By Rob McFee
Every comic book fan has their short list of creators they want to meet. I got a chance to meet Jim Lee no.2 of my top 5, at the Diamond Retailers Summit in Baltimore.
Jim Lee A Brief History
Jim Lee born August 11, 1964 is a Korean American comic book artist, writer, editor, and publisher. He entered the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, drawing such titles as "Alpha Flight" and "The Punisher War Journal", before gaining popularity on "The Uncanny X-Men". "X-Men" No. 1, the 1991 spin-off series premiere that Lee penciled and co-wrote with Chris Claremont, remains the best-selling comic book of all time, according to Guinness Word Records.
In 1992, Lee and several other artists formed their own publishing company,Image Comics, to publish their creator-owned titles, with Lee publishing titles such as"Wild C.A.T.S."and "Gen 13" through his studio Wildstorm Productions. Eschewing the role of publisher in order to return to illustration, Lee sold Wildstorm in 1998 to DC Comics, where he continued to run it as a DC imprint until 2010, as well as illustrating successful titles set in DC's main fictional universe, such as the year-long "Batman: Hush" and "Superman: For Tomorrow" story lines. On February 18, 2010, Jim Lee was announced as the new Co-Publisher of DC Comics with Dan DiDio, both replacing Paul Levitz.
He has received a Harvey Award, Inkpot Award and three Wizard fan Awards in recognition for his work.
Meeting the Legend
To be honest I was quite surprised to see him at the Baltimore Diamond Retailers Summit especially since the DC comics offices have moved to the west coast, but there he was,Jim Lee live and in color standing at the DC Comics booth; after doing a double take and confirming with my co-worker that it was indeed Jim Lee, we promptly made our presence known. So what do you say to someone who has changed the comic industry in so many positive ways? What do you say to someone whose inspired and continues to inspire artists to join the rank and file of comic book creators? I don't know what you'd say, but I simply shook his hand and said "Thank you for everything; all of the hard work; the inspiration; you are truly appreciated." What happened next was awesome.
Jim politely said thank you and then we talked, like two old friends catching up after a few years apart, we spoke about the industry and how it's changed; about the future of the art form and it's impact on pop culture. He then looked at me and said I have an idea and I'll start with you. Jim took out his phone and told me to tell the world the name of my store and where it's located. He would later post this on his Instagram which has well over 250,000 followers. That kind of exposure to any comic shop is amazing and to be the first was an honor. Meeting a legend in any industry is great, discovering that they're good people makes it even better.