"Hey Andy, really enjoy your blog-- I like that despite being an artist you don't limit your blog to only you and your work and that you get into such diverse topics-- I don't always agree with what you write (politics mostly) but your movie recommendations are right on and I love discovering artists I've never heard of, especially in comics because I'm new to it as an art form. My favorite character is Batman so I was wondering who you consider the really great Batman artists?"
Well Perry-- that's a huge undertaking. Almost all of my friends are comic book artists and almost all of them have either wanted to draw or have worked on Batman-- it's kind of a holy grail. Even creators who don't like working for big companies (and I'd count myself among them) want a shot at the big bat boy.
So I'm going to approach this as individual artists working on the character-- so that we're not just limiting ourselves to just creators who worked for long stretches on one of his many books. This does skew the results somewhat, mainly because it's difficult to compare someone who worked on over 100 issues and stayed consistent and someone who worked on 1-- but I'm going to give it a go anyway, plus it'll fill a few weeks worth of blog posts if I do a count-down;
#20 - Frank Miller
Best example- Batman The Dark Knight Returns
Miller set the comics world on fire with his work on DAREDEVIL in the late 70s early 80s-- and that work is seminal. Later, he did my favorite graphic novel of all time RONIN in 1984-- and he followed that up with THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS which is one of the greatest Batman stories of all time. The artwork varies from parody to cartoony and he pushes the envelope-- but Miller when he's firing on all cylinders is a force of nature-- when he's not he's putting out stuff like HOLY TERROR that should have been better left on the drawing board.
TOMORROW: Batman Artist #19-- a more cartoony friendly Batman.