Marvel recently published the Jim Lee XXL edition, reprinting the early X-Men work of Jim Lee in a massively over-sized hardcover volume, as they have Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. DC Comics has solicited a second volume of their Art Of Jim Lee hardcovers. It now seems that IDW wants in.
Scott Dunbier, who used to be EIC of WildStorm under Jim Lee, has put together Jim Lee's X-Men Artist's Edition for later in the year. Which will reproduce, as close to the original artwork as possible, Lee's work with Chris Claremont and Scott Williams on the double-sized X-Men #1 from 1990, along with other covers, splashes, pin-ups, and interior pages scanned from Lee's original art for the franchise, and published at the original size that they were drawn. Thankfully from a time when people still hand-lettered the boards.
"While I had intended to follow in my father's footsteps and become a doctor, comics were always my passion, and incredibly, more than 30 years ago, I became the artist of my favorite comic book, The X-Men," says Lee. "Bringing those characters to life on the printed page was an amazing experience and while several decades have since passed, I still fondly look back on this work with great pride. Flipping through this book will, I have no doubt, rekindle lots of happy memories for me… and I hope for you as well."
A former comic book art dealer, Scott Dunbier created the Artist's Edition format for IDW. He had previously planned it at Wildstorm/DC Comics to follow his Absolute Edition format, before he was fired there. After he was hired as a Special Project Editor for IDW, he launched the format, reprinting original artwork at the original size and as close to replicating the boards as possible, allowing people to come as close to owning the original artboards as they could without paying four-figure sums or more. The format was a hit, with dozend of editions now being published, recreating original artwork from across the medium, and licensed from many publishers. The artwork in the Jim Lee book would likely fetch six figures.