When I first discovered comics, the Big Two companies were coming out of a creative and financial doldrums, while several old-school purveyors of four-color fiction were either failings or on the way out.  The black-and-white boom was in its infancy, but eventually I came to recognize the work of two artists that I loved above all others, one of whom worked primarily at DC (George Perez) and another at Marvel (John Byrne.)  The work of either man could get me to pick up a title sight unseen, and I have a stack of some pretty crap comics to prove it.  A couple of decades down the line, I am still a fan of both artists, but have developed a love of dozens of others, from Mike Allred’s proto-Kirby madness to the smooth elegance of Alan Davis, and even found appreciation for some I couldn’t stand back in the 80s, especially the criminally and consistently underrated Don Heck.  Any more, the question of who my favorite is can change based on what I’ve read last, but it does raise an interesting query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t even know who to choose right now, as there are so many excellent candidates to be had, asking: Who is your favorite artist of all?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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13 Comments

  1. December 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say Jack Kirby just for insane amount of output as well as design style. Being a long time Spawn reader I really like Greg Capullo’s art as well

  2. December 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    Gotta say John Byrne. When I first started reading superhero comics in mid-late 80´s, I mostly saw his art in Marvel comics and Superman, so I got accustomed to his style. Another one art style I really like is a newer one, Mike Mignola.

  3. December 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm — Reply

    I honestly can’t answer this. There are so many artists I like that are on such different levels of styles and different mediums that choosing one over another feels like I’m only giving a fragmented sliver of an answer.

  4. dan
    December 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm — Reply

    I think a serious contender for all-time might have to be jim steranko. Using so many influences from photography, graphic design and contemporary fine art movements during his run on nick fury/s.h.i.e.l.d., steranko did a lot to expand my mind. WITHOUT the use of uh…sandwiches. Kirby might have had the more prolific career, but man…some of the stuff Steranko put out back in the day….phenomenal.

    I always loved Joe Kubert, Bernie Wrightson and Gene Colan’s work as well…just that really heavy, densely textured pencil work.

    As awesome as Capullo’s been on the current run of Batman, Neal Adams and Dick Sprang still do the two definitive batmen for me (sprang’s bright, lantern-jawed and barrel-chested batman, and adams’s shadowy, gothic return to the “dark, noirish avenger” are just the two perfect representations of batman. Though Quitely, Mazzuchelli, Bolland, Paul Pope, Marshall Rogers, Jim Aparo (who was handling the art as I was a kid, in the late-80’s, 90’s era), and hell, imma say it…even Jim Lee had some great interpretations of the character as well.

    David Aja, Fiona Staples and Mike Allred are all great for stuff I currently read.

    Mignola’s awesome as well. Actually most of the artists mignola has chosen to work with on hellboy have been fantastic as well. And in a wider sense, the current crop of pulp-influenced artists like Fransisco Francavilla and (tho he’s been around for something like 20 years) Darwyn Cooke are also great.

    Yeah, there’s just too many to name, I couldn’t pick just one. But Steranko comes damn close imo.

  5. Kirby
    December 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm — Reply

    Mark Buckingham, I just love the variety and expressions of his drawings.

  6. clubberlang6
    December 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    I Like rags moales he should be considered the best artist ever I really like the work that he did with Superman

  7. December 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    Jack Kirby
    John Romita Sr
    Walt Simonson
    Paul Pope
    Mike Allred
    Francesco Francavilla
    David Aja
    Mike Mignola

    Can’t stop at one. Don’t you dare Sophie’s Choice this, Matthew.

  8. comicfan1974
    December 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm — Reply

    Mignola on Hellboy and 1970s Neal Adams (those House of Mystery covers in particular)

  9. mark
    December 16, 2013 at 3:11 am — Reply

    Brian Hitch is my favorite.
    I lobve a lot of them but Hitch just speaks to me

  10. December 16, 2013 at 9:34 am — Reply

    If you like giant robots, look at Geoff Senior’s work on Transformers. It is different–but I really enjoy it.

    Scott Shaw! too!

  11. December 16, 2013 at 11:19 am — Reply

    As far as comics go, I’d have to say late 90’s Joe Madureira. Not innoative, not influencial, i just like his style the most.

  12. Andrew
    December 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    I’ll narrow it down to 3: Walt Simonson, John Byrne, and Arthur Adams

  13. Perry Taliaferro
    December 17, 2013 at 8:14 am — Reply

    Wow, all those names and no John “Big Daddy” Buscema? Okay, I’ll fix that. John Buscema!! All time favorite of mine. (But there really are a ton of great artists out there) ;-)

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