In the world of heroes and villains, eyebrows matter. Just ask Jim Lee, the 46-year-old DC Comics co-publisher. Lee, arguably the most popular comic-book artist of the last 25 years, creates images that combine polished power with crackling energy in a style that possesses fierce majesty and dynamism.
Lee dove into comics in 1986 after graduating from Princeton University, much to the dismay of his parents, who had wanted their son to continue on to medical school. At Marvel Comics, Lee illustrated and co-wrote X-Men before starting his own studio, Wildstorm Productions. Lee sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in 1998 in order to focus on his artwork.
Last year, he saw the release of a lavish hardcover book, “Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee.”
The Korean American illustrator recently sat down with us to talk about the release of the DC Universe Online game (he’s the executive creative director of the massive project) and ended up giving us an impromptu course on his artistic style. It’s flip-cam footage so bear with us a bit on the lighting. Among the many lessons he imparts: “Realistic” is a pliable term in comics, and deceptively simple lines can lead to intense illustration.
— Alex Pham