JG Jones, Dynamite Team Up on Vampirella Variant Cover

Dynamite and JG Jones are teaming up for a new Vampirella comic, with 100% of the variant cover [...]

Dynamite and JG Jones are teaming up for a new Vampirella comic, with 100% of the variant cover profits going to Jones, as he continues to recover from cancer and a stem cell transplant. Fans can get the exclusive collectible and support JG by heading over to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo now through the end of March. Jones provided a fully-painted cover of Vampirella, evocative of the work of Manuel Sanjulian, which is being sold in a variety of editions -- standard, virgin, black-and-white, metallic, signed, and so on -- with the funds going to help cover the expenses related to a raft of health conditions related to polycythemia vera, a rare condition that Jones was diagnosed with a few years ago.

Jones says in the campaign's website that he grew up loving Vampirella and is excited to bring an image like this to life for such an important project. He has also spent a lot of time recently working with others who are struggling with the same conditions he is, many of whom aren't as fortunate as he is.

Jones joined ComicBook to talk briefly about the project.

What was your first experiences with the Vampirella character?

I have always loved the beautiful artwork in the old Warren Publishing books, Eerie, Creepy, and Vampirella. Artist like José González, Rudy Nebres, José Ortiz, covers by Sanjulian and others, but I wasn't allowed to read such "trash" in my house, so I had to sneak the books in and hide them, or else read them in the grocery store magazine rack while my Mom was shopping.

I saved up my pennies and bought the old Aurora plastic Vampirella model kit, which I painted and kept with the other monster kits in my room. My Dad found it one day, and I was in big trouble. Part of my punishment was being forced to destroy the offending Vampirella. It was a sad day for little Jeffie.

How did this particular project come together? Was it something you were already doing and they just decided to apply it to your recovery, or was it something that they proposed to you that way?

I had been looking at the new Sanjulien cook with all it's great Vampirella paintings, and I did a small watercolor study for a Vampi cover of my own. Nick at Dynamite saw it, and asked if I would be interested in doing a painted cover for the book. I said, "Sure, as long as I can paint it in oils."

You have a recognizable and beloved style. What's the balance you have to strike in terms of creating an image that's a tribute to someone else without losing yourself too much?

It's not so difficult. One of the things that I think is a hallmark of my comics covers is that I work in various style or styles with a many different influences. I love classic illustration, movie posters, graphic design from different eras…it's all in there and when I mash it all up, it just seems to come out with my own twist.

Are you feeling well enough to be more or less back to work, or is that still a struggle right now?

Yeah, I've been back working full time for a while now. In addition to doing a number of painted covers for various books, I have also been heavily involved with Voices Of MPNs and their MPNs Unmasked campaign. It's meant to raise awareness about the suite of rare diseases called myeloproliferative neoplasms.

One of these diseases, polycythemia vera, I lived with for over a decade, but a few years ago, it rapidly transitioned to the much more serious myelofibrosis. I knew that I had to do something about it, and so I was able to find a donor with the help of Be The Match and I had a stem cell transplant to cure the bone marrow cancer.

I've also been working a lot on my next Original Graphic Novel and putting together the publishing for that. As if that weren't enough, in my free time (that's a joke), I have been working on illustrations for Lord Of The Rings, and I also created a separate oil painting studio in the house. So, yeah, I stay really busy.

Above and beyond your own case, what can readers do to learn more about polycythemia vera, or support people living with it?

They can start with Voices of MPN, or they can check out my interviews with and paintings of other patients with MPNs . There's even a self portrait of Yours Truly, working away at the drawing board.