Jimmie Robinson (Bomb Queen) on Movies and the Masses

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Each week, Movies and the Masses talks cinema with a diverse group of individuals from across the vast expanse of cyberspace. From sword swallowers to icons of the sports media, we’ve managed to rack up a nice selection of guests over the last year. But buckle your seatbelts, folks, as this week’s guest is bound to blow your socks off. Why? Because he’s Jimmie Robinson, the fiendish mastermind behind the Image Comics hit comic Bomb Queen!

Born in 1963 and raised in Oakland, California, Jimmie graduated high school at 16 and wasted no time pursuing his love of art. That came to a halt for over a decade beginning at the age of 21, when he married, divorced, and then faced the challenges of being a single parent.

He eventually returned to the art world with the formation of Jet Black Graphics, and he started producing comics full time once his daughter was grown. After self-publishing his own creations, Jimmie began to catch on with the major players in the comic industry. Some titles of note include:

But his biggest success has come with Bomb Queen, an eye-popping look at a scantily-clad villainess who runs the fictional New Port City with an iron fist (and the boots to match). Filled with violence and sexuality, the title is far more than your usual T&A romp. It’s packed with enough social commentary to make George Romero‘s head spin, and its wickedly satirical take on politics and pop culture hits the bullseye dead on. Throughout this interview, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the high-quality (and rather sexy) art featured in Bomb Queen.

And before we move on, here are a few more interesting facts about Jimmie Robinson:

If you’d like to know more, be sure to check out Jimmie Robinson’s personal website. It’s got plenty of free artwork and comics, an even more detailed bio, info on his upcoming convention appearances, and so much more. He’s also got a page over at Comic Space that’s worth checking out.

Now that we know a little bit about the man, let’s see what he has to say about the world of film:

OGM: What’s the first movie you remember seeing?
Jimmie Robinson: On TV: Attack of the Flying Saucers.
At a movie theater: Golden Voyage of Sinbad (my mother took me).

OGM: If you only had a few hours to live and could do nothing but watch five movies, which films would you select?
JR: I’d start off with the mystery and fascination of life in a few Jeunet films (The City of Lost Children, Amelie). Then ramp it up with some action and the survival of life (Aliens, Blade Runner). And power it down with the contemplation of life in the grand sense (Contact).

OGM: What’s your favorite movie?
JR: City of Lost Children. One of the few films I have paid to see more than twice before while it was still in theaters.

OGM: What’s your least favorite movie?
JR: Hard to narrow it down, not that I think horribly of film, but that I usually find some redeeming aspect in all movies. Still, if my feet are put to the fire I’d say my least favorite is, Event Horizon.

OGM: Do you subscribe to an online rental service like Netflix or Blockbuster Online? Why or why not?
JR: Netflix, nowadays. I can even stream it through the Wii game console, thus no waiting on the mail and shipping and no possible damage to the rental disk.

OGM: In 50 years, which modern movies do you think will be viewed as classics?
JR: In 50 years everything will be a classic. The playing field and ease of access to the consumer will reach levels beyond our imagination.
Groups will form and support particular titles with enough members that no one singular film will stand out.
Thus, movies will cease to be stand alone entities. Watching a “first run” film will not involve physically going to a theater or even the living room.
Uploading directly to the human mind/wet ware will be all the rage–and 50 years after that, it won’t even be a question.
But, for the sake of this question, supposing there was an event that pulled a qualified “classic” out of the public cloud/mind share, I’d go with Avatar.

OGM: If you see a movie based on a book, are you then more or less likely to read the book?
JR: I am more likely. Especially if there’s some buzz about the source material or specific changes in the adaptation.
Granted, Hollywood often manipulates books into their four-quadrant system, but even some production changes can be fascinating.

OGM: Who’s your favorite celebrity?
JR: Audrey Hepburn. She was classy on and off the screen.

OGM: Is there any actor or actress whose movies you actively avoid?
JR: Whoopi Goldberg, and if I can wiggle in a second, Queen Latifa.

OGM: How do you feel about all the remakes of older and classic films?
JR: Unlike some folks my age, I don’t feel like my childhood is being robbed. Remaking a film for a new generation is almost a necessity.
Sometimes it can be done well, other times it’s just the Hollywood execs from the boardroom making the calls. I think viewers know this, and it’s been shown repeatedly that they’ll still line up for it. Clash of the Titans was a mess, the rush to 3D was a joke. Yet, the movie raked in the bucks two weeks in the top two Box Office slots. People will see almost anything with the right spin. So remaking classic films are hand-in-hand with that production mentality. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just business sense. Studios need market share which mean more product per fiscal season and the annual bottom line. I attend the NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) events in Northern California three times a year. We’re privy to the studio promotion for all the upcoming films. Each and every film company begins their intro with how much money they’ve made, how they’ve broken records, and how they’re on track to beat new estimates. Some folks call this scraping the barrel of ideas, others take the opportunity to make something new and unique, albeit not often blockbusters.

OGM: Which actor or actress do you find most attractive?
JR: Emma Thompson. Not only do I like her physically, but also her acting. She’s matured quite well as a mild-mannered English woman.

OGM: Do you read movie reviews? If so, what critics do you read most often, and why do you like them?
JR: Yes, I like movie reviews, but I have no favorite that I subscribe to. Often I’ll skim what’s being said on-line. Reviews are interesting as “cheering sections” because we often look for affirmation or agreement to our own thoughts. Even with reviews of my work, you can tell who is in your camp after the first two sentences.

OGM: What type of people annoy you when going to a movie theater?
JR: People who are “late.”
I have mostly acquiesced to people who talk during the film, but showing up late in a darkened theater looking for prime seating drives me insane.
I’m settled, I’m in the mood, I don’t feel like getting up to let people squeeze by.

OGM: Do you consider movies to be works of art?
JR: The romantic side of me wants it to be–especially with particular directors–but my cold hard cynical side knows better.
This is obviously divided by independent works versus commercial studio blockbusters. When hundreds of unrelated people are working on a film, I’m hard pressed to grant it the status of “art.” Obviuosly, there is a post-production appreciation, but that is tempered with the Hollywood machine. It’s a multi-headed beast of art and business, but I feel it’s about cold hard cash and less about artistic expression. Granted, even some stylized artistry can make money, so there are plenty of exceptions, but those films are not raising the tides for all boats, nor are they always reaching the wider audience who would mythologist film as art for Joe Q. Public on the street. This gets even trickier considering the technological aspects of modern production. What good is a DP when computers filter entire movies, edit backgrounds and reframe shots? Perhaps if a director stands over the shoulder of each job, but that’s not the case–hence why we give awards to key production staff and not just the sole “artist” in the room. We acknowledge the individual artistry it takes to bring a film to life: the editors, musicians, photographers, computer specialists (with a wide range of sub groups), the writers and costumes. Awards are also given out to the art of Architecture, but I doubt the red carpets are rolled out for electricians, carpenters and plumbers. Film is a strange medium, that’s for sure.

OGM: What type of candy or drink do you consider essential to your movie watching experience?
JR: Popcorn with lots of butter, but only if it’s “my” popcorn container. I’m not fond of reaching over into someone else’s container.
That’s on par with talking during the film. It’s distracting.

Thanks to Jimmie Robinson for taking part in this edition of Movies and the Masses. Be sure to pick up one of the Bomb Queen limited series to show your support. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time, here are a few more interviews to keep you entertained:


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