2014 Top 50 Comic Book Artists #15-11

Here are the next five artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).

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. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.

15. John Buscema – 739 points (11 first place votes)

John Buscema worked on a variety of different comics in the late 1940s and most of the 1950s, before leaving the field of comics to become a commercial artist during one of the economic downturns comics faces in the late 1950s. Marvel's turn of success during the 1960s with their superhero work lured Buscema back into comics. After Jack Kirby left Marvel in 1970, Buscema soon became more or less THE face of Marvel Comics, and since this was the era that Marvel took over the top spot in the comics business, Buscema was the face of that era. In addition, he was solidified as being THE face of Marvel when his art was used for the book "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way," which remained in print for over twenty years (it had gone through over 30 printings last I checked. It might finally be out of print now. I really don't know).

Buscema was an amazing storyteller, who had a great penchant for action but could also easily get a lot of pathos out of dramatic non-action scenes (like the famous full-page splash of the Vision crying when he is accepted to the Avengers). However, while he drew a TON of superheroes in his life, Buscema really wasn't much of a fan of the genre. No, he liked sword and sorcery comics (plus Tarzan - he was one of the generation of artists who adored Hal Foster, whose most famous works were Tarzan and Prince Valiant). What he would love to draw is a bunch of guys with swords and beautiful women with, well, also swords. Luckily, Conan the Barbarian eventually got popular enough that it made sense to put one of Marvel's most popular artists on the title, and Buscema stayed with the book as long as he could...

If this was all that Buscema drew during his career, I bet he would have been thrilled.

14. John Romita Jr. - 741 points (13 first place votes)

John Romita Jr. is currently doing a bang-up job drawing Superman with writer Geoff Johns. This is significant because it is the first ongoing series Romita Jr. has EVER drawn for a company other than Marvel (outside his creator-owned series he did for Image in 2004, The Grey Area, but was that originally intended to be an ongoing?). After starting with a short story in a Spider-Man annual in the late 1970s, Romita Jr. soon made the journey throughout the world of Marvel with a stunning mixture of prominent comic book series.

He burst on to the scene with a great run on Iron Man with Bob Layton and David Michelinie. He then switched over to Amazing Spider-Man with Roger Stern before moving up to Uncanny X-Men with Chris Claremont. He remained on X-Men for a while before he was personally chosen to be the artistic face of the New Universe by launching Star Brand. He then moved on to a long run on Daredevil with Ann Nocenti before doing stints on Cable and Punisher War Zone and a short-lived return to Uncanny X-Men. He settled in with Howard Mackie for a long run on Spider-Man, staying on the book when J. Michael Straczysnki joined. During this stint, he also had a nice run on Thor with Dan Jurgens and Hulk with Bruce Jones. After his Spider-Man run ended (after roughly 100 issues), he did an arc on Wolverine with Mark Millar, launched Eternals with Neil Gaiman and brought Hulk's war to Earth with Greg Pak in World War Hulk. He then created the hit series Kick-Ass with Mark Millar. He then re-launched Avengers with Brian Michael Bendis and then relaunched Captain America with Rick Remender. Man, this guy just did EVERYthing!

And Marvel (and now DC) is certainly lucky to have him as he is one of the top storytelling artists out there. Check out this awesome action sequence from the classic Spider-Man fight against the Juggernaut from Amazing Spider-Man #230...

Amazing. His character work is different now, buy his page designs are the same and they're still excellent.

13. Will Eisner – 787 points (21 first place votes)

The amazing thing about Will Eisner is that he was doing stories every week for years>. I've already spotlighted how that approach led to him trying a lot of experimental stories (got to keep things fresh, after all) but I'm almost more impressed with how good his art was while having to come up with distinct stories every week. Eisner was one of the first comic book artists to master the art of noir, something that was becoming very popular in the films of the time period - hard-boiled stories that were characterized by powerful usage of shadows. Here's an Eisner story from 1949 about a guy hired to kill the Spirit...

That is some exquisite storytelling and striking use of shadows from Eisner - this was on a whole other level than most comic book artists of the time.

Go to the next page for #12-11...

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