iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #195 – Icons: Jim Lee

Show Notes

When you talk about titans, or Icons, of the comic book industry, there is no way you can ignore the current co-publisher of DC Comics, Jim Lee. From his beginnings of super stardom on Uncanny X-Men for Marvel in the late 1980s/early 1990s, to being one of the legendary Image Comics founders, to selling his studio and imprint WildStorm to DC Comics, to drawing some of the most successful series that DC published in the 2000s (Batman: Hush), to architecting the recently launched DC Universe Online massively multiplayer video game, to co-leading DC Comics into the future with Dan DiDio, Jim Lee has carved out his place in comic book history as a true renaissance man. Artist, business man, video game designer, publisher, Jim Lee has dominated every aspect of comics and continues to shape parts of the future of comic books.

After getting our hands on a copy of Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee, we thought it would be good to take a look at the career and impact of Jim Lee.


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  1. Jim Lee is the guy that got me back into comics in ’92.  I was just blown away by his style & like everyone else I tried to ape it.  If he ever went back to Marvel the comics world would explode! 

  2. I own a copy of that giant Jim Lee tome. Worth every penny.

  3. I’ll personally always associate Jim Lee with DC, but that guy should just draw everything.

    Also, I was about halfway through the episode before I remembered I had an art print of Batman by him hanging to my immediate left. Really ties the room together.

  4. i look forward to this every Wednesday and you never let me down you should do a brightest day wrap up 

  5. I prefer Todd McFarlane over Jim Lee, but I do own X-Men #1 (1991) and I love the art in it. I hope Jim Lee attends Emerald City Comic Con this year.

  6. Hey , has anyone heard anything new on Frank Miller & Jim Lee’s Dark Knight: Boy Wonder continuation. It would be nice to finally see the ending. 

  7. My favorite work of Jim Lee’s is on Hush with Jeph Loeb. I still think to this day that is his best work, or at least it is really one of the few works he’s done that I actually like or even love to a great deal, because I am not that much of a fan of his artwork so much. I certainly very much respect the man’s work & his impact on comics, his style is just not really what I am so much into, except with the case of the Hush storyline, which IMO is superb.

  8. Punisher War Journal #7 Punisher vs. Wolverine – That was my first comic issue I remember buying that got me hooked to comics. All thanks to Jim Lee.

  9. Pocket size Jim Lee FTW

  10. Great episode. Really enjoyed the Icons book and looking forward to the pencils-only version of Hush that DC are putting out in the next couple of months. A huge influence both artistically and industry wide and well deserving of an episode of the video show.

  11. I want Sentry loves Superman now!

    Good show guys

  12. Jim Lee: the Pulp Fiction of comics.

  13. Huh, iTunes doesn’t have this up yet.  Anyone know when they will?

  14. @CGPO  I’m downloading it on iTunes right now. If it’s not there for you yet, I’m sure it will be soon.

  15. Man was that all-star Batman and Robin a trial to get through though, Mr Lee’s biggest fans seem to gloss over how bad that all was.

  16. For me Jim Lee and Michael Turner (RIP) are the best in modern superheroes. Anything they draw, I will buy, regardless of whether I like the character. Every charcter drawn is gorgeous and physically perfect, male or female. The gold standard in super hero art, no question.

  17. Alan Moore – Running Gag.

  18. I agree his designs for the wildcats and x-men were of the times but i love them.

    Somewhere in the Icons book he also has concept sketches of modified Batman and Robin costumes that wouldn’t fit in the normal DCU but are great for an alternate universe. That Robin design might have influenced the current Robin’s costume. Take away the jacket from the new WonderWoman and i think the costume looks good and correct me if i’m wrong but i think he did great redesigns for the early 2000’s GreenLantern (kyle), catwoman and the Robin (jason) featured in Hush.

    He sometimes teases that he wants to complete the trinity and do a year long WonderWoman run as well as well as how he would love to work with Geoff Johns on a JLA or Teen Titans but i ain’t holding my breath.

     And is anyone else downloading the video show and getting audio but a black picture?

  19. I’m in Ron’s corner, in that I will buy ANYTHING blindly that he draws!! One of my alltime favorite artist, his Hush series got me back into comics after a long absence. Allstar BAtman and Robin was painful as hell to get through, but that was due to Miller’s writing.Lee’s art was awesome in that series.
    BTW- Lee @ Marvel? Give him an Avengers title(New Avengers?) and I’d be first in line!!!

  20. I read Hush, and I thought it was great. I really enjoy Jim Lee’s art.

  21. It’s kind of ironic how Ron sees Jim Lee as essentially Marvel due to his X-Men work (and he’s not necessarily wrong) when he’s become a major fixture in terms of DC franchising these days.  If it isn’t Christian Bale or Brave & The Bold, a lot of Batman merch these days has Lee’s take on Batman.

  22. @Tork  I still see him as a Marvel guy too, art-wise.

  23. I liked his version of Francine in the Homage-era SiP relaunch. Not to go all purient interest here but hubba hubba.

    And he kinda WAS responsible for people aping him, in that Homage Studios shepherded many of his followers/imitators, including J. Scott Campbell, Travis Charest, and everyone who drew Stormwatch pre Warren Ellis-era (Clark, Booth, Broome, etc.).

    Also, Ron, do you have the Imagine Stan Lee Wonder Woman book? Lots of people forget about that one. In a weird “the student has now become the teacher” way, Lee’s art on that looks remarkably Campbell-esque.


  24. Let’s be honest: You’re doing this just so Lee doesn’t have to sue you for all the ‘short’ jokes, right? 🙂

  25. When I was first getting into monthly comics was right around the time of Jim Lee’s X-Men. I can still remember how high the furor was for those issues in the comic shop then, and very much contributed to that atmosphere as a child. (Not to Ron’s extent, clearly.) And BATMAN: HUSH brought me back into comics after a rather lengthy lapse.

    As such, Lee’s art has always been a comfort to see. It’s evocative, exciting, and when he does something, I take notice.


  26. Hmm, iTunes still doesn’t have it.

    I think the last time anyone talked about it was when it was announced. They said it’d be starting in February 2011, but the March 2011 solicitations are already out and there’s still no sign of it. 

  27. @ Conor- I know.  It’s just that Ron was the one that was putting the point across.  I just think it’s interesting that the last decade has done a lot to make the opposite by making Lee’s art synonymous with DC and Batman in particular.

  28. One of my favorite childhood memories is hauling my parents with me in the dead of winter to meet Jim Lee and get a signature. That podcast was a wonderful trip down memory lane, thanks!

  29. a good episode on jim lee. with his art, his business, and how his style doesn’t seem to fit DC. I like this episode. sux I’ll never get a sketch from him ever. =(

  30. Batman: Hush was one of the first comics I ever bought, and it made me fall in love madly with Batman and Jim Lee

  31. The way Jim Lee draws the X-Men is how I will always see them, also.  His style was what I thought about for years when someone would mention “comic art”. Love it.

    I read my copies of X-Men #s 1-3 until the covers fell off.  So it will be nice to get those signed issues to replace them because I won ’em!  Thanks again guys!  

  32. The story itself wasn’t the greatest, but Absolute Hush is worth every penny for the great art.

  33. Is Jim Lee’s signature intended to look like the word “Smile”?

  34. @BatStewie  –i thought the same thing!!! I thought Brian Wilson got into comics! haha

  35. Great show!

  36. Batman Hush got me back into regular issues in 2002.  Huge fan.

  37. I’m sure Jim is a great executive and businessman, but his sequential work has always struck me as incredibly pedestrian. Mind you, I loved Lee in the late ’80s on Punisher War Journal, X-Men, and Alpha Flight, but when I matured, his art seemed to turn into highly-rendered poses rather than any kind of attempt at storytelling.

  38. I’m not a fan of Jim Lee (it’s fine if you are, just not my thing) but it’s a credit to you guys that I found this interesting.

    Also I’m off work with a back problem and catching up with the video show is keeping me entertained, so thanks!

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