The DC Comics stalwart Batman and manga icon Naruto are hardly ever associated with each other. Despite their different places in the pop culture consciousness, artist Jorge Jiménez has brought the two together in discussing his creative influences. Jiménez is a comic book inker and penciler who is best known for the work that he’s done alongside DC Comics. Much of that work has seen his name attached to Super Sons, Superman, Justice League, and most prominently, Batman.
Jiménez’s run on Batman was shared with writer James Tynion IV, which saw the introduction of characters such as Punchline, Ghost-Maker, Clownhunter, and Miracle Molly, culminating in events such as the Joker War and Fear State. While Jiménez is not currently drawing Batman, he is returning to the title with incoming writer Chip Zdarsky for Batman #125 in July, in a six issue arc entitled Failsafe. Although Jiménez is best known for his Batman-related titles, his genesis as an artist can be traced back to Naruto.
In a Tweet, Jorge Jiménez revealed that he was inspired to become a comic book artist because of the Naruto series. While reading that series, it inspired him to dedicate his life “to drawing without looking back.” To accentuate and pay homage to his inspiration, Jiménez draws a sketch of himself next to his idol. For DC fans, Jiménez’s art would not be the same without Naruto.
This is not the first time that Jorge Jiménez has revealed his manga influences. In 2019, he tweeted that a key Superman moment from Justice League #25 is a direct reference to Chapter 415 of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z. Similar to Gohan, Superman evokes the spirits of his adopted father, Jonathan Kent, and his son Jon Kent as he throws a powerful punch. Jiménez described the panel as, “A clear tribute to the manga that inspired me to start drawing and fight hard for what I believe in.”
It is clear that manga means a great deal to Jiménez and serves as a huge source of inspiration. With both anime and manga immensely popular outside of Japan, it should come as no surprise that many of this generation’s writers and artists are inspired in some way by it. Jiménez is no different, as evident by the way he pays homage in both his tweeted sketch and in his actual work. This highlights the ways that manga has impacted the Western comics industry, with Batman artists like Jorge Jiménez being influenced by manga like Naruto.
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Source: Twitter/Jorge Jiménez