(1889-1969) Working name of American illustrator Robert Gibson Jones. After some art training in Chicago, he worked mostly in advertising for two decades before becoming, in 1942, a regular cover artist for Ziff-Davis publications. In addition to covers for their non-genre titles like Mammoth Adventure, Mammoth Detective, and Mammoth Western, Jones painted 90 covers for Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures; later in the 1950s, he painted covers for Universe Science Fiction, Other Worlds, and Mystic Magazine. He also did some interior art.
Jones's vivid, stimulating cover illustrations, reminiscent of Earle K Bergey's in some respects, often had an Arabian Nights feel about them, displaying exotically costumed characters and a fondness for beautiful, dark-haired women; one celebrated cover, for the August 1950 issue of Amazing, featured the face of a woman wearing a bejewelled headband materializing above a mountain range to a group of grounded space travellers. Placing a positive spin on his proclivities, Brian W Aldiss in Science Fiction Art (1975) quotably said that Jones "made champagne of the myth of technological progress: the wish that frontiers beyond the Moon will yield adventure, power and romance." But one could say with equal justice that his distinctly old-fashioned visions of the future, recalling the imagery of historical romances, lacked any genuine resonance with the futuristic spirit of sf. To date, no compilations of Jones's artwork have been published, but posters of several of his sf covers are available for purchase online. [JG/PN/GW]
Robert Gibson Jones
born Toledo, Ohio: 5 October 1889
died 8 July 1969
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