FFB: ICONS – The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

This is the 55th in my series of forgotten books

This week Patricia (Patti) Abbott is back from her adventures and again hosting Friday Forgotten Books. Welcome back! It’s coffee table book week, and though I have a ton of cool oversized coffee table books, none are available to pull out right now (hardcovers are still boxed up), so this recent one will have to do.

ICONS – The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee – Titan Books 2010 oversized hardcover, text by William Baker, art by Jim Lee, US $39.95

I’ve liked comics for a long time, and liked art for about as long, and when a comic has great art, or a terrific artist draws a comic, it gets my attention. I first became aware of Lee’s work in the early Wildstorm comics, then on his runs of DC titles, especially when he did Hush, a Batman storyline.

At one time I was buying a goodly amount of original comic art and pages, and I did buy some things by Lee, though none of the big-ticket, Iconic characters, except one. Therein lies a tale

Reading this book for the first time, I came upon the page below. I thought it was pretty interesting that though in several other places in the book a sketch was matched on the opposite page with it’s larger colored or finished version, in this case the larger image on the facing page was not a match for the sketch.

On the right is that opposite page. As you can see, a completely different painting, the pose and details have little in common except they are both watercolors of Supergirl.

So why didn’t the editors of this book use the watercolor that matched the sketch on the bottom of the left page? I’ll tell you why: they didn’t know where it was, who had it, how to scan it or get the necessary permissions to use it. And why didn’t they know that? Because they couldn’t follow the painting to the dealer in NY and then to the buyer from that dealer. How do I know? Because I own the painting.

At the time I was buying original comic pages, one of the places I shopped was from that gallery in New York, where I spotted this watercolor painting by Lee and promptly bought it. Here’s a photo of it, and as you can see it’s a match for the sketch in the book.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, the Forgotten Book. All I can say about it is that it’s eye candy for anyone who likes this kind of art. Jim Lee is really, really talented, the reproduction quality in the book is excellent, and it’s a gas to browse through the images. I have some of the comics or collections that this art is in, so that makes it even better, because I can pull the book, Hush, for instance, off the shelf and re-read it. There’s just enough text in this one to make you pause for a few moments, but it’s really about the images, a lot of which are of the DC and Wildstorm iconic characters, thus the title. Yum.

~ ~ ~ ~

Series organizer Patti Abbott has all the FFB goods on her blog, Pattinase, with a list of this week’s participating blogs and, in a day or two, a summary.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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6 Responses to FFB: ICONS – The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

  1. Chris says:

    That’s a great story, and this book has been on my radar since it came out. I will buy it.

    I have a Jim Lee story of my own. I think I’ll blog about it tomorrow for Photo Finish Friday.

  2. Evan Lewis says:

    Wow. Nice painting. And I have a feeling this is only the tip of your arty iceberg. I own only two pieces of original art, making for easy counting. One’s a spread for a W.T. Ballard story in an old Underworld Detective pulp, and the other is a page from a Heckle and Jeckle comic.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    This was a good change of pace for us. Colorwise at least. I’ve never seen prettier posts.

  4. J F Norris says:

    In gorgeous living color! Excellent story, Richard. And I agree with Patti about the attractiveness of everyone’s offerings.

  5. ICONS is dazzling, Rick! Nice choice!

  6. Definitely some gorgeous images.

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