|Jim Lee & Bill Baker (authors), Titan Books, 2010|
Watch out Stan Lee, Jim Lee is here to stay!
In the past ten years there has been a shift in media from comics to animated series to movies. These movies that have dominated the box office have become a major part of our culture today. However, while many people are watching the movies, an enormous amount of people are becoming interested in comics; not just the 'geeks' and 'nerds'. Among the unsung heroes who I believe should be credited for this rise to popularity in the masses is Jim Lee who has illustrated some of the most beautiful comics I have had the pleasure to read.
ICONS reveals the tremendous impact lee has had on the DC Comics universe...From roughs and storyboards to pencils and finished color art, ICONS showcases every stage of Jim Lee's creative process and spans his entire DC career, with exclusive commentary from the artist himself. It also reveals the breadth of media that feature Lee's art, going beyond comics and covers to model designs, merchandise, movies, and into the digital realm. This alongside his best art and rare and previously unseen pieces, bulled from his personal files will thrill Lee's many fans. --Bill Baker
|Batman: From the Comic Hush|
On nearly every page is a comic at its early stage accompanied by either the same or similar comic in color (how it was printed in the comic book). Captions litter the book in a good way. They explain who helped with the print, the materials used, what number the print is, what book it was a part of and sometimes a slight synopsis of the scene, a quote, or what Lee’s intentions were with the art. The book also shows unused designs that were never printed but are equally as great as the ones that were. Along with the printed pages, the book includes sculptures and figurines which were all designed by Jim Lee. With each of these sculptures and figurines are basic drawings detailing the scene Lee wanted to portray.
|Half pencil, half colored print of Superman and Wonder Woman|
While “reading” the book, I realized that I wasn’t actually reading a story line, just the captions. The whole book has a comic book type readability, and I lost myself in the details of the drawings. The pure size of the book (12.2’ x 9.4’) helped to enhance all 296 pages of the beautiful artwork. He has drawn plenty comics with notable characters such as: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but has also drawn lesser known titles such as WildC.A.T.s, Divine Right, Death Blow, Storm Watch, and many more that were only given a page or two to display the best art from the comics.
Besides the art aspect of things, Lee has helped turn the comics/DC brand into something even more interactive by dipping his hand into the DC Universe Multiplayer Online Role-playing game. He also designed new “kicks” for Converse. He also created a Google Doodle (below) in 2009 to mark the opening of the annual San Diego Comic-Con International.
|DC Google Doodle, Jim Lee, 2009|
While Stan Lee created Marvel Comics and their main characters, Jim Lee has made it his mission to bring DC up to par with his amazing art. Although he hasn’t created the characters, I can clearly see that he has made an enormous change for the better in the comic industry which is growing at a very fast pace.
Icon’s: The DC Comics and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble. The price seems kind of outrageous for the average college student and the regular Joe, but after taking a good long peek at the book in Barnes and Noble, I would buy the book in a second if I had the funds, it’s an incredible deal on the best works from one of the best comic artists today.
-- Jennifer Wright