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August 27, 2012

Jim Lee reflects on a life in art — and the art of life

Posted in: Comics,Video

This October, Jim Lee will reach a special moment in a very special career. The most celebrated comic book artist of his generation will mark his silver anniversary — that’s right, it’s been 25 years since “Alpha Flight” No. 51 announced the arrival of a major new force.

Alpha Flight No. 51 (Marvel Comics)

The polish and composition confidence of Lee’s earliest work hinted that he might be the heir of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” star John Byrne (who also created “Alpha Flight”), and over time his maturing style took on the evocative power and sinew that suggested he might also be a latter-day Neal Adams. But long before Lee was a powerhouse figure in the comics industry and co-publisher of DC Entertainment, he was just a kid who liked to draw.

“When I was a kid I never felt that what I was drawing really represented me; it was just something I enjoyed,” Lee said. “As you get older you have kids, you get more introspective about what you’re doing and start connecting some of the dots. People ask me, ‘What happened in your life that might have pushed you as an artist to get to where you are today?’ I always felt a  little on the outside. And as such you’re always observing things. So I’d be kind of re-creating these things in my mind and I think drawing it was a way to deal with that.”

We sat down with Lee, now 47, at his San Diego home to talk about his life in art as well as the art of life and the result was the video above. This is the second installment in our signature series, you can watch the first — a visit with Mike Mignola – right here.

– Geoff Boucher


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