Friday, May 2, 2008

Choe works over Jim Lee, Quesada scolds TCI

Saw this awhile back and it's certainly interesting. Dave Choe does his own painted take over Jim Lee's pencils for a published cover for Superman #214. Working from the exact same tight pencils, what a radical difference in Choe's image. Here's what Jim Lee said on his blog.


Here is an incredible painting fellow Korean artist David Choe did over a printout of my pencils for the cover to Superman #214.

I just love it. It's different and I am sure not every fan will feel the same way but I love the energy, the colors, the intensity most of all.

In general, David's typical work is difficult to describe; part graphitti, part porno, all out passion. Some of you may be familiar with his work as David just recently did the cover art for the latest Linkin Park and Jay-Z album.

He is and has been a huge comic fan and over the years, we have become friends and try to get together several times a year. One time, we happened to be in NYC at the same time, and I got a chance along with Ale, Lee and Carlos to see David paint live on a giant wooden board in front of an audience at a church/dance club. Another time, we were all hanging out in my backyard, talking art as I grilled burgers and pulled out old art from my art collection.

Anyway, he did this for the hell of it but I like it so much that I have to figure out a cool project to do together. I think the style would better suit a character like Batman, Deathblow or Constantine, no? The mind races with possibilities. I just need to find the time in the schedule...

What's also interesting about this whole thing is that in his interview in The Comics Interpreter (Choe's first print interview way back in TCI #4 Vol. 1, 1999) Choe blasted Lee (along with a number of others, notably Adrian Tomine) for portraying an asian in one of Lee's series as the stereotypical brainy geek. But years later Choe admitted that his beef had been squashed--Lee was far too big to likely even notice or care about Choe's slam--and the two have since become fast friends and mutual admirers.

An interesting sidenote to all of this is that way back when I did TCI #6 as a tribute to The Brothers Hernandez I was soliciting comments about Los Bros work from a wide variety of creators and industry types and among them was Joe Quesada. The Editor-In-Chief of Marvel was actually a big fan of Los Bros work and was glad to discuss them until he learned that Choe was also participating. Quesada and Choe had recently had a massive, bitter falling out over Choe's dismissal from Marvel's NYX proposal that he was pitching with Brian Wood. Choe's proposal was typically extreme, featuring considerable dollops of sexual deviance and drug use which unsurprisingly wouldn't fly at Marvel. Choe's response to this rejection was a vicious email that circulated widely all over the internet. Quesada proceeded to dress me down for giving Choe a forum in the magazine and refused to participate. Quesada at the time said he would never work with anyone that associated with Choe or gave him a forum. It's also worth noting that when I posted on Wood's Delphi site saying that perhaps Choe and Wood had been naive to really think that Marvel would ever go forward with such an extreme proposal regardless of what Marvel was saying at the time; Wood immediately deleted my post even though it was basically defending he and Choe, for fear that it might upset his masters.

I mention all of this because while I think Quesada is a perfectly nice guy, I always thought his edict would only apply to a tiny magazine like TCI and would never apply to the likes of Wizard, assuming Wizard ever did a feature on Choe. The point being that it's an absolute certainty that if Jim Lee wanted to do any work for Marvel right now that his friendship with Dave Choe would be a complete non-issue; and not simply because a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but because most people operate under situational ethics and as long as Jim Lee is hot shit he can befriend whoever he chooses without any detriment to his career...but TCI cannot. Oh well, the more things change the more they stay the same. But an interesting story nonetheless, eh?

1 comment:

Andy DiceClay said...

Hey, I love your blog! I wanted to ask you a question. Do you know where I can purchase a copy of TCI Volume 4 #1 (Choe was featured in it). I've looked around the internet and I can't seem to find one. Also, I don't live in the US, so I doubt I can find a copy in Canada.

I enjoy being young, but I also missed out on the opportunity to collect comics and witness the growth of different artists.

Keep up the great work!