Jones, Eddie

Tagged: Art

(1935-1999) Working name of British illustrator Edward John Jones, who also published artwork as S Fantoni (a pseudonym which he used for Star Trek book covers) and "Eddie". One of Britain's most prolific sf artists, Jones was also one of the few in the field to be self-taught. After building a minor reputation as a fan artist, Jones began working professionally in 1957 with some interior art for Nebula Science Fiction and New Worlds; a year later, he painted the first of three covers for Nebula, and he also did three book covers for Badger Books. In these early works, some key characteristics of his style were already evident, including a predilection for astronomical scenes featuring Spaceships and spacesuited astronauts and the use of rich, glowing colours. Jones did relatively little genre work during the 1960s, as he focused on his day job in the field of advertising; nevertheless he published more than 60 pieces of artwork, including several black-and-white cover illustrations for the Fanzines Vector and Amra (see George H Scithers), further fan work for Convention publications and colour covers for such magazines as Alien Worlds, the French L'Incroyable Cinema and the German Utopia Zukunftsromane.

In 1969, Jones's life changed when he agreed to serve as the art director for the short-lived magazine Vision of Tomorrow, also painting several of the magazine's covers, and after the magazine folded a year later he continued working as a full-time artist, producing sf covers for many publishers, notably Great Britain's Sphere Books and Germany's Fischer Taschenbuch. He produced over 500 covers for the German magazine Terra Astra and over 100 for the sf imprint of the German published Bastei Lübbe. One of his many effective covers for Sphere, for Angus Wells's The Best of Clifford D Simak (coll 1975), showed a futuristic city on a mesa and a low-flying spacecraft passing by. He also painted the cover of the May 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, illustrating Lester del Rey's "The Dawn Rider" with an understated portrait of a flying chariot being driven by a winged horse.

He may be best remembered, however, for his contributions to Star Trek-related books in the 1970s; uncertainty about the covers of Bantam Books publications, which then did not credit cover artists, has been resolved by examining the prior use of Jones's paintings for translated German versions of the James Blish adaptations published in rapid succession by Williams Verlag as Enterprise 1 (coll 1972) to Enterprise 13 (coll 1973). All thirteen have covers by Jones and the artwork was recycled by Bantam – mostly on reprints of their paperback originals, with the first original to have a Jones cover being James Blish's Star Trek 9 (coll 1973); this was followed by Blish's Star Trek 10 (coll 1974) – whose cover is clearly signed "S Fantoni" – and Star Trek 11 (coll 1975); Blish's and Judith Ann Lawrence's Star Trek 12 (coll 1977); and Sondra Marshak's and Myrna Culbreath's anthologies Star Trek: The New Voyages (anth 1976) and Star Trek: The New Voyages II (anth 1978). Two further books – Walter Irwin's and G B Love's The Best of Trek (anth 1978) and Joe Haldeman's Star Trek novel World Without End (1979) – have similar covers signed "Eddie Jones". He also created some black-and-white illustrations to accompany stories taken from the Williams Verlag translations of Blish's adaptations and published in the German television guide Bild und Funk to tie in with the 1973 German release of Star Trek; these drawings were later assembled as a A Star Trek Portfolio (graph 1976) as by S Fantoni.

Jones continued painting sf book covers until 1985, when he shifted his attention to "painting military figures for a model shop in Liverpool", according to UK book dealer Rog Peyton's letter reporting his death (December 1999 Interzone). Although he also stopped attending science fiction conventions circa 1985, he made one more appearance at the 1999 Eastercon shortly before his death. No collection of his illustrations has appeared in book form, though he contributed about a third of the artwork in Stewart Cowley's heavily illustrated The Space Warriors (coll 1980). [JG/GW/DRL]

Edward John Jones

born Great Britain: 18 January 1935

died Liverpool, England: 15 October 1999

works

  • A Star Trek Portfolio as by S Fantoni (Birmingham: Andromeda Books, 1976) [portfolio: eight Star Trek black-and-white illustrations produced for German translations of James Blish's Star Trek adaptations in Bild und Funk magazine: na/Eddie Jones]

further reading

  • Stewart Cowley. The Space Warriors (London: Dean and Son, 1980) [coll: illus/Eddie Jones and others: hb/Eddie Jones]

links

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