Kelley Jones

Scott Peterson™ by Kelley Jones©.
How I miss the days of having
lots of thick, dark hair... 
It seems like one day you're a college student rediscovering comic books and the next day one of your first tasks at your new job—actually getting paid actual money to work on the actual Batman books—is to call up one of the artists from what was then your very favorite comic being published and introduce yourself as his new assistant editor.

That was how I met Kelley Jones. Just a few months earlier I'd been devouring his issues of Sandman—still some of my favorites from that amazing run—and now here I was talking logistics with him, as though I were a professional. Which, technically, I was, but, I mean...

And then time goes by and (if I recall correctly) we needed a cover for an upcoming issue of Detective Comics and I suggested Kelley and the boss (the redoubtable Dennis O'Neil) liked the suggestion and shortly thereafter we needed covers for the entire massive Knightfall crossover so Kelley got roped into doing all the Batman and Detective covers for years and years. And it was good.

I was the model for one of the characters
on this cover but I'm not saying which.
Fine, it's the third bat from the left.
And then I left to go freelance and have a billion kids and that was the end of the long, long weekly phone calls. And while having no commute massively beats having a terrible commute, losing those calls was a serious blow.

But times moves on and even though I'm very much not a phone guy, years later I found myself thinking, you know what, I'm going to call Kelley. And even though we had a decade to catch up on, it was like no time at all had gone by. Some people are just like that.

So. One day you're introducing yourself and discussing publishing schedules and somehow the next day or maybe twenty years later you're on the phone with the guy and he's still one of your favorite artists and he not only just illustrated the cover to a middle grade novel you've just finished writing, but the two of you find yourselves exchanging chicken recipes.

It's a weird world. But sometimes it's a good 'un.

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