Comic book art is today no longer just aimed at children, some of the most recognizable illustrators have become widely recognized as artists in their own rights, their works are eminently collectible and some have been accredited as having revolutionized how both collectors and ordinary readers view the comic.
So who are some of the most recognized figures in the artistic world of comic book illustration?
Anyone who is a fan of the Spider Man comics should recognize the name John Romita Jr, he was after all responsible for the creation of one of Spidey’s most famous arch enemies – the Hobgoblin and he also drew the issue where the webslinger met Juggernaut, that crowd favorite among the cast of villains that have made Spider Man’s life so challenging.
He was also responsible for illustrating playboy Tony Stark’s descend into alcoholism and his struggle to keep up the good work that his alter ego Iron Man had been doing.
Brian Bolland is another comic book crowd favorite. Lovers of British comic 2000AD will be intimately familiar with his work – he contributed massively to the success of the title and he was also responsible for some of the most impressive artwork associated with the title’s main character – Judge Dredd. A sign of just how well respected this comic book icon is was when he was offered the chance to work on any DC character. His choice – Batman and the result was ‘The Killing Joke’ graphic novel – widely recognized as one of the finest depictions of the Joker ever.
Illustrator Steve Ditko is credited with powering the ascendancy of Spider Man into the lofty stratesphere of comic book stardom. Although it was legend Stand Lee who conceptualized Spider Man it was Ditko that made Spider Man what he is today. He has also worked on the Hulk and Iron Man. He also created Dr Strange, one of comicdom’s most beloved characters.
Best known for his amazing ability to bring real expression to his characters faces he is celebrated as an illustrator of the finest caliber.
The powerful talents of Frank Miller cannot be ignored when one speaks of the best comic book illustrators in history. This multi talented comic book maestro became part of the Marvel stable of illustrators in 1974 when he was brought in to work on ‘John Carter – Warlord of Mars’. He soon graduated to work on Spectacular Spider-Man and is widely credited for changing the character of Batman into the true Dark Knight, giving the character a brooding presence more suited to mature audiences.
Another of the so called ‘Brit invasion’ Dave Gibbons made his name as the Art Director when the UK’s smash hit 2000AD was launched. He soon made his way to America where he partnered with Alan Moore to illustrate ‘Watchmen’ giving that title the depth that was required to make it a fan favorite.
Comic books are here to stay and although writers are as important as ever it is the illustrators and inkers who can make or break a title – long may they prosper.