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75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Artists #30-26

by  in Comic News Comment

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 #30-26.

Enjoy!

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.

30. Jock

Jock had already famously contributed a number of stunning covers to the Bat-titles over a few years before he finally took on the character in the interior of the comic when he took over Detective Comics alongside writer Scott Snyder for the popular storyline The Black Mirror (Jock had already done a Batwoman arc in Detective but this was his first work on Batman).

During his stint on Detective (which was during the period where Dick Grayson was Batman), Jock showed off his stunning mixture of dynamic, off-kilter action along with his excellent storytelling.





I love the way he uses the panel layouts to aide in the emotion of the scene. They’re just slightly off-balance, just like the emotions of the sequence.

By the way, the above character, Sonia, is full of baloney. She is intentionally having Batman overhear here to trick him into thinking she isn’t a bad guy. So tell me, is Jock subtly hinting that she might not be on the up and up with her look to see if Batman was gone yet? I think he might be!

29. Tony Daniel

Tony Daniel came on to Batman for the end of Grant Morrison’s tenure on that title, most famously in the Batman R.I.P. storyline, where at this point in the story, the bad guys (including Bruce Wayne’s evil girlfriend, Jezebel Jet) think that they’ve won and that they’ve buried Batman alive…





What an amazing sequence when Batman comes out of the ground!!

Daniel would then write and draw the lead-up mini-series to Dick Grayson taking over as Batman. And when Morrison left Batman to write Batman and Robin, Daniel took over writing duties on Batman, while still drawing it. When DC launched the New 52, Daniel became the writer and artist on the newly relaunched Detective Comics.

28. Dustin Nguyen

Dustin Nguyen first worked on Batman on a story arc with Judd Winick back when Batman was going with a “Different arcs by different big name writers” period. When Winick came on board full-time, it was with Doug Mahnke instead.

Nugyen then eventually made his way to Detective Comics where writer Paul Dini quickly snatched him up full-time. Check out this remarkable sequence between Batman and Catwoman…




The character work, the dynamic action sequence, the striking pose by Batman – Nguyen (and his regular inker Derek Fridolfs) is excellent.

More recently, Nguyen and Fridolfs have been writing and drawing the exquisitely adorable Li’l Gotham series…


Go to the next page to see #27-26!

27. Gene Colan

When Gene Colan left Marvel in 1981 after well over a decade at the company, it was a really big deal. Colan was sick of Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, who he felt was overly critical of his work. So he went to DC, who welcomed him with open arms and quickly made him the regular artist on the Batman titles (which were just then trying out an interconnected style of writing by Gerry Conway between the two books). He brought over his trademark dynamic art, as well as his legendary bizarre panel arrangement, like in this story where Batman is trying to prove to Man-Bat that his daughter is alive…





However, while DC was initially very welcoming, they soon determined that Colan’s unique style was TOO unique for the Bat-books, so they ended up giving him a lot of the same criticisms he was receiving from Marvel over his work on the Bat-titles (he also did an odd little run on Wonder Woman, a title that didn’t match is style at ALL).

26. Graham Nolan

Paired with writer Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan had a remarkably long and consistent run on Detective Comics. He drew the title for over five years, missing only a handful of issues along the way. Early in his tenure on the Bat-books, Nolan also created Bane with Dixon. Nolan’s work was mostly known for the expressive features he gave his characters – he was masterful at character-driven work, which Dixon gave him lots of to do. He could also do action well, also, of course. I decided to pick an issue that is a bit different from a typical Nolan issue, only because I just love how over-the-top and dynamic it is, like a big blockbuster film…





Nolan would be great on a modern Batman book. He just did a rare fill-in for Astro City (which was excellent), so he should draw Batman again, as well!