“There is probably too much superheroic content today” | EUROtoday

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Jim Lee is to superhero cartoonists what Michelangelo was to portray. A pioneer, who was capable of impose his detailed and dynamic model in a nightmarish Nineteen Nineties for the “comic book” trade. We discovered to find it irresistible throughout its very profitable debut at Marvel – with 8 million models bought, its X-Men#1, revealed in 1991, continues to be the best-selling comedian guide in American historical past. Then we cherished him as a artistic metronome on the DC Comics aspect. Particularly when in 2011, he supplied a brand new lease of life to Superman and his gang by way of the New 52, ​​a whole overhaul of the publications of the American publishing home, very aptly translated into “Renaissance DC” in France. A rescue based on the principles of the artwork.

In 35 years of a decidedly busy profession, Jim Lee can have sketched for and alongside the best, of the sepulchral Punisher: an Eye for an Eye (coded with Carl Potts for Marvel in 1991), rather more colourful Superman: For Tomorrow (For Tomorrow in unique model, written in 2004) by means of the unforgettable Batman: Quiet (Hush in VO, scripted in 2002) – which it’s also mentioned would be the primary inspiration for the sequel to The Batman by Matt Reeves, scheduled for 2026.

However, by discovering this grasping man and his little meter sixty within the Parisian premises of Warner Bros. Discovery, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, we will't assist however consider that we face a long-time pal. As if this broad smile, between two bites of ache au chocolat (he loves it, it appears), and this heat handshake had additionally entered our well-liked tradition. We then take pleasure in considering his humble, virtually modest charisma. An assumed simplicity, additionally a part of the success of this artist born in Seoul, however who spent most of his youth within the metropolis of Saint-Louis, within the United States.

Now put in on the head of DC Comics after the extremely publicized merger between Warner Bros. – of which DC is a subsidiary – and Discovery Inc. two years in the past, it’s subsequently each within the costume of distinguished designer, but additionally in that of president of the agency that Jim Lee will current himself on March 30 on the park exhibitions at Porte de Versailles, in Paris, for the very first version of the Comic-Con France present. Lee will give a brief convention there to have fun Batman's eighty fifth anniversary.

But the Parisian excessive mass of popular culture must also be a possibility to advertise Superpowered: The DC Story. This three-episode documentary, co-produced by Jim Lee, will probably be broadcast each Wednesday, from April 3 to 17, on Warner TV Next. It will have fun 90 years of DC Comics, by means of the eyes of round sixty prestigious visitors, from comedian guide writers to the actors who performed their heroes. At the movie show. A giant get together of vigilantes in capes and tights, at which Le Point Pop was capable of entry a preview…

The Pop Point: To have fun his 90e anniversary, DC comes out Superpowered, which appears to be like again on virtually a century of historical past which began in comics. Was it essential so that you can keep in mind that the start line of all that is paper?

Jim Lee: It was even very important! For many individuals, the gateway to the DC universe is a movie, a sequence or a online game… There is a lot complexity and depth in all these mediums that in the present day, I feel it It's very important that individuals bear in mind the artistic minds of those that introduced these characters to life. This is important to totally understanding and appreciating them. They are usually not simply pixels on a display: principally, they had been invented by people, such as you and me!

The identical goes for his or her tales, which had been written to entertain, but additionally to ship a message. I cherished the a part of the documentary the place Grant Morrison [scénariste chez DC, NDLR] says that in a approach, the creators of those characters had been extra highly effective than the gods: the gods created imperfect human beings, the place artists created excellent superheroes, like Superman. This analogy blew me away!

As far as you’re involved, the story begins 26 years in the past if you arrived as a rock star at DC.

To be sincere, I don't give it some thought usually (He's laughing) ! It was so way back. In my present position as president, artistic director and writer, we now have no alternative however to look ahead. And then, usually talking, I don't like trying into the previous: both we harbor regrets, or we discover ourselves caught in a second in time. It might be harmful when attempting to progress.

I'm pleased with what I've achieved, however I'm extra like, “What will the next 26 years look like?” » I by no means relaxation on my laurels!

In the primary episode of the documentary, you clarify that creators all the time wish to supply one thing completely different. How to fulfill previous followers and new ones?

This is exactly probably the most complicated a part of the job! At the tip of the day, what actually issues is to control what is occurring in society, whereas listening to publishers and artists to construct collectively a future which should systematically be based mostly on what is occurring. occurred earlier than. We should ask ourselves: are we constructing a world of hope? A world the place the viewers can determine with our characters? Because if they’ll't, then our trade runs the chance of obsolescence.

Today, we now have synthetic intelligence, we’re sending man to the Moon… So what would it not take to essentially impress the reader and set a development for nearly a century in popular culture?

Paul Levitz (writer at DC from 2002 to 2009) rightly states that in contrast to many giant corporations and regardless of its seniority, DC's power has usually been to innovate, to be the “disruptor” in its sector. . Is this the important thing to your success?

Yes. One of the explanations I did properly at DC was as a result of I got here from a smaller firm. I labored at Image Comics [éditeur de Kick-Ass et Spawn, racheté par DC en 1998, NDLR]which was truly a bunch of artists who had simply left larger corporations.

So I had this sort of entrepreneurial fiber in me, which I attempted to infuse into DC, a extra secure and mature society. The initiatives I loved engaged on probably the most at DC had been these the place we began from scratch to determine a whole undertaking. You need to do a number of analysis, rent the precise individuals, set up the precise enterprise mannequin.

This was the case with the New 52 (in 2011): we requested ourselves, for instance, publish comics each on paper and digitally every day, rewrite a historic continuity that is smart, then we needed to encourage artists to face out from their predecessors. All whereas selling our new merchandise and with gross sales imperatives. At the time, it virtually felt like we had been utterly rebuilding a enterprise.

The documentary recollects that Superman, invented in 1938, is the primary superhero in historical past. Sshould you needed to invent this primary superhero in 2024, which might be-he ?

Very artistic query: I've by no means had that one earlier than! If I created this superhero, I already suppose I’d be wealthy! Or that in any case my descendants can be (He's laughing) ! All joking apart, I feel the explanation Superman exploded a lot was as a result of he was doing issues that had been remarkable on the time.

Seeing a person elevate a automobile over his head in 1938 was loopy. Today, we now have synthetic intelligence, we’re sending man to the Moon… So what would it not take to essentially impress the reader and set a development for nearly a century in popular culture? I think about that it wouldn't slot in a easy comedian guide: it must be a quasi-human, artificial being, who might truly fly and elevate vehicles, whereas trying like us. That can be a revolution.

There has been speak recently of the general public's weariness with vigilantes in tights. You consider in it ?

Yes. At least for part of the inhabitants who thinks they’ve seen one thing predictable. But you understand, superheroes aren't essentially a style. It's simply telling the story of people that have superpowers. And that may be accomplished within the type of thriller, science fiction, fantasy, romantic story…

I additionally suppose there could also be an excessive amount of superheroic content material. Same factor with Star Wars, for instance, and customarily with all our rivals. It’s a really crowded area of interest. But I stay satisfied that in the long run solely the cream will rise to the floor.

In only a decade, Batman and Superman – the corporate's primary sources of income – will enter the general public area. Does this fear the boss of DC Comics?

I'll offer you a really pragmatic reply: it's not as if every little thing will abruptly fall into the general public area. This state of affairs solely issues components dated from the very starting. Take Superman for instance: there are particular powers or sure sidekicks that appeared at very completely different occasions, and which subsequently won’t instantly fall into the general public area. In brief, it doesn't cease me from sleeping.

Is synthetic intelligence additionally a risk to the sector?

Many artists really feel in peril and make it identified publicly. From a strictly private standpoint, I don't really feel threatened. I’ve the sensation that important progress should happen by way of regulation, particularly truthful compensation for authors, as is the case within the music trade. There are – and will probably be – methods to trace the misuse of AI. It's inconceivable to disregard this new know-how, so we should management it, and pay these whose work feeds these machines.

I draw so much, even when I don't publish every little thing.

This 12 months, you’re coming to have fun DC's ninetieth anniversary in Paris, as a part of Comic-Con France. Why right here, and now?

This is a primary at a conference! Even if it appears to me that I had already come to do signings in Saint-Germain round twenty years in the past… Paris is a improbable metropolis, certainly one of my favorites on the earth. There is one thing inspiring about strolling right here. I consider that a number of issues concerning the historical past of this nation, and even its affect on the United States, have had an influence on the character of superheroes.

We speak so much about international technique after we are from his workplace in California. But popping out and going to individuals, seeing their enthusiasm, that’s priceless.

Can we hope to see you drawing once more quickly?

Yesterday morning I used to be drawing once more! I draw so much, even when I don't publish every little thing (He's laughing) ! If you're speaking about drawing full tales, I received't conceal the truth that it's troublesome to seek out time. But the ambition to create nonetheless burns inside me. There's truly a narrative I'm engaged on, which might be the final one I inform.

A clue, maybe?

Nice attempt, however no (He's laughing) ! I can nonetheless let you know that it will likely be massive, that it’ll say so much about my very own journey, and what the long run might be for the world. Okay, let me offer you a touch: I’ve all the time been a giant fan of “The Legion of Super-Heroes” [une histoire DC Comics sur une super-équipe du troisième millénaire]. My concept received't essentially be about them, however I'll simply say that I like the actual fact of getting a bunch of characters set sooner or later, coexisting with heroes from the current. I’m satisfied that there’s a topic.

Superpowered: The DC Storyof Leslie Iwerks And Mark Catalena (3 occasions 55 min), with Jim Lee, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Denys Cowan… Aired April 3, 10 and 17 on Warner TV Next.