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You Decide: Who is the Definitive Superman Artist?

We’ve done the writer list and now for Superman’s 75th Anniversary, we ask the same question about his artists: Who is the most definitive Superman artist?

Joe Shuster’s ghosts were omitted due to space issues (guys like Leo Nowak, John Sikela and Jack Burnley).


You’re nuts if you chose anything other than Curt Swan. This guy WAS Superman for 30+ years, and anyone else drawing the related books at the time were just trying to be him. Other artists left their mark before and after, but I highly doubt Superman would be who he is today without Swan.

Swan had his heyday in the 60ies – after that I dont like his more modern at all.

For me its Wayne Boring. More energetic camera work and i like his burlier Superman better.

What’s funny is that I was going to comment on the “75 Greatest Superman Stories” about exactly this. Basically that sometimes I forget just how long Curt Swan drew Superman (on-and-off and with many great others, obviously), and that his Superman will always be “the way Superman looks” to me.

According to the results so far, I’m far from alone.

There are a lot of great artists on that list, but it’s Curt Swan all the way. This poll may end up being influenced by how long you’ve been reading Superman…

Yeah, I like Wayne Boring’s fine enough for what it is, his Superman is so distinctive and oddly funny. But that eccentric distinctiveness, the weird torso and all, means that it can’t be the “definitive” Superman, even if I preferred it to Swan (which I don’t, not even close). When people who don’t ever bother to think about the artists who draw Superman picture Superman, they’re basically thinking of a Swan-style Supes.

Jon Bogdanove was my Superman artist…

joe the poor speller

April 20, 2013 at 12:29 am

of course it is curt swan. but, for me, it’s either byrne or jurgens

I would personally vote for Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. Sure he doesn’t have the same volume of comic work as other artists, nor was he involved in as many well known story arcs, but for a long period between the late 70s until the late 80s, his Superman was the one you’d see on practically any licensed product – be it toys, bed sheets, t shirts or otherwise. Any kid growing up in that period would have seen a Jose Luis Garcia Lopez Superman – and that’s why I think he’s the definitive Superman artist.

No brainer – Curt Swan, but only because he did it for so long.

However my personal preference is Jose Garcia Lopez, John Byrne, and especially Kerry Gammil.

I’m bummed Kerry Gammill isn’t on the list because he was my favourite Superman artist.

Ed McGuiness. Blah. Everyone he draws looks like they’ve swollen up after an anaphylactic attack. He would be the worst Superman artist IMO.


I had to give it to Swan, but if I were picking my favorite, it would be Garcia-Lopez.

I wish this poll had been named “Who is the Definitive Superman Comic Book Artist?”

Because, in my mind, the Definitive Superman Artist is Fleischer.

I don’t consider this valid if you think Jack Burnley could be mistaken for ANYONE’S ghost. Well, except his own as he’s deceased.

I don’t consider this valid if you think Jack Burnley could be mistaken for ANYONE’S ghost. Well, except his own as he’s deceased.

Perhaps you don’t understand the term “ghost.” It is when one artist (in this case, Jack Burnley) draws a comic book and signs it as another artist (in this case, Joe Shuster). Which is what Jack Burnley did for a few years.

He’s probably ’bout my seventh favorite Superman artist, but “definitive?” C’mon. There are only two ways to vote here: 1) Correctly, or 2) Nostalgia for MY CHILDHOOD (One hundred seventeen exclamation points.)

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