Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones
A film by Maria Paz Cabardo
Featuring commentary by: Michael W. Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson, Moebius, Roger Dean, Dave McKean, Rick Berry, Rebecca Guay, Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz, George Pratt, Mark Chiarello, Louise Simonson, Henry Mayo,
Terese Nielsen & Neil Gaiman
This is a film about an artist: Jeffrey Catherine Jones. It is narrated and told through the experiences and perceptions of Jeffrey, but is guided and shaped by a group of creators who were influenced by and worked with Jeffrey at various stages of her life. At the beginning of the film, the question is posed, "Who is Jeffrey Jones?" Jeffrey did not have an answer. The film informs the viewer about Jeffrey's life at a level never provided to the public before, but does not claim to have answered the question. It is left to the observer to decide.
Everyone makes choices throughout their lives – Jeffrey was no different. Yet the choices that Jeffrey made, in some way, seem to have been inevitable and necessary, and yet utterly unpredictable. This film, at its core, draws out the juxtaposition; the contrast is fascinating, as it presents nearly diametrically opposed viewpoints. It is startlingly clear that Jeffrey had to become an artist. What are further illuminated are the influences and pressures and decisions that caused her artistic development. Jeffrey was never convinced of the quality of her art, and continually questioned whether it was good enough to generate the excitement it seemed to create. And yet, there was very little in the way of compromise – when Jeffrey grew weary of art directors demanding changes, she simply stopped painting commercially.
Somewhere in the journey of Jeffrey's life, the drawings and paintings evolved from illustration into art for the sake of the images themselves. They began to stand on their own. They presented a view of the world through Jeffrey's eyes; a unique vision that conveyed the beauty present, not in idealized images, but in people and situations that were real. Seeing Jeffrey's work not only resulting in the realization that as art it was beautiful, but that Jeffrey has drawn our attention to beauty that was everywhere, and could be seen if we only were to look at it with a wholly new perspective.