Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Jim Cheung has been entertaining comic book fans for years with his art. The majority of his career is synonymous for working on titles at Marvel like X-FORCE, AVENGERS: CHILDRENS CRUSADE, and YOUNG AVENGERS.
When CrossGen formed in 2000, Jim brought his talents over there and helped launch SCION. It was a series with fantasy elements while also tying in to the overall CrossGen universe. Of all the books to come out of the company, Scion was by far one of my favorite titles.
After working with Marvel for years he recently made the move to DC where he helped relaunch JUSTICE LEAGUE. While he hasn't drawn every issue, the issues he has drawn have been amazing. It's been exciting seeing his take on the DCU and look forward to seeing what else he brings to the JUSTICE LEAGUE and beyond.
COMIC LOUNGE: What was the first comic book you read?
JIM CHEUNG: I grew up in the UK, and one of the earliest comics I recall owning was a UK Star Wars weekly, which reprinted the US comics. This was around the time Star Wars first appeared and I remembered just being captivated by the images, and how magical it was that they were continuing the adventures of the cinematic characters. I sought out more after that, whenever the opportunity arose, which was when I discovered Spider-Man. From there I was hooked, and I could never get enough comic books.
COMIC LOUNGE: Who were your favorite artists growing up?
CHEUNG: I used to read many books, and after a while, I learned to identify almost all the different art styles at Marvel. My absolute favorite though was always John Byrne. His take on all the characters was so unique, and dynamic, that I always sought out his work. I was amazed at his output (even more so now that I work in the same industry), and by the energy within his stories. Everything felt so fresh at the time, that it really inspired me to want to draw, and create, which led to my wanting to get involved in the creation of comics.
COMIC LOUNGE: I first became a huge fan of yours from the CrossGen comic, SCION. Have you ever thought of doing another fantasy series similar to that book?
CHEUNG: I had a fantastic time working on SCION. When I was presented with the idea for the book, I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I would. I always enjoyed reading fantasy novels, but had never really drawn one, so when the opportunity to draw one was raised, I knew it would be a big challenge, but one that I would enjoy. I learned a lot during my time on the project, which lasted a good three years, and by the time it ended, I was happy to switch back to superheroes. There was definitely a part of me though that would have been happy to continue. So to answer your question, I’d definitely love to do another one, if one should present itself! COMIC LOUNGE: You recently joined the art team of JUSTICE LEAGUE, are you going to be on that book for a while?
CHEUNG: I am going to try and be a little more frequent on the book. After launching it, I kinda disappeared, due to the schedule, so editorial and I are trying to find a happier medium where I am absent less. I feel I miss out on a lot of the fun when I’m only doing sporadic issues, and it’s very tricky trying to maintain continuity within the story that way, so hopefully everyone will be happy with the solution.
COMIC LOUNGE: Who's your favorite leaguer?
CHEUNG: I’m really enjoying Hawkgirl and Aquaman. Hawkgirl, partially because I redesigned the outfit, but also because I think she’s pretty badass with that made of hers, and Aquaman, because of his stature and regalness. His scales are a pain though!
COMIC LOUNGE: After working for Marvel for so long, are there any DC characters you would like to work on?
CHEUNG: I think I’m starting out with a good list of characters. The League features all the classics, which allows me to get a taste of each individual hero, but also some of the great villains, at DC. It’s been a blast handling Lex Luthor, Joker, and even the relatively new Batman Who Laughs. I’m happy to spend a little more time with them before exploring further, though with the way Scott Snyder is writing the Justice League, I may cover a fair amount of the DC Universe by the end of my time, on the book!
COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any other books you're currently working on that you can talk about?
CHEUNG: No, it’s just JUSTICE LEAGUE currently. One project at a time, for now.
COMIC LOUNGE: What would be your absolute dream project?
CHEUNG: I think my ultimate project would be one I could develop and evolve, from the ground up. While it’s fantastic working on Spider-Man, or the Justice League, and being able to fulfill a childhood dream, there’s nothing like creating something of your own, and being able to watch it grow, much like a child. I experienced some of this with SCION, and would definitely like to repeat the experience because it was just so rewarding and satisfying! There’s no boundaries, and no restrictions, when it’s your own playground!