Now that Halloween is done, I can get back to other business, like comics.
The other day, due to procrastination and slight boredom, I tried listing the best comic books of all time.
And then I wanted to punch myself.
As much as I review comics and have been reading them for sometime, it’s really hard to qualify “the best”. Jack Kirby created many of the techniques now used by current artists who have since refined those techniques. So who’s better? The guy who created how to do things or the guy who made it better? It’ll make your head hurt. So I went with simpler criteria. My favourites.
My favourite artists are probably different then yours and yours as they’re based off of personal criteria and experiences. For instance, Rob Liefeld nearly made my list. Seriously. For everything anyone can say bad about the man’s work (and believe me, much of the criticism is warranted), for me X-Force #1 is what brought me back into buying comics and because of that, I have a bit of a soft spot for his art.
That being said, this list has been made in the hopes that if you don’t know any of these artists, you will check out their work. So without further ado, in no particular order:
Jill’s a chameleon. Pencils, manga, painted, her styles are varied and tremendous. For my personal tastes, it’s her paints that I love. Beasts of Burden is the best example of that style and it’s fantastic. In Beasts, Jill manages to capture both the cuteness of the animal characters and the absolute horror of things like zombies and ghosts. Her work on Scary Godmother is equally amazing. At the moment, we haven’t seen much in the way of new material but I have a feeling that it’s coming.
Darrow’s work always seems like a contradiction when I see it. Messy but tight. Controlled but wild. Cartoonish but overly detailed. Geof’s work is one of those things where you can stare at it for hours and keep finding new details in the character’s clothes or the background or a sign on the wall.
I have followed Matt Wagner’s work since I was in my early teens when Batman/Grendel was published. I fell in love with his style and began to track down as much of his work as I could; Mage: The Hero Discovered (it took me years to track down the Donning Starblaze reprints), Grendel, Trinity. His pencils are simple and elegant. His painted covers can be breathtaking.
Mignola is truly an original. There is no one out there quite like him. His style is so front and center you can even see it in the Atlantis movie he worked on for Disney.
Due to his duties as a head honcho at Marvel, it’s easy to forget that Quesada is an incredibly talented artist. His run on Daredevil is still a favourite and his covers for the Wolverine series Origin are some of the most under appreciated covers in comics.
If I have to explain it to you, I’m not sure you’re at the right site. Cassaday proves in every single book he works on that he is one of the best in the business. Great line work, well paced action scenes, facial expressions. His work on Astonishing X-Men is great but on Planetary, he’s a guy no one can touch.
While he has kind of gone off the rails in the past few years (for the record, Holy Terror is awful in more ways than one) but there is no denying how good Miller can be. Dark Knight Returns, his run on Daredevil, Sin City. Every time he comes out, he adds something new to his tool box. Personally it’s his work on Sin City that I love. Miller’s use of black and white is absolutely amazing in this series. Right now, I think due to over-experimentation, his style has gone too far out for me but we may see him tighten the reins some day.
What I wouldn’t give to see more comic work from BWS. I’m not sure if this will happen but lord it would be nice. The Weapon X Saga is probably my favourite Wolverine story and that is mainly due to the art. BWS managed to capture the unchained Logan better then any other artist. In Deathmate, that terrible Image/Valiant crossover, BWS’s art is the only thing worth a damn.
Out of all the silver age artists, the one that I connect with the most is Jim Steranko. Something about how his characters move, how they sit and breath just seems to stick in my mind more then any other artist. Despite their super heroic bodies, Steranko’s people seemed like they actually existed. The only thing that’s a shame about Steranko’s work is that Red Tide isn’t currently in print.
A master, his work seems like it shouldn’t be on the page. It’s like mental imagination. Moebius is a newer addition to my list but I’ve fallen absolutely in love with his work. Silver Surfer to Blueberry, there isn’t a thing Moebius couldn’t draw… or at least that’s my humble opinion.
What about you? Give me your ten favourite comic artists in the comments section.
Because if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!