2018 Top 50 Comic Book Artists #25-21

Our every four years countdown of your all-time favorite comic book writers and artists continues!

Here are the next five artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,008 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).

25 (tie). Dave Gibbons –416 points (6)

It says a lot about how amazing Dave Gibbons was on Watchmen with writer Alan Moore that it's over thirty years later, he's done tons of excellent work since then and still that series holds such a powerful hold over readers.

The detail Gibbons put into Watchmen is legendary. There’s a sequence set in the past when the heroes were still all pretty naive (Rorschach was not even using his scary voice as of yet), and Gibbons gives us, ALL IN THE BACKGROUND, a beautiful depiction of Doctor Manhattan flirting with the Silk Spectre, all while his wife is right next to him. As the panels go by, not one doesn’t show some sort of interaction in the background of the panel – all of it is important to their characterizations, but none of it is central to the main story being delivered in those panels – so Gibbons basically was giving us two stories at once. The one Moore is telling with the speech balloons at the “front” of the panel, plus the one Gibbons is telling in the “back” of the panel through body language.

That's the sort of thing you get from Gibbons on pretty much every project he does. He isn't content with just being an excellent artist on the "main" story, his work always has those little background touches. His storytelling is brilliant. Check out this page from his Secret Service series with writer Mark Millar (that later turned into the hit Kingsmen movie franchise)...

He hasn't lost a beat.

24. Arthur Adams – 444 points (12 first place votes)

Arthur Adams burst on to the scene in the mid-80s and his dynamic, incredibly detailed and extremely stylized artwork soon became the sort of rallying cry of a whole generation of artists (what was amazing was how influential Adams was to a whole generation of artists when he was barely older than the artists that he was inspiring, as he was a very young man when he broke out in the mid-1980s on his first major comic book work, Longshot). Adams' level of detail does not lend itself to monthly deadlines, so he tends to concentrate on special events, but when he does a whole issue (like the two-parter between the New Mutants and X-Men where Loki tries to lure Storm to Asgard for her to take over from Thor as Thor), boy, is it memorable...

He is such a popular artist that he has been able to pick his projects for decades now, but whenever he occasionally does interior work, it is fantastic. Of course, he has also become one of the most sought-after comic book cover artists in the business.

23. Gil Kane – 453 points (10 first place votes)

For over FIFTY years, Gil Kane's name was synonymous with top rate superhero artwork. If you were reading a Gil Kane comic book, you knew you were almost certainly going to get some great action inside your comic. That's not he started out, of course, as originally he worked as a support artist as a teenager during the 1940s and worked his way up to becoming of one Julie Schwartz's regulars during the 1950s on DC Comics' science fiction comics. When Schwartz decided to launch new versions of the Golden Age superheros during the late 1950s, Gil Kane was right there to join in, drawing both the new Green Lantern and the new Atom for almost a decade.

In the late 1960s, Kane was wooed by Stan Lee to Marvel Comics. In the early 1970s, Kane began a stint on Amazing Spider-Man, including the death of Gwen Stacy, one of the most famous comic book stories of all-time...

Kane returned to DC in the 1980s for a strong run on Superman in Action Comics. He then continued to work here and there right until he passed away in 2000.

Page 2: See #22-21!

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