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Submitted on
June 11, 2012
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I read this cool article by Josh Flanagan over on Ifanboy asking if there are any superstar artists anymore. Read it here.…
I don't know what I'm talking about most of the time. I can easily have my views changed since its all a bit trivial, but this is how I see it currently. Feel free to change my mind! Discuss!
      Ive said this before but it seems like there are two main types of comic readers. There are character fans, and comic fans. Nothing is wrong with either! But character fans make up MOST of the comic reading, and they love their characters, so they are mainly a DC fan or Marvel fan, a certain character from their youth fan. Its what sells the most, its what most comic shops make most of their money from. It's all fine and good. But to them, I think mainly the characters (not the creators) are the real superstars for them. They'll buy the comic most of the time no matter WHO draws it. Of course if a known name is attached to the title it'll boost it even more. But it seems the MAIN boost comes from the character for these fans. Proof is when a known creator does a new creator owned title, the numbers on that are MUCH smaller, even if book is loads better than their book they did with a known character. The known nostalgic character wins over new characters for these fans.

Now a comic fan cravings are different. They want comics, not just characters. They want new ideas, new worlds, new stories, new characters.  They are open to buying creator-owned/indie books. They will buy big two books if they look good, but not just because a certain character is in it. This group is small compared to the other group. And sure, there is some spill overage, it's not a definite line in the sand. I like to think this group is similar to movie fans (which is most people we know right?). Moviegoers do like to see same creators/actors at times but seem more open to new ideas, sure there are those that are ONLY into horror or something but most people seem to be open to lots of different movies, actors, and directors. It does seem that when you mention comics to non-comics readers they think superheros, mainly big 2 superheroes. And I think that's the norm with the majority of comic readers as well, when they think comics, they think marvel or DC, anywhere else is just not important to them. But comic fans are more similar to the norm of moviegoers I think.

So when people wonder where the superstar artists are these days, I think it's fair to ask, superstar to what group? But a superstar is someone backed with a large audience right? So how can an amazing artist that does not work for big two ever be a superstar artist if they aren't backed by the majority of where most of the comic reading public is? They cant. But at the same time, Its hard to be a superstar artist at the big 2 when people there are mainly buying the book because of the super stardom of the character anyway.

So, there are no more superstar artists. Just personal favorites, that I think still deserve the title superstar even if they aren't backed by the majority of comic readers. So I will use that word when I wish.

My top 5 current list of superstar artists.

James Harren
Cory Walker
Sean Gordon Murphy
Greg Capullo
James Stokoe
  • Listening to: Killer Mike
  • Reading: Saga
  • Watching: my hand draw comics
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: Way too damned much!
  • Drinking: GALLONS a month
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GrayBann Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's funny that you should mention following certain creators on certain titles. For me, there are creators that if I see them on characters I like, the actual creator will keep me from buying it. As for following creators that I like, someone mentioned the perfect storm earlier. Just because I like a creator on a said character in a said universe does not always translate to liking that creator on another series in a different genre or just on another book in another universe.
Anmph Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with you.
edi-ills Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
It's simple, if this artist works the interior on a book then it's a must grab. I can't wait to see what they do next.

Stuart Immonen
Olivier Coipel
Bryan Hitch
JH Williams III
Cory Walker

PS-Adam Hughes if he dares.
NinjaSpidey Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
In no paticular order

Darwyn Cooke
Ryan Ottley
Brian Hurtt
Terry Moore
Ethan Nicolle

Also, I will always pick an artist who can finish a run on a series over someone who does a few issues then just becomes the cover artist.
NinjaSpidey Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Although if it were the 80's it'd be

Neal Adams
Walt Simonson
Art Adams
John Byrne
Frank Miller

Although Neal Adams, John Byrne, and Frank Miller have all gone crazy at one point or another. :(
ScruffyScribbler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I pretty much quit reading/buying comics a few years back. Theres a couple exceptions to this, Walking Dead is one of them. I got on with issue one and have been around since. I'm invested.

But for the most part I feel it's all "old hat" and "been there done that" and most of all TOO F^$%ING EXPENSIVE! Even digital books are outrageously priced for someone like myself. When I do check out a book I am usually disappointed. And it's not the art... it's the writing.

Now, I'm not looking to bash anyone in particular so I won't. But I don't miss "the superstar artists" at all because those people are the same ones that took MUCH longer than a month to do a book. I grew up with talented guys writing and producing a book every month like clockwork. when you can't produce a book why should i support it?

now there's people that say things like "I'd rather have a great book than an ontime crappy book!" to those people I say comics managed to be great for decades and were never THIS late.

I pretty much quit supporting books around that time and only maintained very few books. As prices skyrocket I can't imagine me getting back into comics. No "superstar artist" is going to drag me back in. You need quality products (by talented people) at a manageable price...

I don't think there's "collectors" anymore. There's READERS and you need to be priced at a READERS rate.
dilutral Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is a great topic, love reading the discussion.

my 2 cents:
we don't have any new Superstar artists cause we have too many options,
there are lots of really good talent working in an industry that isn't as popular...
The fans are fragmented and sometimes haven't even discovered some of the coolest artists.
I'm pretty sure many big 2 fans haven't checked out your stuff and therefore don't know about Wya.

Also guys like Joe Mad, J Scott Campbell and Mike Mignola aren't focused on comics anymore.
Guys like Jason Pearson, Adriana Melo and even Chris Bachalo can't do long story arcs...

There are still awesome artists starting to pile up followers like Rodin Esquejo, Kenneth Rockafort and Ryan Bodenheim
yorko Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
supersolid list! James Harren is the next big thing
tsujigo Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My personal Favorite Artist are as follows
1-Cully Hamner
2-Chris Burnham
3- Dan Hipp
4- Erik Larsen
5- John Romita Jr
6- Masamune Shirow
and lastly you mister Ottley
[ why because they all do something wild ,exciting and totally unexpected from anyone out there now ]
but in all these days I am more into is the Clever Inventiveness powered by their unbound imagination and brought to life on the page with there skill . [ and in kind I am Inspired by the Talented People above just because they Think Outside the Box as in terms of storytelling alone in my Book ] but I believe all artist of any skill set can be superstars in there own right . [ but that`s just me ladies and gents ] all in all great question .
rentnarb Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
My superstar artist list includes writers as well because the story is really the big draw for me.

If these guys draw or write it I buy it!

1-John Romita Jr.
2-Robert kirkman
3-Ryan Ottley
4-Peter David
5-Marjorie Liu
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