Wednesday, December 15, 2010
75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Published by TASCHEN, and AUTOGRAPHS
DECEMBER 14, 2010 BOOK SIGNING AT HAMMER MUSEUM, WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA
Within its short 75-year lifespan, DC Comics has created and destroyed entire cities, worlds, and universes with a cast of characters that includes the titans of the Superhero world. Comedian, actor, and writer Patton Oswalt will moderate a discussion among author Paul Levitz, DC Comics’ Jim Lee (Co-Publisher of DC Comics), and Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment), the creative and editorial superheroes behind the pages of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern, who will discuss the pulp origins of DC Comics’ story lines and characters, as well as the future of digital publishing.
The discussion will be followed by a booksigning of Paul Levitz’s recently published 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Published by TASCHEN, this single most comprehensive book on DC Comics (with 720 pages and weighing nearly 16 pounds) includes more than 2,000 images—covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles—reproduced using the latest technology to bring the story lines, the characters, and their creators to life. The book includes year-by-year timelines that fold out to nearly four feet and biographies of the legends who built DC Comics, the largest English language publisher of comic books in the world.
Patton Oswalt is a comedian, writer, and actor, and author of the forthcoming Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. As a comedian, Oswalt has shot three TV specials and three critically acclaimed albums, and starred in the documentary The Comedians of Comedy. His Comedy Central One Hour Special My Weakness Is Strong received a Grammy nomination and in 2009 Oswalt won critical acclaim in the feature film Big Fan. Oswalt also provided the voice for Remy, the rat, in Pixar’s Oscar-winning Ratatouille. He tours regularly both nationally and internationally.
Paul Levitz is the author of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Levitz is a comic-book fan who has worked as editor/publisher of The Comic Reader, editor of the Batman titles and others, writer of over 300 stories—including an acclaimed run on Legion of Super-Heroes—and a DC Comics executive, finishing his 38-year stint with the company as President and Publisher. He returned to writing in 2010 with a new series of Legion stories and other projects.
Jim Lee is the Co-Publisher of DC Comics with Dan DiDio. He has illustrated several titles including Batman: Hush, Superman: For Tomorrow, All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, WildC.A.T.s, and the forthcoming Dark Knight: Boy Wonder. He has received a Harvey Award, an Inkpot Award, and three Wizard Fan Awards in recognition of his work.
Geoff Johns began his comics career writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and JSA for DC Comics. He has worked on several titles including The Flash, Green Lantern, Action Comics, Teen Titans, and 52, and wrote the bestselling graphic novel Superman: Brainiac. In 2010 he was appointed Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.
ALL HAMMER PUBLIC PROGRAMS ARE FREE. Tickets are required, and are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time. Limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis. Hammer members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required.
Jim Lee (Korean: 이용철, born August 11, 1964) is a Korean-American comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher. He first broke into the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, illustrating titles such as Alpha Flight and Punisher War Journal, before gaining a great deal of popularity on The Uncanny X-Men. X-Men #1, the 1991 spinoff series premiere that Lee penciled and co-wrote with Chris Claremont, remains the best-selling comic book of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 1992 Lee and several other artists formed their own publishing company, Image Comics, to publish their creator-owned titles, with Lee publishing his titles through his studio, Wildstorm Productions, such as WildC.A.T.s and Gen¹³. Eschewing the role of publisher in order to return to illustration, Lee sold Wildstorm in 1998 to DC Comics, where he continued to run Wildstorm as a DC imprint until DC ended Wildstorm in 2010, as well as illustrating successful books set in DC's main fictional universe, such as the year-long "Batman: Hush" and "Superman: For Tomorrow" storylines. 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.
1 Early life
2.1 Rise to fame at Marvel Comics
2.2 Image Comics and WildStorm, return to Marvel
2.3 Move to DC Comics
2.4 Other work
3 Technique and materials
7 External links
] Early life
The Punisher War Journal #18 cover.Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, on August 11, 1964. At the age of four he and his family emigrated to the United States, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where he enjoyed a typical middle-class childhood. Lee's St. Louis Country Day School classmates predicted in his senior yearbook that he would found his own comic book company. Despite this, Lee seemed resigned to following his father's career in medicine, attending Princeton University to study psychology, with the intention of becoming a medical doctor.
Rise to fame at Marvel Comics
In 1986, as he was preparing to graduate, Lee took an art class that reignited his love of drawing, and led to his rediscovery of comics at a time when seminal works such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen spurred a renaissance within the American comics industry. After obtaining his psychology degree, he decided to postpone his medical degree, and earned the reluctant blessing of his parents by allotting himself one year to succeed, vowing that he would attend medical school if he did not break into the comic book industry in that time. He submitted samples to various publishers, but did not find success until he met editor Archie Goodwin at a New York comic book convention. Goodwin invited Lee to Marvel Comics, where the aspiring artist received his first assignment by editor Carl Potts, who hired him to pencil the mid-list series Alpha Flight, seguéing from that title in 1989 to Punisher: War Journal. Lee's work on the Punisher: War Journal was inspired by artists like Frank Miller, David Ross, Kevin Nowlan, and Whilce Portacio, as well as Japanese manga.
In 1989 Lee filled in for regular illustrator Marc Silvestri on Uncanny X-Men #248 and did another guest stint on issues #256 through #258 as part of the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline, eventually becoming the series' ongoing artist with issue #267, following Silvestri's departure. During his stint on Uncanny Lee first worked with inker Scott Williams, who would become a long-time collaborator. During his run on the title, Lee co-created the character Gambit with long-time X-Men writer Chris Claremont.
Cover art from X-Men #1Lee's artwork quickly gained popularity in the eyes of enthusiastic fans, which allowed him to gain greater creative control of the franchise. In 1991, Lee helped launch a second X-Men series simply called X-Men (volume 2), not only as the artist, but also as co-writer with Claremont. X-Men #1 (vol 2) is still the best-selling comic book of all-time with sales of over 8.1 million copies (and nearly $7 million), according to a public proclamation by the Guinness Book of World Records at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. The sales figures were generated in part by publishing the issue with four different variant covers, three of which showed different characters from the book that combined into a triptych image, and a fourth, gatefold cover that combined these three, large numbers of which were purchased by retailers, who anticipated fans and speculators who would buy multiple copies in order to acquire a complete collection of the covers. Lee designed new character uniforms for the series, including those worn by Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Psylocke and Storm. He also created the villain Omega Red.
] Image Comics and WildStorm, return to Marvel
WildC.A.T.s promotional artwork.Enticed by the idea of being able to exert more control over his own work, in 1992, Lee accepted the invitation to join six other artists who broke away from Marvel to form Image Comics, which would publish their creator-owned titles. Lee's group of titles was christened Wildstorm Productions, and published Lee's initial title WildC.A.T.s, which Lee pencilled and co-wrote, and other series created by Lee in the same shared universe. The other major series of the initial years of Wildstorm, for which Lee either created characters, co-plotted or provided art for, included Stormwatch, Deathblow and Gen¹³.
Wildstorm would expand its line to include other ongoing titles whose creative work was handled by other writers and artists, some of which were spinoffs of the earlier titles, or properties owned by other creators, such as Whilce Portacio's Wetworks. As publisher, Lee later also expanded his comics line creating two publishing imprints of Wildstorm, Homage and Cliffhanger (that years later merged and were replaced by a single Wildstorm Signature imprint), to publish creator-owned comics by some selected creators of the US comics industry.
Lee and Rob Liefeld, another Marvel-illustrator-turned-Image-founder, returned to Marvel in 1996 to participate in a reboot of several classic characters; the project was known as Heroes Reborn. While Liefeld reworked Captain America and The Avengers, Lee plotted Iron Man and wrote and illustrated The Fantastic Four. Halfway through the project, Lee's studio took over Liefeld's two titles, finishing all four series.
Lee returned to Wildstorm, where he would publish series such as The Authority and Planetary, as well as Alan Moore's imprint, America's Best Comics. Lee himself wrote and illustrated a 12-issue series called Divine Right, in which an internet slacker inadvertently manages to download the secrets of the universe, and is thrown into a wild fantasy world.
Lee's depiction of DC Comics' Superman and Batman. Move to DC Comics
Because he felt his role as publisher interfered with his role as an artist, Lee left Image Comics and sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in late 1998, enabling to focus once again on art. In 2003 he collaborated on a 12 issue run on Batman with writer Jeph Loeb. "Hush" became a runaway sales success. This was followed by a year's stint on Superman, called "For Tomorrow", with writer Brian Azzarello, although this did not replicate the earlier success. In 2005, Lee teamed with Frank Miller on the new series All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, a series plagued by delays.
Lee continued to run Wildstorm as Editorial Director, sometimes working on both DC and Wildstorm properties simultaneously. In September 2006, Jim Lee returned to WildC.A.T.s with Grant Morrison as the writer, pencilling both WildC.A.T.s and All Star Batman and Robin, both of which were characterized by publication delays. The gap between All-Star Batman and Robin #4 and #5 was one year, and to date, only one issue of WildC.A.T.s (Vol. 4) has been published. Lee drew alternative cover art for the Infinite Crisis series.
In February 2006 it was announced that Lee would be involved with the concept art for the upcoming DC Comics MMORPG, DC Universe Online. In 2008, Lee was named the Executive Creative Director of the forthcoming game, which at that time was expected to be released in 2009.
In February 2010 Lee was named alongside Dan DiDio as Co-Publisher of DC Comics. According to Lee, this does not indicate another move away from the creative side of comics, as he will not only have greater creative involvement in the entire DC line, but be illustrating a new monthly title, Dark Knight: Boy Wonder. He will also supply the painted art over Giuseppe Camuncoli's layouts in Batman: Europa #1, which debuts in January 2010. DC announced they were ending the Wildstorm imprint in September 2010.
] Other work
Jim Lee provided artwork for the album booklet for Daughtry's 2009 album Leave This Town.
Technique and materials
Lee is known to use F lead for his pencil work. While inking his own pencils on Punisher: War Journal, Lee began using a crowquill nib for the first time.
In talking about the artist's work ethic, Lee has said, "Sometimes I wonder if we ever really improve as artists or if the nirvana derived from completing a piece blinds us enough to love what we have created and move on to the next piece. If we could see the work as it is, with years of reflection in the here and now, how many images would end up in the trash rather than on the racks?"
Harvey Award — Best New Talent, 1990
Inkpot Award, 1992
Wizard Fan Award — Favorite Penciller, 1996, 2002, 2003
Lee at San Diego Comic Con 2009Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:
All-Star Batman and Robin #1-10 (2005–08)
Coup d'état: Sleeper (Authority) (2004)
Batman #609-619 (2002–03)
Batman: Gotham Knights (Batman Black and White) #1 (2000)
Flinch #1 (1999)
Justice League of America, vol. 4, #0 -one page only- (2006)
Just Imagine Stan Lee with Jim Lee creating Wonder Woman (2001)
100 Bullets #26 (among other artists) (2001)
Orion (Tales of the New Gods) #12 (2001)
Robotech #0 (2002)
Superman, vol. 2, #204–215 (2004–05)
Superman/Batman #26 (2-pages, among other artists) (2006)
Weird War Tales, one-shot (2000)
Dark Knight:Boy Wonder#1-6 (2011)
Darker Image (Deathblow) #1-2 (1993)
Deathblow (full pencils): #1-3; (along with Trevor Scott): #0 (1993–96)
Deathmate #Black (among other artists) (1993)
Divine Right #1–12 (1997–99)
Gen¹³ #0, 4-7 (1994)
Grifter/Shi, 2-part miniseries, #1 (along with Travis Charest) (1996)
Moonlight and Ashes: Fire From Heaven, 2-part miniseries, #2 (1996)
Savage Dragon #13 (1994)
StormWatch #47 (1997)
WildC.A.T.s (full pencils): #1-13; (among other artists): #32, 50 (1992–98)
Alpha Flight #51, 53, 55-62, 64 (1987–88)
Daredevil Annual #5 (1989)
Fantastic Four, vol. 2, #1–6 (1996–97)
Iron Man, vol. 2, #6 (among other artists) (1997)
Marvel Comics Presents (Namor) #33 (1989)
Punisher Annual #2 (1989)
Punisher/Nick Fury: Rules of the Game (1991)
Punisher: War Journal #1–13, 17-19 (1988–89)
Solo Avengers (Mockingbird) #1 (1987)
Stryfe's Strike File #1 (among other artists) (1993)
Uncanny X-Men #248, 256–258, 267–277 (1990–91)
X-Men, vol. 2, #1–11 (1991–92)
WildC.A.T.s/X-Men: The Silver Age (1997)
Levitz at Midtown Comics Times Square, promoting the launch of Legion of Superheroes (volume 6) #1, May 22, 2010.
Born October 21, 1956 (1956-10-21) (age 54)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Area(s) Writer, Editor, Publisher
Notable works Legion of Super-Heroes,
Paul Levitz (born October 21, 1956) is an American comic book writer, editor and executive. The president of DC Comics from 2002–2009, he has worked for the company for over 35 years in a wide variety of roles. Along with publisher Jenette Kahn and managing editor Dick Giordano, Levitz was responsible for hiring such writers as Marv Wolfman, John Byrne and Alan Moore, artists such as George Pérez and Keith Giffen, and editor Karen Berger, who contributed to the 1980s revitalization of the company's line of comic book heroes.
1 Early life
3 Techniques and materials
4 Personal life
7 External links
] Early life
Levitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Hannah and Alfred Levitz. He attended Stuyvesant High School during which time he co-wrote and published a comic fan magazine, The Comic Reader, which according to Levitz, was the first regularly-published comics industry news fanzine. The Comic Reader went on to win two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards. One of Levitz's teachers, the future Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt, was impressed enough with Levitz's work that he arranged for Levitz to appear on McCourt's brother's radio show.
During the course of his research for the fanzine, Levitz became well known at the offices of DC Comics, where in December 1972, editor Joe Orlando gave him his first freelance work, initially writing text pages and letter pages, and later working as a per diem assistant editor before writing stories. Levitz later studied business at New York University but took had no formal education in writing, other than a journalism course. He dropped out after three years in order to concentrate on his writing career.
After serving as Joe Orlando's assistant editor, in 1976 Levitz "fulfilled a lifelong dream" by becoming the editor of Adventure Comics on the eve of his 20th birthday. He also notably served as editor for the Batman line of comics. As a writer, Levitz is best-known for his work on the title The Legion of Super-Heroes, which he wrote from 1977-1979 and 1981-1989. Of particular note are his collaborations with artists Michael Netzer (Nasser), James Sherman, and Keith Giffen. He also wrote the Justice Society series in All Star Comics during the late 70's after Gerry Conway left the book. He was the co-creator of the Earth-2 Huntress with artist Joe Staton and of Lucien the Librarian with artist Nestor Redondo.
Levitz eventually became an editor, and served as vice president and executive vice president, before assuming the role of President in 2002.
In 2006, Levitz returned to writing the Justice Society with issue #82 of JSA, completing that volume before writer Geoff Johns' relaunch.
On September 9, 2009, it was announced that Levitz would step down as President and Publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly-formed DC Entertainment, and become the writer of both Adventure Comics vol. 2 and Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6.
Levitz mentioned in an August 2010 interview that he was also working on "my first genuine book." His "75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking" (ISBN: 383651981X) was published by Taschen America, LLC in November 2010.
 Techniques and materials
Levitz is a Mac computer user.
] Personal life
Levitz has mentioned that he has children.
Levitz has named the run of All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America as his favorite. He names Roger Zelazny as his favorite science fiction writer, J.R.R. Tolkien as his favorite fantasy writer, David McCullough as his favorite history writer and Agatha Christie as his favorite mystery writer.
Adventure Comics (Aquaman) #437, 441-448, (Elongated Man) #459, (Justice Society of America) #461-466 (Starman) #467-478 (1975-1980)
Adventure Comics vol. 2 #12-present (2010)
All New Atom #23 (2008)
All-New Collectors' Edition (Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes) #C-55 (1978)
All Star Comics #59, 62-74 (1976-1978)
Batman #350 (1982)
Batman Black and White #2 (1996)
Batman Family (Huntress) #18-20 (1978)
Batman: Gotham Knights (Batman: Black and White) #5 (2000)
Cosmic Boy #1-4 (1986-1987)
DC Challenge #4 (1986)
DC Comics Presents #5-7, 13-14, 25, 36, 42-42, 59 (1979-1983)
DC Comics Presents: Superman #1 (2004)
DC Special #28-29 (1977)
DC Special Series #1, 8, 10, 12, 21 (1977-1980)
DC Super Stars #17
Detective Comics #517-518 (1982)
Ghosts #103, 110 (1981-1982)
Heroes Against Hunger #1 (two pages only, 1986)
House of Mystery #251 (1977)
JSA #82-87 (2006)
Justice League of America #147-148 (1977)
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth #40, 44 (1976)
Karate Kid #1 (1976)
Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2 (2000)
Legion of Substitute Heroes Special #1 (1985)
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2 #281-313 (November 1981 - July 1984), Annual #1-3 (1982-1984)
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #1-63 (with co-author and artist Keith Giffen, August 1984 - August 1989), Annual #1-4 (1985-1988)
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #100, back-up story "The Fires of Creation" (with artist Walt Simonson, 1998)
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6 #1-present (with Yıldıray Çınar, DC Comics, May 2010)
Mystery in Space #114 (1980)
New Teen Titans #28-33 (1987)
Phantom Stranger #37-41 (1975-1976)
Saga of the Swamp Thing (Phantom Stranger) #11 (1983)
Secret Origins (Shadow Lass) #8, (Phantom Stranger) #10, (Legion of Super-Heroes) #25 (1986-1988)
Showcase (Power Girl) #97-99 (anniversary "jam" issue)#100 (1977-1978)
Stalker #1-4 (1975-1976)
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #225-226, 228-231, 233-237, 239-247, 250-251 (1977-1979)
Superman #344 (1980)
Superman/Batman #26, 72-75 (2006, 2010), Annual #4 (2010)
Superman Family (Lois Lane) #212-214 (1981-1982)
Tales of Ghost Castle #1 (1975)
Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #314-325, 343 (August 1984 - July 1985, January 1987)
Teen Titans #44 (1976)
Time Warp #1-2 (1979-1980)
Weird Mystery Tales #15-18 (1974-1975)
Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Hereos #1-7 (1988)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #3, 14-26 (1985-1987)
Who's Who: Update '87 #1-5 (1987)
Wonder Woman #255-258, 291-293, (Huntress) #271-287, 289-290, 294-296