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CSBG Archive

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

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17. Don Newton

Don Newton’s tragically short comic book career was due to two notable problems. First of all, his tragic death before the age of 50 from a heart attack. It’s just a downright shame to lose such someone so young. Secondly, though, the fact that he lived in Arizona made his attempts to break into the world of comics very difficult. He didn’t really break in fully until the late 1970s when he was already in his early 40s. He only had roughly seven years as a regular comic book artist. In those seven years, though, he did magnificent work and became one of the most highly sought out artists in all of superhero comics.

After debuting on Batman in 1978, Newton would work on over 70 issues of Batman (in various titles) before his death in 1984.

Newton was one of those rare artists who could combine dynamic, stylized artwork without losing anything in storytelling. As you can see from his work on the tragic death of the original Batwoman at the hands of the Bronze Tiger…

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16. Frank Quitely

Outside of cover work, Frank Quitely seemingly hasn’t done a whole lot of Batman comic book work, but the work he HAS done has been so outstanding that it is little surprise to see him place so high on the countdown.

His first Batman work came on the underrated (in the sense that very few people have read it) Scottish Connection graphic novel by writer Alan Grant.

He next worked on the character on the classic graphic novel JLA Earth 2 with writer Grant Morrison, where Quitely got to explore a world where Thomas Wayne lived. Quitely’s work on both Batman and his evil opposite, Owlman, was spectacular.

It his work launching Batman and Robin with Grant Morrison, though, that seemingly put Quitely on to a whole other plane. Their first project together since All Star Superman, Batman and Robin starred Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as the brand-new Batman and Robin.

On this title, Quitely both played with common conventions of “Camera angles”…

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did standout work on facial expressions (especially considering the limited amount of the face he has to work with)…

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and was just in another world when it came to the depiction of action…

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It’s a shame that we’ve only had one Batman story by him since (a story in Batman #700, and even there, Scott Kolins was needed to finish it).

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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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