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Comic-Con: Jim Lee Drawing Panel

Jim Lee was supposed to do a panel about drawing, but many things were not in the favor of this happening:
- he showed up late as he had plenty to delay him everywhere he wanted to go
- he didn't have any drawing supplies on him (he borrowed from audience members)
- the projector couldn't pick up pencil marks, so he had to do his rough sketches with pen
- the projector was upside down
- the moderator didn't allow Jim Lee enough time between questions to actually draw


Jim Lee started off drawing Batman standing with Catwoman reclining on a couch. It was remarkable to see how quickly Lee laid out a page. It took him about two seconds to outline Catwoman's form.

When doing a page, Lee says that he does everything directly on the page. He lays out the page with his quickly outline sketches, then softly erases the pencils so that only a faint outline is left. He then fills in the actual characters and action, saving the background and fine details for last. The background and fine details don't require much thought, and he prefers to do them later in the day as it's mind-numbing.

One of Jim Lee's funny responses was about Batman's ears. Batman is difficult to draw from all angles for Lee because it can be hard to render his ears well. For example, from above, how are you supposed to draw the ears?

|     |      If you draw them like this, then they barely show up

<     >      If you draw them like this it isn't correct.

Also, the shadows for the ears will be lopsided as he can only draw the shadow for one of the ears.

Another interesting response was that Jim Lee said that he doesn't use a sketchbook to practice, mainly because he doesn't have enough time. Instead, everything from character development to layout is done directly on the page. Also, he feels more focused when he's looking at the actual comic page instead of a practice page. He says that if you look at the Batman issues you'll see Batman become thinner.

Jim Lee's unfinished Catwoman sketch:

At the end of the session Jim Lee was very nice (even though many other people and I were bothering him) and even signed my messenger bag for me.

- HB pencil lead. Softer lead made his hand hurt as he would press too hard
- He doesn't use non-repro blue. He feels that it is too waxy and never comes up completely.
- For the Batman flashback pages he used gray wash and Photoshop (colorize, dodge, burn)
- Rapidograph if he's inking

Other notes:
- Capes help hide detail
- Lee has three years of work lined up for future comics, including the Comet Rangers.
- The Joker has been his favorite character on Batman, and also most difficult. There was a lot of pressure with drawing the Joker as he is a classic character, and he also has a more stringy villian bodytype. In the end, though, Lee was happy with how the Joker came out.

Marvel characters:
- Not a Spiderman fan
- Not very interested in doing Silver Surfer. Not much he can do with the character as he is essentially a naked man
- Daredevil is also uninteresting as another naked man character. And Daredevil has the additional problem of the horns (see notes on Batman's ears)
- Won't go back to do the X-Men for two reasons. (1) if he does it exactly like before, then people will complain that it's nothing new. (2) if he does something different, people will complain that it's not as good as before.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on July 17, 2003 5:00 PM.

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