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Comic Countdown #44: Artistic Integrity

Posted on November 11, 2012 AT 07:22pm

It’s that time once again for the Comic Countdown! Last week, many of the biggest and best names in the comic book industry on the writing side of things, with some major talents gracing the countdown for their current work in the industry. This week, it seemed only fair to include another side of the spectrum, taking a look at some of the best artists in the current world of comics. Now, these are just several of many incredibly talented artists out there, so if your favorite isn’t mentioned, it’s not an affront to them. There are so many incredible talents out there that it’s hard to name them all, and slimming the list down to ten was a difficult enough task. With that, it’s time to get down to it on this week’s Comic Countdown!

#10: Fiona Staples

Ten is a bit low in retrospect for Fiona Staples as she could be anywhere on this list with justification. Her work is top notch, especially on her current creator owned title Saga with writer Brian K. Vaughan. Her style is unlike any other, with specific credit given to her ability for facial expression and drawing human(oid) figures. Drawing in the realm of genres such as science fiction are challenging, but her talent proves she can do it, creating a brilliant landscape for readers to see.

#9: Stjepan Sejic

Using a more classical style of artwork, with his images looking more like classical oil paintings than traditional comic book artwork. His finished product, while not always meshing properly with the lettering of the book, is always brilliant, looking realistic and beautiful without going over the top. His current work on Artifacts shows how talented he really is, with a completely different art style being taken in comparison to his work, and the work of artists on the title prior to his arrival. It may not always work out how it should in the finished pages, but his artwork is never lacking.

#8: Mike Norton

Norton is more known for his own book Battlepug than he is for some of the other titles he’s worked on, but his artistic talents have never been denied. With his current run on the Image Comics title Revival, Norton is showing the depth of his talent, creating a chilling an serene world to match up with Tim Seely’s writing. While Battlepug may be his domain, his other endeavors show that he’s one of the premiere talents in the comic community.

#7: Mike Mignola

Mignola is a legend on the comic book industry, his work on horror titles for companies such as Dark Horse Comics being some of the best to ever hit the genre. As the creator of Hellboy, his unique style was on full display, and he’s shown no signs of stopping, moving on to titles such as Baltimore and the B.P.R.D. franchises. Mignola is one of the largest creative forces in the comic book industry, and he’s showing no signs of stopping.

#6: Becky Cloonan

Becky Cloonan has been around the industry for quite some time, doing terrific work for various publishers throughout her illustrious career. Her work is known throughout the industry as being some of the best, and while much of it has been on mini-series, it’s only a matter of time before she gets her own series to work on in an extended time frame. Her work for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel, DC, and others should be proof enough that she deserves a shot at a major title.

#5: Skottie Young

Skottie Young is a fun talent in the art industry. His style is very different from much of his peers, and despite that, he consistently gets work on great titles and pleases both industry members and fans alike with his off-beat style. Much of his work has come with Marvel, working on titles such as New X-Men, Venom, and Human Torch. Young is a rising star in the industry, which seems to only keep gaining altitude as time goes on.

#4: Alex Maleev

Alex Maleev has done some amazing work over his career, especially with his work in the Marvel Universe, and even more with writer Brian Michael Bendis on several titles. Their collaborative work on Daredevil has been called some of the best in the franchise, and Maleev’s artwork had a major part to play in that. While hopes are that Maleev will get other opportunities to work with other talented writers, there is no question that the Maleev/Bendis team is one that can make some amazing comics.

#3: Humberto Ramos

Known for his work on several Spider-Man titles, Ramos has been one of the unsung heroes in the art community for a long time now. Many readers may not know his name, but Ramos is a household name for those in the industry, known as a hard-working, talented artist that companies such as Marvel could likely not do without. Pairing up Ramos with one of his favorite heroes in Spidey has been a match for the ages thus far, with Ramos putting out quality work each and every time.

#2: J.H. Williams III

Batwoman has been one of the best books of the “New 52″ era thus far, and Williams has much to do with that as does writer W. Haden Blackman. The incredible work done on interior spreads is the work of a master, with Williams taking the way a panel can be presented to a higher level, making every page pop and twist through the world of Batwoman.  The artwork is simply some of the best and most innovative in the medium at the moment, and Williams has proven to be a force when it comes to both detail and presentation.

#1: Rodin Esquejo

There is simply very few artists in the industry with a better vision for realism than Esquejo. His drawing style is as lifelike as any other book in the industry, and likely far more realistic than most. His work on stellar titles such as Morning Glories and Mind The Gap has shown that he is one of the best artist drawing comics today, especially when it comes to the human form. His work is sleek, smooth and detailed, showing expression and emotion better than many artists out there currently. His work is proof that comics can look any way the artist likes, and that even though it’s just pencils, inks and color, they can look more real than the people reading them.

Agree? Disagree? make sure to leave your opinion in the comments! See everyone next week for another edition of the Comic Countdown!


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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