Children’s Picture Book Writing and Illustration
Jeff's latest book is a 192 page middle-grade graphic novel, Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley. It's a ripping adventure yarn about a girl who discovers a hidden land of the world's most mysterious creatures—dragons, and her mission to understand these strange beasts and safeguard them from an outside world that threatens to wipe them out. The Monster Alphabet, a children's picture book by Michael P. Spradlin and illustrated by Jeff, was published in 2012 by Price Stern Sloan. The Monster Alphabet is an around the world tour of strange, funny creatures, with a different monster for each letter of the alphabet. Jeff's childen's graphic novel, Thunder From The Sea, is published by G.P. Putnam's Sons. It's an action-packed story about a young boy's adventure in the British navy during the Napoleonic War. Jeff also wrote, illustrated and designed Atomic Ace (He’s Just My Dad), published by Albert Whitman & Company in 2004. Atomic Ace received a starred review in School Library Journal and was a Parents’ Choice 2004 Recommended Award Winner. A sequel, Atomic Ace and the Robot Rampage, was published in the Fall of 2006. Jeff received a Don Freeman Award Honorable Mention from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for his picture book work in 2004.
Jeff produced over thirty spot illustrations, plus a cover image, for the 2009 New York Times bestseller It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies: A Book Of Zombie Christmas Carols by Michael P. Spradlin. The follow-up books in this series, Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs, and Jack and Jill Went Up to Kill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes, each have more than fifty of Jeff's drawings. All three are published by HarperCollins.
Graphic Design and Commercial Illustration
Jeff has been a graphic designer and commercial illustrator for many years. His career began at Warner Books and Warner Publisher Services in New York City, working on promotional materials for books and magazines as diverse as Mad and Playboy, novelizations of major motion pictures, and national best sellers. He was a staff designer and creative director in St. Louis, Missouri for more than 25 years, working on a wide variety of projects such as product packaging, annual reports, national and local print advertising, and corporate identity. He has done work for large corporate clients like Monsanto, Energizer, Purina, Peabody Energy and many others, as well as for many small, privately owned businesses. His work has earned him many awards over the years.
iPad App Book Design and Illustration
Jeff wrote, illustrated and designed STOP MATH, an interactive children's storybook app for iPad. STOP MATH combines Jeff's story and pictures with animation and touch pad technology to introduce kids to concepts like Arabic numbers, Roman numerals, relativity theory and gravitational attraction—all explained with ingenious interactive diagrams.
Comic Book Writing and Illustration
Jeff was a regular contributor to Image Comics' anthology title, Big Bang Comics, for more than ten years. His work as a writer and illustrator on the character he created, The Sphinx, earned him a nomination for the 1998 Russ Manning Award For Most Promising Newcomer in the comics industry. The Sphinx's adventures have been collected into a single volume published by Pulp 2.0 in 2013.
Jeff art directed and designed the book Curt Swan: A Life In Comics by Eddy Zeno, a deluxe hardcover career retrospective of the artist who illustrated the comic book adventures of Superman for more than 30 years. Curt Swan: A Life In Comics received a nomination for the comic book industry’s prestigious Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Publication in 2002.
Jeff has taught illustration, visual storytelling and graphic design to both young kids and adults over the years. He's been an adjunct professor atWebster University, teaching Illustration, and at Maryville University, teaching advance level Package Design; he's led a six-week work/learning program for inner city teens designing and illustrating a health-based activity comic book for young kids (through St. Louis ArtWorks); designed and conducted multiple workshops for StudioSTL (a non-profit organization that promotes creative writing by kids); and he teaches regular comics classes through St. Louis's Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA). Jeff also makes lecture appearances at libraries and schools.