75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Artists #30-26
27. Gene Colan
When Gene Colan left Marvel in 1981 after well over a decade at the company, it was a really big deal. Colan was sick of Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, who he felt was overly critical of his work. So he went to DC, who welcomed him with open arms and quickly made him the regular artist on the Batman titles (which were just then trying out an interconnected style of writing by Gerry Conway between the two books). He brought over his trademark dynamic art, as well as his legendary bizarre panel arrangement, like in this story where Batman is trying to prove to Man-Bat that his daughter is alive…
However, while DC was initially very welcoming, they soon determined that Colan’s unique style was TOO unique for the Bat-books, so they ended up giving him a lot of the same criticisms he was receiving from Marvel over his work on the Bat-titles (he also did an odd little run on Wonder Woman, a title that didn’t match is style at ALL).
26. Graham Nolan
Paired with writer Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan had a remarkably long and consistent run on Detective Comics. He drew the title for over five years, missing only a handful of issues along the way. Early in his tenure on the Bat-books, Nolan also created Bane with Dixon. Nolan’s work was mostly known for the expressive features he gave his characters – he was masterful at character-driven work, which Dixon gave him lots of to do. He could also do action well, also, of course. I decided to pick an issue that is a bit different from a typical Nolan issue, only because I just love how over-the-top and dynamic it is, like a big blockbuster film…
Nolan would be great on a modern Batman book. He just did a rare fill-in for Astro City (which was excellent), so he should draw Batman again, as well!