In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official celebration of Batman’s anniversary at the end of July. The last installment will deal with Batman stories, but this month will be about Batman’s writers and artists (40 artists and 35 writers).
You all voted, now here are the results! Here is a master list of all the writers and artists featured so far. We continue with Batman artists #20-16 (I decided to switch the order I was revealing the creators)
NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. Specifically, no “Creator X better not be in the top ten!” or variations of that idea (“Creator X better not be ahead of Creator Y,” etc.) I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.
20. J.H. Williams III
For an artist who never had an ongoing run on any Batman title, J.H. Williams III has drawn a sizable amount of Batman comics. His most famous work is definitely the Club of Heroes arc from Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, where Morrison brings back the international club of heroes that Batman was a part of for a brief moment back in the 1950s…
However, Williams’ stunning styles also made their way to a number of Batman comics in his earlier days (before he developed his distinct style as much as he has over the last decade – his career is basically pre-Promethea and post-Promethea). He had two arcs on Legends of the Dark Knight and he featured Batman famously in the pages of the short-lived but much loved series, Chase (who made her debut in an issue of Batman drawn by Williams).
More recently, Williams first worked on Batwoman with writer Greg Rucka in the pages of Detective Comics and then wrote and drew her ongoing series.
19. Bob Kane
The co-creator and original artist of Batman, Bob Kane has received a lot of quite justified complaints regarding his treatment of Bill Finger, who co-created Batman with Kane. Still, at the end of the day, Kane DID co-create Batman, as well, so he is a very important piece of the Batman puzzle. And while he was soon surpassed by better artists, Kane’s early work when he was penciling the strip roughly by himself were still striking enough to make the strip a success right out of the box, even if a good deal of the poses he used were swipes from other artists.
And while Kane almost certainly did not design the Joker (as either he drew the Joker like Conrad Veidt based on a suggestion by Bill Finger or Jerry Robinson designed the Joker without Kane – I lean toward the former), Kane still at least designed the rest of the early Batman characters along with Finger and Robinson, and we’re talking major characters like Batman himself, Commissioner Gordon, Robin, Penguin and Catwoman.
He also was the first artist to draw the famed origin sequence from Detective Comics #33 (although, again, a good chunk of the poses were swipes)…
So the co-creator of Batman and the guy who drew the strip at the beginning when it became a quick success is still a notable legacy to leave behind.
18. Kelley Jones
After becoming the regular cover artist on the Bat-titles during Knightfall, Kelley Jones took over interiors on Batman after Bruce Wayne returned as Batman (after Dick Grayson gave him a breather after Knightsend).
His dark and imaginative art style made his issues some of the most distinctive Batman comics ever. Working with writer Doug Moench and inker John Beatty, the trio even marked their issues together at the beginning of every issue…
Jones also worked with Moench on a number of awesome graphic novels based on the concept of Batman becoming a vampire. They fit Jones’ style so perfectly that it was crazy.
17. Don Newton
Don Newton’s tragically short comic book career was due to two notable problems. First of all, his tragic death before the age of 50 from a heart attack. It’s just a downright shame to lose such someone so young. Secondly, though, the fact that he lived in Arizona made his attempts to break into the world of comics very difficult. He didn’t really break in fully until the late 1970s when he was already in his early 40s. He only had roughly seven years as a regular comic book artist. In those seven years, though, he did magnificent work and became one of the most highly sought out artists in all of superhero comics.
After debuting on Batman in 1978, Newton would work on over 70 issues of Batman (in various titles) before his death in 1984.
Newton was one of those rare artists who could combine dynamic, stylized artwork without losing anything in storytelling. As you can see from his work on the tragic death of the original Batwoman at the hands of the Bronze Tiger…
16. Frank Quitely
Outside of cover work, Frank Quitely seemingly hasn’t done a whole lot of Batman comic book work, but the work he HAS done has been so outstanding that it is little surprise to see him place so high on the countdown.
His first Batman work came on the underrated (in the sense that very few people have read it) Scottish Connection graphic novel by writer Alan Grant.
He next worked on the character on the classic graphic novel JLA Earth 2 with writer Grant Morrison, where Quitely got to explore a world where Thomas Wayne lived. Quitely’s work on both Batman and his evil opposite, Owlman, was spectacular.
It his work launching Batman and Robin with Grant Morrison, though, that seemingly put Quitely on to a whole other plane. Their first project together since All Star Superman, Batman and Robin starred Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as the brand-new Batman and Robin.
On this title, Quitely both played with common conventions of “Camera angles”…
did standout work on facial expressions (especially considering the limited amount of the face he has to work with)…
and was just in another world when it came to the depiction of action…
It’s a shame that we’ve only had one Batman story by him since (a story in Batman #700, and even there, Scott Kolins was needed to finish it).