Top Comic Book Artists 46-43 - CBR - Comic Book Resources

3 months ago 34

The countdown continues! Here are the next four comic book artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,023 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).

46. José Luis García-López – 235 points (8 first place votes)

There are few comic book artists ever who could say that their own comic book company told them that were effectively TOO good for comic book work, but that's almost precisely what happened to the brilliant José Luis García-López. He burst on to the scene at DC Comics in the mid-1970s, and soon, everyone at the company was in awe at the expert mixture of sharp character work mixed with the fluidity of his action sequences. The sheer economy of his style made it so that in the middle of any given moment, the characters basically look like they stepped right out of one's mind when thinking of the ideal version of said character. That even worked for OTHER company's characters, like his brilliant work on 1981's Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk crossover comic, where García-López managed to perfectly capture the modern look for the Joker as well as the modern look for Batman AND the "savage" Hulk!


And then, of course, that dynamism that I wrote about earlier...


The movement feels like it is leaping right off of the page. However, as noted before, García-López's character work was just too good for DC to pass up as a character guide instead, so García-López was in charge of DC's licensing character guide, designing what the characters look like for the various licensed products that DC did over the years. He just NAILS each and every character perfectly...


For the past 40 years or so, whenever you would see a DC comic book character on a licensed product, if it wasn't García-López himself specifically, it was an artist using García-López's work as the springboard for their Superman Chef Boyardee or Batman chewing gum or whatever. García-López is probably the most underrated superhero artist we've ever seen, since his work is EVERYwhere, and yet he doesn't have the same classic comic book runs that most other artists on this list have. He has continued to do comic book work over the years, as well, though, and he has not lost any heat off of his fastball in recent years. He's still as good as ever.

45 Bryan Hitch – 237 points (1 first place vote)

Comic book artists tend to have a fairly normal career arc, but Bryan Hitch's path to comic book superstardom was a bit more circuitous than most. He broke into working in the British comic book world when he was still a teenager, and then progressed to American comic books in the late 1980s/early 1990s, including a run on Sensational She-Hulk. Hitch was always a fine comic book artist, but for a while there in the 1990s, he sort of bounced around series (while still doing British work, as well). Every so often it seemed like he was about to blow up, like when he drew the one-shot X-Men comic book that followed the Age of Apocalypse crossover, but then it just didn't seem to transfer to a major comic book run. Then it all came together in the most unlikely of places, where Hitch and his longtime inker, Paul Neary, did a couple of fill-ins on Warren Ellis' Stormwatch series. The issues introduced two new characters, Midnighter and Apollo, and soon, Ellis decided to scrap Stormwatch entirely and launch a new series using Apollo and Midnighter (and other Stormwatch characters Ellis liked) called The Authority, with Hitch and Neary as the artists on this new series.

Early on, Ellis, Hitch and Neary decided to commit to the idea of doing the series as sort of like a major blockbuster movie in comic book form for four issue arcs, and that "widescreen" action became a trademark of Hitch's style and, well, it's outright captivating...


Ellis' run on the book was just a year, so Hitch and Neary moved over to DC's JLA, where they first did an oversized graphic novel with writer Mark Waid called JLA: Heaven's Ladder that essentially saw the Justice League fight God...


Hitch and inker Andrew Currie (and colorist Paul Mounts) then joined Mark Millar in launching The Ultimates, and here, Hitch's style continued its "widescreen" appeal, but he also began to do tightly detailed depictions of characters, using real life people as inspiration, and, in a lot of ways, Hitch's designs for The Ultimates were probably the greatest visual influence on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Avengers around (well, Adi Granov, too, of course)...


Hitch is such a star that he's been able to write some comic books over the years, as well, as, well, if Bryan Hitch will draw your comic book if he gets to write it, who says no to that? And he has continued to do his trademark detailed/"widescreen" work on a number of projects ever since. Currently, he's drawing Venom for Marvel with writers Ram V. and Al Ewing.

44. Joe Madureira – 241 points (4 first place votes)

The influence of manga on American superhero artwork began much sooner than the 1990s and Arthur Adams is probably the creator best known for bringing that influence into the world of American superhero comics, but Joe Madureira took things to a whole other level when he took over art duties on Uncanny X-Men in the early 1990s. In a field filled with Jim Lee clones, no one else looked quite like Madureira. His work was dynamic and bursting with energy. Much like how Bill Sienkiewicz opened fans horizons in his 1980s New Mutants work, so, too, did Madureira expand what fans expected in terms of "realistic" portrayals of characters. The Neal Adams ideal had been the dominant one for years, but Madureira opened up a whole new approach with his style.

The Age of Apocalypse crossover was especially important when it came to Madureira's work, as it allowed him to re-design all of the X-Men for this alternate reality and the sheer creativity at work in his designs was shocking...

Eventually, Madureira left to launch a creator-owned title, Battle Chasers, and he then got into video game design for many years. He still occasionally does comic book work and it is just as dynamic as it always was.

43. Joe Kubert – 244 points (3 first place votes)

Very few artists could ever claim to be regular working artists in the Golden Age of comics and still working as a regular comic book artist after 2010, but Joe Kubert is one of those people. He remained an acclaimed artist all the way until he passed away, still working on new comic books for DC Comics.

While Kubert was an excellent superhero artist and if you asked him, he'd probably say he preferred drawing stuff like Tarzan or his caveman character Tor best of all, he is most known for his work on DC's war comics. He was so good at it that they up and just GAVE him the books to run eventually.

His most famous character that he worked on was definitely Sgt. Rock. Here is a bit from one of the most famous Rock stories of all-time, "The Four Faces of Sgt. Rock" from Our Army at War #127 (written by Kanigher). It was one of those stories where different people tell stories about Rock from different perspectives. Here's one about how Rock kept getting on a new recruit who kept lagging behind the others. He kept telling Rock that he really was fast, but he was just loaded down by all his gear. Rock didn't acknowledge it, and it drove the kid sort of nuts, to the point where during one battle, he decides to show how fast he really was...

Powerful artwork.

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