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Dynamic Comic Creating Duos! A Top Ten

The Top 10 Writer/Artist Teams I’ll Read Anything By:

1. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
2. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
3. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
4. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
5. James Robinson and Paul Smith (Which gives me a shot to beg them to do more Leave It To Chance. Please guys! My future kids might like it as much as I do!)
6. Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore (I’ve pretty much read everything they ever did)
7. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Same, at least Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. I guess there are some monster stories or something)
8. Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rodgers (Still need to get that Dark Detective mini they did in ’05)
9. Chris Claremont and John Byrne (well, except that JLA run they did. I won’t read anything either guy’s done since 1991 or so as a rule. They simply ceased to exist in my personal continuity around then. A wizard did it. Or Wizard.)
10. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Honorable Mentions: Morrison and JH Williams III, Morrison and Phil Bond, Morrison and anybody he worked with on Seven Soldiers, Morrison and JG Jones, Morrison and Morrison. Oh, and Claremont and anyone he worked with on X-Men ever, as long as it was before he left in ’91 and I can’t be nostalgic anymore.

45 Comments

Solid list, with #2 being the team I most look for these days. I’d also have to add Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire for myself.

I’ve never read anything by the Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rodgers duo, but seeing how I like everyone else on your list I believe I’d probably like them too.

I’m going to approach this slightly differently and list a handful of collaborators who I thought brought out the best in each other, even to the point where their works with others were not as successful (English-speaking, superhero-based only, so I don’t have to expand to partnerships like Goscinny / Uderzo and others like them):

Alan Grant / Norm Breyfogle
Frank Miller / Klaus Janson
Mark Waid / Mike Wieringo
Greg Rucka / Ed Brubaker / Michael Lark
Graham Nolan / Scott Hanna
Kurt Busiek / Brent Anderson
Mark Evanier / Sergio Aragones
Garth Ennis / Steve Dillon

The Claremont and Byrne comments are oh so true, unfortunately. But boy when they were in their prime, they were untouchable.

I would add Stan Sakai, Larry Marder, Walt Simonson, Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle, Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen, George Pérez and any good writer, anything drawn by Peter Snejbjerg, and probably a bunch more I am forgetting.

Steve Gerber/ Gene Colan
John Ostrander/ Tom Mandrake
Neil Gaiman/ P. Craig Russell
Alan Davis/ Mark Farmer

In reference to authors who do particularly well with certain artists ( not necessarily a definitive dynamic duo, but tendencies to bolster each other’s strengths )

Brian Michael Bendis; Michael Avon Oeming ( Powers ), Alex Maleev ( Daredevil ), and Mark Bagley ( Ultimate Spider-Man ) all come to mind. Lienel Francis Yu also qualifies, based on the strength of their New Avengers work together. Mike Deodato Jr. is also a contender, depending on the continued performance of Dark Avengers.

Chris Claremont: IMO, his best runs were with John Romita Jr. and Marc Silvestri, both of whom drew the title with a kind of down-to-earth, organic line. It’s worth noting that with these artists, he seemed most focused on the actual mutant characters over extra-dimensional stuff.

Brian K. Vaughan: Tony Harris ( Ex Machina ) and Adrian Alphona ( Runaways ). Both combinations work equally well, albeit on different genres.

Alan Moore: Kevin O’Neill. ‘Nuff said.

Wow, I can’t beleive no one’s mentioned Marv Wolfman and George Perez!! I also would read anything by Karl Kesel and Tom Grumett.

I’ve got to give a nod to Richard and Wendy Pini.

Warren Ellis’ absence makes me realize he had few true partnerships.

Juan Jose Ryp, Raul Caceres, Mike Deodato jr, Darick Robertson, Bryan Hitch, Simone Bianchi, John Cassaday, Carlos Pacheco, Ivan rodriguez, Mike Wolfer, Ben Templesmith, Adi Granov, Salvador Larroca, Tom Raney…

he sure gets around.

Already mentioned:
Morrison/Quitely
Vaughan/Alphona (not that Alphona’s doing comics anymore)

Additionally:
Andy Diggle/Jock
Phil Hester/Mike Huddleston
Gerard Way/Gabriel Ba
Matt Fraction/Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon
Benito Cereno/Nate Bellegard
Brian Clevinger/Scott Wegener
Jason Aaron/R. M. Guéra

With Warren Ellis:
Stuart Immonen
J.H. Williams III
Ben Templesmith
Just about anyone at Avatar

With Joe Casey:
Eric Canete
Sean Phillips
Dustin Nguyen
Charlie Adlard

I agree with just about all of Brad’s picks. I’d add- Morrison/Weston, Miller/ Mazuchelli, Haney/Aparo, Haney/Cardy, Haney/Fradon, Goodwin/Simonson, and Fraction/Ba.

I don’t see why you would keep Claremont/Byrne on the list if they haven’t created anyting respectable in nearly 20 years. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale easily make the cut.

Kurt Busiek/George Perez
Peter David/Dale Keown
Peter David/Gary Frank
John Ostrander/Jan Duursema

I can see the argument for Loeb/Sale, but they lost me with the horrifically out-of-continuity Hulk: Grey.

Perez and Wolfman’s run on Teen Titans were right up there with Claremont and Bryne on X-Men. I would read anything that either group would create.

Walt Simonson/Walt Simonson.

Howard Chaykin/Howard Chaykin.

Joe Kubert/Joe Kubert

Pekar/Crumb
Moench/Jones
Milligan/Fegredo
Macan/Biukuvic
Goscinny/Uderzo

D’oh, I forgot Kanigher/Kubert

“Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale easily make the cut.”

Not for me. I haven’t read anything they’ve done since Spider-Man: Blue, because holy shit enough of the color coordinated nostalgia trips guys! That and I realized Jeph Loeb was terrible a few years back. Thanks T.! Still like Superman for All Seasons, though.

Guys I forgot about that probably would have made the list had I not:

O’Neil/Adams
Miller/ Mazuchelli
Gerber/Colan (although, did they work on anything other than Howard?)
Way/Fraction and the Bas didn’t make it because they only have one comic together a piece, which is also why Ellis was shut out. My minimum criteria is two collabos. I guess Ellis and Immonen would count, but their Ultimate FF was as lame as their Nextwave was awesome. Which was a whole lot!

And Crumb and Pekar, I guess, although that would have looked like art comics tokenism if I sandwhiched them anywhere on my list. That and I never want to read another American Splendor story again.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm

You had me sold ’til # 10.

bleah.

Plenty mentioned that I would suggest, but I’ll add another Grant Morrison pairing, this time with Phil Jiminez.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I kind of forgot: Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. Both did solid work on Ultimates 1, 2, and current Fantastic Four.

Don’t fear accusations of tokenism, Curran, take them as affirmations of an impeccable taste!

Few more:

Sampayo/Muñoz
DeMatteis/Sal Buscema
Thomas/John Buscema
Azzarello/Risso

Mike Baron/Steve Rude
Jodorworski/Moebius

Giffen/Maguire
Milligan/Fegredo
Milligan/Allred
Gerard Jones/Cully Hamner
Alan Grant/Kelley Jones
DeMatteis/Mandrake
Miller/Mazzuchelli
Schuiten/Peeters
Pekar/Haspiel

And solo?
Giffen/Giffen
Simonson/Simonson
Chaykin/Chaykin
Allred/Allred

Warren Ellis/ John Cassiday

James Robinson/ Tony Harris

Geoff Johns/ Gary Frank

Kurt Busiek/ Stuart Immonen

Steven Grant/Mike Zeck

1-7 are all good choices (though I can’t read Stan Lee stuff myself). It goes a bit wrong after that though with the possible exception of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Leave it to Chance is a heavily under appreciated title. If people had just picked it up they would have discovered a hidden gem. So much fun reading that book.
Btw, I’ve only read an issue of it.

Brad,

IIRC, Gerber & Colan did at least one Son of Satan story together, some Daredevils, and the oversized comic Stewart the Rat (which is Howard without Howard). They haven’t done tons of work together, but everything they collaborated on was good.

Can’t really add anymore teams to the lists above nor would I disagree with any of them, although I’m surprised that Darwyn Cooke hasn’t been mentioned yet.

The question now (and probably one for another post) is what projects would people like to see said creative teams working on?

I would love to see Diggle & Jock do Daredevil. C’mon Marvel, you already have one half of the team in place, so make it happen!

Just additions to the above:

Pat Mills & Kevin O’Neill

John Wagner & Carlos Esquerra

Goscinny & Uderzo

Ian Edginton & D’Isreali

Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier

Solo: Hergé

Forgot:

Warren Elllis & Juan Jose Ryp…

i think you gotta include Michelinie and Layton too. yeah, they almost always have a 3rd person working with them (either penciling or inking), but those guys make some awesome awesome comics together.

Nitz: Yay! Someone else who appreciates the strength of the JRJR and Silvestri years on Uncanny X-Men!

“Claremont and anyone he worked with on X-Men ever, as long as it was before he left in ‘91″

I’d put Claremont’s expiration date a good five years earlier, easy.

Yeah, but I started reading X-Men in ’89-90. I was like 8. So I didn’t know any better.

As far as Cooke goes, I love him and Brubaker like a fat kid loves cake, but I didn’t like them on Catwoman too much. That run got better when Cameron Stewart showed up. I would say Cooke/J. Bone/and Dave Stewart’s my favorite art team.

“Claremont and anyone he worked with on X-Men ever, as long as it was before he left in ‘91?

I’d put Claremont’s expiration date a good five years earlier, easy.

Yeah, I finally lost all patience with X-Men while Claremont was still very much on the book, somewhere midway through the “Things to Do in Australia When You’re Dead” arc circa 1988.

“I don’t see why you would keep Claremont/Byrne on the list if they haven’t created anyting respectable in nearly 20 years.”

If Claremont should be off this list, what about Stan Lee? When was the last time he created anything respectable? Does Striperella counts?

Rohan Williams

April 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Off the top of my head, the only teams I’d add to your list would be Miller & Mazzuchelli, Millar & Hitch, Morrison & Stewart, Moore & Davis, Waid & Wieringo, Loeb & Sale and Johns & Frank, Van Sciver or Reis, although a few of those pairings probably don’t count (either because they haven’t worked together enough or one partner carries too much of the weight).

Warren Ellis and Laura DePuy Martin. The latter’s colors helped bring the hallucinatorily glorious punch within the pages of Planetary, The Authority, and StormWatch.

I agree with most of the teams mentioned already. I’d add:

Lapham/Lapham
Straczynski/Frank
Ennis/McCrea
David/Kubert
Gaiman/McKean
Priest/Bright
Robinson/Casey/Ladronn
Kieth/Kieth

What about Millar/Jones?

I think all my major fave combos have been mentioned, but I’ll also throw in:

Alan Moore/John Totleben (for Swamp Thing and Miracleman)

has Moench/Sienkiewicz (sp?) been mentioned yet?

for that matter, Frank Miller/Sienkiewicz produced interesting stuff too.

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