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Top 25 Female Comic Book Artists #3-1

by  in Comic News Comment
Top 25 Female Comic Book Artists #3-1

The countdown concludes!

Here are the last three artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time. Click here for the master list of all of the creators listed so far.

3. Becky Cloonan

Because Cloonan was already featured on our writer’s list (at #14) I have used the same write up, but included new images that focus more on her art than writing. If you missed the first piece however, you can find it here.

American (by way of Italy) writer and artist Becky Cloonan studied art at the School of Visual Art and published mini-comics all through college. She was a part of the Meathaus collective and her first major published work was Channel One: Jennie Zero with writer Brian Wood in 2003. They followed that up with Demo in 2004, which got Cloonan a lot of well-deserved attention (as well as some award nods). In 2011 Wood and Cloonan would collaborate on Demo Volume II, but before that

Cloonan would do a ton of work from her own self-published mini-comics to work on Dark Horse Presents and Buffy The Vampire Slayer for Dark Horse, American Virgin for Vertigo, Flight for Image, Strange Tales for Marvel, Hopeless Savages for Oni, and of course her own OGN with Tokoyopop in 2006: East Coast Rising.

Cloonan was a fast rising star and as a result she has a shocking list of credits for one so young, many of them fascinating and impressive like a notable run on Dark Horse’s Conan The Barbarian (again with Brian Wood), and art duties on Gerard Way and Shaun Simon’s The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys, also for Dark Horse. All this work of course culminated in Cloonan is becoming the first and only woman to ever draw an issue of the main title Batman book (Batman #12, 2012).

But through all this art, Cloonan has never stopped writing, continuing to publish mini-comics, and even some hilarious journal comics, and in 2011 publishing the first book of an “unofficial” trilogy – Wolves. The Mire (which won Cloonan an Eisner, 2012) and Demeter (2013) followed, and the series was collected into a gorgeous single volume – By Chance or Providence — in 2014.

But in 2014 Cloonan also made the leap to writing work both corporate IP and creator-owned work for others to illustrate. First as co-writer with Brenden Fletcher on DC’s Gotham Academy with Karl Kerschl illustrating, and then the creator-owned Southern Cross from Image with Andy Belanger drawing. Writing more and drawing monthly books less has allowed Cloonan to do even more projects – still exploring her wildly successful self-published work as well as doing covers and art on other projects as she deems fit.

While Cloonan has show to be exceptional at any project she puts her mind to she has especially become known for her ability with horror, subtle or unsubtle. The ability to create real mood and atmosphere and emotional resonance through her imagery. A master of tension and pacing, Cloonan’s work is magnificently difficult to put down thanks to her mastery of storytelling. It’s all rather beautiful as well of course, even the “gross stuff.”

As both a writer and artist Cloonan is also known for her extreme adaptability, tackling anything from iconic characters like Batman and Conan to her own journal comics and finding that sweet spot of a faithful and engaging feeling that is also totally her own.

In Gotham Academy her writing, though still laden with mystery is funny and fresh with a young vibrant pop to it; in By Chance or Providence it’s foreboding and loaded with layered meanings and tragedy; while in Southern Cross it’s playing out as slightly more matter of fact, even as a stunning line of tension boils just beneath the surface.

A sample from Cloonan’s Eisner winning The Mire. Just look at how she handles horror and how she mounts the tension on each page!

A few pages from Cloonan’s Batman #12…I don’t know about you guys but she can draw my Batman anytime:

A few pages from Demo Vol II (this is from the opening of issue 3, each story stands on its own but they are all also interconnected):

And here are a few of the gorgeous covers that Cloonan has become so known for, for good measure!

Go to the next page for #2-1!

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