The countdown continues! Here are the next four comic book artists you voted as your all-time favorites (out of approximately 1,023 ballots, with 10 points for first-place votes, 9 points for second-place votes, etc.) .
42. Jim Aparo – 247 points (4 votes for first place)
Although he may not be on the level of some of the comic book artists of the 1950s, who drew forever (like Curt Swan), Jim Aparo was still one of the most incredibly consistent artists you’ll ever have. never seen. His inks started to lose a bit of focus towards the end of his career and DC stopped letting him ink himself so some magic was lost but he was still producing top notch work right down to the 1990s.
To show how consistent he was, check out his very first Batman work, from 1971 Brave and the Bold #98 (featuring The Phantom Stranger, the ongoing series of which was Aparo’s second assignment at DC Comics – the concept of the issue is that strange things are happening at the home of the widow and son of a Batman friend who just died and Batman is investigating)…
This piece was from 1971 and yet it could just as well have been from 1981. Or 1991. Or 2001. This story had all the hallmarks of a Jim Aparo story – great narration, Jim Aparo’s patented facial expressions , the fluidity of the character action – just great work. Aparo took over Brave and the Bold a few issues later, then drew it for the next TEN years until its end. Brave and the Bold leads to batman and the aliens. After drawing this for about three years, he had a little break. Soon, however, he was back at work drawing Batman for Jim Starlin (including the death of Jason Todd) and Marv Wolfman (including the introduction of Tim Drake) then to Detective comics for Peter Milligan, then back to Batman for Doug Moench (where Aparo was the artist who drew Bane breaking Batman’s back). After his regular work on Batman completed, he still did occasional fill-in work on the series while also getting the regular art gig on green arrow. He was still doing occasional illustrations for DC almost until his death in 2005.
41. Wallace Wood – 249 points (8 votes for first place)
Wallace Wood was a bit of a comic book savant, in that there really wasn’t a genre or art style that Wood couldn’t excel at. He was a brilliant caricaturist, but at the same time he could draw the most realistic characters you could ever see. Wood came of age in a time when comics spanned a number of different genres, so his skills were well served for that time. He helped convince EC Comics to get into sci-fi comics, and he drew some of the most brilliant sci-fi covers of the time (later Wood would then draw the Martian attacks trading card game for Topps, which would become one of the most iconic trading card games of all time – think size Martian attacks is like a concept and note that it all comes from a deck of cards that Wood created).
As noted, Wood could excel in a number of genres, including superhero comics. He attempted to work for Marvel Comics in the mid-1960s, but eventually quit working for the company because he disliked the fact that Marvel artists had to come up with the plot for their comics without being paid. more as tracers. Yet during his short stint at Marvel (which Stan Lee excited like crazy, as Lee was a huge fan of Wood’s work), Wood redesigned Daredevil (giving him his classic red costume) and wrote and drew (with a Lee’s dialogue) one of the all-time great superhero fight stories in daredevil #seven…
Wood is also famous for his piece “22 Panels That Still Work”, which is a guide for comic book artists on how to break up what would be an otherwise monotonous series of talking head panels. Wood’s underdog status sadly never led him to the superstardom his skills deserved and after suffering from health issues (including loss of vision in one of his eyes) he turned away. committed suicide in 1981 when he was only 54 years old.
40. Mike Allred – 251 points (7 votes for first place)
Mike Allred’s artwork mixes two distinct visual cues – a kind of retro Silver Age look mixed with realistic people stuck in over the top situations. The latter gives a lot of pathos to his work and the former makes his work visually stand out from the typical indie comic type you’d expect.
Allred burst onto the scene with his indie creation Madman, who was first featured in a short story as a mere teenager dealing with being brought back from the dead as basically like a Frankenstein monster (the character’s name was Frank Einstein). Frank just wanted to be accepted, but everyone treated him like a freak. However, after this first appearance, Allred then gave Frank a costume and he became the superhero known as Madman. The concept worked like a charm, as Allred is a brilliant sequential artist, so the action sequences were great while being, you know, decidedly offbeat (Madman’s weapon of choice was a yo-yo)…
Allred’s throwback style brings out the occasional darkness in its stories even more, which became quite notable in its next most notable series after Madman, X-Force’s revamp with writer Peter Milligan. The issue opened up with a group of young adult superheroes raging against the machine, so to speak…
And then suddenly… everything changed in a flash of automatic fire…
It was very clearly not the comic everyone thought it was when they started reading it, because it was a comic where the star of the book (and the narrator) graphically dies at the end of the first issue…
with almost all the rest of the team…
Allred has done a number of works over the years with the characters of Madman and X-Force (which was later renamed X-Statix). Currently, he’s putting his Silver Age sensibility to good use in an excellent Superman miniseries with writer Mark Russell.
39. Marc Silvestri – 258 points (1 vote for first place)
Marc Silvestri broke into comics working for First and DC Comics in the early 1980s. He moved on to Marvel Comics and worked on Spider-Man web for an acclaimed run with writer David Michelinie and inker Kyle Baker.
By the time Marc Silvestri had graduated to become a regular artist at Weird X-Men, the X-Books were, well, “the X-Books”, which was not the case when John Byrne or Paul Smith took over. It wasn’t just a comic, it was a FRANCHISE, and Silvestri got the chance to draw the franchise’s main book.
Silvestri then used a different style from the one he would develop while working for Image in the early 90s. Odd (where he was mostly inked by Dan Green), his art was much more experimental, it almost seemed reminiscent of the work David Mazzucchelli was doing on Daredevil around the same time.
This was when the fall of the mutants happened and the world thought the X-Men were dead, but instead they went to live in Australia for a while. Then Inferno happened, then the X-Men split up, and there was a long story where the group slowly came together. By this time Silvestri had left the book to begin a popular run on Wolverine with Larry Hama.
He later helped co-found Image Comics with his series, Cyberforce. Silvestri debuted a new artistic style around this time, which he mostly retained in the decades that followed. It’s not drastically different from his previous work, of course, but he definitely went for a tighter feel with his art than his looser stuff from before.
While heading up his studio at Image Comics, Top Cow Studios, Silvestri still occasionally does big comic book projects, like the late Grant Morrison. New X-Men run, another x-men one-shots and a brief run on The Incredible Hulk with Jason Aaron. He also returned to Cyberforce several times in recent years. He’s writing and drawing a major Batman project for DC that will debut soon.