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Top 125 Comic Book Artists: #120-116

Here are the next five artists on the countdown, based on your votes for your favorite comic book artists of all-time!

I’ll give you a sample page for each artist.

120 Chris Samnee – 89 points (2 first place votes)

119 Tony Moore – 90 points (2 first place votes)

118 David Mack – 91 points (2 first place votes)

(finding a “typical” Mack page is nearly impossible, since pretty much every page is unique in its style, but I guess this gives you as good an idea as any what a Mack comic looks like)

117 Salvador Larroca – 92 points

116 P. Craig Russell – 93 points (2 first place votes)

(do you know how hard it is to choose just one Russell page? They’re all so similarly awesome!)

Check back tomorrow for writers #120-116!


Ed (A Different One)

April 4, 2011 at 10:25 am

Boo – Yeah! Let’s hear it for some Fear Agent!

Sorry – can’t help myself. I love it when Fear Agent gets a little love, even when it’s in an oblique fashion like this.

That is quite a mix!

Salvador Larocca? I wasn’t expecting that one.

And I agree with Ed: Fear Agent rules! Tony Moore deserved to be in the Top 100.

Larroca, it’s Larroca. I know Larocca sounds cooler and more Italo-American, but don’t forget he’s Spanish (like me :P).

Not a fan of Salvador Larocca.

I wasn’t on the Chris Samnee bandwagon before (I wasn’t familiar with him)…. but that issue of Ultimate Spider-man he did was EXCELLENT!

P Craig Russell as #116? Sigh. And him I voted too.
Mack is fine too, Larroca I have read less and haven’t really formed an opinion one way or other, other two I don’t think I have read.

Again, though P. Craig Russell is below where he would be on an objective “best artists” list I’m personally impressed that the voters got him this high on a subjective “favorite artists” list. 93 points is a lot of points.

Salvador Larocca is the worst person in comics at this point in time. He turns a potential A book into a C with his horrendous work on Invincible Iron Man.

And Rusty, USM is one of my favourite books, and although Samnee’s art was great in that issue, it pales in comparison to stuff like Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

There are objectively worse artists than Larocca. Sure, his people look like they have fat, wax faces, but he draws some of the best robots on this side of the Pacific.

He definitely isn’t the worst artist out there, but the fact that he’s on such a well written, high profile book really makes things so much worse. It’s more the fact that it’s just so depressing thinking about how good this book would be with any other artist working for either of the big two right now.

And yeah, his robots are pretty great. But I’d argue that the most important part of a penciller’s job is conveying emotion. Not only are his characters fat and waxy, they’re lifeless aswell.

ALSO, in Iron Man 501, there’s a panel where electro is pointing at the viewer, and Larocca drew THE WRONG ARM. He drew the left arm pointing from the right hand side of Electro’s body. The thumb was pointing to the outside of his body. He might not be a very good penciller, but that’s just lazy and pathetic.

If you think Larroca’s a bad artist because his stuff looks “waxy,” you’re pretty obviously a literal retard that can’t tell the difference between line art and color art.

Well clearly that wasn’t the point I was making, as I mentioned it as a sidenote to the lack of emotion and life in his drawings, as well as the clear errors he makes due to laziness. I didn’t want to go into further detail by discussing his partner in crime, Fran D’Armata, who brings the aforementioned waxiness to the table. Besides sequences involving Iron Man flying away from an explosion, every element of the art of Invincible Iron Man is horrendous.

Outside of P Craig Russell it’s definitely a weaker batch today.

Ed (A Different One)

April 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

I’m far from a student of art myself, so I can’t make some of the specific comments and insights some of you guys are pointing out, but as a comic fan who is probably functionally “illiterate” when it comes to some of the finer points of art, I too have struggled with Larocca’s work on Iron Man. I guess it would fall roughly into the style I’ve heard called “photo referencing”, and I have to admit that it fascinated me at first as I wasn’t used to it. However, it didn’t hold up well over repeated viewings, and I really found myself struggling with it after a few issues of IM. Also, I do remember the panel in #501 that Anthony pointed out above – I couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with it at the time, but I knew something wasn’t right. After reading Anthony’s comment above I’ll have to go back and look at it again – I think that is what was bothering me w/o my realizing it.

I’ve read some recent interviews with Fraction and Fraction seems really high on the guy though – almost as if he couldn’t imagine doing the book w/o him. However, that could just be him being a good soldier and toeing the uber-positive party line, as well as being a good business man and trying to sell his product. I think the writing has been top notch, and while I really don’t like “hating” on a guy out there trying to make a living, I can’t help but think that the book would be even better with a different kind of artist. Who was the guy who pencilled the annual this year? He might be a good candidate to give a shot at it should Larocca ever step away.

You summed it up, Ed. I wouldn’t hate on the guy if he weren’t at the forefront of comics, on one of Marvel’s top tier books, effectively ruining the thing. And I got that vibe from Fraction too, although I did interpret it as selling the product. That said, they were working together before Iron Man, and I specifically remember Fraction saying something along the lines of them gunning for Bendis/Bagley’s title for longest consecutive collaboration, and this just fills me with dread.

Larroca’s characters are hit and miss now, and I like to blame that on the colorist, mostly cause whenever I see his penciled art, I quite like it. But then, I am biased as I’ve been a fan of his since Heroes Return and sat through Chris Claremont’s ridiculously hit and miss run on FF just for his art. I can accept that his style isn’t for everyone and he could probably do with a good inker, but man do I love his action scenes and his storytelling. I wish he just went back to the more cartoony style he used to employ with their faces.

On a different note, man do I miss Thor the mighty avenger, everytime marvel puts out a series I want to follow (Thor, Sword, Atlas, Captain Britain), it gets one cancelled. Sigh…

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