Read Alex Grand’s Understanding Superhero Comic Books published by McFarland Books in 2023 with Foreword by Jim Steranko with editorial reviews by comic book professionals, Jim Shooter, Tom Palmer, Tom DeFalco, Danny Fingeroth, Alex Segura, Carl Potts, Guy Dorian Sr. and more.
In the meantime enjoy the show:
CBH goes to San Diego Comic Con 2019 and interviews a variety of guests in a spontaneous artist alley free for all. In this video Alex interviews Jimmie Robinson, comic book artist who grew up on a variety of genres in comic books, inspired by Neal Adams, got his start in independent comics, discovered by Jim Valentino and created Bomb Queen for Image Comics. Jimmie Robinson known for his writing and drawing the comic book series Bomb Queen, and for other works, including Amanda and Gunn, Avigon, Code Blue, Evil & Malice, Five Weapons, The Empty, and Power Lines, most of which have been published by Image Comics.
🎬 Edited & Produced by Alex Grand, ©2021 Comic Book Historians
Sound FX – Standard License. Images used in artwork ©Their Respective Copyright holders. Images used for academic purposes only.
Jimmie Robinson Interview by Alex Grand at San Diego Comic-Con 2019
📜 Video chapters
00:20 Childhood comic influences
02:47 Self-publishing & Image Comics
04:12 Jim Valentino
05:56 Projects working on
07:37 Wrapping up
#comics #comicbooks #marvel #JimmieRobinson #BombQueen #ComicBookHistorians #SDCC2019 #JimmieRobinsonInterview #ComicArtistInterviews #ComicBookHistorians
Transcript (editing in progress):
Alex Grand: Well we’re here continuing our journey at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. I’m talking to one of my comic book artist idols, Jimmie Robinson. How’re you doing?
Jimmie Robinson: I’m doing just great. Right on.
Alex Grand: Well Jimmie, I love your comics. I’m a big fan of your Bomb Queen series. Tell us about your childhood comic book influences. Who are the artists that you looked up to?
Jimmie Robinson: Oh, I looked up to Neal Adams.
I love a lot of his stuff and a lot of early DC work. I remember I didn’t get into comics until late teens though, but that’s when I had somebody in the, a comic retailer helping my mom out who would then send books to me with little Post-its on it saying, “Check this out.
Look at this inking. Look at this penciling. Look at this layout.” And that helped influence me a lot. And I never to this day met that guy. He would only give stuff to my mom and then she gave me the comic books from this comic book angel or whatever. That was cool and yeah, a lot of early influences, even way back to like G.I. Combat and stuff like that
, and The Haunted Tank and whatnot and some EC comics.
It was just like, I didn’t do the whole 7-Eleven spinner rack thing or back when they had that, but there was always something in there that I liked, but I always tend to go to some of the weird angles and that influenced me a lot. That was a lot of fun.
Alex Grand: So it was almost like morbid, and not necessarily superhero but other genres to war, horror, whatever else?
Jimmie Robinson: Right, right, and that’s where I didn’t become like a superhero head kind of a guy. I did love them a lot, but it wasn’t my only focus. I was a Batman guy, I was a Superman guy or I was a X-Men guy
or whatever, or an iron man guy, whatever it just, it was a part of my range that hit me. And so when I started my own comics, I didn’t really have that style. I came to San Diego Comic-Con my first year was 1994, ’93, ’94 and I came right up to the door with my portfolio and I was so chicken, I didn’t even come in the doors. I came all the way to San Diego and never went in, because I was so scared because my style didn’t match anything. It didn’t have the Marvel style at the time or the DC style at the time because my early influences weren’t so focused. So I didn’t know how to draw a Spider-Man.
I didn’t know how to do all the characters that they did. That just really opened my eyes to a new thing, so I just started self-publishing and it was just a wild ride that way, and yeah, yeah, that’s where I am.
Alex Grand: So tell us about self publishing and then getting into Image?
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah, self-publishing I did because like I said, I came here and then chickened out, so then I got my act together and I said, “Well I’ll just do my own book, I won’t come in here and try to find a job with my style… ”
Alex Grand: And what year was that?
Jimmie Robinson: Like I said ’94, but then doing my own stuff was in ’95 going into ’96. And I started self-publishing, I did a book called Cyberzone. I did eight issues of that, and it got to a point where I was like, the indie scene at that time was really tough and I was just doing it because I just wanted to cut my teeth and do something and then-
Alex Grand: And tell a story.
Jimmie Robinson: And tell a story, exactly. And then at a certain point I just, in a hubris of mine just announced to the industry, “Well, I’m going to stop doing this. It was a bit of fun and all that but I don’t think anyone’s really, whatever, I’m going to try and do something else,” and unbeknownst to me, a lot of people were watching and I didn’t even know. And one of those people was Image, and three days after I made that announcement, Jim Valentino at Image said, “Dude, what? Come over here.” He was like, “Dude, were you going to stop? Don’t stop. Just come over here.”
So I literally took the same characters that I was self-publishing, and Cyberzone, and that was my first Image book called Amanda and Gunn.
Ever since then I’ve been with Image. It’s been over 20 years, so, and that led up to Bob Wayne.
Alex Grand: Yeah, I guess I could see Jim Valentino, his art style and yours, there’s almost like it’s like cartoon, but not, but it’s also, it’s a combined approach. So he probably felt a kinship with your artwork.
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah, Valentino, he’s the vice president of Image comics, he’s one of the founders of Image comics and in the late nineties he was actually the publisher, like the Eric Stevenson up today. He was actually the curator of all this content, and Valentino is an indie guy, he’s an underground guy.
And he did Guardians of the Galaxy and all that stuff,
but he’s also a big indie guy and he wanted to really create a new content, not just the superhero content. As a matter of fact, he had a thing called the non-line back in the day, which was strictly no superheroes, black and white books and that was the only time I was on the cover of previews, but yeah he really went out of the way and God bless that guy. He really, to this day still, tries to push the envelope in his own way. And a lot of companies now are doing the same thing, and he was one of the earlier people to do it. Valentino, he’s the one that green-lit Bomb Queen off of just a couple of pictures that I drew. He’s like, “What’s this?”
Alex Grand: And it was unique for sure.
Jimmie Robinson: It was unique to him and I’m like, “Well, I don’t know if you’ll want it Jim, it’s different. It’s not like a superhero book. It’s a super villain book. It’s the bad guys that win all the time.” And he’s like, “I like it. Show me more.” And then after that, it was initially just a four-issue series, a four-issue mini series and now, yeah, we’ve got like…
Alex Grand: It’s a huge success and I love it. Now what projects are you working on now?
Jimmie Robinson: Right now I’m working on new Bomb Queen, Bomb Queen vs. Trump and-
Alex Grand: And you had done a Bomb Queen vs. Obama, and you also, so you’ve got on three presidents basically.
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah. Bush, when the Iraq war thing and Halliburton and all that stuff and everything. And then Obama, because Obama would not stand for a Bomb Queen on U.S. soil.
Alex Grand: And now Trump is the next target.
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah. It’s going to be weird saying target because Bomb Queen and Trump are the same, they’re buddies really. So the whole thing will be how-
Alex Grand: Oh that’s really interesting.
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah so the whole thing is getting to a point in the Trump presidency where the superheroes of the country come to Bomb Queen for help because she’s the only one that could capture his base-
Alex Grand: And maybe think like him in a way you’re saying.
Jimmie Robinson: … and think like him because you’re not going to beat Trump by saying he’s a bad guy, because nobody cares about that, he’s a… Yeah, he’s got his base that says they love it. Just like Bomb Queen has her base that says, “We love how evil she is.” So the only way you’re going to beat Trump is to steal his base from him and that is to out-Trump Trump. Not to be a good guy, but to be a bad guy.
Alex Grand: I like your style.
Jimmie Robinson: Yeah and the ultimate bad guy is a bad girl. That’s Bomb Queen. So yeah, so that’s, so the heroes get together because they can’t kill their own sitting president. There’ll be villains. So you get a villain to do your dirty work, but of course it’s Bomb Queen and she’s going to win where everyone’s probably going to get stabbed in the back kind of a thing. So you’re making a deal with the devil. You’re going to pay the price.
Alex Grand: You’ve created a tremendous character and wonderful work, Jimmie. Thanks so much for talking with us today.
Jimmie Robinson: I love this. You guys are great.
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Interview © 2021 Comic Book Historians