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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default The importance of the artist to successful DC runs...

    I've been thinking recently about how the end of the double shipping of DC comics will mean that we'll be able to see artists do sustained runs again and build up a rhythm and creative shorthand with a writer in a way that wasn't possible with so many artists jumping in and out of story arcs.

    The importance of the artist to certain characters can't really be overstated for me. As crucial as the writing is, without the right artist, a comic just won't work for me. Naomi without Jamal Campell art just wouldn't be something I'd want to read about, for instance.


    If I think back to some of my favorite DC runs, the artist has been so key to how well something has clicked for me. Waid's Flash run with Greg LaRocque was really great, but it was became something else entirely once Ringo started doing the art. There was a magic to the book once those two started working together. Same goes for Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins on Flash, and Johns & Ivan Reis on GL. The right combo of writer & artist elevates a book in incalculable ways.


    I absolutely love Grant Morrison, but there are certain runs of his that I have no interest in reading because the art isn't good enough. I will probably never read his and Mark Millar's Flash run because Paul Ryan's art, while perfectly serviceable, just doesn't have the kineticism I want from a Flash comic. Another good example would be my all-time favorite John Stewart run in GL: Mosaic, which was far less interesting and engaging once Cully Hamner stopped doing the art. Ostrander's Suicide Squad lost a lot without Luke McConnel doing art, although they did manage to find at least one artist who had a similar enough style for a time (can't remember his name though).


    What are some of favorite examples of a writer/artist team that elevated a comic far beyond what it had previously been? What's your biggest disappointment when a comic run you'd loved was hurt badly by substandard fill-in art or a new regular artist who just didn't work as well?
    Last edited by Bored at 3:00AM; 05-27-2019 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2

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    Here are a couple examples I can think of great writer/artist combos



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  3. #3
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink31593 View Post
    Here are a couple examples I can think of great writer/artist combos

    Absolutely, Dixon & McDaniel made Nightwing click for me as a character in a way that he never had before. It also helped that they gave Dick haircut, costume, and status quo that wasn't immediately cringe inducing

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Tomasi’s Superman run was at its best when Gleason was on art.
    Lobdell’s Rebirth Red Hood benefitted a lot from Soy on art.
    Super Sons was amazing when Jimenez was drawing it. Snyder’s JL benefitted from Jimenez too.

  5. #5
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Tomasi’s Superman run was at its best when Gleason was on art.
    Lobdell’s Rebirth Red Hood benefitted a lot from Soy on art.
    Super Sons was amazing when Jimenez was drawing it. Snyder’s JL benefitted from Jimenez too.
    Jimenez has been a huge benefit to every book he's put on.

  6. #6
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    One of the best pieces of advice I gave my son was the phrase "that's a good question" means they don't have an answer. That's a good question.

    Looking at what's usually an extremely subjective judging with a factual basis, I find that most successful, classic, legendary runs have a fine artist on it. This would lead me to believe that the artist has a degree of importance to this. The focus shifting from artist to writer through time for American comics also seems to decrease the impact of the artist. So, the question I'd ask is are there classic runs with good story but sub-par art? If these runs exist, they would shift power to the writer. I also wonder if there hare classic runs (or even stories) in recent years with great art, but mediocre writing.

    I suppose we could look at a particular run and make a call on it.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    I think what makes a good run is an excellent writer and artist synergy.

    Some writer and artists choose to continue working together after a successful run because they fit together so well.

    Consider:
    Bendis & Maleev
    Azzarello & Risso
    Brubaker & Phillips
    Loeb & Sale
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Brubaker and Cooke on Catwoman, Rucka and Scott on Wonder Woman, and Dixon and Land on Birds of Prey.

    I think it's important to understand the artist as a storyteller in their own right. The writer tells the plot and the dialogue, but the artist tells the action and perhaps most importantly the emotions of the story.
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  9. #9
    Astonishing Member K7P5V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Absolutely, Dixon & McDaniel made Nightwing click for me as a character in a way that he never had before. It also helped that they gave Dick haircut, costume, and status quo that wasn't immediately cringe inducing
    Agreed. For his part, Dixon performed a herculean task. Meanwhile, McDaniel steadily improved under DC's supervision.
    Last edited by K7P5V; 05-28-2019 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Corrected grammatical errors.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member HandofPrometheus's Avatar
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    Art makes or breaks a run for me. Sometimes I can ignore mediocre art but not all the time. Here are my favorite ones that I can remember right now:

    Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz on Manhunter
    Van Jensen and Bernard Chang on Green Lantern Corps
    Marv Wolfman and George Perez on The New Teen Titans (However, Eduardo Barreto was a damn good fill in for Perez)
    Brad Meltzer/Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes on Justice League of America
    Dan Abnett and Olivier Copiel on various LoS books

    Disappointments:
    Dan Abnett and Various artist after Olivier Copiel on The Legion (Chris Batista art was really good but that was short lived)

  11. #11
    Incredible Member jules's Avatar
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    Wolfman and Perez on New Teen Titans.

    Perez on post-Crisis Wonder Woman. He set the tone for her rebooted look long beyond the point where he handed the pencil on to other people.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned Tony Harris & James Robinson on Starman? That was a fantastic duo!
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  13. #13
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
    No one has mentioned Tony Harris & James Robinson on Starman? That was a fantastic duo!
    Definitely, Starman lost a lot of steam for me when Harris left. From what I have heard, there was a bit of animosity between the two which precipitated his departure.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    If I don't know anything about the writer my priority will be picking up the art I like
    That's how I picked Batman Hush and all of my New 52 titles the first time I jumped back into comics. Jim Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, Mikel Janin.

    After I like the writer I will pick their story regardless of the artist
    That's why I don't care which artist paired with Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, or Tom King's short stories.

    If I don't like the writer I will drop them regardless of the artist
    Scott Lobdell's New 52 Red Hood and Teen Titans

    My favorite writer/artist combo
    Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo on Batman

    That's it for now

    I don't exactly have a comic ruined by the wrong artist, but there's a lot of comics I'm not interested because I don't know the writer and don't like the art

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Definitely, Starman lost a lot of steam for me when Harris left. From what I have heard, there was a bit of animosity between the two which precipitated his departure.
    That is very interesting! I never knew that. Do you know what caused the strife between the two?
    AKA FlashFreak
    Favorite Characters:
    DC: The Flash (Jay & Wally), The Atom (Ray Palmer) , Jack Knight, Stargirl, & Shazam!.
    MARVEL: Daredevil, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, & Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

    Current Pulls: Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, Immortal Hulk, Guardians of The Galaxy, Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange, Star Wars, Flash Forward,Shazam, & TMNT!

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