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CBR TV @ CCI: Jim Lee on “Justice League,” DC Relaunch & More

DC Comics Co-Publisher and penciller on the new “Justice League” title Jim Lee spoke with CBR TV at Comic-Con International in San Diego to discuss the excitement and challenges of illustrating the Dc Universe’s premier super team, the process of starting small with a focus on Batman and Green Lantern before expanding to the planned fifteen-member roster.

Lee also discusses his excitement at working for the first time with longtime friend Geoff Johns on the title, the differences in illustrating a team book instead of a solo character like Batman and the motivation of having a hard deadline due to DC’s new “day and date” policy for releasing digital versions of their titles.

The pressure Lee felt while working on the designs of the revamped characters was also discussed, from both an artistic and business point of view, his artistic process for his “Justice League” work and the effect the world of digital comics has had on storytelling in comics.

Lee’s X-Men are also a topic of discussion due to Marvel’s new, remastered re-issue of the creator’s classic mutant-centric work before shifting back to the DC relaunch in September, with his and Johns’ “Justice League” leading the way in August.

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  • http://twitter.com/Deathlok Luthor Manning

    DC reboot? Its been done and done better in the 1980s!

    • Drew

      I agree! Based on 25 years of hindsight, I’m positive that reboot was better than the reboot that hasn’t happened yet! The best of all was the reboot from 2035, followed by the reboot from the 1950s. But this reboot that I haven’t seen yet that’s coming out this fall… Man, I’m SURE that one will be the worst.

  • http://twitter.com/Deathlok Luthor Manning

    DC reboot? Its been done and done better in the 1980s!

  • http://twitter.com/thejimg jim gorr

    Gee Jim Lee likes his crappy redesigns, what a shock…

  • http://twitter.com/thejimg jim gorr

    Gee Jim Lee likes his crappy redesigns, what a shock…

  • http://twitter.com/thejimg jim gorr

    Gee Jim Lee likes his crappy redesigns, what a shock…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Curefreak Daniel Wheeler

    why don’t you finish the All Star Batman series first a$ ?!?!

  • Guest316

    Being kind of harsh on Jim Lee there. Granted, I myself am not particularly loving some of the redesigns for this reboot, but he has a point, generally books he has provided redesigns on have been a massive success, and those redesigns have been hugely popular. His redesigns of the x-men during his stint were hugely popular and highly respected and in general became the standard look people go to when they think of the characters, I have also seen a lot of love for the Wildcats designs. Very rarely do I see a book he works on criticised for his artwork or his interpretation of the character. I think what you’re misinterpreting as arrogance is in fact him being fairly confident in his design skills (hell, he even says that he knows there are a lot of people out there who don’t like his designs) based on undeniable past success. Plus lets not forget, this isn’t just a chat down the pub, this is a marketing interview for a massive reboot, he isn’t exactly gonna turn around and say “yeah I didn’t have a sodding clue what to do with Superman when redesigning, so I jus did anything, but I’m not really happy with it” would he.

    • http://www.therawness.com T.

      Being kind of harsh on Jim Lee there. Granted, I myself am not nparticularly loving some of the redesigns for this reboot, but he has a npoint, generally books he has provided redesigns on have been a massive nsuccess, and those redesigns have been hugely popular.

      nnYes…IN THE 90s!!! That’s the problem, his design sense hasn’t evolved at all since then. He never learned to make timeless designs, only 90s style designs. And he’s never learned to update his design sense for later decades.nn

      His redesigns of the x-men during his stint were hugely popular and nhighly respected and in general became the standard look people go to nwhen they think of the characters

      nnThe standard looks people tend to go to when thinking of the X-Men characters are the Cockrum designs. Even when classic X-characters are given updated modern costumes, the looks the designers try to evoke are the Cockrum designs, not the Jim Lee ones. All of Lee’s designs are too 90s to have any staying power.nn

      I think what you’re misinterpreting as arrogance is in fact him being nfairly confident in his design skills (hell, he even says that he knows nthere are a lot of people out there who don’t like his designs) based onn undeniable past success

      nnHis Kyle Rayner redesign, his Wonder Woman redesign, his Huntress redesign, none of them went over well. He’s had more misses than hits with his redesigns. He only had a hit with his redesigns in the 90s, which was a period of collective insanity among fandom so I wouldn’t trust the tastes of fans from that generation. Back then we loved Liefeld too.nn

      Plus lets not forget, this isn’t just a chat down the pub, this is a nmarketing interview for a massive reboot, he isn’t exactly gonna turn naround and say “yeah I didn’t have a sodding clue what to do with nSuperman when redesigning, so I jus did anything, but I’m not really nhappy with it” would he.

      nnNow this part I agree with. He should stand by his designs and push the line. Agreed.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think you can be harsh enough on Lee–he’s a horrifyingly bad writer and his artwork all looks exactly the same (when he actually sticks to a schedule). I don’t expect originality or surprises out of him and never will. nnI’ll never understand how he’s risen as high as he has with DC.

  • Cabron

    … on that last tangent: if any of you have checked-out Marvel’s leaks their remastered edition of X-Men 1, then you can clearly see that his work then is better than his work for DC today. These days, it seems like Scott Williams is doing most of the heavy-lifting…

    • RF

      There’s plenty if penciled samples of his newest works available. They all seem pretty detailed when compared to the ink work to me. If anything the work seems to lose something in the inking process more so now than his older stuff. On top of that I’d say his storytelling ability and composition have improved greatly since those days, and that’s a lot more important than detail work.

      • http://www.therawness.com T.

        I agree. His art and storytelling in my book have improved. It’s just his design sensibility hasn’t.

  • Nick PItarra

    I’m excited for this! I can’t read a lot of characters I love because of the dense history/back stories. Jim Lee is very well spoken…seems like a nice/smart guy. I hope this is a huge success and the mediumu00a0becomes stronger for it.

    • http://www.therawness.com T.

      Problem is, they don’t really seem to be getting rid of much of the dense history and back stories. Apparently almost everything still happened, just with some tweaks. Kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me.

      • Omegasaga

        they are selectively taking things that sold well and saying : “this happend but not at all the way you remember it”.u00a0u00a0 Then they are cramming decades of character evolution into a “5 yr ” period.nn5 robins but no wally west.

  • Wildstorm

    So Jim, how many issues are already done?u00a0 Hopefully you started in Jan. to get this book on a regular schedule.

  • Seamuskeaneart

    oh the more I hear about this first arc, and the preview I read in that freebie at my comic book shop, and It seems like this interaction with batman is ripped completly from all star batman and robin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26113379 Swinford Speid

    I am sorry I think he did a pretty decent job on the redesigns of Batman and Wonder Woman.u00a0 My thoughts on the 52 is that he could have surge a more artistic group to do the new 52.u00a0 Some of the artist working on the project need to be drawing on other books of course Finch and a few others are great.u00a0 What I really want to say is they need to pick artist for certain books base on sensibility, technique and new direction of how a revamp should look.u00a0 All I am saying is that the guys they choose look like the same old books and characters with the same old direction, revamp means total change.u00a0 They need to take more risk and shake things up, I have the preview book of the 52 and think that there were some shakers in Booth, Finch and a few others but not enough to call a complete revamp.u00a0 I think they should have given this revamp more time and introduce it in Justice League and hand pick various artist with distinctive styles and sensibility to shed new light and new worlds on old characters and places.

  • Mr_Wayne

    Fact: Every book/title that Jim Leeu00a0pencils outsells everyone in that particualr time period. So it doesn’t matter how many of you dislike or hate his work, he’s here to stay. With every greatu00a0person theres a thousand and two haters out there ready to play critic

    • http://www.therawness.com T.

      People don’t seem to be doubting his art skills or whether his work sells. We’re talking specifically about one aspect of his work, his design skills. They’re really not that good. He has many, many strengths and is one of the all-time greats, but costume design just isn’t one of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Bennett/1650260092 Matthew Bennett

    For you na sayers Jim Lee is God. You may not like his work, but it sells and other artist have always copied his designs. But once again Jim Lee is God!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Bennett/1650260092 Matthew Bennett

    For you na sayers Jim Lee is God. You may not like his work, but it sells and other artist have always copied his designs. But once again Jim Lee is God!!!!!

  • Ticked off fan

    Umu00a0u00a0 if you listen to the Audios of the Pannels…. there is NOT an overal “positive” support.u00a0u00a0u00a0 There are star struck fanboys who are first timers to Comicon.u00a0 And tehn it sonded like teh MAJORITY of long time fans are really ticked and discusted.u00a0u00a0 nnThe average long time fan sees through the PR spin and have been down this road 3 times in the last 20 yrs with DC.nnThis is a gimmick. A Sales spike that will have disasterous results come spring.