75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Artists #5-1
3. David Mazzuchelli
One of the most acclaimed Batman stories of all-time is Batman Year One by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli (along with colorist Richmond Lewis). The book is a stunning piece of work, as Mazzucchelli’s artwork is just fantastic. His sense of storytelling is like you’re watching a movie, that’s how well he takes you into the story and takes control of how you view the work.
His detailed examination of the people of Gotham City gives them a sort of almost mundane existence, which is what makes Batman pop out so much more. Everyone is so stuck in the mire of the awfulness of Gotham City that when someone like Batman shows up, he truly stands out (the work of Lewis helps immeasurably here, as well, as her colors help provide that muted quality). This is perhaps never more evident than in the famous sequence where Batman crashes a party of Gotham’s corrupt elite…
See what I mean about the contrast? Plus look at how he controls the progression of events so well – it really is like watching a movie. There’s a reason that that sequence is one of the most famous sequences in DC Comics history.
Year One is filled with moments similar to that (if not quite as amazing, as what could be as amazing as that?), where sudden scenes will break through the muck and the mire (sometimes literally, like when Jim Gordon fights his way into the respect of the Gotham City Police Department).
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Mazzucchelli’s brilliance in this series is that this was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how he was going to use style, color and design to tell stories. His more recent work (Asterios Polyp, in particular) take everything to a while other level.
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