Each month in 2023, we’re asking a local artist to recreate one of our iconic covers from the past 75 years. For October, we tapped local comic book artist and founder/owner of independent publishing company KID Comics, Keithan Jones, to reimagine San Diego Mag‘s October 2009 Top Doctors cover. Check out the recreation here and learn more about Keithan in the Q&A below:
Tell us about how you found your distinguished style and how you honed your skills.
I grew up reading comics at an early age. I was influenced by a few artists such as, George Perez of Teen Titans in the ’80s. Frank Miller’s work on Daredevil. And John Romita Jr. doing Spider-Man. Mix those guys with a touch of Anime (Robotech) and you get my style more or less.
What artists do you admire or look up to?
I was a weird kid. I would frequent libraries and peruse the art section for hours. Pouring over the old masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso. Just any artist that left a historical mark. I wanted a bit of their magic. I also wanted my cartoon work to be rooted in strong fundamentals, (i.e; anatomy, perspective, shading). I’m still awestruck by Michelangelo’s sculptures; just incredible craftsmanship.
How do you think your art reflects the southern California lifestyle or play a role in the way your art comes to life?
First of all, San Diego has always had a strong comic book culture. I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, comic book stores and fans are in every corner of this city, and I grew up here. San Diego is also a port city so we have a very diverse group of folks and my comics reflect that. As well as my friends.
What was your big break?
In 1987, I was 16-years-old when I was hired by Apple Comics to draw a short story called Death Dreams of Dracula. I got the job by showing my portfolio at San Diego Comic-Con that year.
What do you have on the horizon workwise?
My self-published comic, Power Knights 2. Chaos Breaker the graphic novel for Vortex Comics. And a new book for 2024 called Musashi, a Samurai western. My first time drawing a western. Plus, I love Japanese culture.
Where do you like to go to get away and relax?
I’m starting to really enjoy my morning walks. Just alone with my thoughts and off the internet. I think everyone should set aside time off the net to maintain sanity.