Comic-Con@Home: ‘Jim Lee’s X-Men’ And Other Artist Editions From IDW

by Gary Catig

Most big conventions, IDW holds a panel covering their upcoming artist editions they have coming out. These books provide fans to see the work of their favorite creators up close. Though SDCC was virtual this year, the publisher’s Dirk Wood and Scott Dunbier still went over the latest books form the line and even brought in special guests.
Next week, the Dave Cockrum’s X-Men Artifact Edition is set to be released. It will contain art from every issue of his Uncanny X-Men run. In addition, there are two penciled pages from Giant sized X-Men #2 that were never released and his first cover he did pencils and inks for. This book was originally announced at WonderCon 2019.

The Micronauts comic has been out of print for 30 years but a new collection of Michael Golden’s illustrations will be arriving. It was made possible due to a single collector owning more than 100 pages of art. Some legal entanglements between Hasbro and Marvel also complicated things but the companies were able to resolve their issues. The book contains six complete issues, pages from every issue Golden worked on, filler pages, and a tremendous gallery section. Portions of all sales will go towards the care of Bill Mantlo.
The EC Comics Covers Artist’s Edition, that was announced last SDCC, is almost completed. Dunbier is waiting on ten more covers but it should be out before the end of the year. DC Comics and Warner Brothers has allowed IDW to include covers from the MAD Artist Edition from several years ago.

The second volume of the Martini Collection, The Martini Collection: Last Call, contains the third and fourth Parker books that Darwyn Cook adapted from Richard Stark and Donald Westlake’s original stories. It will also contain 100 unpublished drawings and a roundtable discussion with Ed Brubaker and Bruce Timm. Brubaker also contributes a 17-page story illustrated by Sean Phillips that is not a Parker story but related to the books.

The main attraction is the Jim Lee’s X-Men Artist’s Edition, which will come out some time later this year. Scott Williams, who has been inking Lee’s work for the last 30 years, joined the panel and discussed working with the comic icon. Williams thought his collaborator was a good artist, but the cover of X-Men #258 made him think he’d be special someday.

At the end, Jim Lee himself came on for a mini spotlight with Dunbier. The artist spoke of his early rejection in the industry and how he eventually broke through thanks to Marvel editors, Archie Goodwin and Carl Potts. He built a relationship with Williams and Whilce Portacio and spent his first SDCC with them in Artists’ Alley doing $15 sketches. The conversation then turned toward his efforts to help comic shops during the pandemic by selling original illustrations. As their panel was ending, Lee looked back at his X-Men period that was a distinct and hyper-exciting point in his career, but his style has evolved and grown since then.

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