(1944-2011) US painter and illustrator whose work, on many fantasy book covers in the late 1960s and 1970s, showed the strong influence of Frank Frazetta – although easily distinguishable by its sensitivity and less formalized composition. Other influences include N C Wyeth and Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). JJ also produced a number of idiosyncratic Comic strips. His paintings have an appealing calmness and a gentle romantic eroticism.
JJ produced some drawings for fanzines before travelling to New York in 1967 to seek work as a professional illustrator. He painted over 120 fantasy and sf book covers for Ace, Avon, Belmont, Fawcett, Dell, Tower and others. These were painted in oils with subtle, muted colour, and were very popular. During this period he also drew and painted covers for comic books (for Wonder Woman and DC Comics mystery books) and fantasy and sf magazines like Amazing Science Fiction. In association with Vaughn Bodé he did some impressive fantasy comic strips and Graphic Novels, for Warren Publishing's Eerie and Vampirella, plus others like Alien (Witzend 1968), Flash Gordon (#13 1969) with Bernie Wrightson, Nightmaster (DC Preview Showcase #83-#84 1969) with Wrightson, An Axe to Grind (graph 1970), an adaptation of Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow (graph 1974) and a book of fey short pieces entitled Spasm (graph coll 1973). Some interestingly illustrated poems, some by JJ himself, appeared in avant-garde magazines like Phase and Imagination.
In 1971 JJ began to publish his strip Idyl (National Lampoon 1971-1975; graph coll 1979). This starred a naked, pregnant young woman who had desultory verbal exchanges about art, philosophy and life with talking flowers, a permanently perplexed chimpanzee, and a menagerie of other intellectual fauna. Equally puzzling was his strip I'm Age (Heavy Metal 1981-1983), featuring the same female character, now no longer pregnant. JJ has done little published work since then apart from a few portfolios of drawings.
Books showcasing his work include The Studio (graph 1979), Yesterday's Lily (graph 1980) and Age of Innocence (graph 1994). [RT]