I am a comic book fanatic. It all started when I got Transformers number 19 back in 1986 at a local drugstore and I've been hooked ever since.
I'm not a "tourist" like all these dumb bitches that think they've seen Deadpool so they know about comics. They don't know dick about shit. Batman: The Dark Knight is my favorite piece of literature, as is AKIRA, and both, without exaggeration changed my life he way Orwell's 1984 did. Comics have been mocked and ridiculed for decades and are considered lowbrow but in the right hands, they can be truly staggering works of art. (I will not discuss books from the last ten years. SJW horseshit has destroyed the industry. Let's focus on the absolute peak of comics ingenuity from the 70s and 80s and even early 90s.)
But I don't want to start another thread about the writing masterpieces of the genre (Dark Knight, Watchmen, Miracleman, AKIRA, Sandman, Preacher, Y: The Last Man).....I want to focus on ONE thing.....the artists. Let's use this thread to celebrate the finest visionaries that gave graced the pages of sequential art with their draftmanship.
So I'm going to list my favorite artists of all time, and show their best pics by the aforementioned arists. Sorry Superman...you're cool and all but never been a favorite of mine.
Let's start with the granddaddy character of em all, Wolverine, by the granddaddy artist of em all, Frank Miller:
Not to be outdone, Art Adams has done some insanely good Wolvie pictures, mostly in my favorite 1980's brown and yellow suit.
What would the X-Men be with Jim Lee? My favorite Lee image:
The man who gave us the brown and yellow suit, Canadian John Byrne:
Honorable mention to artist David Finch cause I think this is a bad ass drawing:
And finally, an all out action image from the late Michael Turner, who was taken from us too young.
And now it's time for the most famous super-hero in the world, a character everyone who's ever picked up a pencil has yearned to draw, the one and only BATMAN.
Well my personal favorite remains Mr. Frank Miller, with his depiction of a larger than life middle aged Batman coming out of retirement. Almost impossible to choose just one image, so I'll use a few; the first one is this gorgeous shot with horizontal lines behind him and the American flag wrapped about a body.
The next is the the best known, the one where he smiles cause he feels like a kid again.
The next one where he gets his old man ass thoroughly kicked by underestimating his opponent.
And the last one is him triumphant and when he soars above Gotham with his new young protege:
So then a funny thing happened....Jim Lee left Marvel and joined DC. His first dream job was drawing Batman. Unfortunately, he was just a Miller fan and he ended up aping Miller's style for his first published Batman pic. I liked it....but I was let down. I wanted the Jim Lee hyper-kinetic lines and this was not it:
Thankfully he quickly came into his own, merging his old X-Men style with a DC style, and made his own mark on Batman:
One of the most striking images of Batman ever published was by another British madman Simon "The Biz" Bisley....this single image remains one of my favorite of all time:
One of the finest Batman artists of all time is Brian Bolland, who is the indisputable premier artist of the Joker. For a kid like me in the 80s, Bolland's Batman was THE Batman.
And I would be remiss in omitting the late, great Marshall Rogers, whose Batman work in the 1970s not only inspired the 1989 Burton movie but several episodes of "The Animated Series" as well. Truly a visionary.
Still with me? A few more then....
Iron Man. Now a household name. Back in the 80s, he was lucky to be considered a B-lister.
My favorite Iron Man page was by Bob Layton, debuting his new (at the time) armor. (I think it was 87 or 88 or so?)
This armor was later featured on a poster by the late internationally renowned French artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud. He had a very distinct style and a lot of people found it ugly. I wish I'd bought the poster...probably a collector's item now.
A few years later, Tony Stark introduced the War Machine armor, for more aggressive fights. I still have this issue. This page was the first appearance:
In the late 90s, the Image guys came back to Marvel and tried to revive their sinking sales. A guy named Whilce Portacio did Iron Man, and it was a flop, but I always loved his design and line work, so here it is:
And now the book that propelled Iron Man to an A-lister. In the book "The Ultimates" writer Mark Miller basically re-imagined the Avengers for the 21st century. Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark follows the blueprint laid out in these books exactly. Here's a lovely shot of Ultimate Iron Man by Bryan Hitch:
Hmmmmm....I'm skipping Todd McFarlane who basically reinvented Spider-Man and invented Venom, and Rob Liefeld, (love him or hate him) who created Cable and Deadpool....but I think maybe that's enough for now....I've been writing this post for way over an hour now.
OK.....ONE McFarlane Spidey, and one Deadpool and Cable, and that'll do it for now. But I'll happily add more later if anyone wants to see more!
PS....I've mentioned guys like Otomo and Eguchi in other threads, but there's a lot more like Tomine and Benitez and Quesada and Silvestri and the Kuberts and more another time, if anyone gives a shit.
Not to mention JB's favorite fat-ass rock star/amazing painter Alex Ross!