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Comics artist Jim Lee shows off Sketchbook Pro for the iPad

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It seems like everyone is criticizing the iPad’s inability to deliver a great experience for anything beyond reading books. For example, last night I contrasted the smoothness of reading comics with the awkwardness of typing a blog post or an email. But Autodesk‘s SketchBook Pro app is a compelling counterexample, especially after famous comic book artist Jim Lee showed off what he can do.

Lee, who was recently appointed co-publisher at DC Comics, bought the iPad and the SketchBook app over the weekend, then posted a couple of drawings of famous comics characters via his Twitter account. (Apparently another was lost in an app crash.) While Lee complained that it was “fun and frustrating at the same time cuz half the time yer going this would be so easy to do by hand or wacom [a pen tablet device],” he also said he “was digging the primitive feeling of using yer hands.”

The image at left might remind readers of the New Yorker covers created using the iPhone app Brushes, but users obviously have a lot more screen space to work with on the iPad. I like Lee’s iPad drawings because they’re uniquely moody and expressive — they only resemble his normal art in a vague way. It’s a good example of doing something new with the iPad, rather than “kinda-sorta replicating features that work better elsewhere,” as I’ve complained about.

[image: Jim Lee]