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CSBG Archive

Top 50 Comic Book Artists: #10-8

Here are the next three artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time based on over one thousand ballots cast! Click here to see the writers #10-8 on the countdown. Click here to see a master list of all artists listed so far.

NOTE: Five notable works per creator

10 Alex Ross – 822 points (21 first place votes)

Alex Ross burst on to the scene practically an instant star with 1994’s Marvels (with writer Kurt Busiek)…

He followed that up (perhaps even topped it!) with 1996’s Kingdom Come with writer Mark Waid…

Ross has mostly done covers throughout his career, but he also does a lot of design work, like Earth X…

He also did a number of over-sized specials for DC with writer Paul Dini…

Ross also did a 12-issue Justice League series with him painting over Doug Braithwaite’s pencils (Jim Krueger writing it).

Since then, Ross has done a number of comics where he wrote and designed the characters, but he has not done a lot of interior work.

Here is a sample page by Ross…

9 John Romita Jr. – 846 points (13 first place votes)

John Romita Jr. joined Marvel over 30 years ago, the same company his father worked for for decades.

His first stint was on Iron Man…

He followed that up with a stint on Amazing Spider-Man…

He kept moving up the list of Marvel’s top titles by then taking over Uncanny X-Men…

He had an acclaimed run on Daredevil with writer Ann Nocenti…

And since then, well, what comics HAVEN’T he drawn? He’s had multiple runs on Spider-Man and X-Men, he’s drawn a TON of Punisher comics, he’s had a Thor run, so many comics!!!

Recently, he drew Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass, which was adapted into a film in 2010…

Currently, he is doing the Kick-Ass sequel and drawing Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers series.

Here is a sample page by Romita…

8 Frank Miller – 897 points (10 first place votes)

Frank Miller broke in at Marvel doing a few different comics before becoming the regular artist on Daredevil, working with the amazing inker Klaus Janson…

By the end of the series, Miller was only doing layouts/breakdowns and Janson was doing most of the artwork.

Miller left Daredevil in the early 1980s and next did a creator-owned series for DC called Ronin…

He followed that up with the brilliant Batman: The Dark Knight mini-series (with Janson)…

During the 1990s, he worked on creator-owned work for Dark Horse Comics, including Sin City…

and 300…

Both comics were adapted into films in the last few years.

Miller recently directed an adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit.

Here is a sample page by Miller….


I love love LOVE the JR JR Wolvie cover. Always have, always will. It’s been homaged quite a lot for such a relatively recent cover.

Man, I should’ve known Ross would’ve made it. Good artist, pretty terrible cartoonist. Boring.

But hey, JRJR and Miller! I can be cool with that.

That scene with Logan and Rachel is among my favorite comic moments. Thanks Brian!

Yeah, Ross is one of those artists who I have never got. And I hate the airbrush look (but different strokes for different folks).
JRJR, sure, and Miller was considered due to first couple of Sin City books being bliss. But rest of his stuff doesn’t appeal to me that strongly.

I had no idea Miller would rank so high as an artist. But I can’t say I’m surprised to see any of these three names on this list.

Still to come: George Perez, John Byrne, Frank Quitely, and Jack Kirby, no doubt. But who else? Neal Adams? Todd McFarlane?

I’m still hoping that Jim Lee and Ethan Van Sciver make it onto this list, but I doubt it…

Not the biggest fan of Miller’s writing, but the man draws one hell of a comic book. John Romita Jr is another favorite of mine. The fact that Marvel have him chained to a table drawing books I find to be unreadable from a writing standing point annoys the heck out of me.

Also, unless I missed him earlier on the list, I think this means Frank Quitely will place either not at all (which I can’t fathom) or ridiculously highly. I love Quitely’s stuff, but for him to place higher than Miller and JRJR in a popularity contest, I think says as much about CSBGers love for Morrison, as it does for their fondness of Quitely.

Alex Ross is kind of a victim of his own success. His style was so revolutionary and so immediately popular that he never had to get any better as a cartoonist. It is kind of a shame. Still, I am a fan of both MARVELS and KINGDOM COME.

JRjr is not always to my personal taste, but his style works really well with certain characters (Darevdevil, Wolverine). He also has become the John Buschema of the last 25 years. His style is the Marvel style.

On the other hand, crazy Uncle Frank is awesome. Post-Kirby, no one creates the illusions of movement in a comic panel better. His Wolverine with Claremont mini was the apex of my appreciation for that character.

I’m really surprised that Miller placed so high on the artist list. he is definitely great at what he does but I think he is as strong or stronger a writer than artist. Like Brian said “Miller was only doing layouts/breakdowns and Janson was doing most of the artwork. ” that’s what he is good at, layouts and story telling. So it depends on what you call art (vs. writing), is it story telling or is it rendering (finishes).

Speaking of which this section of the list is interesting for the fact that we have 2 great story tellers, Miller and JRjr. and one great renderer, Ross (or finisher or whatever you want to call it).

Jim Lee’s a lock to appear. Ditto George Pérez and Quitely. Steve McNiven will be up there as well. Keeping my fingers crossed for Frank Cho, my personal favorite.

7 spots left – and I expect Byrne, Perez, Adams and Kirby to be there. That leaves 3 spots – one of which has to be Curt Swan, my number 1. But, given the modern popularity of Lee and McFarlane, there’s likely only one spot left. And, it could be one of those young whippersnappers like Quitely.
So much for Dave Stevens, Carl Barks, Jerry Robinson, Jack Cole, CC Beck, Don Rosa, Richard Corben, Dave Cockrum, Steve Rude, Mike Ploog, Mike Sekowsky, Jose Garcia Lopez, Ross Andru, and a host of deserving others. (Not all who appeared on my list of ten).
But, we’ll see.

Miller’s best art was in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. A single image is worth a thousand words, indeed.

Ross, what Adam K said. Also, his projects are too full of melodrama, KC and Marvels are beyond boring. Loved his Earth X and Justice had fantastic art, (Kreuger)

Jrjr, great storyteller, transfers the script into a living, breathing, account. The best drawer (is that a word) of special effects and destruction in comics

I wouldn’t have considered Miller as a fantastic comic book artist, but then I read Sin City and I was converted. He can do really good superhero art (Daredevil) but his Sin City stuff is just amazing.

To the poster mentioning McNiven, he already showed up in 35th place.

Dennis – Mc Niven is #35.
So that leaves Kirby, Byrne, Perez.
I think Neal Adams will make it.He was my #1.
I think Jim Lee will make it. McFarlane might. That leaves 1 other artist.

My favorite Miller is his Electra graphic novel. Sin City has beautiful contrast but I find it a little too exaggerated in places (look at Marv’s head in the second panel of the above page).

Brian gets angry as hell when people start guessing game for who’s in the top 7 or whatever, but its kinda hard not to at this point!

Romita Jr got my vote. No other artist alive is as synonymous with a company like John Romita Jr. Long/popular runs on pretty much all the big Marvel books(Iron Man, Spider-man, X-men, Daredevil, Thor, Wolverine), and has drawn more issues of the flagship character Spider-man than ANY OTHER ARTIST. Whether its his 80s style that takes after his dad or his more recent style seen in JMS’ ASM run or Kick-Ass, the man is just flat-out talented and is THE Marvel artist.

I dont think Mcfarlane will make it

JHW the Third
Neal Adams

Sorry Brian!

Just glad Alex Ross did NOT come in first. I like his stuff, but feel he is sometimes overrated.

ggersten, I really try to like Curt Swan, but his middle-aged Superman does very little for me. He has a very interesting, even beautiful style, but there is a quality of dynamism that I find utterly lacking in his work.

How can Todd MCfarlane, Greg Capullo or Marc Silvestri NOT make this list somewhere? The only one who has a chance with what’s left is MCfarlane.

Glad JRJR is getting the love. The amount of work he’s done over the years at the quality he’s maintained and the individuality he’s achieved is astounding.

Romita, jr was good in the early days, when he did Spider-Man the first time. (Peter’s hair had been kind of a solid block up until that time. Romita put a bit of waviness into it, and very soon all the other artists were copying him.) But I thought he went way downhill while he was doing X-Men. Towards the end (as shown in the sample) it had degenerated into the scribble art he’s been doing ever since. I’m really disappointed that he ranks higher than his father.
He was Marvel’s first ever Hunk Of The Month, though, and that’s an accomplishment that can never be taken away.

I’m starting to lose hope that Dan DeCarlo will be on here.

I’m shocked Miller is this low… he was the only guy I had on both lists, but I had him rated higher as an artist than as a writer.

2.Neal Adams
3-7 who knows, there are way too many artists who belong on the list’s top 50 not represented and quite a few who really have no business being on here.

Mary, with Will Eisner being 18 I don’t think Dan Decarlo will make it.

JR Jr at 9 would normally indicate that John Romita must be in the top ten. That he won’t be rather suggests that a rather large number of imbeciles has voted in this poll.

The Crazed Spruce

December 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Three more artists in my 11th place tie.

That leaves eight people on my list unaccounted for. Four of ‘em are solid locks, but who does that leave out? Kevin Maguire? Curt Swan? Dave Cockrum? Steve Lightle?)

Yeah, probably Lightle….

“I’m starting to lose hope that Dan DeCarlo will be on here.”

I’d be shocked if he were Top 100.

Not a slight against DD, and I’d be hell of happy if he was # 1. But the audience here doesn’t really skew “Archie,” y’know?

Some artists styles change radically over the years… if I hadn’t seen Miller’s or Romita JR.’s art in 20 years, I would not recognize either’s today. But I guess that’s to be expected.

So far, agree that all three deserve to be in the top 10. I would put Ross higher up though.

I think that Brian just gets more annoyed if people spend too much time on “number crunching” wankery, trying to statistically predict who WILL show up at the expense of discussing the creators and their work and our opinions of same, and that casual mentions of conspicuous Big Names who are bound to show up aren’t as much of a problem.

Miller and JRjr were very much in my “giant 11th place tie”. Alex Ross is really hit or miss for me. He definitely deserves a place on the list, but not in the top ten. His style just seems too stiff for comics, but I love most of his covers and his design work is impeccable.


The son has surpassed the father. Is that so shocking or a miscarriage of justice? NO.

Alex Ross, really? I mean, he’s certainly a good artist, and with a distinctive enough style that it’s not silly to call him a great artist. But I have a hard time imagining that anyone likes his art; it doesn’t seem likable at all.

What is your problem with Alex Ross. He is a GREAT ARTIST and his portraits,etc. bring realism to our art form. He has More talent than most. He is a True Painter of a finer art style than just about anyone in comics.

I don’t dispute it. But to me his art looks very unfriendly and so I’m surprised to see him place so high on a poll that’s supposed to be measuring, not objective greatness, but subjective affection.

“The son has surpassed the father.”

In popularity and familiarity. In the sense of being “better,” not so much.

I really don’t get the fascination with Romita Jr. I’m not a fan of his at all. I really wish that there was a different artist for Avengers because I’ve really been enjoying the story.

@Jeff: But sequential art is different from portraiture. Great sequential art is dynamic. Look at the above examples. You can feel the movement when Wolverine stabs Phoenix (sidenote: One of my favorite pages in all of comics, in one of my favorite issues.), or when Marv flys through the windshield right at the reader. The Alex Ross sample feels so stiff by comparison. It’s beautifully done design work, and I he clearly has an eye for detail, but he’s missing the sense of movement. He has gotten a lot better recently, like his JSA special or his work as essentially an inker in oil paints with the, IMHO superior, Braithwaite on pencils.

@those bemoaning new artists making the top and JRjr beating JRsr in particular: A lot of the stuff by classic artists (and writers, for that matter) is out of print, or if it is in print it’s only in expensive Masterworks or Omnibi or something like that. A lot of people have probably only read a few issues, if that, of guys like JRsr or Eisner, and simply aren’t comfortable voting for them because they have seen so little of their work. Not all of us have been reading comics since the ’60s, or have the funds or inclination to buy up back-issues.

All fine artists, but I wouldn’t put any of them in my personal top 10. I thought it a bit odd that the Romita sample page is such an oldie. He was sort of still in his nascent phase of development during that first X-Men run.

And I have to agree with what some others said about Ross. He’s an outstanding artist, but as a comic book artist, his work is often inert and lifeless. His initial forays into fully painted comics were eye opening largely because of the freshness and (then) novelty of it, but the static nature of a comic page works against the type of hyper reality his paintings convey. Everything looks inert and frozen. However, having seen his unpainted art in the Rough Justice book, I would love to one day see him do some traditional penciled comics work.

I think both Uncle Sam and Marvels show off Ross doing the sequential art thing well. There is a bit of a failure to capture motion, certainly. Something of an anti-Kirby.

But I like to point to the sequence in Marvels #2 where the main character finds the mutant girl in his house as an example of his sequential storytelling ability.

We knew Alex Ross would be here, though I think he’s a bit too high. Romita Jr. seems about in the right place (I would have said somewhere in the 8-15 range would be appropriate).

But Miller? WOW. Before the poll started, if you had asked me who would be #1, it would have been a toss-up between Miller and Kirby. I understand that this is just a favorites list and yadda yadda, but #8 is actually kind of insulting. Has Miller officially reached Citizen Kane territory, where people have lived in the shadow of his influence for so long that it’s no longer possible to recognize it?

Again, I understand that a #8 showing for anyone should be an accomplishment, but if we had a top rock bands poll and The Rolling Stones finished #8, well, that would be strange, right? Shouldn’t top two be a lock?

The term “gamechanger” is dreadfully overused, but visually speaking, Miller’s Daredevil was a true game-changer. It was a comic that truly moved… arguably the first. The motion and dynamics of the characters… anyone that has ever used the term “cinematic” to describe comic art does so by the grace of Frank Miller. He was my #1 (followed by Billy the Sink and Barry the Windsor-Smith–my other two favorite game-changers).

I wonder: if The Dark Knight Strikes Again had never happened, does Miller rank higher? What a horrible way to tarnish your legacy.

In regards to the rest of the list: I have to say, the artist list has kept me on the edge of my seat. With the writer list, I got 24 of the top 25 right in my predictions (Jason Aaron was the only guy I missed; I thought Chuck Dixon would take that spot), but I’ve been way off with a lot of my guesses for the artist list.

Here are 20 guys that, if you had asked me at the beginning of all this, I would have felt very confident would show up somewhere in the top 50 (not saying I think they deserve it, just that I thought they’d be here):

Jack Kirby
John Byrne
Neal Adams
George Perez
Jim Lee
J.H. WIlliams III
Frank Quitely
Todd McFarlane
Andy Kubert
Adam Kubert
Ethan Van Sciver
Mark Bagley
Leinil Yu
Phil Jimenez
Joe Quesada
Marc Silvestri
Michael Turner
Dave McKean
Marshall Rogers
Jae Lee

Obviously, at least 18 of those guys won’t be showing up, but none are more surprising to me than the Kubert bros. Brian all but said they aren’t coming, and I’m shocked. I thought they were top 20 locks. Maybe they just split the votes way too much? If you added their votes together as though they were really one person (the uber-Kubert), they might have made the list, but mathematically they still couldn’t have been higher than #28, and that’s best case scenario. Their shut-out is one of the only times either of these lists has truly surprised me, independent of my own opinion. It’s like when the Wolverine mini-series missed out on last year’s best storylines list. I’m just dumbfounded.

I just noticed that Miller only had 10 first place votes. Again, I’m shocked. Any of you other 9 guys feel the same?

Count me among those who think it’s just a little unfair that JR Jr. out-ranked Sr. Also, I don’t get the appeal of Ross either. To me, his photo-realism only works on covers (and sometimes not even then), but not at all in the stories themselves. A case in point is that Uncle Sam mini written by Steve Darnall. That’s a great story marred by what I think is really unsuitable art.

No love for Travis Charest? Okay, so he’s only completed like, three and a half pages, and in cover, in the last 40 years but prrrreeeettttttyyyy… Did I miss him in an earlier list?

Can’t really fault this list- most of my choices haven’t ranked particularly high, and I would rate Alex Ross over Frank Miller and Romita Sr over Romita Jr any day, but I guess I’m in the minority. Been an interesting ride!

JR Jr. drew some of my favorite Daredevil comics (Man Without Fear & the Nocenti issues). I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s definitely a good storyteller.

Third Man, Miller was a gamechanger, and one of the most influential artists in the medium. But, “the first” to make comics that “truly moved?” Read some Ditko, Kirby, Jack Cole, Bernard Kriegstein, Gil Kane, etc. before making a judgement like that.

Alex Ross was a revelation when Marvels came out. No one had ever drawn a super-hero comic with such realism. Kingdom Come was a Big Story, and Alex Ross was the main draw. Since then, however, he’s painted waaaaay too many portraits of super-heroes standing around scowling. His art has grown boring. His storytelling was never stellar, but the attractiveness of his art could carry his comics. Now, a growing number of readers (myself included) don’t even respond to the surface anymore.

I thihk Third Man might be right about Miller tarnishing his legacy with DKSA (and in particular All Star Batman).

I know that I felt like Miller was the only person I had to qualify on my list by emphasising that I was voting for ‘good Miller’. I have no doubt that he’d have been a strong contender for number 1 on both my artist and writer lists if he’d quit comics around 1994. I mean I’d be happy calling the guy who wrote Year One, Born Again, Man Without Fear and some of the early Sin City books my favourite comic book writer, but I think he ended up number 6 or 7 on my list because the greatness feels diluted by the recent work.

Alex Ross? meh… I liked the novelty when I first saw Marvels, but looking back it would have been a better book if Ross had handled covers and Brent Anderson had done the interiors. Ross’s stuff is like reading one of those photo stories they had in UK comics in the 80s. I’m sure it takes a lot of hard work, but it’s just kind of boring now. I’ll take JRJR over Ross everytime. and I’m not even that big a fan of JRJR.

Where did Bryan Hitch end up? I would think he would be up here near the top of the list. He blows away mo ost of the people working today.

@AS; The -airbrush- style you say you dislike is not part of Ross’s work. what was shown above and 99 pecent of his work is all Watercolor.

Glad to see JRJR up here where he belongs though.

That JRJr page is more an example of Claremont’s skill than JRJrs. Don’t get me wrong, I love his storytelling but his actual art isn’t quite there. He even admits that if he can’t be better than the others, he will be faster than them.
This reminds me of when Chanel 4 did a music artist of the milenium and Robbie Williams was number 1.
If half the voters go for current artists they follow, the whole list can become more of a sanpshot than anything else.

Put me in the camp of Alex Ross paints nice pictures – and some of them have great impact and terrific interplay with the “words”. But, the sequential storytelling leaves me more flat – I feel like I have to work to make the connections between panels. The photo-realism does blow me away at times (of course Kirby used actual photos in his Fourth World books), but not as a story piece. Ross deserves to be on the list, but I wouldn’t (and didn’t) have him this high.

Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Ross at this point. I think it has to do with some of the stuff that McCloud talks about in Understanding Comics, about masking and stuff. Just doesn’t connect with me.

I’m a weirdo, cuz I likes me newer JRJR. He didn’t make my list, but probably in my top 50 for sure.

And guess what? I voted for Miller for artist in large part BECAUSE of DKSA! That stuff rocks! Check out the old Mad Magazine Batboy and Rubin parody (about issue 9, I think), and look at what Miller does to Batman’s face through that. I also love DKR, Sin City, Lance Blastoff, what I’ve seen of DD and Ronin. Miller was my #10.

My #8, though, was the guy who made Miller’s stuff look better, Klaus Janson. He also did the awesome Gothic storyline and some Ghost Rider/Midnight Sons story that are f—ing creepy, man. In a good way. Janson is awesome with JRJR too, but since I think most people think of him as an inker, he won’t make the list.

I’m SO surprised that anyone thinks McFarlane was going to make this list at all after he didn’t get in at 30 or below. He hasn’t done a regular book in, what, 15 years? And looking back, he’s been surpassed by SO many more talented people (see: everyone on this list who made it big this century). Just surprising that anyone thinks he has a chance still. Hell, Brian said on another list that the Kubert bros didn’t make it, and they’re way better than Todd.

I gotta make T feel old — an Uncanny cover from 1986 is “relatively recent”?

Where did Dave Mckean come on the list???

JRjr may be a good story teller but I find his finishes repulsive. I really don’t like to look at them. But that’s just me. I understand that everyone has different tastes. I wish he would get someone to finish his work. Now Cooke is a guy who is a good story teller AND has attractive finishes. He’s not flashy but his characters are really expressive.

Interesting comments to be sure.
Kirby should be # 1 even though he is Not technically the best artist. He was ” the guy” who made characters Jump off the page and action was delivered. Until then you had the Moldoff’s as ” The D.C. Cover Artist” (no knock on Shelly-he had that great golden age style).
This is why I go back to a Ross style. No one gave the Realism of a character like him and although his style to some may seem stiff, hard to argue that his attention to detail and painting skills are matched by others in this field. On that note, Bill Sienkiewicz, with his distinct style sets a standard and different style for other artists. He also has made his mark in the history of comics. Steranko was The Creative artist years ago and Bill sort of gave his avangard style later on.
Point is Ross,Steranko,Sienkiewicz,Miller and others have hit a certain level that most fans and critics agree are unique and a style that sets them apart. Isn’t that how Neal Adams as well was considered-bringing his realism to Batman.
Last thought, if you saw the Batman #686 Cover ” What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader” with Alfred holding the “Cowl” to say that it is Not an Iconic Moment and that Batman Does Not even appear on the cover is brilliant and the mood of the piece is GREAT.

Dont forget about Lee Bermejo!

Jimmy the Kid-

I can’t believe I forgot about Travis Charest! Happy you mentioned him… if he could have ever managed a monthly book, he’d be extremely well regarded, maybe even on the level of John Cassaday and J.H. Williams III. To anyone that hasn’t seen his art, check out WILDCats/X-Men: The Golden Age. Unbelievable stuff. Here’s a sample page from the issue:


Third Man– The Rolling Stones finishing #8 in a “Best Rock Bands EVer” contest sounds about right to me. Beatles, Dylan, Beach Boys, Neutral Milk Hotel, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Queen, Bowie, R.E.M., Neil Young, P-Funk, the Mountain Goats. Off the top of my head I couldn’t rank the Stones above any artists that actually interest me. But that’s a great analogy, Frank Miller is kind of like the Rolling Stones, as one of those Mt. Rushmore artists that’s really superfluous to enjoying or understanding their artistic medium. Calling Miller’s Daredevil “the first comic that moved” demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the decades of moving art that preceded that series. It’s like calling the Stones the first blues band, harmless but silly.

Personally I voted for Carl Barks as my top artist, so I guess I have a pretty idiosyncratic taste in funnybooks. But man, Frank Miller? You might be right; his work has fallen so far into the influences of other artists as to make the original product unremarkable. So #8 on this list seems pretty fair to me. Also I might argue that “Dark Knight Strikes Again” is a great work of art and really shouldn’t tarnish anyone’s legacy, regardless of the reviews.

Thank god this is all a pointless exercise in subjectivity, eh?

Miller at #8 may seem low, but the much bigger flaw is that he beat Ditko and Eisner, his biggest influences. Talk about comics that moved! I think that Kirby’s reputation has been greatly helped by the acolytes he attracted and Ditko’s has been hurt by his stand-offishness.

Ross is overrated. He confused me with his storytelling in Kingdom Come. saving grace was waid’s superb writing.

I checked out Travis Charest. He has done some seriously beautiful work!

It’s too bad there is not more space for the Travis Charest, Adi Granov, and Esad Ribic’s in this fast paced business. It’d be nice to see quality get recognized sometimes as much as speed does in this fast paced business.

Ben – if you can’t appreciate Frank Miller OR the Rolling Stones, you have my deepest sympathy.

Well said Gavin Bell. I like both Neutral Milk Hotel and the Smashing Pumpkins, and while I don’t like either better than the Stones, there’s nothing wrong with doing so. But to think they ARE better than the Stones, and that a ranking of rock bands should reflect that? Yikes. It’s like arguing Art Adams should be higher than Kirby on this list just because you like him better.

And I don’t think it’s fair to call this a “pointless exercise.” Lists like this DO matter, even with their flaws, because they are a permanent document that people will continue to look back at over time and use as a guide for creators and works to check out.

On that note, the brand new hardcover of the Legion of Super-Heroes Great Darkness Saga even mentions last year’s top 100 storylines list in Paul Levitz’s introduction, and how high it placed as proof of its lasting influence and fan adoration (Brian, did you know this? I felt very pleased to see your hard work get mentioned in such a place.)

Brian, did you know this? I felt very pleased to see your hard work get mentioned in such a place.

Ha! I did not know that. That’s pretty cool. Thanks for the head’s up!

Third Man said “It’s like arguing Art Adams should be higher than Kirby on this list just because you like him better.”

Except… that’s what this list is. If someone genuinely likes Art Adams better than Kirby, they should have voted for him higher. FAVORITES! Not greatest in the medium ever. FAVORITES!

Not trying to bust on you too much, Third Man. I mean you did give props to Dave Sim on the writers list (um, that was YOU, right?).

Not sure that I’d ever say that Neutral Milk Hotel was a “better” band than the Stones, (Stones get props for longevity and still being able to rock, at LEAST), but “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” is without a doubt one of the greatest albums ever.

It’s a good thing this was a comics list and not a music list. I would have had a MUCH harder time coming up with a top 10 musicians list, and that would have changed a lot more than this one did.


December 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I don’t mind if a voter chose Artist A over Artist B because they’ve checked out both and prefer Artist A. I worry that a lot of voters have never seen Artist B’s work. Some great artists are at a disadvantage in a popularity contest because their work is hard to find or only available at a high price.

You’ve got a bit of a point, Bicycle-Repairman, but I think it applies more to non-US artists and writers. If their works haven’t appeared much in translation, those of us in the US market probably don’t know (much) about it.

I think Golden Age artists, as well, like Lou Fine, for example, suffer from this, because their stuff is very hard to find.

But I would argue against people like Eisner and Ditko (my 1 and 2 artists, btw) being hard to find or expensive. I got the Essential Spiderman volume 1 for less than 20 bucks, and the second one is that price too, along with a couple of Dr Strange volumes — there’s intro to Ditko 101, and between Blake Bell’s book and the couple of volumes of his earlier stuff, Ditko is not all that hard to find (plus, Robin Snyder packages some more recent work of his, I *think* he should be somewhere online). Eisner’s stuff is pretty easy and fairly cheap too. The later GNs have all been in print relatively recently, and there are a couple of cheaper “best of” Spirit volumes out from DC, along with the Archives of the whole shebang. You might even find some of the old Kitchen Sink or Warren Spirit mags for relatively cheap at some stores.

And there’s always cheapo bins that sometimes have treasures in them too.

However, I am aware that I am apparently located near some decent comics stores, and other people have nothing for miles. There are 3 within about 10 miles of where I live and another about an hour away in Ithaca NY that’s pretty good. Of course, there’s also online shopping…

[…] 50 Top Comic Book Artists.  The link will go to the page for #10-8, starting with Alex Ross, one of my faves, and also Frank Miller, another.  Doesn’t look like they’ve revealed the top 7 yet.  Seem to have a list of fan-voted comic book writers, too.  Alan Moore ought to top that one, in my opinion, and I would be happy to see Chris Claremont, Neil Gaiman, and Garth Ennis up there, too. […]

For me, the definite list was published here:



Even assuming that (A) Any list that only features American comic creators has any validity whatsoever, and (B) being older automatically makes an artist better….

No R. Crumb? Those guys wouldn’t know anything about comics if anything about comics bit them in the ass.

(Nah, I kid. Solid attempt, actually. But I’d call it far, far, FAR from definitive.)

Why is JR JR so low on this list? He should be higher.

Here’s what I’m talking about when I think of Miller’s prime and I describe DD as one of the first comics that truly moved:


Good point MarkAndrew about the American-centric list. I tend to think of Comics, Bande Dessinee and Manga as separate things, even though they really are not. That list really needs to have Herge, Osamu Tezuka, Albert Uderzo, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Regis Loisel, Yoichi Ikegami, Milo Manara and Juanjo Guarnido in there.

I agree with others that Ross, while good at what he does, should not have cracked the top 10. His storytelling ability is nonexistent.

JR Jr, on the other hand, is an amazing storyteller. I never liked his stuff when I was younger, but over the years I’ve grown to appreciate him more and more, so he was on my list.

Miller was nearly on my artists list, but I figured he’d be fine without me, and I already had him on one list.

Great list! I would say Miller, John Romita Jr. and David Mack as #1, 2 and 3. Obviously all are superstars in art.

Miller is a master of manipulating positive and negative space and use of implied light and line. I show his art in my design classes.

You can tell John Romita Jr. grew up with his father’s influence. What an extremely talented person with their own style.

David Mack is amazing! His comics are like a series of pieces of gallery artwork that are telling a story. Crazy talented guy.

I’m an older fan, so I may not know all the talent out there now, but I am also an artist so i think my view may be different than some people. I will have to check out everyone on this list.

Jack Kirby had his faults as a comic book artist,the way he drew people for example,but deserves to top the list for his sheer dynarism and breathtaking images and panouramas he through-up in your face.Its impossible to imagine comics evolving without him.

[…] Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Corben, Frank Miller, there are so many comic book artists it’s hard to pick. Darrius just came in and was interested in the Ninja Turtles which was […]

[…] Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Corben, Frank Miller, there are so many comic book artists it’s hard to pick. Darrius just came in as I was writing this and was interested in the Ninja […]

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