Clay Jones was often sent to the principal’s office as a child for making fun of his classmates. He discovered at a young age that he had a knack for poking fun at the flaws of others, and he decided later to make it a career. He went from drawing simple Crayola caricatures of his friends to full-sized comic books by the time he was in high school.
His sharp satire first earned him freelance work at The Panolian in Batesville, Miss., where he eventually became their editorial cartoonist. Jones spent the next seven years in Mississippi working for The Panolian, the Daily Leader in Brookhaven, and soon self-syndicated his work across the nation from Jackson. He was lured away from the state by a position with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1997 but returned to work for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1998, where he worked and produced a daily blog until 2012.
Presently he is syndicating his cartoons daily to publications across the country. He has also recently created commissioned cartoons for The Seattle Times, The Daily Dot, The Independent in St. George, Utah, the Longview News Journal in Texas, The Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, the News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, the Emmitsburg News-Journal in Maryland and The Barbara Bush Foundation For Family Literacy and the New Labor Forum.
His work has been aired on MSNBC and CNN, who has also hired Jones to create cartoons for exclusive use on their website.
Jones has been the recipient of numerous awards in Hawaii and Virginia, along with three consecutive first-place awards from the Mississippi Press Association. In 2018, a cartoon drawn for The Highlands Current in New York won placed in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, and won Best Cartoon in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
He has entertained readers in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, USA Today and Newsweek magazine.
A collection of his work and professional papers has been archived at the Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State University. His cartoons have also been published in his book “Knee-Deep In Mississippi.”
Jones refuses to align himself with political parties and believes it is his daily goal to lampoon authority and make it look as ridiculous as possible. “My cartoons do not tell readers what they should believe. I hope they simply challenge people to think.”
Jones was born in Fort Hood, Texas, and was raised in Louisiana, Illinois, California and Georgia. He attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. Clay currently lives in Fredericksburg where he lives with a loud Beagle. He excels at being a lousy guitarist.
Occasionally, he is still sent to the principal’s office.