|Name: Philip Kevin Jimenez
Birthday: July 12, 1970
| On July 12th, Phil Jimenez was born. He is an only child and was raised by his mother in Southern California. He first discovered the wonderful world of comics through Marvel Comic’s Star Wars. He was also a big fan of the Super-Friends cartoon show and the Wonder Woman TV show. However becoming a comic artist wasn’t Phil’s first career choice; at an early age he decided that he wanted to become a paleontologist. Fortunately, Phil discovered that he had a talent for drawing and decided that becoming comic artist would be a better career move as he started making comics for his fellow classmates.
Phil may have gotten into comics through Marvel, but it was The New Teen Titans (#12) and Legion of Super-Heroes (#284) that turned Phil’s attention to the DC Universe. However it was DC mega epic Crisis on Infinite Earths that really got Phil hooked onto the DCU. Then when George Perez relaunched Wonder Woman the following year, he began to fall in love with the comic version of his favorite TV show.
As his love for Wonder Woman continued to grow, Phil came up with a plan, he would move to New York and attend Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, after he graduates he would get a jog at DC Comics and then maybe one day get the chance to draw his own Wonder Woman adventures. When Phil was finally able to attend SVA, he did so for two year, before lack of money forced him to quit school. During his time at the SVA, Phil had many different temp jobs from loading boxes in a warehouse to being a waiter at catered events. Still, Phil had friends in SVA and he was still able to learn and improve his techniques. With the talent that Phil was already born with and the techniques that he had learned, Phil began submitting his artwork to DC. Three weeks after dropping out of school, he got the call that would change his life; DC comics wanted him to come work for them. Neal Pozner hired Phil to do a two-part Cyborg story in Showcase, after that Phil was asked to help ink a four pages for George Perez’s War of the Gods #4. Very cool considering that George Perez is one of Phil’s biggest inspirations, and once Phil’s work got to the fans, they could immediately see the Perez in Phil. Neal would play an important part in Phil’s life and teach him many things. A quote from Phil
“Neal taught me nearly everything I know about good storytelling; more than anything, his presence in my life reminds me that if you're going to do anything, do it well and with passion.”
After Phil was done getting his feet wet with his first couple of books, be began working on a variety of jobs. He soon found his work in annuals like Deathstroke Annual #2 to pin-ups in books like Justice League Quarterly #13. Life was going great for Phil and it could only get better from now on. He finally mustered up the courage to ask him now former boss, Neal Pozner, out on a date. Pozner was already out in the open with his sexuality and he had some hesitation with going out with his form protégé. However, that soon gave way and they began dating. Neal was already an important person in Phil’s career, as he helped Phil become a stronger and better artist. Now he was becoming an import person in Phil’s personal life, as he showed Phil how to become a proud openly gay man.
In later 1993, Phil was already working on his own book, Team Titans. Phil provided the covers, penciled the story and now along with his writing partner Jeff Jenson, Phil was writing the stories. Phil and Jeff had their own version for the series; they wanted it to have the crazy, off beat tone, like Grant Morrison was doing over in Animal Man. But lack of communication make working on Team Titans a nightmare. Phil soon gave the covers and penciling chores up and just stayed on as co-plotter. Ultimately Team Titans was cancelled. The bad times wasn’t over, it was only going to start to get worse. Sadly Pozner contracted the HIV virus and passed away in 1994.
In 1996 Phil but out the Tempest mini-series, a final tribute to his mentor, best friend and lover. Phil dressed Tempest in a new costume, a revised version of the one Pozner once designed for Aquaman. In the final issues’ letter page Phil came out to the world as he confessed his life and love with Pozner. Phil would soon find himself as a poster boy for the gay movement. Phil’s openness and honesty showed others in the same predicament, that there was nothing wrong with them; they were normal just as anyone else. He began getting letters from others who have found the courage to come out of the closet.
Time passed on and Phil found himself working on another regular series, The Invisibles Vol. 2, with Grant Morrison. Since the Tempest mini-series, Phil’s artwork became more passionate, more detailed, more dynamic and more beautiful then anything he had done in the past. I think it was this point in time that Phil surpassed the master and was no longer considered a Perez clone. More people began to take notice of Phil’s amazing work; Wizard Magazine credited Phil as an up-n-coming artist and referred to him as “comics best kept secret” and “ a person who should be drawing super-hero comics.” Ironic, considering that Phil had been drawing super-heroes for the past 5 years. Phil stayed on the Invisibles for a year, and it proved to be a good year for him as he was nominated for a GLADD media award and was also nominated for an Eisner Award, one of comic’s highest honors.