heath (October 2014). "Inner-Space Opera: A Look at Marvel's Micronauts Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (76): 52–53.
  6. ^ Martin, Brian (August 2017). "Where the Action is...Weekly". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (98): 66–67. 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.
  7. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. 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.
  8. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. New York, New York: DC Comics. pp. 265–266. ISBN 978-1563894657.
  9. ^ Burgas, Greg (January 7, 2013). "Comics You Should Own – Sandman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014.
  10. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 251: "Written by Batman alumnus Doug Moench, and illustrated with the shadowy pencils of Kelley Jones, Red Rain chronicled the clash between Batman and the legendary Dracula."
  11. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "With most of its issues featuring eye-catching covers by relatively new Batman artist Kelley Jones...'Knightfall' was instantly recognizable as a major event in the life of Bruce Wayne."
  12. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 269
  13. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 272
  14. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1990s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 224. ISBN 978-1465424563. Writer Doug Moench and artist Kelley Jones introduced a pair of new villains into Batman's world with the Ogre and the Ape.
  15. ^ "Kelley Jones". Lambiek Comiclopedia. September 19, 2008. Archived from the original on May 6, 2012.
  16. ^ Dueben, Alex (March 20, 2018). "Kelley Jones on Swamp Thing, Completing Wrightson's Frankenstein". Comic Book Reesources. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. 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.
  17. ^ "Inkpot Award". San Diego Comic-Con. 2016. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jackson Guice
Micronauts inker
Succeeded by
Bruce D. Patterson
Preceded by
Mike Dringenberg
The Sandman artist
Succeeded by
Mike Dringenberg
Preceded by
Ron Wagner
Batman artist
Succeeded by
Klaus Janson