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75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Artists #15-11

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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 #15-11…

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.

15. Jerry Robinson

Hired as Bob Kane’s first assistant, Jerry Robinson quickly became a major part of the Batman feature. He helped design the Joker and Robin (according to Robinson, he designed the Joker entirely by himself – I tend to believe Bill Finger’s version of events a bit more, which is that the Joker was based on a picture of Conrad Veidt, but either way, Robinson was a key part of the creation of the Joker). He definitely created the Joker’s trademark playing card…

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Soon, with Batman’s popularity booming, DC hired Robinson outright to create new Batman content for DC. Robinson was a very talented penciler, with a strong sense of how to tell a story. Here’s a randomly selected tale of how three brothers who were crooks wore specially made bullet proof vests. The first two brothers die because of their vests (one gets sucked up by a powerful magnet and one drowns because of his heavy metal vest) and the third decides to quit crime…

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See? Just a very well-told story. Robinson was one of the main Batman artists for roughly five years until the end of World War II when he moved on from comics to other types of comic work (specifically editorial cartooning).

14. Carmine Infantino

When Julie Schwartz was assigned the Batman titles in 1964 with a mandate to raise sales at all costs, he was able to finagle a deal where he would be able to pick the artist on Detective Comics while Bob Kane would be allowed to continue drawing Batman on his own (by “on his own,” we of course mean Sheldon Moldoff continuing to draw the book under Kane’s name). The choice of who to draw Detective Comics was a no-brainer, as Carmine Infantino was DC’s most popular artist at the time. He came over to the Bat-books and helped revitalize the series, including a redesign adding a yellow oval behind Batman’s chest insignia.

Infantino was particularly good at drawing action, something he exceled at on the Flash under Schwartz’s editorship. Here is one of Infantino’s most famous works on Batman, as Batman and Robin face off against the imposing being known as Blockbuster…

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Eventually, Infantino was promoted to being in charge of the whole line of DC comics, so he stopped drawing Batman regularly.

13. Brian Bolland

Brian Bolland had drawn Batman before, namely in Bolland’s contribution to Justice League of America #200, as well as a story in Batman #400, but that’s not what’s getting him so high on this list. He’s here because of his tremendously strong work on one of the most famous Batman stories ever told, the Killing Joke…

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Just outstanding.

Go to the next page to see #12-11!

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26 Comments

A lot of artists here that were totally off my radar, but I’m glad my Brian Bolland vote is showing up. That really was great work.

Killing Joke was one of the few Alan Moore comics where I liked the art more than the writing.

Frank Milla Batman Gorilla

June 14, 2014 at 9:01 am

Bruce Timm = GOAT.

And of course Bill Finger was telling the truth about the Joker’s design. Just compare the pic of the actor to the original drawing and it’s obvious.

A lot of great artists here. I particularly love Brian Bolland and Bruce Timm.

Wasn’t that Joe Giella inking Infantino? That was one thing I didn’t like about those New Look stories. I also wonder if this is the story from Bats #194, with that great Infantino/Anderson cover of Blockbuster smashing the Batman logo.

Another thing I like about Infantino’s art in this story is the use of his little pointing hand in the caption boxes, even if it isn’t the Flash’s!

I think the top ten is pretty guessable at this point (not the order, necessarily, but who will be in), so it saddens me that we aren’t likely to be seeing Scott McDaniel. I thought he was a bit of a longshot, but I still had hopes.

The Jerry Robinson story is one of a lot of 1940s tales that would have worked perfectly as a Warner Brothers B-Movie. It’s one of the things I love about the Golden Age bats.

Boll and was my #10.

Bruce Timm is great too. I was never a huge fan of Batman TAS, but visually it’s incredible.

You know I remember a lot of complaints about the time about the Batman telling the Joker he didn’t want to kill him. Apparently a lot of fans thought the Batman should be closer to the Punisher in spirit, if not in deed.

Bruce Timm was my #1. Growing up in the 90s, his style simply WAS Batman to me. It also helps that I love the few Batman comics he draws, especially Batman: Mad Love, which may just be my all-time favorite Batman story.

Freep: I’ve got to work this word into casual conversation more often.

“Dont’ ya wanna rev up your Harley?”: Ugh. That is one obnoxious double entendre.

Great list!

One correction: Bolland did the Batman/Black Canary/Green Arrow story in Justice League of America #200 – not #300.

interesting for figured both jerry robison and carmine would not show up till near the very end of the list like the top five. plus nice to see brian and bruce timm show up on this list bruce mostly for he added a little touch and crazyness to the batman mythos that was missing. including creating harley quin who is as crazy as the joker. and figured when brian showed up on the list the story featuring him would be the killing joke.

I wouldn’t have mind to see Capullo in the top ten list.

and Bolland is my 4th pick to make the list (6 to go …3 of which are almost certain to make it)
(and Ian beat me to the JLA correction)

I voted for Timm and Capullo. It’s /really/ sad that Snyder’s probably going to end up higher on the Writers list than Capullo will on artists, because Capullo delivers 98% of the good in that book.

I’m kicking myself for not including Bruce Timm in my list, but I’m glad he’s so high in the list.

I’m also happy that Alan Grant was so high in the writers list.

Jerry Robinson was the first good Batman artist and really developed great storytelling skills and producing real atmospheric work. Look up how creepy his Tweedle bro’s was. He’s essential to early years of Batman, and I think he switched to the funny “Adventures of Alfred” backups that he did quite a lot of to find some freedom from Kane’s grasp.

Infantino helped revolutionize Batman. Those early stories, especially with Fox and Broome before the camp hit, were such a breath of fresh air. I don’t think any other DC artist has ever had as great a sense of design as Infantino.

Brian Bolland, Bruce Timm, and Greg Capullo are each incredible. Timm and Capullo each are so distinctive – and I’m happy people know Capullo’s work now that he’s branched off beyond Spawn. If we take the entire history of Batman, in and outside of comics, Timm is easily one of the most important – probably only behind Kane, Sprang, and Adams.

Bolland & his (few) Larger “KJ” JoKER panels alone are so powerfully defining they deserve A Top 10 spot.
If Not-
B.Timm & his crafty- instantaneously nostalgic Batman art deserve A Top 10.

Bruce Timm’s storytelling is really great.

tom fitzpatrick

June 15, 2014 at 4:42 am

Just started reading Capullo’s run on Batman.

It’s nice to see him get a regular gig on such a high-profile book ever since he left SPAWN.

Also nice that he’s rated as a popular artist.

Good to see Bolland on this list as well.

The rest, well, I haven’t seen their work myself, just only heard of their works on Batman. I’m sure that their standing on this list is well deserved.

From this lis of artists #15-11, I voted for Jerry Robinson (#8), Carmine Infantino (#7) and Greg Capullo (#6).

Is there a page that lists the artists who pencilled and inked under Kane’s name with the issues they were on?

Surprised to see Capullo this high. I haven’t read his Batman stuff yet, but what I’ve seen looks great.

I cosidered Robinson and Infantino for my list, but I think I cut them in the end. Pretty sure I left Bolland on though. Big fan of his stuff, and I think the recoloured Killing Joke looks really good.

Timm is excellent. I probably should have voted for him, but so many great artists have worked on Batman over the years.

So to show off Bruce Timm as a great Batman artist, you post pages in which he didn’t draw Batman- ookay.

Voted for Robinson and Timm. Have no problems with Bolland…just couldn’t do it over basically one comic book. But man, it’s such a great comic book, I can’t fault those who did. Infantino is obviously historically great too.

Actually, Infantino only did odd numbered issues on Detective, Sheldon Moldoff was handling the even ones. So Moldoff was doing 1,5 Bat-books at that time?

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