Arvell Jones and his brother Desmond Jones were raised in Detroit, Michigan, and were an active in early comic book fandom. Along with fellow Detroiters and future comics professionals Rich Buckler, Tom Orzechowski, Keith Pollard, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Michael Netzer, and others, Jones worked on the Detroit Triple Fan Fair, one of the earliest comic book conventions, and published the fanzine Fan Informer from Detroit, Michigan; it lasted through at least issue #30 (1971). Jones in 2006 recalled how he and his compatriots “would take a 13-hour drive and spend the night with Al Milgrom and his roommate, hang at Rich [Buckler]’s, then go see [art director] John Romita at Marvel [Comics], get our butts spanked, and go back to Detroit to work on our samples again.”
He entered the comics industry as art assistant for Buckler, the first of the Detroit group to enter the field professionally. After helping him on Marvel features starring the superhero the Black Panther and the Buckler-created cyborg antihero Deathlok, Jones received his first published credit, for pencil-art assistance, alongside Pollard, on the Buckler-drawn Thor #228 (cover-dated Oct. 1974). He then did pencil “breakdowns”—layouts that break down the plot elements—for all but page one of the 18-page team-up story “The Return of the Living Eraser”, starring the Thing and Morbius, the Living Vampire, with veteran artist Dick Giordano providing finished art. This did not see publication for a year, however, eventually running in Marvel Two-in-One #15 (May 1976).
Following an illustration for the text story “The Atomic Monster” in the Marvel black-and-white horror-comics magazine Monsters Unleashed #9 (Dec. 1974), Jones made his full comics-art debut as penciler of an 18-page story starring the martial-artist superhero Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere #20 (Jan. 1975). He went on to do the next two Iron Fist stories in that bimonthly series and co-created the supporting character Misty Knight with writer Tony Isabella. Misty Knight currently appears on Netflix’s Luke Cage series! His other bi-monthly title was Iron Man starting with issue 73.
At DC Comics, Jones worked with writer Gerry Conway on the Super-Team Family title which starred the Atom teaming with various other DC characters. After the cancellation of Super-Team Family, a Supergirl/Doom Patrol team-up drawn by Jones, originally scheduled to appear in that series, was published in The Superman Family #191-193.
Jones worked on the DC Comics series All-Star Squadron in the mid-1980s, penciling the majority of the issues released between 1985 and 1987. After leaving the comics field for several years to work in television, he returned in 1994 to pencil Marvel Comics’ Captain America Annual #13, and issues of DC/Milestone Media’s Kobalt and Hardware and Blood Syndicate. His last published comic was Marvel’s Daredevil #343, in which he and Keith Pollard did breakdowns — layouts that break down the plot elements — finished by Tom Palmer.
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