Many of you may not know who the gentleman in the picture is and why he’s taking a selfie in the bathroom with a sketchpad in the background. His name is Jim Lee, he is one of the most prolific and talented comic book artists/creators in the industry today. During his 30 year career he has worked with characters such as the Wolverine, Batman, The Punisher, and a certain Man of Steel with a big “S” on his chest. In addition, he has had the privilege of working with some of the most talented creators and has even been afforded the opportunity to see his own creations come to fruition.
In 1992 he was at the height of his career at Marvel Comics. Lee had just launched a second X-Men title, the premier issue today being recognized as one of the best selling comic book issues of all time. He had given the then 30 year old characters a major re-design and even created the now classic X-men villain, Omega Red.
Lee, along with six others, walked away from what some may consider to be their dream job at Marvel to co-create Image comics. During the 1990s, Image was the first independent publisher to take market share away from the perennial big two publishers: Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Lee was now creating his own characters such as Wildcats, Gen13, and Deathblow without losing rights to the characters to a large publisher. The formation of Image Comics not only allowed Jim Lee to thrive creatively but also allowed his imprint, Wildstorm, to showcase talented artists such as Huberto Ramos, Joe Madureira, and J. Scott Campbell. Lee eventually worked with Marvel again on Heros Reborn and DC on Batman: Black and White, while still running his Wildstorm imprint with Image.
The demands of publishing started to interfere with Lee’s desires as an artist and a family man. In 1998 he sold Wildstorm to DC Comics, but stayed on Windstorm as the Editorial Director. Lee’s role at DC eventually expanded to being heavily involved with major ventures such as the DC Online computer game, becoming a Co-Publisher with the company, and even lending his talents to relaunching the entire DC line of comics.
Fast forward to the first picture, of Lee in the bathroom six week ago. The message reads, “Hey kids-practice a lot & some day, just some day, you will become a professional comicbook artist & get to draw an urgent cover in your hotel bathroom while your fam sleeps in the other room 😀 #goals #2:17am #jetlag #paris #noramen #nopoptarts #fml #glamourslife #livingthedream
From this picture, Lee’s comment, and his overall career one can learn true success is not the finish line rather it is a starting point of your hearts desire. One should never be content with saying, “Ok I’ve accomplished this, I’m done” but should be on the lookout for the next opportunity for growth and personal freedom even if it means staying up late at night to finish a project while on vacation. In short success is never stopping after reaching a destination its continuing to follow ones needs, wants, and desires unto the next horizon.
Philip A. Maenza aka “Philtastic Phil” is an internet entrepreneur and consumer behavior professional whose interests include art, film, music, stand up comedy, fitness, and comic books. Phil is also a dedicated community volunteer and always open to connecting with like minded optimists. Phil’s favorite work from Jim Lee is the X-men series, mentioned earlier, but Lee does draw a mean Batman!