Jim Lee on Drawing Comics and the WildStorm Legacy

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I’m also curious about the way people have taken some of the characters you’ve designed and run with them; what have been some of the pleasant surprises you’ve had there?

Travis Charest is the guy who took over WildC.A.T.S. after I left, and I love the way he drew those characters. One of the reasons I never had a problem handing over my characters to other creators is that I knew that they would add their own influences and takes on the characters and make them better for it. If you look at the history of Superman and Batman, these were collaborative projects, where all these different creators from different decades added elements to their origins and their personalities, making them richer, deeper characters. And I knew that for the WildStorm characters to have the richness of these more iconic characters, I had to open the door to having other people come in and influence and change them.

Looking at the Icons book, you’ve been working with Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair as a team for a really long time. How do the dynamics of that collaboration work?

We’re all friends, and I’ve worked with Scott so long at this point that we don’t actually interact that much! I know what he’s going to do with the pencils, and he knows what to expect from my pencils and what I expect him to do with it. Early on, though, we talked a lot. And that goes with Alex a lot–you have to go through this period where you let the ego down and both sides talk about the work and say what works and what doesn’t work. You handcraft the style with each person, and once you’ve done that for several years–and it usually takes several years–you get into this incredible rhythm. They’re my go-to team. They always surprise me, yet give me what I want at the same time. It’s great working with those guys.

(More on Techland: Reading the Tea Leaves: DC Sorta Moves West, Shutters WildStorm)

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