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Top 50 Comic Book Artists #20-16

by  in Comic News Comment

Here are the next five artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time based on over one thousand ballots cast! Click here to see the writers #20-16 on the countdown. Click here to see a master list of all artists listed so far.

NOTE: I’m fill in the five notable works per creator later on Thursday, I figure you folks have waited long enough for the results.

20 Bryan Hitch – 495 points (6 first place votes)

Bryan Hitch got his start in his native England, working on the Transformers and its spin-off, Death’s Head…


Throughout the 1990s, Hitch worked on a variety of different projects, including a number of Marvel UK works. For awhile, it seemed like he was going to be the “next big thing” on the X-Men books, but that did not seem to go anywhere. His career changed dramatically, though, when the regular artist on Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch missed some deadlines. Hitch filled in and soon became the regular artist. This new pairing inspired Ellis to create the Authority…


Almost instantaneously, Hitch went from “fill-in guy” to “superstar.”

He followed up Authority with a stint on JLA for DC…


and then one of his most famous projects, Ultimates with Mark Millar (two volumes worth)…


More recently, Hitch had a stint on Fantastic Four with Millar…


plus the mini-series Captain America: Reborn.

Here’s a sample page from Hitch…


19 John Romita Sr. – 505 points (7 first place votes)

John Romita has been involved with Marvel Comics back to the time when it was not even CALLED Marvel Comics, working on the Atlas Comics aborted relaunch of Captain America in 1954…


Romita would continue freelancing with Atlas while also working for DC before going to work for DC full-time in 1958 when Atlas was going through too much turmoil. Romita mostly worked on romance comics for DC over the next few years.

In the mid-1960s, Stan Lee needed more artists for Marvel, and he looked to get back the artists who had left him years earlier. He got Romita to return and made him the regular artist on Daredevil…


Eventually, Romita succeeded Steve Ditko on Amazing Spider-Man. First, while trying to emulate Ditko…


but soon developed his own distinct style, which helped define the look of the character (both as Spider-Man and as Peter Parker) for a generation of artists…


Romita became Marvel’s Art Director and stayed in that role for years. During this time, he also created most of the Marvel characters from this time, including a ton of notable characters (Wolverine, Punisher, etc.). But he always seems to fit in time for comic work, even to this day as he approaches his 81st birthday.

Here’s a comic he drew with Stan Lee about ten years ago featuring a character Romita co-created, the Kingpin…


Here’s a sample page from Romita…


18 Will Eisner – 512 points (10 first place votes)

Eisner began his career as a comic book art packager, delivering content to all different comics, including Fox, Fiction House and Quality Comics…


Eventually, Eisner gave up that business to focus on his new endeavor, a superhero comic that would be a newspaper supplement. Called the Spirit, the series ran for years…


After World War II, Eisner devoted most of his working on comic-related matters for the Army, including the long-running digest PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, the comic-book-like magazine he produced for the army until the 1970s.

In the late 1970s, Eisner decided to get back into comic book work, only now concentrating his work on long-form projects. Eisner was a pioneer in the world of graphic novels (which certainly existed at the time, but weren’t exactly plentiful). His first graphic novel (released in 1978) was called A Contract With God…


He followed it up with a series of graphic novels, like 1986’s The Dreamer…


and 1995’s Dropsie Avenue (continuing the stories begun in A Contract With God)


Here’s a sample page from Eisner…


17 Stuart Immonen – 535 points (10 first place votes)

Stuart Immonen got his first big break as the regular artist on Legion of Super-Heroes for DC Comics…


He followed up his Legion stint with a long run on the Superman titles, going from Adventures of Superman to Action Comics over his long tenure. He was on so long that you could see his style develop a lot (in a good way) over the years, from his early days…


to the 2004 mini-series he did with Kurt Busiek…


Immonen would move to Marvel where he worked on Hulk and a number of comics in Marvel’s Ultimate line of books. Immonen slowly developed a new style, a slightly more cartoon-y, but amazingly detailed, style of artwork that he showcased brilliantly in Nextwave…


After Nextwave, Immonen teamed up with Brian Michael Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man, then moved to New Avengers (also with Bendis). Recently, the series was re-launched with a new #1, but Immonen remains the regular artist (and he’s doing a fantastic job).


Here’s a sample page from Immonen…


16 John Buscema – 593 points (17 first place votes)

John Buscema got his start in comics in the late 1940s and worked throughout the 1950s for many different companies. Ultimately, the late 1950s comic book downturn pushed Buscema out of comics and into advertising. However, as I noted before about Romita being pursued when Stan Lee needed more artists, so, too, was Buscema, and soon he was one of Marvel’s most prolific artists.

He did a notable run on Avengers with writer Roy Thomas…


and an even more notable run on Silver Surfer with Stan Lee…


After Jack Kirby left Marvel, Lee sort of almost treated Buscema as though he would have to “replace” Kirby. The problem was that Buscema wanted to draw sword and sorcery stuff, not superhero work. And for a long stint there, Buscema got his wish, doing a LOT of Conan comics…


although eventually in the mid-80s he was pulled back into the world of superheroes, doing a long stint on the Avengers…


In the late 80s, he was chosen to be the artist on Wolverine’s first ongoing series…


He continued to work on a lot of Conan projects before he semi-retired in the mid-1990s.

Buscema passed away in 2002.

Here’s a sample page from Buscema…