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CSBG Archive

Top 125 Comic Book Artists: #100-96

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

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

100 Mike Wieringo – 121 points (2 first place votes)

99 Marcos Martin – 123 points (1 first place vote)

98 Mark Buckingham – 127 points (2 first place votes)

97 Norm Breyfogle – 128 points (1 first place vote)

96 Carl Barks – 129 points (2 first place votes)


Carl Barks should have been placed much higher than that. :(

I had Barks at first place on my list. Kind of surprised he only got two “best-votes”,
but that’s life.

I should’ve voted. Marcos Martin is a top tier artist, and hopefully that will show in the next of these polls. Not that there’s anything shameful in making the Top 100 of all-time, just that he belongs in the upper half of the placement, not scraping barely onto the list as above.

Wow! Carl Barks is pretty far down. I guess this generation of comic book readers aren’t too familar with him.

Has his stuff been collected?

I voted Barks on writers, though of course he deserves recognition also as an artist.

But I guess this is another case of “great that he showed up at all” like with Herge and Feldstein and whoelse.

Buckingham is nice, the other three I am less familiar with (and the samples here are not really wowing me)

I just don’t like Marcos Martin’s art. I don’t understand what it is about it that everyone else likes so much.

(There was an exception, though… when he was doign those two page spreads with Stan Lee, his design work really shone through. THAT stuff I liked.)

thought carl would be another one higher on the list. not to mention norm . but the rankings are due to the votes

I really want to punch the creative team that so wretchedly distorted Sue Richards in that first piece, and I’m a pretty passive guy.
mmmMMMmmmMMarvel absolutely sucks.

I don’t exactly know why, but the example pages aren’t really showcasing the best art from these guys. Marcos Martin is quite brilliant but that particular page is nothing special.

‘Sfunny, I don’t any of these guys by name except Barks, though as a Fables reader I guess I’m familiar with Buckingham.

Barks was a genius, but his placement isn’t all that surprising with a fandom that tends toward the long-underwear types. I include myself there, but thankfully my dad clued me into a lot of Barks, Walt Kelly, John Stanley, George Herriman, Windsor McKay & such when I was a kid.

If Barks placed too low, I’d blame Disney. They really should have collected and pushed more Barks trades, especially at the height of the popularity of the show Duck Tales. They could have done a slew of trades or single issue reprints and sell them on the newstand (there was still a newstand market when Ducktales was on) under the title Duck Tales.

A whole generation of Barks fans could have been born. I was a kid during that era and a rabid comic fan yet never found out Duck Tales was based on comic until I reached adulthood.

I didn’t find out that Duck Tales was based on a comic until right now. Cool.

True that Disney the company has always had somewhat wonky relationship with comics, almost all the comics have been made via licencing by other companies, and in US the licence-holders in 80s (Another Rainbow and its subsidiary Gladstone) didn’t quite manage to make it in the mass comics market…AR concentrated on high profile collector stuff like hardcover Carl Barks Library, and Gladstone never got that popular either among the comics-readers (and by the time they got properly running, in late 80s, the market shift to direct market was reality).
On the other hand, European licence holders like Mondadori and Egmont did have a strong hold on the mass market, Barks comics have been easily and continuously available and were this poll run here I guess Barks would be the highest-ranking American creator.

Wasn’t there a Duck Tales comic when the show was running?

Barks is great. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Fantagraphics reprints of that and the Gottfredson Mickey Mouse.

Wasn’t there a Duck Tales comic when the show was running?

Yes, but it was new stories, not the Carl Barks source material. I think that was a squandered opportunity.

Ed (A Different One)

April 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I think that Marcos Martin probably has the most “growth” potential out of all of the artists on this installment. I think he’s still relatively unknown to most of the comic buying public outside of his regular stints on ASM.

@Rusty Priske

“I just don’t like Marcos Martin’s art. I don’t understand what it is about it that everyone else likes so much.

(There was an exception, though… when he was doign those two page spreads with Stan Lee, his design work really shone through. THAT stuff I liked.)”

I too, struggled with him initially. He definitely has that Ditko-esque thing going for him, and as someone who was never really into to Ditko (KAPOOW!!! wow, that bolt from the comic gods almost got me there!) I didn’t take to him at first. But it’s really your second observation that’s spot on. His design work is incredible, and that’s what eventually won me over even though I’m really not a big fan of his “style”. His storytelling abilities are fantastic and really make up for what I don’t like about his “style” – which is something I really can’t say about any other artists whose “style” is not to my liking.

Now, if you consider the fact that MOST fans out there really dig Ditko, especially on Spidey, I think you can understand why people are really high on him. If you can dig his style, along with the obvious talent he has in the area of design and storytelling, you’ve got yourself a future heavy-hitter in the making . . .

At the same time Ducktales was being published, Gladstone was publishing both Uncle Scrooge and WDC&S. Both titles were full of Carl Barks stories. Barks’ work is consistently in print whenever Disney comics are being published.

It’s actually a frequent criticism of the companies that license Disney comics, that they devote so many pages to reprinting stories that have already been printed two or three times in the last twenty years. Initially, BOOM! seemed to be going in a different direction, but they’ve recently gone back to the Barks well too.

I also voted Barks as #1. Oh well.

“I really want to punch the creative team that so wretchedly distorted Sue Richards in that first piece, and I’m a pretty passive guy.
mmmMMMmmmMMarvel absolutely sucks.”

Considering that’s a page from what’s widely considered the only decent FF run since Byrne, you’re outta line.

Yes, that‘s why it was out of line.

That page made me think it was the sexiest Sue’d been in years. I wish I’d picked up the rest of the Waid/Wieringo run.

What, Brian, it’s not ok to want to punch people that do a comic book that you don’t like?

Damn liberal.


You mean Byrne, with the dominatrix-suited Sue Richards/Malice? I guess I see the progression all right, but I don’t have to like it.

…and… I crossed a line? with “want to punch?”
Perhaps I should have said “clobber.” But I wasn’t sure if today’s post-post-modern FF followers would recognize the reference.


Nahh… See, I’m old. To me, having sweet big sister Suzie Storm (“Johny Storm! Don’t you talk to me that way!”) say “mmmmMMMmmm… Heh.” like that with that little look there feels almost kinda like updating Gilligan’s Island to have Mary Ann, Ginger, Mrs. Howell AND the Professor kidnap Gilligan over to the other side of the island for some steamy five-way action ’cause Gilligan makes the biggest Banana cream pie they’ve ever seen.
And the Skipper is left with Thurston Howell sitting on deck chairs by the lagoon, watching the sunset with Rum Toddies in coconut shells. And the Skipper is missing his little buddy.
And somebody can say “it was the sexiest Mary Anne’d been in years.”

This shit just writes itself.

Maybe as our culture all gets a little more enlightened a future creative team can push it all even a little more to have Reed stretching his junk in exciting new ways to work Suzie both sides at once. And she can say “mmmMMMmmm, now THAT’S using that big brain.”
And if someone complains then somebody else can tell them that this is widely considered the only decent FF run since Weiringo so they’re out of line…

But for the record, please let me solemnly, officially and publicly attest that I am in no regard advocating, inciting or remotely considering any form of violence, aggression or verbal hostility towards any comic book writer, artist, editor, publisher, or comic store clerk.
Well, that Keith guy at Taz Comics Connection did use to annoy me sometimes, comparing me to Dana Murzyn whenever we played hockey… kinda wanted to punch him…

I actually think it was more than just this page, come to think of it…

But I’d say it’s a big leap from two siblings teasing each other with stuff siblings don’t want to know about each other to 5 ways on Gilligan’s Island and Reed taking Sue from both ends with his powers.

Anyway, we know it was Ralph Dibney doing that with HIS Sue.

Siblings grossing each other out is a time honored tradition. It’s maybe a bit more “adult” than in past stories, but a grown woman thinking about how sexy she finds her husband in order to tease her brother is no 5 way on Gilligan’s Island.

And there is no way to make Mary Ann sexier, actually…

And so you know, in story, Franklin and Valeria did come about because Sue and Reed had S-E-X. Shhh!!

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

April 13, 2011 at 5:26 am

I forgot, why was JMS’ FF run so disliked? I can’t remember him doing anything that would make the hardcore fans upset. Hm… I need to reread it again.

Has everyone forgotten Walt Simonson’s brilliant post-Byrne FF run?

Breyfogle did some of the best Bat-art ever!

Barks did some of the best comics art ever!!

I love Breyfogle, but that is a HORRIBLE choice for his art with all due respect. Those colors are garish. Did the colorist get a really good deal on the color orange from a wholesaler?

“and… I crossed a line? with “want to punch?”

I’m really all for crossing lines, but its not very classy to talk about how you want to punch a wonderful man who died well before his time.

‘Ringo was one of the greats, and it is a shame to see so little love for such a fantastic cartoonist.

I suppose he wasn’t edgy enough for many of today’s fans, but he just drew the absolute hell out of every book he was on.

Oops, ooo seriously, like I said, I’m a silver age kind of guy, and don’t exactly follow mmmMMarvel, for quite a long time. Didn’t have the slightest remotest suggestion of a clue that I could possibly be riffing around with somebody who’d passed away, honest – – Sorry to any fans or friends I offended.

I never went along with this whole idea that you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. There’s a period just after they’ve died and people are still in shock where it would be bad taste, but beyond that I think it’s better to be honest. (Though I know some people took offense when I did so with Michael Turner.

That said, “want to punch” is out of order whether the person is alive or dead.

I forgot, why was JMS’ FF run so disliked?

It wasn’t. It was generally (and rightly) very well regarded.

“I love Breyfogle, but that is a HORRIBLE choice for his art with all due respect. Those colors are garish. Did the colorist get a really good deal on the color orange from a wholesaler?”

Have to agree there. That page doesn’t even come close to showing Breyfogle’s strenghts. He’s the best Batman artist since Neal Adams; only Jim Aparo comes close. Those late 80’s Batman comics where they both worked were pure gold.

I agree Breyfogle is the best Bat-artist since Adams. But not sure why this page selection isn’t getting any love. Look at the second panel: Norm’s Batman is not invulnerable. While he was shown as tough and mean and scary as any rendition, he was also human. The moments in Breyfolge’s art where Batman is shown in distress (either phsyical, as here, or emotional) are all the more effective and affecting because they are embedded in plenty of examples of Batman’s grim toughness. When Norm has Batman display shock, surprise, distress or even occasionally alarm we really feel how intense the situation or action must be to produce such a reaction in even this very tough character.

And the last panel is a great example of Norm’s controlled expressionism – look at the shadows and distortion used in the villain’s face. It’s a milder version of the pop out eyes seen in Stirk or Szasz or the drug-addicted financial trader.

I’m not claiming this page is the best Bat-page Norm ever drew, but I don’t see it as a horrible example by any means.

Of course, among the many highlights of his Bat-work, Norm drew one of the greatest double page spreads featuring Batman ever done:


Perfect melding of perfect art and (Alan Grant’s) perfect script!!!

Bill K,

I’m not bashing Norm Breyfogle’s actual art in that selection, I’m bashing the selection because of the coloring. I feel it’s so pumpkin-orange and garish that it distracts from Breygfogle’s art and keeps you from fully seeing how great it is. The actual art is fine IMO.

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