There is nothing like owning a piece of original comic book art. This is especially true when the work is done by a world-class illustrator. While prices for such things can be exorbitant, IDW Publishing has been doing its best to make pages in their original form – blemishes and all – available to all readers at an affordable cost.
Jim Lee’s X-Men Artist’s Edition is the latest book in IDW’s effort to bring raw artwork by a world-class talent to a mass audience for a low price. This book spans Lee’s Marvel career on X-Men from Uncanny to the Adjective-less. It features splash pages, narrative paneled pages, double-page spreads, covers, and pin-ups. Lee’s work is inked by several artists, among them Dan Green, Scott Williams, and Lee himself. Besides being in its original black and white, there are patches and white-outs which show additions, as well as mistakes. As for the art itself, it is fascinating to see Lee’s artistic growth as the pages turn. It’s a style so copied that any true illustrator can see where the imitators got their inspiration and where they went wrong in trying to channel Lee’s brilliance. It is also interesting to compare this work to his later DC career (which is also available in its raw form in a separate Artifact Edition), as well as an adult coloring and “unwrapped” books of pencils only).
IDW has a history of producing wonderful collections of original comic book art. Jim Lee’s X-Men Artist’s Edition is no exception. This book is essential for any fan of Jim Lee, the X-Men, and comic book art in general.
Highly Recommended – 4 out of 4 stars
Creative Team: Jim Lee, Scott Williams and various
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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