Pat Lee (comics)
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June 28, 1975 |
|Area(s)||politics, penciller, publisher|
|Pseudonym(s)||The Transman, Michiyamenotehi Funana |
At the age of 16, Lee began his career in the comic book industry after graduating high school by sending approximately 150 pages of sample artworks to uninterested Marvel and DC editors. It took over a year before he caught the attention of Image co-founder Rob Liefeld at a convention in Toronto, Canada in 1994. Four months later, he was hired by Image Comics and went to train at Extreme Studios. There, he learned a skill that would influence his art to a great degree: speed. In an interview with Wizard he states:
|“||When I was working there, I'd have work slapped down at me. It's gotta be done today. I'd hear, and I figured, okay, this is something I've gotta get used to.||”|
Lee worked on various titles such as Bloodpool, Extreme Sacrifice, Black Flag, House of M: Iron Man, Glory, Darkchylde, Avengeblade, Extreme Prelude, and Prophet. Soon after, he was hired in Wildstorm Productions to work on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S., Allegra and Whilce Portacio's Wetworks. His career in comic books led him to work in Marvel Comics with a Wolverine/Punisher mini-series entitled Revelation.
Lee has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.
A year later, he and his brother Roger founded Dreamwave Productions. They began to publish their first mini-series Darkminds followed by other titles like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Warlands, Fate of the Blade, NecroWar, Sandscape and other graphic novels. Dreamwave filed for bankruptcy in January 2005, amidst a great deal of controversy, such as the fact that he was neglecting to pay several artists.
Work for Hire
When Dreamwave Productions closed, Lee formed a new production company known as Dream Engine and parlayed his work on the Transformers franchise to land a string of jobs for Marvel and DC, most notably a X-Men/Fantastic Four mini-series and an arc on the Superman/Batman series for DC. He also contributed to a relaunch of Cyberforce for Top Cow Productions, another Image studio. Most of the new projects with Dream Engine failed to bring Lee the high-profile acclaim of his Transformers work, with the Washington Times in particular criticizing his ability to draw humans versus the larger than life robots from Transformers. Lee directed the music video for the song Electric by the band Blush. Lee was also a concept designer on CGI cartoon Train Hero (高铁侠) for Carloon Animation.
Since the closure of Dreamwave, Pat Lee has been criticized for his business practices. In an interview with Newsarama, Transformers writers Adam Patyk and James McDonough stated they had been laid off before the Dreamwave bankruptcy following a controversy about their payment, and had subsequently filed a lawsuit against Dreamwave for lack of payment. In another interview, Transformers writer Simon Furman claimed that Lee "looked [him] square in the eye and said everything’s hunky-dory" a mere month before the bankruptcy. Comic book journalist Rich Johnston repeatedly reported controversial details concerning Pat Lee, including the allegation that Dreamwave's assets and employees were shifted over to the new company Dream Engine, started by Pat Lee's brother Roger Lee, in January 2005, even before Dreamwave declared bankruptcy, the allegation that Lee had transferred ownership of a company-owned Porsche to himself prior to the Dreamwave bankruptcy, the allegation that Lee had bought an apartment for half a million Canadian dollars before the bankruptcy, a list of Dreamwave's debt and creditors, and the allegation that artist Alex Milne had been working as a ghost artist for Lee on Top Cow's Cyberforce title without being credited, with Lee eventually stopping to pay Milne when Top Cow had asked for confirmation that Lee was indeed the sole artist of the book and Milne refused to comply.
In December 2010, Pat Lee gave Johnston an interview, in which Johnston reiterated all of the above claims. While Lee admitted that "many artists had delays in payment" even before the bankruptcy and "regret[s] not being able to speak to everyone" beforehand, he also claimed that "most creators at Dreamwave were aware that we were going through financial difficulties. We didn’t announce it, but people were not being paid in full, and it was pretty obvious." He also claimed that "I barely paid myself at Dreamwave, and didn’t pay myself for extended periods so that the company could pay other bills." Regarding the Porsche, Lee claimed that it "was leased by Dreamwave and I was personally responsible for the vehicle at the end", whereas the apartment was a "small apartment in Toronto that I paid a mortgage on". Regarding Alex Milne's work as a ghost artist on Cyberforce, Lee claimed that he "forgot to adjust the credits at the end of the job", which was "definitely my error", and offered Milne to "provide me the appropriate documentation and evidence" that "Dream Engine owed him money". He also claimed that "I don’t recall firing Alex", and that he "expressed to him via email in May 2007 that I understood he was paid in full". Other allegations brought up by Johnston in the interview, namely that Top Cow had told him [Johnston] that Lee had specifically assured them that he was doing all the work on Cyberforce himself, and that Marvel had told him [Johnston] that they were "asked to stop paying money to Dreamwave [for outsourced projects such as the X-Men/Fantastic Four limited series] but send it to Dream Engine instead", were not addressed by Lee at all. Lee also did not respond to the specific request to offer evidence to counter the claim that he was trying to "siphon money from big gigs away from Dreamwave to Dream Engine in the months before the bankruptcy". However, Lee announced plans to set up a "Creative Refund Movement" with the specific intention to "raise funds to pay former Dreamwave artists who were financially affected by the bankruptcy". As of 2015, no Dreamwave employees have received any monetary compensation for their work at the company through the "Creative Refund Movement".
- "Transformers Comics For September". Comic News I. 2003-06-19. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Dark Aalok review". 2011-02-26. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Staff (2005-01-17). "DreamWave Folds; ComicsOne, Too?". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved 2008-05-29. Archived 2008-05-29.
- McCarthy, Sean (2002-04-30). "Transformers adapt to top today's charts". Daily Nebraskan.
- Wizard Magazine #93 April Fools' Day issue, May 1999
- Golden, Christopher & Sniegoski, Tom (w), Lee, Pat (p), Lee, Alvin (i). Wolverine/Punisher: Revelation. February 2000, Marvel Comics. ISBN 0-7851-0729-0
- "Dreamwave Productions Closes Up Shop", Comic Book Resources, January 4, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Szadkowski, Joseph (2005-07-30). "Marvel gives Fantastic Four makeovers for new comics". Washington Times.
- Pat Lee (director) (2012-11-05). Blush - Electric [Official Music Video] (YouTube Video). Youtube.
- "TV Tokyo, Pat Lee, China's Carloon Make Train Hero Show - Interest". Anime News Network. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Alex Segura Jr.: "The Dreamwave Bankruptcy: From the Writers Point of View", Newsarama com, July 26th, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Interview with Simon Furman, Transfans.co.uk, September 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Not Paying Award", Comic Book Resources, January 3rd, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Unjust Desserts", Comic Book Resources, July 11th, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Dream a Little Dream", Comic Book Resources, August 1st, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Handful of Dust", Comic Book Resources, February 28th, 2005. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Just What Are The Paying Pat Lee for Anyway?", Comic Book Resources, September 11th, 2006. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Lying in the Gutters: Another Pat Lee Story", Comic Book Resources, April 30th, 2007. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.
- Rich Johnston: "Pat Lee Talks To Bleeding Cool Via A Dabel Brother", Bleeding Cool, December 20, 2010. Retrieved January 9th, 2011.