Comic Vine News


Jim Lee Art Update

Step-by-step of how he makes a cover.

Courtesy of DC’s Source blog, we get the chance today to witness the creative process behind one of Jim Lee’s pieces. In this case, it’s the cover to the coffee table book ICONS: THE DC COMICS & WILDSTORM ART OF JIM LEE.  It sounds like a cool package. Here’s the official description…

One of the most successful and popular artists to work in comics, Jim Lee is revered by fans worldwide thanks to his hyper-dynamic artwork and innovative character and costume design.
Now, his work on Batman and Superman — not to mention his legion of WildStorm heroes including WildC.A.T.s, Divine Right and Deathblow — is celebrated in this beautiful hardback, which includes an exclusive interview with Jim Lee, a tour of his studio and hundreds of full-color illustrations and pencils spanning his entire career!
Plus an all-new cover by Lee and an exclusive, all-new eight-page comic strip, written by Paul Levitz ( Legion of Super-Heroes) with art by Lee!

Nice. The books supposed to come out from Titan Books in August, so look out for it. Now, without further delay, here’s Jim Lee’s first design for the cover.

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And his final pencils, changing the pose slightly and giving it more relief lighting with an overhead light source.

Now, here are Scott William’s inks, adding texture and hatching to the image.

The fully-colored cover hasn’t been released (or likely, completed) yet, but I’m sure it’s been going to be a hell of production job.

Also, it turns out we only got part of Jim Lee’s statement of assurance that he’ll keep drawing when I reported on it before.  Here’s the complete text...

I wanted to follow the Co-Publisher’s blog with a more personal update of my own creative work. For fans of my art–fear not, drawing comic books is actually a part of my new job description, and I actually plan on increasing the frequency of which you will be seeing my work. It’s important to me not only on a personal level that I continue with a hand in the actual creation of new comics but also for a broader mission.

The mission?

To energize the DCE editorial group through a two-pronged approach. Working with Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and writer/Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns, I hope to establish new, exciting directions for the DCU working with the current editorial teams: re-imaging long forgotten, obscure characters, updating classic ones, and introducing yet new ones. That’s the prong from the top down: defining direction and spearheading innovation. Then, down in the trenches, working on actual titles, creating excitement amongst the fans, leading by example from the ground up.

DC would be shortsighted to enlist some of the top talents in the business and keep them from doing their best creative work. So please expect to see renewed productivity in the near future. Oh, and an update on All-Star Batman and Robin after I get to chat with and hear out my collaborator, Frank Miller.

‘Til then, enjoy some of my recent work for the upcoming ICONS: Art of Jim Lee book from Titan Books. Oh, and for the curious, this is NOT the final cover. In fact, I rejected it and decided to redo it (I kept the Trinity composition but changed the angle of the shot and pushed the lighting a lot more).


Sounds like Lee’s got ambitions for the company to match the feats of these three superheroes.   I’ll be curious to see what the “update” on ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN is. How long has that series been running, now?

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on