All the founders of Image Comics apart from Jim Lee were at the ECCC 2017 25th Anniversary Founders Panel. He was invited multiple times, so they decided to turn on him. “DC Lee” as Todd calls him.
Robert Kirkman – “That one time he tried to relaunch WildCATS with Grant Morrison… that was funny right. No mention of Divine Right. Below the belt!”
Todd McFarlane – Everyone came over to Todd’s house during the early Image days, Jim asked “Todd, I hear you play baseball”. That’s not a lie. Todd says he’s a pretty good baseball. Jim challenged him to some swings in local batting cages. Jim Lee has to be first, in the fastest cage, and he kept missing, doesn’t hit one. Jim Valentino steps up, fouled a couple, hit a couple, next up, Jim Lee goes in again without hitting any, and they all alternated with Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri’s girlfriend in high heels and she knocked off a few, he still can’t hit any. Todd’s wife knocks balls, and then Todd steps in after Jim to do a lot better, has taken 160 swings, fouled one ball. They get back, Todd takes Jim’s hand and cups it in his crotch. Why are you doing that Todd? “The first time you touched two balls all day.”
Afterwards, knowing Lee would be sore, Todd asked if he was hurting. “It hurts to blink.”
Whilce Portacio – Jim Lee is a collegiate wrestler. We’re in Hawaii, having a good time, trying to be cool and macho. In a Barnes & Noble, Jim tried to take Whilce down for fifteen minutes. On the beach he tried again. At the bar. Again and again.
Rob Liefeld – Probably 1995, I had been fortunate to do two deals with Steven Spielberg. CAA wanted Rob and Jim to reimagine Jason And The Argonauts for Spielberg. Leaving for the parking lot, walking past famous paintings under glass, Jim Lee asks “Mister Spielberg” to sign his laser discs – which Jim had in his car. “Yeah, I’m not going to the parking lot”. “I’ll be right back!” and he ran out at full speed and ran back. But at least he got something out of that meeting. I’ll be watching eBay for them.
The conversation wandered off… I’m sure we’ll return to it. But that’s what happens when you don’t turn up to a 25th Anniversary Founder Panel of the company you were a founder of.
UPDATE: And Todd did. The time he persuaded Marvel accounts to trick Jim Lee into thinking his cheque would be delayed for a month, and, when calling Jim up afterwards, his then-assistant John Nee to tell him that Jim Lee wasn’t available as he’d spent hours “shitting in the bathroom”. “The greatest trick you can do is diarrhoea at a distance.”
Though Todd said that Jim Lee was the lynchpin in Image Comics’s success – he was Marvel’s Golden Boy.
Jim Valentino added when talking to Larry Marder that Image had signed up Jim Lee. “You guys are going to do so much damage.”
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