Oct 1, 2010

15 Artists in 15 Minutes

There's a meme going around on Facebook where a bunch of people list 15 (movies, books, albums, etc.) in 15 minutes, with explanations if possible. You're not supposed to think hard about it, so it's not exactly all in order, but I thought it would be fun to jump on the 15 artists bandwagon.

These are 15 comics artists who will always stick with me. Of course, there are more artists that I've missed (I completely missed Neal Adams, for example), but you know, 15's the limit for the game. I'll do a part 2 at some point.

So here I go.

1. George Perez. Even if this was done 20 years from now, George Perez would still be the first on this list, and for a reason: The man got me into comics. George was the first artist to make me realize that someone was actually drawing these things. Over the years, George became my favorite for his detail work, for drawing so many characters who all looked distinct, and for solid, clear storytelling on top of it.

2. JH Williams III. There haven't been many times in comics when I actually get blown away by the art or the story. Sure, there are times when I think, "Wow, this artist is great!" or "Wow, I love the way the artist drew this!" but JH Williams III holds the distinction of being the first and I think only artist to continually wow me with his inventive technique with each and every page - every page, mind you. I will buy anything drawn by this man. The sheer thought and care he puts into making each panel a work of art is astounding.

3. Gene Ha. I first saw Gene's work on Alan Moore's Top 10 for America's Best Comics, and maybe it's just me, but I absolutely love it when there's too much going on - it's a comic book after all, and you can take your sweet time going through it. But it's later on, when I discovered Gene's wash-tone work, that really puts him up and above so many others.

Starman 46

4. Will Eisner. There's no one like Will Eisner. There never will be. The man invented the language of comics, and is the embodiment - the SPIRIT - of design and layout invention and innovation. Reading his works now, you may think that it's par for the course. But when you think of the fact that he did it first, it changes your perspective. Completely.

5. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. You've all seen Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's work, even if you're not aware of it. Aside from being an incredible storyteller, Jose Luis is also DC's public face. If you've ever seen a DC character on a T-shirt, a planner, a lunch box, or any other piece of merchandise, chances are good that Jose Luis did it.

6. Dave Gibbons. For drawing Watchmen, and I'll never forget him for that. His technical excellence is extraordinary, which makes sense - he used to be a surveyor.

7. Ron Lim. The first comic series I ever collected was Ron Marz and Ron Lim's run on The Silver Surfer. LOOK HOW SHINY!

Silver Surfer 51

8. Gary Frank. I thought Gary Frank was incredible back in the 90s, when I discovered him on the Tangent Flash special. But when I saw his work on Superman two years ago, which is fundamentally the same style but with more confidence and grit, bar none, I think this is the best Superman has looked. Ever.

Action Comics 868

9. C.C. Beck. Beck stands out among artists of the Golden Age with his whimsical style, and I absolutely love it.

10. Tony Harris. For drawing Starman, and for incorporating design in such a way rarely seen in comics.

11. Dick Giordano. For drawing what I've always thought was the perfect splash page.

Detective Comics 457

12. Rick Veitch. In Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset, Rick Veitch drew in styles reminiscent of Will Eisner, Charles Schulz, and Dan DeCarlo, among others. Rick Veitch is that rare breed who can draw anything. And he can write too.

Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset 1

13. Frank King. For making the comics page a work of art.

14. Steve Ditko. Ditko is one of those artists who has a unique place in the history of comics. He's undoubtedly important, but his works were never commercially successful while he was drawing them. Perhaps he was too eccentric for the modern audience, but I think Steve's work is just pure art.

Strange Tales 138

15. Bill Watterson. For creating the single greatest comic strip to have ever existed. One that made you laugh, one that made you think, one that made you cry, and one that made you go "Wow."


Paul C said...

Great list. Nice to see Gary Frank on the list. One of the best Superman artists ever. I think I might steal this idea for my blog if it's ok with you?

Duy Tano said...

Go ahead, Paul!

maggie said...

LOVE DICK GIORDANO. will always think of the cover for heroes against hunger when i hear his name.

Duy Tano said...

Dang, that's a great cover. I still can't believe I completely forgot Neal Adams.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Jack Kirby whose shoulders these guys (except Eisner) stand on, gets the short stick.

Duy Tano said...

You're right! Entirely my fault. I had spent the entirety of the first go-around thinking he was a given, and that I would get to him, and according to the rules of the exercise, I couldn't add him back in once I had picked 15. And then in the second go-around, I for some reason had thought I had put him in the first go-around.

Entirely my fault. Of course, if I were to think of the list instead of just going stream-of-consciousness, Kirby would be near the top.

runmentionable said...

It's a bit harsh to say Ditko's work wasn't a commercial success at the time. Spider-Man was a huge hit from day one (though it did sell even more after Romita took over) and although Strange Tales was one of Marvel's weaker-selling titles, it sold above the industry average for years, and of course any comic selling as many copies these days would be a mega-hit.

Great post overall, some very nice choices.

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