Bob Budiansky on Jim Lee’s X-Men Trading Card Art Legacy

I love it! Any others?

One of them was a really slightly unusual character from X-Factor named Strong Guy. I don’t even know if he exists anywhere else, but he’s such a huge, overweight guy. He was a carefree, free-spirited guy. [On] On this particular map, Jim Lee drew him on what looked like a tropical island with palm trees, with Polaris, another member of X-Factor, tiny compared to Strongman sitting on his bicep. She’s almost a parrot, but she’s Polaris and she looks amazing in this scene and there’s this tropical backdrop. The whimsical nature of it, the juxtaposition of these two characters really made this card for me.

Perhaps more traditionally among villains, Magneto is my favorite card because he just exudes power, exactly how you want Magneto to look in any given situation. [See Jim Lee’s work above, from “X-Men (1991), #1”] If you had to choose one representative image, this is it. You don’t even see his face. He has a pair of eyes under his helmet, but his body language and what’s going on around him, metal objects swirling around him… make for the perfect image of Magneto. I like that.

There is a character named Mojo who looks like a fat blob character. […] and Jim gave his expression just the right level of menace and madness. It really drew me in as a very compelling portrayal of this particular character. They are among those that stand out to me.

I’m glad you mentioned Paul because one of my next questions was about Paul’s work. He used some interesting methods and I was hoping you could share them!

The method he used was nothing out of the ordinary, [but] perhaps the media he used were unusual. The method he used was called Blue Line Coloring. Back then, before computer coloring (which was much more complex than the coloring of that era and the comics I grew up with), comics were very limited… they had a very limited palette.

If you’re familiar with pre-computer era comics, you might look at the little dots on them, and there are different shades of red, blue, and yellow. It’s very limited. When it came to the more expensive projects that came online more and more in the 80s and then the 90s, this new process […] called Blue Line Coloring.

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