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Vote for the 75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists of All-Time!

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re going to be doing four months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating by DC’s official celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary on July 23rd. Future installments will deal with Batman stories, but this month will be about Batman friends and foes.

Batman has both a rich and varied history of amazing artists and writers, so here you will be casting your vote for who you feel are the greatest Batman writers as well as the greatest Batman artists.

You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, June 2nd. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the top 75 beginning June 5th.

Okay, here are the guidelines!

1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.

2. Vote for your TEN favorite Batman artists as well as your TEN favorite Batman writers. So you’ll be listing 20 people in total.

3. Rank each list of ten from #1 (what you think is the greatest artist/writer) to #10 (what you think is the 10th greatest). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best.

Here is a template for how your list should look:

TEN GREATEST BATMAN WRITERS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

TEN GREATEST BATMAN ARTISTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

ACBC

4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.

5. Clearly, people can be on both lists. So Frank Miller, say, can be your 7th favorite writer and your 5th favorite artist or whatever.

6. I’d prefer you limit yourself to writers and artists who covered Batman just in actual Bat-books (including Brave and the Bold), but if you really think that a Justice League writer or artist handled Batman well enough to be on your list, go for it.

7. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

8. As always, I’ll make final decisions as I see fit.

If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).

Most importantly, have fun!

Now vote! :)

44 Comments

I think I know the answer to this, but I want to make sure: are the writers limited to comic books? So no Lorenzo Semple Jr., for instance?

Seriously, I have great difficulty in artists than in writers. LONG LIVE FINGER!

Just vote for who you want. I don’t want commentary about how dumb people must be to vote for someone you don’t like. Feel free to complain LATER ON when the results are revealed, but not beforehand.

Brian, do we have to vote at the same time, or can we split them up? Because I’m pretty sure I know my top 10 artists, but writers will take a bit more thought.

Just to be perfectly clear on this, the Batman Adventures and other adaptations of the various animated Batman series count as “actual Bat-books”, right? Same question applies for Batman ’66 as well.

And since Brave and the Bold (a team-up series) counts as a “Bat-book”, what about the co-headlining titles like World’s Finest, Superman/Batman, and Batman/Superman (or any others I might be forgetting)?

Just to be perfectly clear on this, the Batman Adventures and other adaptations of the various animated Batman series count as “actual Bat-books”, right? Same question applies for Batman ’66 as well.

Yes.

And since Brave and the Bold (a team-up series) counts as a “Bat-book”, what about the co-headlining titles like World’s Finest, Superman/Batman, and Batman/Superman (or any others I might be forgetting)?

Sure, if Batman is the co-headliner, then it counts.

Does it have to be 10 for each list? what if I do 5 from each

I’d love to vote in some of these polls but realistically I can’t come up with ten of each. I’m a huge batman fan, but after O’Neil, Englehart, Goodwin, miller and a handful of others I’d just have to start listing writers at random. Same with artists after Adams, Rogers and Aparo.

@Hank

Have a google – I’m sure there are loads you’re forgetting. Eg all your examples are post-1970s aren’t they?

So plenty from the first third of Batman’s career. Also don’t forget guys like Alan Grant, Kelley Jones, Grant Morrison and Norm Breyfogle

I put in Don Newton for Bat Artist (not #1). He’s long gone now, he died right before he was going to take over for Jerry Ordway in Infinity Inc. (vol 1). That was to be his star turn. But he passed on after only doing 2-3 issues. Giving way for a young unknown named Todd McFarlane to fill in.

Don was never a regular artist on either Dec., Batman or Brave and the Bold. But he was always good for a fill-in issue and he never disappointed a reader.

Can we split Frank Miller as a writer into pre and post 1990 or so? Because the Miller who only wrote DKR and Year One is top 3 easily, whereas the Miller who wrote all the Batman stories with his name on it doesn’t make the top 10.

Gavin – I voted for each of my choices with the understanding I was selecting just their best work, at the top of their game. Miller… who can even guess how or why he completely lost the ability to fashion a coherent script, his work has been a total mess since the late 90’s. (I enjoyed Sin City up until Hell And Back. Everything from 300 on has been unreadable)

I hope people remember Don Newton, who is soooo under-rated!

I hope people remember the under-rated Don Newton!

Just to clarify – this poll is specific to writers and artists who have worked on Batman comic books, and voters shouldn’t take into account writers and artists’ work on Batman cartoons. So if I think of Bruce Timm, I should only rank him according to his comic book work not his animation work. Or am I wrong?

Just to clarify – this poll is specific to writers and artists who have worked on Batman comic books, and voters shouldn’t take into account writers and artists’ work on Batman cartoons. So if I think of Bruce Timm, I should only rank him according to his comic book work not his animation work. Or am I wrong?

You are not wrong.

I also choose writers based on their best work – but if you split Frank Miller I could vote for him twice!

Can we vote for the writer team of Greg Rucka/Ed Brubaker for Gotham Central?

Brian, are we only voting for writers of Batman/Detective (etc) – that is, comics where specifically Batman is the principle character? Or can we widen it to the larger Bat-family (eg Nightwing, Batgirl, etc)? For instance, Gail Simone is one of my favourite writers of the supporting Bat-cast, but does she qualify as she’s never (to my knowledge) written a book with Batman as the star?

Mike Loughlin

May 19, 2014 at 11:33 am

By the way:

MIKE PAROBECK!!!!

Just in case anyone forgot.

joe the poor speller

May 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

i sure didn’t

Can we vote for the writer team of Greg Rucka/Ed Brubaker for Gotham Central?

I guess I’d allow it, but they only wrote 9 out of a possible 40 issues of Gotham Central together (albeit that includes one of the best Gotham Central stories ever, Soft Targets), so I’d prefer to see them split up.

Brian, are we only voting for writers of Batman/Detective (etc) – that is, comics where specifically Batman is the principle character? Or can we widen it to the larger Bat-family (eg Nightwing, Batgirl, etc)? For instance, Gail Simone is one of my favourite writers of the supporting Bat-cast, but does she qualify as she’s never (to my knowledge) written a book with Batman as the star?

I’ll let you make that decision yourself. If you think she belongs (or someone in a similar situation like Kyle Higgins, Fabian Nicieza or Devin Grayson), go for it!

This was much easier than I expected, though I did rule out creators who only worked on a few issues(the shortest tenure of anyone on my lists was about a year). Even with 75 years of stories to choose from, a handful of names rise to the top pretty easily.

I couldn’t rule out someone who only had a short run – if only because it would have robbed David Mazzucchelli of his rightful place at the top of the list.

That said, I did rule out Alex Toth on the basis that (as far as I’m aware) he’s done one World’s Finest annual and one Batman Black+White cover – and brilliant though it is, it’s not quite enough.

Alex Toth also illustrated the story “Death Flies the Haunted Sky” in Detective Comics #442. I was tempted to vote for him on the basis of that one story, but ultimately decided against it.

Ooh – now you’ve given me something to find.

I had a few Kick Me moments in the 75 Greatest Batman Friends and Foes poll forgetting some I would have voted for. Out of all the 75 Batman Anniversary polls, this is the one I’m least confident in. Hope I don’t have regrets this time around.

Having a quick draft go, finding the artists one more difficult. It’s between two people for the top spot on my writers poll.

My comment has been awaiting moderation for 2 days now…..step it up folks! ha It’s going to be one of those situations where people put up their lists and I think ” DAMMIT i should have put him/her in” I already regret not putting Tim Sale in…..ah well my list is done and I’m sticking with it

Sent my ballot in. Artists ballot was harder than the writers. Most difficult decision by far was choosing between my two writers for the top spot.

Be hilarious if Kane didn’t even place.

Personally, I don’t think Devin Grayson is in a similar situation to Gail Simone (regarding Batman writing)

Devin had a run of roughly 30 issues of Batman: Gotham Knights, and wrote multiple issues of other Batman series and a number of Batman specials
Gail wrote 1 issue of Batman: the Dark Knight and Batman wasn’t in that issue

(Fabian Nicieza wrote a number of issues of various Batman titles but didn’t seem to have had a run.
Kyle Higgins wrote a Batman miniseries and also wrote for Batman Beyond)

As far as I’m concerned, (for what little it’s worth) this poll is for the best Batman writers and artists
not the best Bat-family writers and artists
and not (necessarily) the best comic writers and artists who at some point written or drawn Batman
(only their Batman works counts, works that don’t feature Batman are irrelevant)

Of course, as multiple Swamp Thing issues made the top 100 Batman covers this isn’t limited to Batman’s own series so if people think Batman was best written or drawn in a Batgirl story I have no problems with them voting for the creators of the story.

(though, whether or not I have problems does not matter to anyone but me)

Did you get me ballot, Brian? Ta.

Yep!

Travis Pelkie

May 28, 2014 at 1:51 am

Oh, yeah, that’s right. I forgot about this poll! uhhh. I’ll probably end up forgetting again by the weekend and sitting it out again. D’oh!

Cheers, Brian!

Frank Milla Batman Gorilla

June 1, 2014 at 2:48 am

It occurs to me that there are far more notable artists than writers that have worked on Batman. Steve Rude and Alex Toth both have little chance of making the list, but they both deserve it because the little work they both did on the character was excellent.

That said, how are you going to split this one up? 35 writers / 40 artists? I’d guess there’s probably been way more variety in the artists people have been voting for than in the writers.

Is my ballot counted, kind sir?

I found this to be easier than expected. Im a batman fan but Ive only been reading comics for 6 years so coming up with my list was a bit tougher I guess. For some reason artists came easier than writers for me.

It was painful leaving out so many incredible artists. 10 is a much smaller number than you’d think.

June 5th has came and gone, Brian!

True. I decided to double-up on the first ten artists, so the start date is today instead of yesterday.

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