It’s that time of the year, time for everyone everywhere to countdown the best of 2012. I’m not going to do anything different, and my first list will start with the ten artists that I feel had a sensational year. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion. I have no authority, nor any real expertise. I’m simply making a judgement based on my personal thoughts for the year. The next few lists will be much the same.
10. Chris Burnam- I had never heard of Burnam before Batman Inc launched in May, and I knew from issue #1 that he was going to be a forced to be reckoned with. Aside from his rather vivid images, Burnam has done something to a level few have ever been able too. Work with Grant Morrison. Morrison is one of my favorite writers, and one of the best in the industry. He’s worked with dozens of artists, but few have been able to really bring his story to life. Burnam joins only a handful of the dozen who really seem to match imagery with the story. Something that can be no small feet.
9. Charlie Adlard- The Walking Dead artist not only guided the book to a successful 100th issue, but was also given a bit of leeway, as the original artists lost the court case that would have gave him creative licence While a sad fate for the original artist, it allows Adlard to embrace the Walking Dead in a way he couldn’t have before.
8. Jae Lee- I was introduced to Lee’s wonderful art this year through the brilliant Ozymandias mini series. While that might not be enough to land him on the list. Many artists are able to make a career of comic book covers. Jae Lee provides some of the most stunning covers across the board. Whether it be for Dynamite, DC, or Image, Lee’s covers are always hot items (I buy everyone I can get),.
7. Mike Allred- While introduced to him through his amazing cover art work. Allred definitely earned a top slot in this years best of poll. His covers for Image series’ like Happy! were quite brilliant. On top of that, he has achieved recent success with the Marvel NOW! FF. Allred has produced great work in the past, and 2012 only increased his list.
6. Chris Samnee- How can I not acknowledge the man involved with the most awarded an acclaimed comic of the year? Samnee successfully took the reigns on Daredevil, and quickly made it his own. On top of that, Samnee was involved with the acclaimed Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom mini series for IDW, which put Rocketeer into the critical eye once again.
5. Amanda Conner- Let’s face it. Silk Spectre was much better than any of us deserved. And while Darwyn Cooke’s script gave character and meaning to rather bland and one sided characters, Amanda Conner’s art was clearly the highlight of the book. And while her art always highlights the books she’s on, this one was different. This one feels special. And for whatever reason, this comic makes you fall in love all over again.
4. Ivan Reis- Reis effectively guided Aquaman into the strongest position it has ever been in. While Johns is largely to thank, Reis’ dynamic art is involving. So much so that most of the internet despaired upon learning that he was leaving the book. Little did we know, he would move up to the highest tier of DC by taking over on Justice League. While few could really replace Lee, Reis gives him a run for him.
3. Khari Evans- Valiant has done quite a bit with its first year in comics, and this is not the last list that people involved with them will appear on. Evans is perhaps the best part of the Valiant relaunch. Vividly bringing Harbinger to life. Evans may only be working on one major series right now, but I firmly expect her to go to much greater heights in the future. Valiant is looking at their first crossover event, and with Evans involved. It’s sure to be a hit.
2. Greg Capullo- What can I say? He is the man behind the Bat. While both of them have received critical acclaim, it is well deserved. And Capullo easily earns one of the top slots on the list for his brilliant take on all of the Bat family characters. From his controversially tiny Grayson, to his very creepy Joker.
1. Fiona Staples- Have you not read Saga? While the story is brilliant, it’s Fiona’s art and the unorthodox structure is the most charming aspect of the comic. Her art is beautiful and in my opinion, is the driving factor on the book. I firmly believes she deserves the slot as the top artist of 2012.
Well, I know I haven’t said much, but hopefully I’ve justified my arguments for the this list. Who tops the list for you?
Until the next time,