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  1. #1
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    Default CBR's All-Time Top 100 Artists and Writers! - Top 50 Writers

    Okay, the voting has finished, so now it's time to deliver the results! The way the voting was conducted, each voter picked their ten favorite writers and artists, ranked from 1-10 (1 being most favorite, 10 being least favorite). For first place, the writer/artist was given 10 points, for second - 9 points, for third - 8 points, and so on and so forth. Then, all the points were added up, and ranked in order of points received. Here are your All-Time Top Fifty Comic Book Writers (next to the ranking I will give how many points the writer received and how many first place votes - if any - the writer received)!!

    50. Dave Sim – 47 points (1)



    Dave Sim is best known for his work on Cerebus, for which he wrote and drew (along with Gerhard assisting on artwork) for 300 issues from 1977 until 2004.



    Cerebus began as a parody of Conan the Barbarian, but soon evolved into a complex tale about politics, religion, sex, relationships and personal beliefs that stands as a modern comic masterpiece.

    48 (tie). Chris Ware – 49 points



    Chris Ware went from a college cartoonist to working with Art Spiegleman, and soon began work on Acme Novelty Library, which he continues to publish by himself today (although he still maintains a relationship with Fantagraphics, who published the book for years).

    His graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth, was a massive critical success, with its stark tale of human alienation and loneliness.



    Ware continues to do new comics which continue to please audiences with their awkward truths evident in the works.
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    48 (tie).Harvey Kurtzman – 49 points



    Harvey Kurtzman broke on to the comic scene while still a teenager in the 40s, working for a number of comic companies.

    Eventually, in the late 40s (after serving in the military during World War II), Kurtzman ended up at EC, where he helped write some of the most memorably war stories of the time period in Two-Fisted Tales.

    Soon after, he helped EC launch another title. You may have heard of it. It was called Mad.



    After doing Mad for awhile (including the move to magazine format, in an attempt by publisher William Gaines to keep Kurtzman from leaving), Kurtzman left and for the rest of his notable career, he made due on magazines and comics all basically in keeping with the style he developed on Mad.

    Kurtzman passed away in 1993.
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    47. Dan Slott – 50 points (1)



    Dan Slott began with Marvel as an intern, and got his first big writing break when he got the gig on Marvel's popular licensed comic, Ren and Stimpy.

    This led to a number of licensed comic property work for Slott, on titles such as Looney Tunes and the Batman cartoon tie-ins.

    A few years ago, though, Slott had success with darker fare with a Batman mini-series spotlighting Arkham Asylum.

    Soon after, Slott began working on his biggest comic work to date, his She-Hulk run, which has lasted long enough for TWO volumes!



    Slott also was the regular writer for Thing.

    46. Mark Gruenwald – 51 points (1)



    Like Slott, Mark Gruenwald began working at Marvel Comics as a staffer before he became known as a writer.

    Soon, along with fellow staffer Ralph Macchio, Gruenwald began getting some writing assignments.

    He is best known, though, for his TEN year run as writer of Captain America, his FIVE year run as writer of Quasar, and his 12-issue maxiseries featuring the Squadron Supreme that came out in the mid-80s.



    The Squadron Supreme mini-series examined what it would be like if superheroes actually tried to run the world, foreshadowing many comic works of the future.

    Mark Gruenwald passed away in 1996, at the far too young age of 43.
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    44 (tie). John Ostrander – 53 points



    John Ostrander got into comics a bit later than most, having worked in the theater for awhile until he began writing comics for First Comics in the 80s, including creating the popular series, GrimJack with Tim Truman.

    When First Comics folded, Ostrander followed Mike Gold (also of First Comics) to DC, where Ostrander did some very good work on Justice League of America, Firestorm as well as one of his best works, Suicide Squad.

    After Suicide Squad ended, Ostrander and his friend, artist Tom Mandrake, who were coming off of doing Firestorm together, combining for an excellent 60-issue run on The Spectre.



    After the Spectre, Ostrander and Mandrake did The Kents and Martian Manhunter for DC.

    Since the late 90s, Ostrander has been a regular contributor to Dark Horse's Star Wars line of comic books, and has also revived GrimJack for IDW.

    Ostrander and his late wife, Kim Yale, wrote together often, and the two of them are responsible for turning Barbara Gordon into Oracle.

    44 (tie). Jack Kirby – 53 points (1)



    In many ways, Jack Kirby wrote comics for decades, whether it was working with Joe Simon or with Stan Lee, Kirby contributed a great deal of what one would term "writing" for a great deal of the work he did for Timely, Marvel and other companies.

    However, when he went to DC in the 70s, that was when Kirby was at least CREDITED at the writer, as he wrote and drew Jimmy Olsen and the Fourth World titles for DC, then moving on to do a number of other titles for DC (Kamandi, The Demon, The Sandman).



    He returned to Marvel and wrote and drew Captain America, Black Panther, The Eternals, Devil Dinosaur.

    Kirby will be forever known for the legacy he left behind with his work with Stan Lee and Joe Simon, but the legacy of work he did just by himself is quite nearly just as strong.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    43. James Robinson – 54 points



    James Robinson first gained people's attention with his Elseworlds mini-series, The Golden Age, with artist Paul Smith, that did for the Golden Age what Darwyn Cooke did for the Silver Age in New Frontier.

    The next year, he launched Starman with artist Tony Harris, and that cemented his name in the comic industry, with his lush tales working in older characters with his new stories.



    Robinson also created the fun Leave it to Chance series for Image Comics, also with Paul Smith.

    Also, he helped to launch the current JSA comic book.

    More recently, Robinson has been working in the film business (he wrote the screenplay for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

    However, he did stop off for an 8-issue arc on Batman earlier this year.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    41 (tie). Walter Simonson – 58 points



    When Walt Simonson graduated from college in the early 70s, his senior thesis was a comic booK! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Simonson was soon working in the comic book industry.

    Simonson first worked as an artist, but finally, in the early 80s, he was handed the reins to The Mighty Thor, as artist and writer, and Simonson delivered one of the classic runs of the past 25 years, turning out epic story after epic story in the pages of Thor.



    He followed his Thor run up with an almost equally excellent run on Fantastic Four (while working with his wife, Louise Simonson, on X-Factor for Marvel).

    More recently, he wrote Orion for DC, and is currently writing Hawkgirl for DC.

    41 (tie). Joe Casey – 58 points (1)



    Joe Casey got his big break from James Robinson, when Casey followed Robinson on Robinson's short run on Cable. After doing a good job following the shoes of Robinson, Casey began getting assignments on other Marvel projects, including the delightful treat of being the fellow who got to follow Peter David on Incredible Hulk.

    Casey did a number of assignments for Marvel, including a run on Uncanny X-Men.

    Casey also did an amazing job of ressurecting Wildcats over at Wildstorm, totally re-inventing the title into one of the most inventive books on the market. He did a run on Mr. Majestic that led to him writing Adventures of Superman for DC.

    Now, at Image Comics, he is doing the outlandishly inventive superhero comic, Godland.



    And he is writing GI Joe: America's Elite for IDW.
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    40. Greg Rucka – 64 points (1)



    Greg Rucka first got critical attention with his series of novels starring the character Atticus Kodiak.

    In the late 90s, Rucka did his first comic work, the critically-acclaimed Whiteout mini-series, released by Oni Press. He followed it with a sequel.

    Around this same time, Rucka was asked to write some Batman stories for No Man's Land. After that storyline ended, Rucka became the regular writer for Detective Comics.

    At about this same point in time, Rucka began work on Queen and Country, a series about British spies.



    Rucka continued working for DC and Marvel on such titles as Gotham Central, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Adventures of Superman and his current series, Checkmate (plus co-writing 52 for DC).

    39. Carl Barks – 66 points



    Carl Barks began working for Disney animation in the 1930s, but found himself unable to continue working there during the 40s due to poor working conditions.

    At this point, Barks began an amazing forty-year run writing and drawing comic books featuring Donald Duck and his vast band of supporting characters (a good deal of whom Barks created himself, most notably Uncle Scrooge McDuck).

    Barks' tales were of a high level of quality that surprised most readers, to the point where his quality scripts and art led people to identify his work even though he went uncredited at the time.

    His stories featured travels all around the globe, with a true air of "all ages," both children and adults could enjoy his stories, without going over the heads of the children and without dumbing down the stories for adults.

    His comics became particularly huge in Europe.

    Barks tales have inspired many storytellers, and served as the inspiration for the popular DuckTales cartoon series of the late 1980s.



    Barks passed away in 2000, just shy of his 100th birthday.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    And while we're at it, please buy my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And while you're at that, please buy my first book, Was Superman a Spy? and Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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    38. Bill Willingham – 68 points



    Bill Willingham first gained significant attention in the comic industry during the 1980s, when he wrote and drew the series Elementals for Comico.

    Bill's work appeared sporadically during the late 80s and early 90s, until appearing more frequently at the tail end of the 90s.

    In the 21st Century, Willingham has had a good deal of success writing for DC Comics on a number of Vertigo mini-series, and then, a few years ago, his biggest critical success to date, the popular Fables series.



    Currently, Willingham writes Fables and co-writes the spin-off, Jack of Fables for DC's Vertigo imprint and the title Shadowpact for DC's superhero line of comics.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    And while we're at it, please buy my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And while you're at that, please buy my first book, Was Superman a Spy? and Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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    37. Gilbert Hernandez – 74 points (3)



    Gilbert (Beto) Hernandez co-created the comic Love and Rockets with his brothers Jaime and Mario in the early 80s.

    The title consisted primarily of two serials, one by Gilbert (Palomar) and one by Jaime (Locas).

    The brothers worked on Love and Rockets throughout the 80s, and after it finished with #50, they both worked on solo projects before returning for volume 2 a few years ago.



    Gilbert's Palomar is about a Central American village, and the protagonist, Luba, is one of the most enriching characters to exist in comic books.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    And while we're at it, please buy my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And while you're at that, please buy my first book, Was Superman a Spy? and Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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    36. Joss Whedon – 78 points



    Joss Whedon began his career in the very early 90s, writing for TV series like Roseanne and Parenthood.

    Soon, he became a prolific screenwriter (and more often than not, script doctor).

    In the late 90s, he took a property that had been done for film and adapted it to television, and his Buffy the Vampire Slayer series was a critical and commercial success, leading to a spin-off, Angel.

    A big comic fan, Whedon eventually turned his attention to writing comics. First, he did a series of comics set in the future of the Buffy Universe called Fray.

    More recently, Whedon has been the writer (with artist John Cassaday) of the Eisner Award-winning series Astonishing X-Men for Marvel.



    Whedon is currently working on a Wonder Woman film that he is directing, and it was recently announced that he will follow Brian K. Vaughan as writer on Runaways.
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    35. Robert Kirkman – 79 points (1)



    Robert Kirkman is one of those "over night sensations" that has been working in comics for years.

    Kirkman's self-published Battle Pope series came out SIX years ago, but it wasn't until a few years later, when Image, after being impressed with the work Kirkman and artist Cory Walker did on a Superpatriot mini-series, asked the two to pitch them a new superhero title for Image's new line of superhero comics.

    Invincible, about the young son of Earth's greatest superhero (or is he?), was a success, increasing in sales while the rest of the line had sales troubles.

    The success of Invincible led to Kirkman's next series at Image, a story of what happens after the credits in zombie movies. The realistic, character-based work, The Walking Dead, was also a success.



    This led to work at Marvel Comics for Kirkman. He wrote two years worth of Marvel Team-Up for Marvel, as well as a number of mini-series. He is currently the ongoing writer for Ultimate X-Men, and has a new ongoing title, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, that was just released.
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    33 (tie). J. Michael Straczynski – 81 (2)



    Joseph Michael Straczynski made his name mostly in his extensive career in television, stretching throughout the 80s and the 90s, highlighted specifically by his critically-acclaimed TV series, Babylon 5.

    Always a comic fan, Straczynski actually wrote a few comic books in the 80s, but it was not until 1999 that he allowed himself to take some time and actually work on a comic book regularly, namely his Rising Stars series for Image Comics, which was a hit.

    Soon afterwards, Straczynski became the regular writer for Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man. His debut brought acclaim and much higher sales to the title.

    The last couple of years (while remaining on Amazing Spider-Man, finishing up Rising Stars, doing Midnight Nation and a short run on Fantastic Four), Straczynski has mainly concentrated on his version of the Squadron Supreme. First in the series, Supreme Power, and more recently in the series Squadron Supreme.



    Straczynski recently was announced as writing a new Thor ongoing series.

    33 (tie). Gail Simone – 81



    Gail Simone first gained the attention of the comic industry from her humor column about comic books on Comic Book Resources. She began doing some work for Bongo Comics on a number of their titles.

    After a time, she began doing work for Marvel Comics. She wrote Deadpool (staying for the title being reluanched as Agent X). She wrote a series of one-shots aimed at children starring the character Gus Beezer.

    Humor and strong dialogue have been the highlights of Simone's work, whether at Bongo, Marvel or, later, at DC Comics.

    Since 2003, Simone has been the writer of DC's Birds of Prey.



    Currently, she is writing Birds of Prey and a sequel mini-series, Secret Six, to her Infinite Crisis tie-in mini-series, Villains United.
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    31 (tie). Jim Starlin – 82 points



    Jim Starlin was already drawing comics for Marvel when he was given the opportunity to write, as well.

    In a fill-in arc on Iron Man, Starlin introduced Thanos, inspired by Jack Kirby's Darkseid.

    Starlin was next given the assignment of Captain Marvel. Starlin became the writer/artist on the title and brought Thanos over, as well.

    Starlin began to chart out Marvel's alien landscape pretty heavily.

    His next project for Marvel was Warlock, a character that Starlin followed from pretty much the beginning of the character all the way until the character's death.



    With Warlock, Starlin dealt with a good deal of spirtual storylines.

    A good deal of his work involves the theme of death, as well, as Thanos (who courts Death itself) is usually a major character in Starlin's work, and it was Thanos who was the centerpiece of Starlin's return to Marvel (and Warlock) in the 1990s, for the smash crossover success, Infinity Guantlet.

    Before returning to Marvel superheroes, however, Starlin did a creator-owned titled, Dreadstar, for Marvel's Epic line and for First Comics. Starlin also worked at DC, writing Batman and even doing a mini-series, Cosmic Odyssey, where he got to work with Darkseid, Thanos' inspiration.

    Currently, after a number of Warlock/Thanos projects for Marvel (including even a series STARRING the evil Thanos), Starlin is back at DC, writing Mystery in Space.

    31 (tie). J.M. DeMatteis – 82 points



    John Marc DeMatteis was a music critic who began to do some comic work in the late 1970s. Soon after getting in at DC Comics, DeMatteis found himself working regularly at the writer of Defenders and Captain America.

    After leaving Defenders, DeMatteis took over Justice League of America, writing the book until it ended. DeMatteis stayed on the book when new writer Keith Giffen relaunched it, as DeMatteis scripted Giffen's plots. The duo was a smash hit, as the title became one of DC's biggest sellers, leading to a number of spin-offs (which DeMatteis wrote a number of).

    For Marvel's Epic line, DeMatteis wrote one of his greatest works, Moonshadow.



    Later, at Marvel, DeMatteis wrote the popular storyline Kraven's Hunt, with artist Mike Zeck (who had worked on Captain America with him previously).

    DeMatteis returned to Spider-Man in the early 90s to write Spectacular Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man.

    Recently, DeMatteis reunited with Giffen on a number of popular projects, even winning an Eisner together for their work revisiting their Justice League characters called Formerly Known as the Justice League.

    DeMatteis' work has always been marked by a spiritual quality mixed with a good sense of humor. The former was on display in works like Moonshadow, while the latter was a great help on Justice League.

    Currently, DeMatteis is writing two superhero humor titles for Boom! with Giffen, and doing a series of illustrated fantasy novels with artist Mike Ploog based on their Crossgen comic book, Abadazad. The first two books in the series, Abadazad: The Road to Inconceivable and Abadazad: The Dream Thief, were just recently released.
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    29 (tie). Mike Mignola – 92 points (2)



    Mike Mignola was already a successful comic book artist when he began writing comics, as well, with his own creation, Hellboy.

    Hellboy has become a huge success, spawning a popular film (and I believe there is a sequel due out, as well).



    Hellboy features a down-to-earth look at demonology, and Mignola has basically used the format to, like James Robinson on Starman, explore his various interests, but always while serving the interests of the narrative.

    Mignola has a great interest in pulp fiction and B-movies, plus folk stories and ghost stories, and all these ideas are consistently woven into the tapestry of Hellboy.

    Mignola also wrote and drew a popular one-shot called the Amazing Screw-On Head in 2002, and it was turned into an animated TV program, which had a pilot aired recently on SciFi.com.

    29 (tie). Mike Carey – 92 points (1)



    Mike Carey took a different route to writing comics than most, as Carey was actually a teacher for over a decade before he turned his hand to comic book writing.

    He first got by with gigs for a few independent comics before catching on at 2000AD, where he wrote a number of stories.

    This led to work for Vertigo at DC, where he had his biggest success to date, his Sandman spin-off series, Lucifer.



    Carey has a good ear for dialogue, as well as a nice appreciation for subtle horror.

    This served him well on his other prominent writing assignment, a forty-issue run on Hellblazer.

    Recently, Carey began two prominent gigs for Marvel, taking over the writing on Ultimate Fantastic Four and X-Men.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    28. Steve Gerber – 98 points (2)



    After graduating college, Steve Gerber began working for an advertising company. Writing was his desire, though, so he applied for a job at Marvel (at a pay cut) and began working there as an editor and a freelance writer.

    Soon after he began working at Marvel, he started on Defenders, writing a long run that is very well-regarded by fans in both its social consciousness as well as its absurdist humor.

    Gerber next had a smash hit with a minor character from another book he was writing, Man-Thing, titled Howard the Duck.



    It was with Howard that Gerber really cut loose, playing with the very format of comics, trying new and experimental ideas every once and awhile. Gerber also wrote a syndicated comic strip starring Howard.

    Due to a disagreement with Marvel (the legal matter was later settled between Gerber and Marvel), Gerber left Marvel and began to work for DC. He then started to work in television, becoming the story editor on the early seasons of the animated TV program, GI Joe.

    Gerber has returned to comics here and there since the late 80s, doing a project here for Marvel and a project there for DC.

    Perhaps his most prominent recent project was the series, Hard Time, about a teenager with powers who is in prison for murder.

    Currently, Gerber is working on a new comic project for DC.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

    Also, be sure to check out my web site, Urban Legends Revealed!, for urban legends about Sports, TV, Movies, Music and more!

    And while we're at it, please buy my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And while you're at that, please buy my first book, Was Superman a Spy? and Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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