Jim Lee on Drawing Comics and the WildStorm Legacy

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How much artistic direction are you giving DC right now?

Not so much. I’m planning on doing a storytelling clinic for editors. So much of what I’ve been involved with has been on the strategic planning level, the digital comics level–I haven’t really had a chance to get down to the nitty-gritty of cover composition or storytelling, that kind of stuff. I’d like to do that–it’s something that I have a lot of experience in, and my own kind of theories. I want to impart upon them that you don’t have to do it this way, there’s a lot of ways of doing it, but they’ll glean some information that they can apply to other artists and other styles and make their conversations with other talent more meaningful.

What sorts of theories do you have?

I actually get into a lot of the mathematics of composition, like the golden ratio; some of the historical compositions you have from the Renaissance, where figures are placed, symbolic imagery of placement of figures with their hands, proportion, negative space–there’s a lot of stuff. I try to do a lot of asymmetrical, triangular compositions–I find those work really well for comic book covers in that portrait mode, and I don’t always see that in other artists. Again, I’m not asking that they all draw that way, but that’s something that an editor can have in the back of their head when they look at something and are critiquing something to fall back on to evaluate what they’re seeing.

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Is there a particular style that you associate with DC right now, or would want DC to have?

I think the artwork could probably be a little more explosive, in-your-face… DC has always been about great storytelling, it’s always been a little more literary. As an artist I’d like to see it have a little more artistic punch, a little more action. That’s not to say that there aren’t books drawn that way, but as a whole I’d like to interject a little bit more of that.

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