100 Greatest Comic Artists

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100 Greatest Comic Artists

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Redigerat: feb 22, 2009, 5:27pm

These things are always fun to chew over:


Redigerat: feb 22, 2009, 10:04pm

Most of this is a toss-up. Lots of artists who deserve recognition.

But....there are some things here I'd want to comment on:

-I'm glad someone else saw the similarity between Kevin Nowlan and Mac Raboy. I don't know if there was ever any direct influence, but I always thought there was a similar feel there.

-I can't accept Michael Golden being ranked lower than Jackson Guice...for any reason. And contrary to what they said here, Golden's work has consistantly continued to improve since his heyday.

-I love Perez, but better than Stevens?. And how can they mark down Golden for low volume of output...but not Stevens?

-Gil Kane?....ranked a bit too high. He himself admitted to his shortcomings. He was amazing at design and understanding the underlying structure of things...but said himself he wasn't a "natural artist" and as far as I know, his "style" gave his inkers fits.

-The top ten guys?
Ok...maybe, but seeing Ditko and Frazetta ranked side by side (?)

And Kirby #1.... I would buy Kirby as the top comics creator of all time, but when you say he beats Frazetta as an artist (no matter how you set up your criteria )....it just seems weird.
Then again, they did a good job of recognising different eras and styles and there's no one here who sucks Everyone mentioned deserves to be mentioned somewhere on the list (except, maybe Guice....or am I being unfair? I liked his early Golden influenced stuff and then I thought he improved as a draftsman, but became more ordinary stylistically)

And to put him on while leaving out:
(at least I think they left these guys out)
-Joe Quesada
-Todd Mcfarlane
-Jamie Hernandez
-Kent Williams
-Travis Charest
-Adam Huges

I'm sure there are more, but I'll leave something for others to add.

feb 22, 2009, 10:14pm

On second thought...the slight distinction between "best" (as I was reading it) and "greatest" makes it easier for me to accept Kirby as #1 and maybe also a couple other things that struck me as odd...

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 12:38am

"I can't accept Michael Golden being ranked lower than Jackson Guice...for any reason."

Jackson Guice is a fine artist, but I don't even see him in the top 100, to be honest. Also- Dan Adkins? Paul Galacy?Bill Ward? Arthur Suydam?
Not on the list, but I'd pick journeymen like Ross Andru or Mike Sekowsky over these guys any day of the week.

And the absence of Crumb and Corben was one of the first things that struck me, but then I went back and looked at their criteria. No underground artists is why.

A very idiosyncratic list, but it did have Bob Oksner and Mort Meksin on it so I can't fault them completely.

feb 23, 2009, 3:19am

Yeah..nothing against Guice at all. I feel a little guilty for singling him out. I like his stuff too. Just a strange choice for this list.
I didn't notice the "no underground" rule though.
That's pretty weird .

feb 23, 2009, 3:24am

It might be interesting to try to figure out the difference between underground, small press and independent.

feb 23, 2009, 11:08am

For me... Golden is in my top five all time favorite artists....
Others.. in my opinion (the float my boat)....

Bernie Wrightson
Charles Vess
John Byrne
Paul Smith
Dale Keown

Perhaps a Golden age (or silver age list would be interesting)

Matt Baker
L. B. Cole
R. Crandal

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 11:36am

Well I get the intention of the list, and they set the criteria out in the beginning fairly clearly, and that's why I have no prob with Kirby as No. 1. Kirby is the most important mainstream comic artist by all the criteria they set forth.I agree absolutely. But once the list moves on -Arthur Suydam??? Whether you like how he draws or not, he's had donut influence on how comics look. And you picked Steranko, so why do you need Galacy? What did he do to advance on what Steranko did?

And going back to omissions -what about Kevin Maguire, or Bryan Hitch or JG Jones?
What about Jose Garcia Lopez for pete's sake? I'd pick him over Perez every time.

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 12:52pm

"I didn't notice the "no underground" rule though.
That's pretty weird ."

That's pretty common amongst mainstream fans, at least as far as I've experienced. They don't want to know about underground and alternative work. Consider how long it took undergrounds to have any collector value. I've only seen Zap #0 go up in value in recent years.

I personally think you undervalue Gil Kane, dinoboy. Gil Kane is a great story teller and his constructive anatomy is excellent. I'll grant you he has a mannered style but nobody draws the human figure moving in space with such ease and conviction. He's figures are like Lou Fine informed by the design sensibility of Kirby.

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 12:36pm

BTW, although I think Jim Starlin hit a wall at a certain point with the style he had in the 70's and it took a long time to come up with something else, Captain Marvel #29 is still probably one of my favorite stand alone comic books.
I might have very well have put down comics for good like most other kids had it not been for that comic and Swamp Thing #1. Those 2 comics pulled me right back in to the whole thing.

How can you not love Eon as an eyeball lump monster with a bad toupee? ;)

feb 23, 2009, 1:36pm

After a second, I had to admit, Kirby is #1
And about Gil Kane, I don't disagree with his being up on the list....in past months, I've been going back and buying a lot of his stuff because he is an absolute god of constructive anatomy. And you're right about his design sense and storytelling. I just thought he was a little too high on the list (just a bit...just enough worth mentioning). He's actually a polarizing figure amongst my friends. Some love him and some hate him. No one can argue with his draftsmanship, but he is pretty cold and analytical. If he was a figure skater, I'd give him 10s for technical merit...but mixed scores for artistic interpretation.
It's a tough call though. He is definitely one of the dominant artists of his era ...and Starlin, himself said he was a huge fan of Kane's.
There's just something missing I can't quite articulate...I feel like it was all coming out of his head and nothing from his heart.

feb 23, 2009, 1:43pm

To break up an already overlong post, I'll continue here.
Should an artist who's created amazing work early in his career be penalized for tanking later?
I think Wrightson gets a pass into the top ten, regardless of what he does now.
And Starlin should get a mention in spite of his later missteps.
I remember when I was a kid in the 70s, people were ripping Kirby for Devil Dinosaur. Heck, I went to a convention in the late seventies where Kirby gave a talk and hardly anyone was there but me and my friends (everyone showed up for Chris Cleremont though)

So, at that time even Kirby might have been "graded down".

feb 23, 2009, 1:47pm

I'm sorry...I can't shut up.
Bisley is ok on this list and Chaykin's "Black Kiss" is mentioned...but Corben's "Neverwhere", "Bloodstar" and "Tales of the Arabian Nights" is not?
What the heck is "underground"?

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 2:52pm

I wouldn't worry too much about long posts -it's been a little dry here as of late. ;)

"What the heck is "underground"?"

I agree that as time moves on the term ceases to have any relevance.

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 2:14pm

BTW, have you ever seen those xeroxes of Kane layouts for his comics that circulate around? To me those prove that the guy is one of the best.

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 2:32pm

I haven't, but I'd like to.

I'd also love to see a Kane anatomy book.
...but then again, pretty much everything he did was an anatomy book.
And with the right inker...Adams, Nowlan,...even Klaus Janson (What if #3) his stuff got warmer.

I even liked his own inks on "The Sword of the Atom"

...man, I'm not making a very good case against him am I?

Redigerat: feb 23, 2009, 2:50pm

I just set up a flicker account -I'll see if I can fish out my stash of Kane xeroxes and I'll scan 'em and put up the link.
Gotta find 'em first. ;)

Best inker on Kane is... IMO...?

Wally Wood.
Thing of beauty.

But Wally Wood inking is like cowbell for that Christopher Walken SNL character. Can never have enough. ;)

mar 13, 2009, 10:12pm

They couldn't find a spot for Marie Severin on the list? I liked her work a lot better than her brother's.