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

    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 Artists (next to the ranking I will give how many points the artist received and how many first place votes - if any - the artist received)!!

    50 (tie). P. Craig Russell 61 points (1)



    Philip Craig Russell studied painting at school before getting into comic books in the early 70s, mostly doing horror and fantasy work.

    Since then, he has made his name mostly do comic adaptations of other works, whether they be the Elric stories of Michael Moorcock or the operas of Wagner.

    He also did some work for DC Comics' Sandman.



    He has won a number of awards, and just recently did a Conan mini-series for Dark Horse.

    50 (tie). Andy Kubert 61 points



    Andy Kubert is the youngest son of legendary comic artist, Joe Kubert, and went to work at DC Comics as a young man.

    He soon graduated to bigger assignments at Marvel Comics, becoming the artist who had to follow Jim Lee on X-Men, a role which Andy excelled at for years before moving on to try his hand on a number of other Marvel titles, usually bringing improved sales along with him as he went (Ka-Zar, Captain America, Thor).

    He drew the hit Origin mini-series for Marvel, and also was Neil Gaiman's pick to draw Gaiman's first Marvel work, 1602.

    Recently, he and his older brother Adam went back to their DC roots, by signing an exclusive contract with DC.



    Andy is currently drawing Grant Morrison's Batman run.
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    50 (tie). Adam Hughes – 61 points (1)



    Adam Hughes broke into comic as a young man with some work for Comico, then making a big splash as the regular artist for DC Comics' Justice League America.

    His work on the interiors of the title, while making him quite popular, also showed him that regular ongoing interiors assignments were not what he would like to do in comics, and since then, he has devoted himself to special projects and comic book covers.

    He had a long run as cover artist for Wonder Woman.



    And currently, he is drawing folks in with his striking Catwoman covers for DC.

    In addition, it was just recently announced that Hughes will both write AND draw an All-Star Wonder Woman comic book for DC.

    50 (tie). Brian Bolland – 61 points



    Brian Bolland first began drawing comics professionally as a young man in Britain in the 70s, as Dave Gibbons helped him out in finding opportunities.

    A high-profile run on Judge Dredd eventually led to Len Wein getting Bolland to work on American comics, most notably the 80s mini-series Camelot 3000 (written by Mike W. Barr) and the Killing Joke one-shot (written by Alan Moore).



    Since the late 80s, though, Bolland has generally avoided sequential work, choosing instead to devote his time to striking comic book covers.

    He has had long runs as cover artists on Wonder Woman, Gotham Knights, Flash and Animal Man, while providing some stunning and highly memorable covers for those books (particularly Animal Man and Wonder Woman).
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    49. Dave McKean – 65 points (1)



    Dave McKean first came to America to try to break in as a comic artist in the late 80s, but it was not until he teamed up with Neil Gaiman that his goal was achieved.

    After working with Gaiman on the graphic novel, Violent Cases, the pair got a mini-series from DC Comics called Black Orchid. Neither of the two ever looked back.

    McKean REALLY hit it big, though, with a project with another writer, Grant Morrison, the perfectly timed (it came out around the Tim Burton Batman movie, so anything with Batman on it sold like crazy). Afterwards, McKean had the freedom to do the projects he wanted to do.

    McKean has worked with Gaiman on a number of occasions (most prominently on covers for Gaiman's Sandman), highlighting his unique style (which incorporates photography, painting, digital work and sculpture in with his drawing).

    However, he also did comic work on his own, using a stripped-down art style different from his mixed-media cover work.



    Most recently, McKean's debut as a film director, MirrorMask, was released.

    47 (tie). Carlos Pacheco – 66 points (2)



    Carlos Pacheco worked in the Spanish comic industry for years before being noticed by an American audience, working on translations of Marvel comics (providing new covers, etc.).

    He gained notice from his work on the Marvel UK title, Dark Guard, and soon his clean, dynamic artwork was getting some major attention.

    It was not long before Pacheco was getting assignments from both Marvel and DC, leading to, in 1997, him becoming the regular artist on X-Men, following Andy Kubert's departure.

    After X-Men, he worked on the Avengers Forever maxi-series with Kurt Busiek.

    Pacheco then lived a childhood dream of his by becoming the regular artist AND writer on Marvel's Fantastic Four. It did not last too long, though, and soon Pacheco was off to DC to do projects with Geoff Johns (Virtue and Vice) and Busiek (Arrowsmith).



    Currently, after finishing a run as Green Lantern artist (with Geoff Johns again), Pacheco is drawing Superman (with Busiek again).
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    47 (tie). Greg Land – 66 points (1)



    Greg Land broke into mainstream comics in the mid-90s, but it wasn't until Birds of Prey began that he had his own regular title to work on.

    He drew Birds of Prey and then Nightwing, leaving only to go work for Crossgen.

    Land's photo-realistic artwork was a big hit for fans, and it got more photo-realistic on his Crossgen title, Sojourn.

    After Crossgen closed shop, Land moved his services over to Marvel Comics, doing a number of assignments for them, including Phoenix: Endsong.



    Currently, Land is drawing the Ultimate Power mini-series from Marvel.

    46. Jim Starlin – 68 points



    Jim Starlin broke into the comics world as a young man, and was in very much of a "learn as you go" mode, as very soon after he began working for Marvel Comics in the early 70s, he was writing/drawing titles on his own.

    After major success on Warlock and Captain Marvel, Starlin created his own character for Marvel's Epic line, Dreadstar.

    His clean, straightforward style was very accessible to readers.



    For a time, Starlin seemed to concentrate more on writing than on drawing, but the last couple of years have seen a return to more pencilling for Starlin, on titles like Infinite Abyss, Thanos, Cosmic Guard and his current series, Mystery in Space, for DC Comics.
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    45. Paul Smith – 69 points (1)



    Paul Smith was working in animation when he broke in as a comic book artist in the early 80s.

    His work on Doctor Strange got him noticed, so when Dave Cockrum ended his second tour of duty on Marvel's popular title, X-Men, it was quite a surprise to see the little known Smith given the job.

    However much of a surprise it was at first, it wasn't for long, as Smith's unique draftmanship quickly made him a prominent artist in the industry.



    However, like many other great artists, Smith preferred not to draw a monthly book, so his run on X-Men was not particularly long. Since then, he has drawn many different comic books, most notably being the artist on James Robinson's Leave it to Chance (using a looser, more cartoonish style).

    Smith recently drew a Kitty Pryde mini-series for Marvel and a few issues of She-Hulk.

    44. Jean Giraud (Moebius) – 70 points (1)



    Jean Giraud had been drawing French comics for years before he debuted his pseudonym, Moebius, in 1963. Giraud used the name Moebius for his science fiction and fantasy work, which he used a different style than his western comic, Blueberry, which he did as Giraud.

    It was as Moebius that Giraud co-founded the popular anthology Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) in 1975, where he did some of his most famous work.



    Moebius even did some American superhero work, most prominently a Silver Surfer two-issue series with Stan Lee.
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    43. Jaime Hernandez – 72 points (1)



    Along with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, Jaime (Xaime) Hernandez helped create Love and Rockets, which 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.



    Jaime is well-regarded for his ability to draw characters that, while somewhat resembling the typical Archie character traits, are embued with so much nuance that they seem so real to the reader.
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    42. Olivier Coipel – 73 points (2)



    French artist Olivier Coipel first came to the attention of American readers when DC tapped him to do a new take on the Legion of Superheroes, along with writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

    Coipel's style was a lot darker and a lot edgier than the artists he followed, but over time, he evolved into a dynamic, stylized artist.



    Since his Legion days, he has been the regular artist for Avengers and drew Marvel's big mini-series from 2005, House of M.

    He is going to be drawing the upcoming Thor series from Marvel.

    40 (tie). Michael Turner – 74 points (2)



    Michael Turner's big break as an artist came in the mid-90s, after doing backgrounds for Top Cow, he helped launch (and co-create) the series Witchblade for Top Cow.

    The book was a smash success, and Turner followed it up with another popular title that he created, Fathom.

    Turner took Fathom to his own comic company, Aspen Comics.

    In recent years, due partly to poor health, Turner has done more cover work than interiors, although he did do a very popular arc on DC's Superman/Batman.

    As a cover artist, he has become one of the most popular cover artists in the industry, with Marvel and DC both routinely asking for covers by him.



    It was recently announced that Turner would be doing an Ultimate Wolverine series for Marvel with writer Jeph Loeb.
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    40 (tie). Alex Maleev – 74 points (1)



    Alex Maleev got his start in his native Bulgaria, drawing comics for Bulgarian comics.

    He came over to America in the mid 90s, studying at the Joe Kubert school, and fitting in some work on various Batman titles between gigs as a storyboard artist for films such as the Bone Collector and Great Expectations.

    Around that time, Maleev began to work more regularly in comics, becoming the regular artist on Sam and Twitch, which was written by Brian Michael Bendis.

    Maleev then moved with Bendis over to Marvel, to draw Daredevil.



    Maleev stayed on Daredevil with Bendis for four years, until their run recently ended.

    Maleev's art is noted by its grainy, cinematic feel to his storytelling. He brought that edge to Avengers: Illuminati, and will soon take it to a Spider-Woman series written by Bendis.

    39. Steve Dillon – 75 points (1)



    Steve Dillon broke into the world of British comics as a teenager in the late 70s, and continued to work in the field, from Warrior to 2000 AD to Dr. Who Magazine until he finally moved to American comics in the late 80s.

    His first American run was on Animal Man.

    Soon after Animal Man, he began a highly impressive ELEVEN-YEAR working relationship with Garth Ennis that began with a run on Hellblazer together, then 60 issues of their creator-owned titled, Preacher, followed up by a long run on Punisher.



    More recently, Dillon has done a number of projects with writer Daniel Way, from Bullseye: Greatest Hits to Supreme Power: Nighthawk to Punisher vs. Bullseye to finally, his current assignment, the on-going series, Wolverine Origins.
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    38. Sam Kieth – 76 points (3)

    Sam Kieth first came to prominence as Matt Wagner's inker on Mage.

    A few years later, he popped up at DC, doing the first five issues of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, before departing the book.

    Kieth had a prominent run on Marvel Comics Presents, drawing stories featuring Wolverine and Ghost Rider.

    Soon, Kieth followed other prominent Marvel artists to Image, where Kieth created his own series titled the Maxx (with some early script help from William Messner- Loebs).

    Maxx ran for 35 issues, and was even turned into a cartoon series for MTV.

    Since then, Kieth has been busy on a variety of projects for a number of comic book companies.



    Most recently, Kieth did a mini-series for DC titled "Batman: Secrets."
    Last edited by Brian Cronin; 08-10-2010 at 05:23 PM.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    37. Darick Robertson – 77 points (2)



    Darick Robertson started doing comics while he was still in high school, but, after drawing a number of Justice League issues in the early 90s, he got his big break following Mark Bagley as the artist on Marvel Comics' New Warriors.

    After his run on New Warriors, Robertson tried his hand at a number of projects featuring other Marvel superheroes, but ultimately, he decided to eschew superheroes for awhile when he helped create Transmetropolitan with writer Warren Ellis, which the two produced together for five critically acclaimed years.



    After Transmetropolitan, Robertson went back to Marvel and (after a Punisher mini-series with Garth Ennis) superheroes, drawing first the Wolverine ongoing series and then the Nightcrawler mini-series.

    After a Fury mini-series with Garth Ennis, Robertson moved to DC with Ennis to do a creator-owned comic, The Boys, whose third issue was just released.

    36. Jae Lee – 78 points (2)



    Jae Lee was only just out of college when he gained his big break in comics, given the task of following John Byrne as penciller of Namor for Marvel Comics.

    Lee's dark, moody artwork soon took him to a variety of projects for Marvel.

    Lee started his own creator-owned title, Hellshock, in the mid-90s, but by the end of the decade, he was back doing more work for Marvel Comics, most prominently his two mini-series with Paul Jenkins, the Inhumans (where Lee was given free reign to redesign the Inhumans) and The Sentry.



    Lee has kept busy, drawing short runs on a number of different titles, ranging from Captain America to GI Joe vs. Transformers.

    He is currently drawing (for release next year) Marvel Comics' adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower.
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    34 (tie). Barry Windsor-Smith – 80 points



    Barry Windsor-Smith made his debut as a young man when he approached Marvel Editor Roy Thomas, and came away with a gig drawing the X-Men.

    Smith really rose to prominence, though, a few years later as the artist of Marvel's adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian character.



    The book was a smash hit, and Smith was a star.

    Soon after this, though, Smith withdrew from regular comic work, to work more with painting, as the pre-raphaelite influence was already becoming apparent in his comic book work, but now he was embracing it fully.

    Smith returned occasionally to do some notable comic book, specifically some X-Men issues with Chris Claremont that were very well-received, as well as a larger return for Valiant Comics in the early 90s, with some lush, gorgeous work on Archer and Armstrong.

    Smith also contributed Rune to the Ultraverse.

    Most recently, Smith has announced he will be doing a Thing graphic novel for Marvel Comics.

    34 (tie). Gil Kane – 80 points



    Gil Kane (nee Eli Katz) began working in comics as a teenager before World War II, doing a number of projects for MLJ Comics, but then he returned to school, and eventually went to serve in the military during World War II.

    Upon his return to the United States, Kane did a number of freelance work, primarily for DC Comics. He happened to be right there when DC decided to redo their superhero line, and Kane was ready! He was the first artist to draw the Silver Age Green Lantern and the Silver Age Atom.



    After drawing for DC for quite some time, Kane moved over to Marvel, where he drew notable runs on Captain Marvel and Amazing Spider-Man, in particular, the Death of Gwen Stacy.

    Kane was not just a superhero artist, though, as his Blackmark orginal graphic novel in the early 70s was a sword and fantasy book.

    Kane's work was marked by an extremely dynamic style. His pencils had a great deal of movement to them, as they really popped from the page.

    Like Jimmy Olsen, Kane was "Mr. Action."

    Gil Kane passed away in 2000.
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    33. Jim Aparo – 87 points (2)



    Jim Aparo tried to break into the comic industry as a young man, but was not able to, so instead turned his hand to doing advertising work for the next decade or so.

    The comic art bug, though, was something he couldn't kick, so he kept plugging away until finally, in the 60s, Dick Giordano hired him to draw comics for Charlton.

    Aparo was quite prolific at Charlton, bringing the same realism that Neal Adams strove for, but slightly less bombastic - more grained in realism. His heroes looked like real athletes - a lot leaner than most other artists draw characters. His clothes looked like real clothing.

    After working for Charlton for awhile, when Dick Giordano moved over to DC, he brought Aparo over with him, and that started about thirty-plus years of continued work at DC for Jim Aparo, with rarely a missed month until Aparo stopped drawing comics regularly in the mid-90s.

    First, Aparo drew the last 16 issues on Aquaman's title, before moving on to Brave and the Bold, where Aparo stayed (with only a few issues missing in between) from #98 until #200!! For almost the entirety of the run, Aparo did not just pencil the book, but he both inked AND lettered it!



    Brave and the Bold soon led to Batman and the Outsiders, and when Batman left that title, soon Aparo did, too, following Batman to, well, Batman titles. Aparo stayed on as Batman artist until around 1993, when he moved over to Green Arrow until Oliver Queen was replaced around 1995.

    It was at this point that Aparo stopped working regularly in comics, but he was always willing to do a story whenever an editor asked, as he kept drawing stories until well into the 21st Century.

    Jim Aparo passed away last year.
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    32. David Finch – 89 points



    David Finch first came up at Top Cow in the mid-90s as the replacement for Marc Silvestri on Cyberforce. His style was reminscient of Silvestri.

    Finch's trademark, other than drawing attractive women, is his sharp, angular lines and the way that he presents a specific mood for his pieces.

    Finch came over to Marvel in 2002, first doing some work on X-Men Unlimited, and was then given the assignment of drawing Call of Duty with writer Chuck Austen.

    After that, Finch began a long run on Ultimate X-Men, finishing Mark Millar's run and drawing the entirety of Bendis' run on the book.

    He followed Bendis over to Avengers, and the two launched New Avengers together.



    Currently, Finch is handling the art chores on Moon Knight for Marvel, only by now, Finch has gone well beyond just Silvestri's style of art, as there are hints of Silvestri, McFarlane, Mignola and Quesada all wrapped up in Finch's current art style.

    31. Gene Colan – 92 points



    Gene Colan broke into comics after serving in World War II.

    He freelanced for both DC Comics and Timely (later to be Marvel) Comics.

    In the 60s, he would use his name for the romance comics he was drawing for DC, but use the name Adam Austin for the superhero work he did for Marvel, but he ultimately dropped the pseudonym.

    Colan's art was noted for his interesting panel approaches. He also had a style different from the Jack Kirby style that a number of Marvel artists were encouraged to emulate.

    However, the real key to Colan's success is the shadowy, textured feel to his work. This is especially evident in black and white.



    It comes as no surprise, then, to see that Colan was very good at drawing Tomb of Dracula, which he did for Marvel in the 70s and Batman, which he did for DC in the 80s (for a time, Colan was drawing BOTH Batman titles!).

    Colan also drew most issues of Steve Gerber's Howard the Duck.

    Other than Tomb of Dracula, though, Colan is probably best known for his Daredevil work, drawing the book for basically every issue from #20-100, and coming back at different times, even as recently as the late 1990s!!
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    30. Todd McFarlane – 94 points (1)

    Todd McFarlane first gained attention in the comic industry with a back-up story in Epic Comics' Coyote.

    This led to assignments at both DC and Marvel. His run on Incredible Hulk was popular enough that Marvel decided to bump him up to a bigger book, Amazing Spider-Man.

    On Amazing Spider-Man, McFarlane experimented with the look of the character, his costume and his webbing. McFarlane added a cartoony feel to the work, but also a dynamic cartoonish feel.





    McFarlane was soon so popular on the title that Marvel gave him his own Spider-Man series to write and draw. Spider-Man #1 was one of the highest selling comics of all-time.

    Soon, McFarlane helped form the comic company Image, debuting his own creation, Spawn, and making IT one of the highest selling comics on the market.

    Spawn has had a movie and a animated TV series.

    McFarlane recently announced a return to drawing, after a long absence, for the DC/Image crossover, Batman/Spawn.

    29. Chris Bachalo – 95 points (2)



    Chris Bachalo broke into comics soon after graduating from school. After a Sandman fill-in, Bachalo became the regular artist on Shade the Changing Man, along with long-time inker, Mark Buckingham.

    On Shade, Bachalo showed off his style of the time, a cartoony, heavily detailed style where characters' personalities would be prominent in their depiction.

    After Shade, and a high-profile mini-series starring Death from Sandman, Bachalo helped create and launch the popular X-Men spin-off, Generation X.



    While on Generation X, Bachalo's style changed. He got even more detailed, and soon he would fill the whole page with stylized artwork. Also, he began accentuating characteristics in characters broadly.

    This was especially evident on his creator-owned work, Steampunk, done with writer Joe Kelly.

    The last few years, Bachalo has kept busy mostly on X-Men projects. Ultimate X-Men, New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men and currently, X-Men.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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    28. Joe Kubert – 98 points



    Joe Kubert first began drawing comics as a young man in the 40s, and worked for a number of comic companies, but eventually became primarily an artist for DC Comics, working on many different titles.

    Kubert worked as DC Comics' director of publications for a time before leaving to form the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. More than one of his former pupils are on this list somewhere.

    Kubert perhaps is best known for his work on war comics (although his Tarzan and Tor work is equally well regarded in other circles).



    Kubert is an excellent draftsman, but his primarily talent seems to be the personality and life he enfuses each panel with. This is especially helpful for war stories.

    Kubert was a prominent cover artist for DC Comics, as well.

    Kubert also worked on the acclaimed original graphic novel, Fax from Sarajevo, during the 1990s.

    Kubert recently finished a Sgt. Rock mini-series for DC, and he continues to do regular work for the US Military magaine, PS Magazine.
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

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