At A recent Marvel Comics retailer summit, Axel Alonso of Marvel claimed that there were fewer artist that impact comic book sales than writers.
While I can see where he is coming from, as I will very often follow a writer from book to book or publisher to publisher, I think he is selling short the artistic talent out there right now, even some at his own company. Although, he may want to consider that many of these artists are not working at Marvel. And that there might be a reason for that.
So here, in no special order, are artists which I see as “moving the needle” right now. I tried to pick artists that (1) are currently producing material, (2) have a distinctive style, (3) are doing new or interesting things with their pages, and (4) that I just plain like their stuff.
If you haven’t picked up an issue of The Mighty Thor lately you have been missing out on some great artwork. Russel Dauterman is knocking it out of the park on this book. I only picked this book up originally because of the art. The book had everything going against it in my opinion, a switch to a female Thor for no apparent reason being foremost and the de-powering of the original Thor due to some mysterious and, at the time of this series start, a never explained whisper that made the original Thor unworthy of his hammer. Boy am I glad the art grabbed my interest though, because this series is top notch.
Russel Dauterman does some great things, like working sound effects right into the picture. He’ll make the cracks in ice that are a result of a hammer strike spell out “THOOM.” He’ll use background elements perfectly to frame characters. And every one of his characters is incredibly expressive. And don’t even get me started on the uniqueness, detail, and sheer beauty in the backgrounds and settings of all of the different Norse realms.
Find Russel online at: https://russelldauterman.com/comics-interiors/
IDW rotates artists on their main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book, and every time that it comes around to an arc drawn by Mateus Santoluoco you know you are in for something good. No one draws the turtles and their supporting cast better.
What I love about Santoluoco is how each turtle is unique and distinguishable from his brothers. Each turtle has their own visual characteristics and personality. Mikey is the shortest. Raph holds himself like he is always ready for a fight. A lot of artists draw all four turtles the same and rely on the colored headbands and dialog to let you know who is who. Not Mateus. Each character, whether human, or mutant, or Mutagen-man, are instantly recognizable.
Find Mateus online at: http://santolouco.deviantart.com/
I may be stretching my “currently working artist” requirement here, as Rob Guillory was drawing the recently completed series Chew, and I’m not sure if he has another current project, but I like his art work so much I am including him here anyways.
So many mainstream books tend to all look the same, it’s great to find an artist that doesn’t shy away from the more cartoony end of the style spectrum. His style is unique and instantly recognizable from the rest of the books on the shelf. Chew is also a comic you have to read with a constant eye on the backgrounds, as Rob sneaks so much funny stuff in behind the scenes.
Find Rob Guillory online at: https://robguillory.com/