As Arlen’s lecture series gets ready for its third week, we asked him a question for which there’s no shortage of arguments.
Namely: Who are the five most important comics artists since 1960 — and why.
Sayeth the historian: “Man, there have been so many, it’s tough to pick just 5! In no particular order”:
(Cover pix are my own selections and are just great examples of the artist’s work. — Dan)
Let the arguments begin!
1. Carmine Infantino. He personified DC’s Silver Age look (against Kirby doing the same at Marvel), and was the first artist to helm a comic-book company when he took over at DC in the fall of ’67, leading the company into a creative utopian period until about 1974.
2. Jack Kirby. What can one say about the man dubbed “The King” that hasn’t been said? His exaggerated, hyperbolic, in-your-face drawing style was so powerful, his characters so creative and important, his stories mind-boggling cosmic epics. He pretty much single-handedly got an underdog, scrappy company, Marvel Comics, to eventually triumph over the industry’s monolithic leader, DC Comics — the Rocky Balboa of comics history!
3. Joe Kubert. A giant in the medium, whose expressive, emotional style, and the aggressive, stylized brush & pen marks that made it, are unique in the history of comics, and the history of art itself. In addition, his school has turned out a generation of new comics greats, and Kubert’s works at the later stage of his life & career were as impactful as his earlier works.
4. Neal Adams. The greatest realistic mainstream superhero artist in comics history, whose groundbreaking inking style alone makes him one of the medium’s greatest inkers as well. His impact was as great as Jack Kirby’s, but on the opposite end of the drawing spectrum.
5. Jim Steranko. A renaissance man — artist, writer, graphic designer — whose impact and influence on generations of comic artists who’ve followed are in direct, inverse proportion to the relatively small quantity of comics he produced from ’67-’70. He was the Jimi Hendrix of comics!