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Phil Jimenez

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Philjimenez
Phil Jimenez
Comics writer
Wonder Woman
Jimenez came out as gay in 1992; his first boyfriend was DC Comics creative director Neal Pozner. Jimenez has been nominated for a GLAAD Award for his gay-positive comics work.
Ww179
Tempest1
Dedication

Phil Jimenez (b. July 12, 1970) is an American comic book writer, artist and penciller. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and later Orange County, California, he moved to New York City to attend college at the School of Visual Arts. He began working at DC Comics when he was 21; his first published work was four pages in the DC miniseries War of the Gods (1991).

He is probably best known for his work as writer/artist on Wonder Woman (2000-2003), main penciller of the miniseries crossover event Infinite Crisis (2005-2006), and his collaborations with writer Grant Morrison on The Invisibles and New X-Men.

In 2004 he produced a creator-owned multi-genre limited series, Otherworld, which was published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.

Jimenez now teaches a life-drawing course, "Drawing for Cartoonists," as part of the undergraduate cartooning program at the School of Visual Arts.

Childhood

Jimenez was born in Los Angeles.

Quote1
I was a latchkey kid. My father left us when I was six months old, and my mother, God bless her, had to work -- so I was alone a lot. What that meant was, I drew all the time, created my own little worlds, played with my toy dinosaurs, and I watched a lot of TV -- and it was on TV that I discovered Wonder Woman. [1]
Quote2

The classic Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series premiered in 1976, when Jimenez was six years old.

Quote1
You wanted to reach out and touch her; she was amazing. I mean, she was, like, six foot in her stocking heels, she walked around in the costume like she owned it, and she was just... stunning. [2]
Quote2

Jimenez especially remembers the effect of Diana Prince turning in a circle and transforming from her civilian guise into Wonder Woman:

Quote1
The Lynda Carter Wonder Woman turn was kind of big for a lot of gay guys I know. Some people talk about it a lot, the transformation of her doing it, spinning around, going from this dowdy, secretive woman and suddenly she's this gorgeous superheroine. I practiced the spin when I was little. Probably because I was gay. I mean, I'm going to assume that it has something to do with all... all this. [3]
Quote2

In his early teens, Jimenez gravitated towards characters that he could relate to:

Quote1
My favorite characters were almost always women: Wonder Woman, Storm of the X-Men, the Scarlet Witch -- or even Spider-Woman. I believe it's because these women were strong, powerful characters and the objects of desire of men. As a gay teen, that's what I wanted to be... The character I most identified with was Wonder Woman's sister, Wonder Girl. She was this perfect person, and a huge motivating factor in my life was a desire to be the best son, the best student, and a successful artist in New York City. Because if I accomplished all of these things, [I thought] being gay might be less of a blow to my family. [4]
Quote2

Jimenez went to Cypress High School in Orange County, CA.

Quote1
By the time I got to high school, I knew I was different. I knew I was gay. It certainly wasn't something I was ready to tell anyone... Because I could draw, I was friends with all the different cliques... I drew unicorns for the girls, and dragons for really cute boys. Who, it turns out, were not so cute at my high school reunion. I think they peaked at about seventeen. [5]
Quote2

Relationship with Neal Pozner

Jimenez moved to New York City to attend college at the School for Visual Arts. After graduating, he began working at DC Comics at age 21. The man who hired him was Neil Pozner, DC's creative director.

Quote1
Neal Pozner was my first editor, and he was probably my greatest mentor at DC Comics. He was an incredibly talented man, with some very strong opinions about the way things should be done. I developed a crush on him the minute I met him, and I wanted to know more about him, and I wanted to be with him all the time. So I'd hang out with him at work, in the offices, far later than I had any reason to. I would buy clothes I couldn't afford to impress him. And eventually, I mustered the nerve to ask him on a date. And he was 15 years older than I was. And he had been my boss. And so, against his better judgement, he said yes. And it actually ended up being a really wonderful relationship. [6]
Quote2

Pozner was HIV-positive when he and Jimenez started dating, and was hesitant about dating someone younger and HIV-negative. Jimenez became Pozner's caretaker until his death in 1994.

Quote1
And the funny part about this, if such a thing can be said, is that nobody at DC knew that we were together. They just knew that we were really good friends. And so at his funeral... the rabbi was thanking all of these people who had taken care of him in the hospital. At the end, the rabbi said, 'And his partner, Phil Jimenez.' And I could literally feel the rush of air as heads in the audience from DC Comics turned to look back at me, because no one knew. [7]
Quote2

In 1996, Jimenez created a four-issue miniseries called Tempest, based on a character from Pozner's late-80s Aquaman series. In the last issue, Jimenez dedicated the miniseries to Pozner, and wrote an editorial page in which he came out publicly for the first time. "It got over 150 letters," he says, "including the classic letter from the kid in Iowa: 'I didn't know there was anyone else like me.' That's what counts. It meant a lot to people." [8]

"My Superman"

Jimenez's boyfriend, Joe Hosking, was his model for drawing Superman in the 2005-2006 limited series Infinite Crisis. In an interview for the PBS show In the Life, Jimenez introduced Hosking as "my Superman. And I mean that literally." [9]

Quote1
My boyfriend actually has this perfect Clark Kent face and I asked if he’d be a model and he said yes. So the interesting thing about that is that he has this perfect Superman face, but what we realized is that Superman’s most powerful icon images of him, he had a very thick neck and a flat head. So that was actually an adjustment we had to make -- once you figure those things out, they became character traits, they became part of the way I drew him. That was actually my editor and me trying to figure out why my Superman was so different than the sort of more popular version. What made that Superman so super? We realized that there were two major elements -- the shape of his head and the size of his neck. It sounds really silly but it’s a big deal. [10]
Quote2

Gay characters

Jimenez's work on Grant Morrison's The Invisibles earned him a nomination for the GLAAD Media Award:

Quote1
During my run I glammed him up a bit, did RuPaul hair in a Patricia Fields dress. His mother was from a long matriarchal line of witches, so the boy was raised as a woman. That provided an interesting perspective. If we can do mainstream work and touch people that way, I want to take advantage of that. DC is a very gay-friendly company. They always have been. [11]
Quote2

A 2000 story in Wonder Woman depicted a love affair between two Amazons.

Jimenez says that he's not afraid of being pigeonholed as an artist because of his sexual orientation. "I am who I am," he says. "I have the career and the life that I do because I'm gay and because of my experiences and desires as gay man. I actually hope that reflects in my work without alienating audiences. Hopefully, the work will always speak for itself." [12]

External links

References

  1. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  2. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  3. "Wonder Woman's Powers", The Washington Post, Hank Stuever. April 18, 2001.
  4. "Drawn to Spider-Man: Out comic book writer Phil Jimenez went from drawing Wonder Woman to subbing for Tobey Maguire's hands on the Spider-Man set", The Advocate, Chuck Kim. May 14, 2002.
  5. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  6. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  7. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  8. "Not Just Invisible", Planetout.com. 2000.
  9. "A Cartoonist's Life]", In the Life. January 2007.
  10. "The Phil Jimenez Interview", ComicFoundry.com, Tim Leong. October 27, 2005.
  11. "Not Just Invisible", Planetout.com. 2000.
  12. "Drawn to Spider-Man: Out comic book writer Phil Jimenez went from drawing Wonder Woman to subbing for Tobey Maguire's hands on the Spider-Man set", The Advocate, Chuck Kim. May 14, 2002.

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