Jim Lee was my childhood art hero, maybe only second to Todd McFarlane. Both seemingly came from no where to save comic books. All that MCU stuff we love today is because Jim and Todd followed their hearts and drew their visions of X-Men and Spider-Man. They passed all the negativity and all the people that wanted to see them fail, they followed the hardest line. A number 2 art pencil with an ultra fine tip was their tool of choice and through it a history poured. Later both would create successful comics and a comic company, but it was the line work that took them there.
Life is full of hard lines. Unmoving. Unwavering. Some even permanent. I dreamed of being able to be one of those guys, unafraid to show the world my art. Years later I would, but what took me so long? The fact is I never saw much in my “art”. Just some lines, so they stayed hidden.
Then Al Taqqadum (sorry for the spelling on that one) Iraq happened. Our detachment needed a boost and I put my tools to work. On bullet riddled walls I drew characters that I found matched those around me. Dry erase markers were used and whoever entered my morale room smiled at the art. Emotion was tied and I found an audience. I drew the hardest line.
The hardest line is the movement of a smile on a face. Everytime I doubt skill or meaning in this I think of that place and what I had achieved.