Adam Jones Makes Comic Book Debut

The Tool guitarist collaborates on the X-Files/30 Days of Night comic series.

Since Tool's monster 1993 debut, Undertow, guitarist Adam Jones has been known as much for his heavy progressive riffs as his disturbingly dark visual art. Jones—who prior to his success in Tool worked as a special-effects designer on films such as Predator 2 and Terminator 2 — is the artist behind unsettling Tool music videos like “Sober,” “Prison Sex” and “Vicarious.” Over the years he’s also created bronze fine-art sculptures, Grammy-winning album packaging and rock poster designs (including the Metallica poster featured in this issue).

Jones has had more time to focus on artistic pursuits since Tool went on hiatus in 2006. Recently, he revisited his childhood love of comics, collaborating with respected comic book author Steve Niles on the X-Files/30 Days of Night crossover series.

“I first met Steve at a comic convention,” Jones says. “We found that we liked the same old comics, muscle cars, bad horror movies and video games. It was a true nerd relationship.”

Jones and Niles soon started kicking around comic book ideas on which to collaborate, until the perfect project came in the form of an offer to merge Niles’ 30 Days vampire storyline with the X-Files franchise. “We’re both X-Files fans, so it was great,” Jones says. “We worked with the X-Files [writers] to make sure [the main characters] Mulder and Scully were authentic.”

The result is a skillfully crafted crossover in which 30 Days’ rabid eating-machine vampires square off against a group of Alaskan locals, with help from the famed F.B.I. agents. Rather than contribute visual art to the project, Jones decided to branch out and co-write the six-part series with Niles. “Adam not only provided good visuals, scenes and twists,” Niles says, “but he shocked me by coming up with the ending, which is the most pivotal story element.”

Jones plans to explore more comic projects with Niles. In the meantime, he’s focused on writing for Tool’s next album. “I’m hoping we can get something out in 2011,” Jones says. “We have to keep going until the magic starts happening. ”

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