In today’s installment, we have a father and son, a couple of comic book hall of famers, and some of the grittiest artists comics has to offer.
John Romita, Sr. – (Spider-Man, Captain America)
With so many great artists having drawn the character, you can’t really say that there is a definitive Spider-Man artist. But if there is one, it might be John Romita, Sr. He was the artist for most of Spidey’s defining moments in the 70’s. With his son following in his footsteps, he also created one of the greatest legacies is comic history.
John Romita, Jr. – (Spider-Man, Daredevil, Kick-Ass, Iron Man)
Undaunted by the immense shadow cast by his father, John Romita Jr. became a legendary artist as well. And while his humble nature won’t allow him to admit it, I’d argue that his skill probably surpassed that of his famous father. After notable runs drawing for Spider-Man and Daredevil, Romita Jr. went on to co-create the ultra-violent Kick-Ass.
Denys Cowan – (The Question, Deathlok, Steel, Power Man & Iron Fist)
One of the best in the business at telling a story with artwork and framing an action scene. Gritty, emotional art is his calling card. Denys Cowan is so good that he managed to actually make Steel seem interesting. Cowan even drew the cover art for GZA’s album Liquid Swords. He has since gone on to work for BET.
Frank Miller – (Daredevil, Batman, Sin City, 300)
The standard bearer for gritty, ultra-stylized comic art. Also an acclaimed writer. Miller is credited with saving the Daredevil franchise and returning Batman to his darker roots by turning both into the violent vigilantes we know them as today. Created the Sin City franchise and drew/wrote some of the Caped Crusader’s greatest stories, including The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.
Steve Ditko – (Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, The Question, Blue Beetle)
Originally working in Jack Kirby’s studio, Ditko eventually became a major artist in his own right having created Dr. Strange and co-created Spider-Man and The Question. His tendency to focus on intricacy and fantasy elements allowed him to become a legend in the realms of science fiction, horror, and the supernatural.
Come back next time where I’ll finish the list of the greatest comic book artists of all-time!