Using AI robs creative joy off artists: DC comics chief

With the advent of AI, comics are seeing a paradigm shift in the way they are produced — much like any other creative field

Published - March 30, 2024 08:21 am IST - Paris

Korean-born US comic-book artist and chairman of DC Comics Jim Lee poses during a photo session in Paris, on March 28, 2024.

Korean-born US comic-book artist and chairman of DC Comics Jim Lee poses during a photo session in Paris, on March 28, 2024. | Photo Credit: AFP

A new three-part documentary, Superpowered, charts the 90-year history of DC Comics, which brought the world Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and countless other superheroes. Korean-born U.S. comic-book artist Jim Lee has been one of the genre’s great stars since his early days at Marvel in the 1980s, working on X-Men. When he switched to DC, he helped revive its iconic characters, eventually rising to be president and chief creative officer.

With the advent of AI, comics are seeing a paradigm shift in the way they are produced — much like any other creative field.

“We have to figure out a way to live in a world where it exists, and the source material from which it derives its content is properly credited and compensated”, Mr. Lee said in an interview to promote the coming documentary which is set to be released on April 4. “But even if it were accepted and someone were going to pay me to use an AI engine to create work, I just would not do it”, he added. “Typing something into a prompt and getting something two minutes later? I’m robbing myself of the whole point of why I got into this business.”

When asked about the relevance of the ‘simplistic morality of a superhero’, Mr. Lee said: “The value of comics... is to remind people that we are all going to go through hardship and trauma, and it’s the choices you make that will define your future, as glib as that might sound”.

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