Bruce Jones, whose pen names include Philip Roland and Bruce Elliot, is an American comic book writer, novelist, illustrator, and screenwriter whose work included writing Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk from 2001-2005.
Jones broke into comics in the early 1970s when he moved to New York City from his native Kansas City, Missouri, looking for work as a comics artist. He made his professional debut with Major Publications' black-and-white horror-comics magazine Web of Horror #3 (April 1970), writing and drawing the six-page story "Point Of View". Jones went on to write for Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror-comics Creepy and Eerie, and, under the pseudonym Philip Roland, for rival Skywald's line. During this time he wrote his first novel, The Contestants.
Jones later freelanced for Marvel Comics, writing stories for Ka-Zar and Conan the Barbarian, as well as writing and drawing anthological science fiction and other stories for Marvel's black-and-white magazine line. In 1979, Jones met April Campbell and formed a writing partnership. From 1982-1984, Jones and Campbell, who formed the company Bruce Jones Associates, packaged, edited, and chiefly wrote the Pacific Comics titles Twisted Tales and Alien Worlds, as well as Somerset Holmes, Silverheels, and Pathways to Fantasy. During this time, Jones published the short story collection The Twisted Tales of Bruce Jones, with a cover and occasional illustrations by Richard Corben. When Pacific went bankrupt after publishing several issues of Bruce Jones Associates' comic book line, subsequent issues were published by Eclipse Comics.
Jones wrote artist Richard Corben's Rip in Time five-issue miniseries (1986–1987), published by Fantagor Press, and he played the space pilot in the "Relief Station" segment of Corben's and co-writer-director Christopher Wheate's direct-to-video feature The Dark Planet. By the early 1990s, Jones had shifted to screenwriting, working on HBO's The Hitchhiker TV series and several television movies with writing partner and now-wife April Campbell Jones. He also wrote a series of thriller novels including Sprinter, Maximum Velocity, and Game Running. From 1990 to 1992, Jones took over as writer of the newspaper comic strip Flash Gordon, then drawn by Ralph Reese, occasionally assisted by Gray Morrow. He returned to Kansas City with his wife and children in 2000 and wrote two more novels, Still Life and Death Rites, under the pseudonym Bruce Elliot.
In 2001, he was contacted by Marvel editor Axel Alonso, with whom Jones had worked when Alonso was at rival company DC Comics. Alonso offered him a job scripting the then-floundering comic The Incredible Hulk. Sales of the title rose significantly, and in 2003, Jones noted that he planned to stay on as Hulk writer "until they [Marvel] throw me off". However, the following year he signed a two-year contract with rival company DC Comics. In the interim, he scripted the five-issue series Call of Duty: The Precinct #1-5, a naturalistic drama about the New York City Police Department.
In 2005, Jones' 10-page story "Jenifer" from Creepy #63 (July 1974), drawn by Bernie Wrightson, became the basis for filmmaker Dario Argento's segment of Masters of Horror, a Showtime television series.
Bernie Wrightson on his and Jones' Web of Horror:
|“||That was done by a guy named Richard Sproul out in Long Island. His company, Major Magazines, put out Cracked magazine.... A fellow named Terry Bisson tracked down me, Mike Kaluta, and Jeff Jones, and presented us with a proposal to do this black-and-white horror magazine in competition with Creepy. ... Bisson (who was writing blurb copy for romance magazines when I first met him) left after the third issue under very mysterious circumstances — and the running of the whole magazine, for some reason, fell into [writer-artist] Bruce Jones' and my laps (and I can't remember if Terry said, 'Here, you guys take over the editorial', or if we volunteered). Bruce and I put together the whole fourth issue, which had already been assigned. We were working at home! We had to take this incredibly long trip to get [to Major Magazines] — Bruce lived in Flushing at the time and from there we took a train to the end of the line and from there we had to take two buses and then walk about 10 blocks to get to the office! It was an all-day thing and we finally get out to the office.... and the place was empty. All the desks, all the filing cabinets, everything, was gone! ... [W]e never learned where the guy went and what happened to him. We had all this stuff for the fourth issue and we were planning issues five and six — Bruce and I were going to take over the magazine and make it like Creepy or EC Comics — but they just left! ... Whatever had been turned in already, they took with them. I don't think anybody got paid for anything — and Bruce and I took a bath on it.||”|
- Arndt, Richard J. "The Complete Skywald Checklist"
- Arndt, Richard J. "The Warren Magazines: Interviews" (requires scrolling down). February 3, 2010 update with nine interviews. Accessed 22 September 2010. WebCitation archive.</ref>
- Arndt, Richard J. "Web Of Horror, Atlas/Seaboard & Others"
- Bruce Jones interview, Comic Book Artist #4, Spring 1999
- Bernie Wrightson interview, Comic Book Artist #4 (Spring 1999)
- Tramountanas, George A. "Bruce Jones Talks 'Nightwing' and 'Warlord'", Comic Book Resources "Comic Wire", January 19, 2006
Paul Jenkins & Sean McKeever
|Incredible Hulk writer|
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Devin K. Grayson
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