Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday or TTT as I call it. Today I’m talking about the 10 best comic book artists of all time (as always in no particular order) so let’s dive right in.
#1 Rob Schrab:
Creator of Scud The Disposable Assassin, Rob Schrab doesn’t currently have any comics being published, but when the last thing you did was Scud your spot on this list is guaranteed. Rob’s style hooked me from the get go, and Scud is one of my favorite comics of all time. Every panel in scud is an artistic masterpiece, and packed to the gills with fantastic character designs or hilarious jokes. Rob took a world full of mutations, robots,and other wacky ideas and turned them into beautiful drawings that spark your imagination like no other.
#2 Ben Edlund:
A dude from my home turf Ben Edlund has worked on so many properties that I could write a whole article about that alone, but it’s his work on The Tick that lands him on this list. The Tick’s initial artwork (drawn by Edlund for years before he handed the art torch off to others) was like a great old comic book, but with a hilarious jokey vibe that still reverberates today in stuff like the Venture Brothers (created by college roommates of Edlund) and the upcoming new live action version of The Tick, but back in the 80’s and 90’s the great art style really struck a cord with readers making the Tick a huge success. I still pop out my original 12 issues form time to time and marvel at Edlund’s great art. It’s a crazy mix of prelatic style with outlandish super hero themes that has yet to be matched in my opinion.
#3 J. Scott Campbell:
J. Scott Campbell has done art for may properties including his own franchise Danger Girl, and boy can this guy draw! His style is super distinctive, and it is almost impossible to see his art and not know immediately who drew it. Lately J. Scott has been killing it with Spider-Man stuff, but he’s drawn almost everything you can think of. Campbell excels at drawing female characters in his style, and his Mary Jane Watson and Spider Gwen artwork has become a favorite of many fans.
#4 Jim Mahfood:
The Mahf! Ever since I first saw zombie Kid in Oni double feature an later Grrl Scouts I knew Mahfood would be one of my favorite comic artists, and to this day he’s still pumping out incredible art in his signature style. From working on paintings to his own franchises, to picking up the torch on the new Tank Girl (a huge thing in my book) Jim has consistently been one of the best in the industry . Mahfood can do more with a few lines than most artists can do with a full page, and the fact he puts new work up almost daily makes him prolific as hell. Jim is the only artist on this list I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting in person, and he is a great guy on top of his awesome talent. I like an artist that you can spot at a distance, and there is no mistaking the Food’s work for anyone else’s.
#5 Jack Kirby
Could there be any doubt that King Kirby would make a list of best comic artists? Jack Kirby made an impact on so many artists, and you can see tons of people directly using his style in their modern artwork. Kirby had a distinct style that looks so great that his artwork is some of the best in comic history. What else can I say about the man that hasn’t already been said a million times? Jack worked for all of the big comic companies at the time, and many of the characters he created are still major parts of their universes today. Kirby’s imagination is unmatched, and despite his various issues with certain parts of the comics industry his work will be loved and remembered for centuries to come.
#6 Simon Bisley
I first became aware if Bisley via Heavy Metal magazine, but he’s done a LOT of stuff for mainstream comics as well. His work on Lobo is the definitive version of the character in my book. Bisley takes the Frazetta style and injects it with a heavy dose of Acid. Whether its fantasy or sci fi Bisley’s art stands out, and if you see his work you know right away. His art has a real depth to it with various muscles looking ripped and thick, and nearly every piece from him has some great motion to it.
#7 Frank Frazetta
Much like Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta is a god among men where artwork is concerned. There is no better fantasy artist living or dead bar none. Frank’s work is some of the most beloved, and for good reason. Frazetta could tell an entire story in one piece, and nobody could draw girls or monsters like Frank could. Frazetta’s work has inspired so many people over the years that his estate should be getting royalties off of nearly every fantasy work in existence. Frazetta made work you wanted to crawl inside and live in…which is the highest complement an artist can get.
#8 Jhonen Vasquez
Most people know Jhonen for Invader Zim (which was amazing), but for me finding Johnny The Homicidal Maniac and Squee in High School was an eye opening experience. Vasquez has this dirty cartoony style that is amazing, and every book he wrote was a blockbuster in my mind. JTHM,Squee, and I feel sick are some of the best comics I’ve ever read, and the art style is a hug part of that. even his “shitty” art like the bad art collection of happy noodle boy has a serious charm to it. I’ve been hoping to see Johnny or Squee as animated features for ages now, and hopefully one day my dreams will come true.
#9 Mike Mignola
Creating Hellboy alone would be reason enough to be on this list, but Mignola also has a great style that makes him stand out from the crowd as well. Mignola can do so much with some lines and shadows while creating awesome worlds out of almost nothing at times. Mignola has been creating great work for decades now, and he keeps getting better. It’s also next to impossible to see a Mignola piece and not know exactly who drew it, which as you can see from the list is pretty important to being a world class comic artist.
#10 Carl Barks
Carl Barks created Scrooge McDuck…think about that for a minute. Scrooge McDuck! As a HUGE Duck Tales fan growing up I had found some reprinted Barks comics as a lad and was just blown away by the greatness of it all. Barks took various parts of himself and really fleshed out the personalities and lives of Donald Duck and Scrooge Mcduck in a solidified world that was a joy to read. His style was clean, and he influenced a generation of cartoonists.
So there you have it my top ten favorite comic book artists. who are some of your favorite comic artists? Let us know in the comments below.