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Saturday, June 15, 2013 

Jim Lee is making the mistake of drawing a comic to look like a movie

The New York Daily News wrote about Jim Lee's Superman Unchained #1, which is supposed to be DC Comics' way of drawing in moviegoers:
Artist Jim Lee dreamed up the concept in an effort to make his comic more cinematic. One side features a wide shot of Superman smashng up a space station as if panned out by a camera; the other is a jarring close-up of the caped hero in midpunch.

“That came from just a simple desire to do something that I haven’t seen before in my 26 years of working in the business or my probably 45 years of looking at comics,” Lee, whose day job is DC’s co-publisher, told the Daily News.

“I didn’t know what a can of worms I was opening up because it’s actually a very tough logistical production issue to do. I don’t think we’ll be doing it again, actually.”
And that's because it might not be successful from a critical and financial perspective: as Sean Howe said in one of his interviews, drawing/writing a comic to look like a movie is a key to failure. If any moviergoers do take an interest in the comics, I'd assume they would be expecting just that, not something that tries to visually imitate what they just saw to the letter, even if comics do draw a lot of inspiration from films. After all, these are different mediums, and they should try to remain what they are, without being too much like the other.

And while Lee is a talented artist, which is certainly a lot more than can be said for his ideas of how to run the company he's now a co-manager of, I don't think his style suits the Man of Steel. It makes Superman's character design look too young. Some people might look at his art and wonder if this is really Clark Kent wearing the blue suit. Or maybe if it's Superboy stuck somewhere between adolescence and adulthood.

That's the really weird thing: Superman may be Unchained, yet here he's been chained by Lee's character design that doesn't do him justice.

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