Saturday, July 09, 2005

Iron Chef: The JSC commentary

[Jeff Scott Campbell]

Wow, well that was very difficult and hopefully only a little bit embarrassing for me.

When the guys at Gelatometti first asked me to participate in one of these "Iron Chef" challenges against Jim, I told them they were crazy and that there was "No Way" I was going to do that! I mean, Jim Lee is arguably the BIGGEST guy in comics. A legend! It's a suicide mission! And besides that, I've sat next to Jim numerous times at different conventions and appearances around the world where I have continuously been in awe of his ability to draw incredibly detailed finished pieces like this, one after another. I just don't know where the guy gets his energy from. But, when Jim asked me personally to compete with him in this, and then mentioned how we would be doing this to raise money for the CBLDF, well, how could I refuse.

What can I say, the second I saw Jim's piece and realized that not only was it fully inked (In an hour!? I mean seriously) but that he also managed to actually work in a recognizable Sentinel, in scale no less (you Bastard!), I knew I was finished. And I gotta say, a lot of guys in our business can draw fast, but Jim has the ability to conceptualize fast, and that's definitely evident here. I mean, to come up with a dazzling and functional layout for a piece like this, is half the battle, and you have to feel confident that you have one before you can really start your actual "drawing". Besides the Sentinel in Jim's piece, the followthrough with WW's lasso wrapped around the robot's head, that's is just a stroke of brilliance that put's this one over the top.

All I can say is, that was the fastest hour of my life. I mean, anybody who's familiar with me, probably knows that 'speed' just "ain't my thang" baby. And let me tell you, I most definitely bit off more than I could chew with this one. Where as Jim's art here could be a finished trading card or something, mine's unfortunately, a bit of a "work in progress" I suppose. The "start" of something cool. And while reading so many of these posts, I wished so badly that I would have figured out a way to get a more recognizable Sentinel in the shot, since so many of you mentioned the lack of one as the main reason why the scales were tipped. I suppose, on my end, I'm just relieved that Wonder Woman ended up with a head and Wolvey ended up with two arms. Some of you might also notice a subtle 11th hour attempt to dazzle you with Wolvey's and WW's "glistening" sweaty skin shading. No, didn't help? Aw shoot! Next time Jim, how 'bout just a "Hot Chick" OK?

Anyways, it was a lot of fun, and my thanks to the Gelatometti guys for including me in on this. And thanks to all of you who out there who participated and commented, especially those of you who threw me a few votes so that I wouldn't be completely annihilated. I LOVE you guys! And finally, a BIG thanks to Jim, who already made me feel like a winner when he asked me to participate against him in his first 'Iron Chef'. Now, I'll go back to licking my wounds.

Take Care,

J. Scott

Oh yeah, I might as well get a few plugs in, right?:

- Be sure to check out Wildsiderz #0 in stores now and the 32 page debut issue Wildsiderz #1 on August 3rd!

- Be sure to look for me at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con and Wizard World Chicago.

- And please check out more of me and my artwork art


patman said...

hi jeff!

thanks for participating. i really loved wolvie's facial expression in that shot. you've done a lot to help CBLDF's cause.

btw, wildsiderz rocks!

Peter said...

dude the pic with kerry and the others is hillarous. I think your selling your self short though . Great pic and yeah it's hometurf kinda thing ^_^.

kampilanWil said...

Hi Jeff. Its me "AaylaSecuraLives" over at your site. I actually chose Jim's piece but just wanted to say that you had more of the facial expressions down pat. That was your strength. If Wonder Woman was a little more beefed up and a more recognizable Sentinel took shape---I think it've been a bit tougher to decide! Hope to see you at SDCC and pick up a copy of your new sketchbook. And, Wildesiderz looks to be a fun ride :)


meek? said...

LMAO! You are one funny and truly humble superstar artist, Mr. Campbell... which, along w/ the phenomenal talent, explain why you are definitely my second favorite artist ever. :]

I did check out Wildsiderz #0 and, thereafter, added the title onto my regular pull list. Aside from the already fantastic illustrations, I love how you take the artwork onto a whole other level w/ the graphic design. Phatty props for bein' an innovator, sir!


sedat said...

Hey Jeff,
Dont worry dude your piece still looks amazing, and its no shame to lose an battle against Jim-I-sold-8million-copies-of-xmen-nr.1-Lee...

Its really amazing how fast Jim can draw, ive met him once on a convention in Germany, and he pulled out one amazing sketch after the next one...

anyways, I dig your Piece very much, and i was just wondering how you do those nice shadingeffects, ive seen em before in you Danger Girl Sketchbook.
Keep up your great work!!!

Jack Smith said...

yo jeff,

i give you props for trying. i dislike people who give up before they even begin. if it was me, i'd love to challenge ol' Jim just for the sake of taking on a legend!

jim beat you on his home turf with characters he's familiar with. i don't think the results would be so lop-sided if he was on your territory. i remember issues of gen13 where he tried to draw YOUR characters and it was nice but didn't really compare to the way you did it. your art has a certain charm to it that's hard to describe.

extend the time a bit and then this iron chef thing is a whole 'nother story. You should start a JSC Iron Chef and have you, Travis Charest and Arthur Adams duke it out.

anyway, your drawing was still kickass no matter how the votes were casted


You did a fine job JSC, and are given ultimate props for not shying away, you still got quite a few votes, and those are votes Jim didn't get, fabulous characterizations, great concept of them busting out of a sentinel, and all for a great cause.

Mega-props for one of my heroes in comics.

Will see you in San Diego

Sam Out-

GTJDorris said...

I'm a huge fan of your art Mr. Campbell and let me say the little photo collage next to this post you made is actually very damned funny. I would just point out that when two of the biggest names in comics art are having an "Iron Chef" battle, how can ANYONE lose? Thank you tremendously for doing it, and maybe they can convince you to do it again? Or at least drop by with some more insight/pieces/plugs?

Thank you for coming by this place as I really am a big big fan (seriously, I weight like a deuce and a half). Take care, thanks, be well.

-- Jonathan

ANMPH said...

This was truly a battle of my favorite artists. All I have to say is I didn't vote because I love both of your art too much to make one better then the other. Thank you for this great challenge.

Grant Gould said...

Oh, man.. When I saw that "disaster collage" up there I died laughing :D

Awesome contest -- This was the best Iron Chef yet.

Jeff, you are da mannn. :)

DADICUS said...

Your a great sport man Way to go!!!!!!

pcruz620 said...

HAHAHA!!!! That collage is tight! And the competition was freakin awesome. Two of the coolest guys in comics.

Jon Roscetti said...

Jeff, Just gotta say thangs for giving it the ol' college try. Truly this was an exciting event, and the real winners are the fans, who got to see two great drawings. The cartoony bounce and energy to your forms makes your art work stand-out amongst the rest. You have a Pop-Art sensibility that is hard to match. As an artist working in animation I want you to know that there is barely an artists that I know who does not keep The Danger Girl sketchbook near their desk for inspiration. I eagerly await the new Wildsiderz project. Thanks for you involvement in this event

Colin said...

I tried, but I really couldn't vote on this round of Iron Chef. What shocked me was the amazing similarities between how you and Jim both chose to portray the scene. You both chose a strikingly similar pose for Wolverine and portrayed him with great use of perspective. I thought the relative positioning of Wonder Woman was close. Your work showed more facial emotion and more strain. JIM's was more finished, but yours was better "colored".

I just couldn't decide!

J. Scott Campbell said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone.

Actually, I feel that I must finally admit. I threw the match, just so that I could use that funny collage gag. There, whew! I feel so much better getting that off my chest!


J. Scott

MR FURIOUS said...


not only are you a great artist, you are also very humble. your work has always been off the charts, and Wildsiderz is no exception.

i just wanted to say thanks for your participation. i know it was tough going against the great jim lee, but you my friend are not that far behind.

once again, this event reiterates why i love this industry so much. not only do you provide great entertainment value, but the people behind it are also super cool.

thanks alot,

alexander - big fan