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75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Artists #20-16

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In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official celebration of Batman’s anniversary at the end of July. The last installment will deal with Batman stories, but this month will be about Batman’s writers and artists (40 artists and 35 writers).

You all voted, now here are the results! Here is a master list of all the writers and artists featured so far. We continue with Batman artists #20-16 (I decided to switch the order I was revealing the creators)

Enjoy!

NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. Specifically, no “Creator X better not be in the top ten!” or variations of that idea (“Creator X better not be ahead of Creator Y,” etc.) I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.

20. J.H. Williams III

For an artist who never had an ongoing run on any Batman title, J.H. Williams III has drawn a sizable amount of Batman comics. His most famous work is definitely the Club of Heroes arc from Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, where Morrison brings back the international club of heroes that Batman was a part of for a brief moment back in the 1950s…

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However, Williams’ stunning styles also made their way to a number of Batman comics in his earlier days (before he developed his distinct style as much as he has over the last decade – his career is basically pre-Promethea and post-Promethea). He had two arcs on Legends of the Dark Knight and he featured Batman famously in the pages of the short-lived but much loved series, Chase (who made her debut in an issue of Batman drawn by Williams).

More recently, Williams first worked on Batwoman with writer Greg Rucka in the pages of Detective Comics and then wrote and drew her ongoing series.

19. Bob Kane

The co-creator and original artist of Batman, Bob Kane has received a lot of quite justified complaints regarding his treatment of Bill Finger, who co-created Batman with Kane. Still, at the end of the day, Kane DID co-create Batman, as well, so he is a very important piece of the Batman puzzle. And while he was soon surpassed by better artists, Kane’s early work when he was penciling the strip roughly by himself were still striking enough to make the strip a success right out of the box, even if a good deal of the poses he used were swipes from other artists.

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And while Kane almost certainly did not design the Joker (as either he drew the Joker like Conrad Veidt based on a suggestion by Bill Finger or Jerry Robinson designed the Joker without Kane – I lean toward the former), Kane still at least designed the rest of the early Batman characters along with Finger and Robinson, and we’re talking major characters like Batman himself, Commissioner Gordon, Robin, Penguin and Catwoman.

He also was the first artist to draw the famed origin sequence from Detective Comics #33 (although, again, a good chunk of the poses were swipes)…

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So the co-creator of Batman and the guy who drew the strip at the beginning when it became a quick success is still a notable legacy to leave behind.

18. Kelley Jones

After becoming the regular cover artist on the Bat-titles during Knightfall, Kelley Jones took over interiors on Batman after Bruce Wayne returned as Batman (after Dick Grayson gave him a breather after Knightsend).

His dark and imaginative art style made his issues some of the most distinctive Batman comics ever. Working with writer Doug Moench and inker John Beatty, the trio even marked their issues together at the beginning of every issue…

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Jones also worked with Moench on a number of awesome graphic novels based on the concept of Batman becoming a vampire. They fit Jones’ style so perfectly that it was crazy.

Go to the next page to see #17-16!

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22 Comments

Travis Pelkie

June 14, 2014 at 4:29 am

I…I didn’t think that JHW3′s art on the Club of Heroes arc worked well enough. There, I said it. I think his work is so design-y that it detracts from the storytelling. (The “twist” of that arc comes down to the “handed-ness” of a character, and yet we never see that character using one hand versus the other enough for it to be a significant clue for us. DAMN YOU MORRISON AND WILLIAMS!!!)

I don’t have much to say about Kane. I’d probably just have to swipe something someone else said. (BURN!)

I love the Kelley Jones Batman with the giant cape and ears, and the vampire books are pretty neat stuff. The more recent “horror” versions of Batman with Moench writing are pretty neat too.

I don’t know enough about Don Newton but I only ever hear good things.

Quitely did awesome work on Batman and Robin. Love the sound effects. Scottish Connection was neat from what I remember. When I met him at a con and had him sign some books for me, he was nice enough to add in the deleted upside down cross from that one issue of B&R ;) And hearing him and JG Jones talk about Millar and Morrison (and the interesting heist they’d plan) was great.

Frank Milla Batman Gorilla

June 14, 2014 at 5:41 am

>Bob Kane
>drawing anything

Anyhoo…

Quitely would have been higher if he did more work. Same goes for JHW 3: The Williamsoning.

Well Bob Kane had to be somewhere I guess

JH Williams is really quite amazing

Quitely is my favorite comic book artist, but he wasn’t in my top 5 Batman. What he’s done is, of course, amazing, both on the Scottish Connection and his short stint on Batman and Robin.

Greg Burgas would be happy with Kelley Jones showing up this high, I’d hope

Kelley Jones’s extended years long run with Batman on both a regular title, mini-series and a bunch of graphic novels ranks him lower than Frank Quitely who barely has 6 issues?
That’s kinda funny.

It’s disappointing that Kane made the cut. Who’s next? Greg Land?

I love Kelly Jones on Sandman and other books, but was never quite fond of his Batman work.

I haven’t read Frank Quitely’s Batman yet, but everything he does is beautiful so I’m sure this’ll be no exception.

Kelley Jones’s extended years long run with Batman on both a regular title, mini-series and a bunch of graphic novels ranks him lower than Frank Quitely who barely has 6 issues?
That’s kinda funny.

Quality over quantity. My #1 vote only did four issues.

interesting to find bob kane so low on the list thought the co creator of batman would be high in the top five if not number one . plus always wanted to know who was the writter who did the story where bronze tiger whacked the original batwoman.

I was curious if Kane would make it on the list. I haven’t read any comic he’s drawn, and the images I’ve seen of his art looked decent, but his BAD reputation on the internet made me think that even people who liked his art wouldn’t vote for him. I suppose they decided to separate the art from the artist, which I understand.

J.H. Williams III – is my 3rd pick to make the list (7 to go ….though they probably won’t all make it)

I don’t /think/ I voted Quitely. But look at the little “SMASH”!

So cute!

From this list of artists #20-16, I voted for Bob Kane at #10 in my list.

And I voted for Kelley Jones at #9 in my list.

@Solid Snake

Blaming Kane for swiping is like criticizing late 19th century pitchers for throwing the spitball – everybody did it.

I thought that Bob Kane would have been in the Number One spot on this list, simply because Brian and CBR were contractually obligated to place him there :)

Williams, Jones and Quitely all made my list. Man, Quitely’s work on B&R was amazing.

In a perfect world Williams and Quitely would be among the handful of artists who draw all the things ever.

All worthy choices; no regrets on not voting for any of them. I’m interested in how bad Bronze Tiger was in his pre-Suicide Squad days. (Brainwashed, whatever…he was a bad dude).

Kelley Jones brought Vertigo flavor into a standard DC superhero book and it looked so, so cool. Plus, you have to love a signature style: nobody else looks like that.

It’s refreshing that I haven’t seen any commenters trashing Kelley Jones yet. I’m not a super-fan of his or anything, but as DMP said, he has a signature style. This can be both bad and good when it comes to fandom, and I’m pleasantly surprised to not see any “URRRGGH his ears look stupid!!! that guy draws like crapp!!!!” comments.

Maybe putting a “please don’t be jerks” warning at the beginning of the articles actually works.

Maybe putting a “please don’t be jerks” warning at the beginning of the articles actually works.

That and deletions. ;)

I missed this entry! :)

Kelley Jones has such a definitive Batman. I love the Gothic look he brought to the title. He should definitely be higher on the list.

JHW and Quitely are stellar artists. But they are too bloody slow! I would love to see more output from them both.

Oh God, Morrison really had some incredible artists on his run – those Williams and Quietly issues are UNBELIEVABLY incredible!!

Don Newton had a great eye for dynamic drama and mood in his art – I believe Dick Sprang said Newton was his favorite (then) current Batman artist when asked in an interview.

Bob Kane will forever be essential to Batman, and though his work can be sub-par in many respects, he did bring in a fascinatingly weird aesthetic to the early stuff.

Kelley Jones is hit or miss for many, but personally I thought his run with Moench was the best Batman stuff since Grant/Breyfogle!

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