Artist Spotlight: Jim Lee

When I was growing up, I recall taking one look at Jim Lee’s style, and aspired to become a comic book artist with his level of efficiency and precision in his artwork. His runs on Marvel Comics X-Men, Image Comics Wild C.A.T.s and DC Comics Batman: Hush are some of his best known works. Have a look at this gallery of Jim Lee’s work throughout his career.

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Lee created an instant chemistry between the young and naive Jubilee and the gruff, overprotective Wolverine during his run as the lead penciller in his own XMen title with Chris Claremont.

 

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The famous pull-out cover of X-Men #1. This image is one of Lee’s most iconic works.

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Aboveare some samples of Jim Lee’s DC comics works – note the level of precision and how dynamic his characters look. Below are some samples from his Image comics days.

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It’s hard to believe that an artist of this caliber almost took a career path in psychology. Jim Lee started off as a fill-in artist for Marc Silvestri on the Uncanny X-Men title, and it became permanent after Silvestri left in 1989. By 1991, fans were so taken by his work, that Marvel launched a new line simply titled X-Men which featured Lee’s work and the writing of Chris Claremont. After Claremont left due to a working disagreement, Lee continued on until 1992 until he left Marvel with a group of artists to form Image Comics.

While under the Image Comics umbrella, Lee formed a series of titles called Wildstorm Productions, featuring his flagship title – WildC.A.T.s. For years, Image was criticized for its lacklustre story telling and its style over substance approach during the 90s. Lee managed to concentrate on publishing a number of critically acclaimed series such as The Authority (Ellis/Hitch) and Planetary (Ellis/Cassaday).

Lee finally sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in 1998 and returned to his role of illustrator on titles such as Batman – where he was involved in the 12 issue storyline entitled Batman: Hush.

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After the Batman run, he worked on Superman for awhile on the ‘For Tomorrow’ story arc, and also teamed up with Frank Miller in 2005 for the oft-interrupted All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder series.

He was currently commissioned to oversee the art for DC Comics online RPG game as the creative director.

You can check out his work at some of these links:

Jim Lee Cover Gallery
Gelatometti – a blog with numerous artists including Lee
DeviantART gallery

I personally encourage you to pick up anything Jim Lee has worked on in the last 20 years. You wont be disappointed.
I’ll leave you with a video of Jim sketching Wolverine in his trademark style at the NYC comic con this year.

7 thoughts on “Artist Spotlight: Jim Lee

  1. Pingback: Interview with Ian Hannin a professional comic colorist | reMIND

  2. It’s funny seeing one of the X-Men posters up there retroactively re-colored in a “modern” Photoshop style; It kind of doesn’t fit the artwork.

    Still, a fun trip down memory lane.

  3. I agree – Some of the colorists from the mid to late 90s and early 2000s seemed to create this gloss effect on everything when digitally coloring comics. It looks slick, but you’re right – it doesn’t really fit Lee’s style.

  4. Man, Jim Lee is the best! I first became a fan during is X-Men days and am now a loyal follower of the work he does with Batman. Solid article, check out thestraightgoods.ca, I have a little video game related blog site.
    Cheers!

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