Jim Lee asks the hard question: top artists of the last five years?

In a tweet the other night, DC co-publisher Jim Lee asked a question I’ve seen kicked around a few times. You can see the answers in this link. Dan DiDio also chimed in with some excellent choices:


I didn’t have the time to go tally them up but here are some of the people named—if I had to guesstimate I’d say Chris Burnham, Sean Murphy, Chris Samnee, and Fiona Staples got the most mentions:

Chris Bradshaw
Chris Burnam
Fiona Staples
David Aja
Sean Murphy
Chris Samnee
Declan Shalvey
Evan Shaner
Nick Pitera
James Stokoe
Aaron Kuder
Mikel Janin
Sara Pichelli
James Harren
Emma Rios
Ryan Stegman
David Marquez
Jerome Opena
Renae De Liz
Eliza Frye
Janet Lee
Riley Rossmo
Matteo Scalera
Rafael Albuquerque
André Lima Araújo
Mirko Colak
Amy Reeder
Cat Staggs
Kate Brown
Ming Doyle
Kevin Colden
Brent Peeples
Mitch Gerads
Tonci Zonjic
Tradd Moore
Francesco Francavilla
Michael Walsh
Joe Mulvey
Simon Gane
Emily Carroll

…a bunch of these folks have been around longer than five years, but it’s safe to say this is a fairly representative list of emerging artists of the last decade. (The trio of Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba was mentioned but they are definitely more than a decade.)

prv13320 pg12 Jim Lee asks the hard question: top artists of the last five years?

Chris Samnee’s Rocketeer

In contemplating this list, it’s hard to draw any larger conclusions. Styles are way more eclectic now. There’s sorta kinda a Frank Quitely influence on some, a Paul Pope thread here and there, a bit of the Brandon Graham Heavy Metal look. Cliff Chiang. Mignola in the chiaroscuro maybe. (And then some who are really all by themselves like Janet Lee and Emily Carroll.)

One thing they pretty much share, is a far, far more naturalistic style than most superhero comics used to have. It’s not about exaggeration or stylization for the most part, but about a more striking look with characters who are idealized but in a more fashiony and less superheroic way.

od 1 Jim Lee asks the hard question: top artists of the last five years?

Chris Burnham’s art for Officer Downe, created by Joe Casey.

Like I said, you can’t make too many generalizations at all.

That said, very very few of these artists got their start or are even best known for drawing superheroes. Aja, Samnee, and Burnham are best known, but they all have done a ton of non superhero work.

fionastaples Jim Lee asks the hard question: top artists of the last five years?

Fiona Staples

045 joe the barbaraian 5 sean murphy Jim Lee asks the hard question: top artists of the last five years?

Sean Murphy

 

When I go to art schools, NO ONE draws in a traditional superhero style.

What d’yall think? Who are your favorite newish artists? And where did they come from?

 

[Via DC Women Kicking Ass]

Comments

  1. blacaucasian says:

    Francesco Francavilla, Chris Burnham, and Sean Murphy for sure.

  2. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Brecht Evens, Jonny Negron, and Emily Carroll

  3. Sean Murphy (loved him since Off Road), Jake Wyatt (Anthology Project), and Emily Carroll, of course! And not just amazing artists, amazing storytellers as well.

  4. Aja (but is he really in the last five years?), Samnee, Pichelli? Or maybe Marquez? Or Shalvey? Or Stegman. An abundance right now really.

  5. Thomas Wayne says:

    Love a lot of the varying styles by the names on the above list. Francavilla and Reeder would probably be my two favorites from the list but I think you are missing one serious talent for sure that I believe definitely deserves a mention…JASON FABOK – he of the Detective Comics Fabok’s…lol.
    His stuff is great…reminds me quite a bit of the style of George Perez or Phil Jiminez or Jose Garcia Lopez, arguably my 3 favorites from my Teen years.

  6. Nick Bradshaw (Atlantic Canada), Travel Foreman (never mind where he is from, I ask: ‘where has he gone?’), Skottie Young; I could add more.

  7. Great post! Thank you for compiling everyone we mentioned! Just a small edit, there was a little typo. One of artist’s name was misspelled. It is Eliza Frye. I was the one who mentioned her. She is an amazing artist!

  8. Francavilla, Murphy, and Staples for me. But also Samnee! And Albuquerque! And….

  9. That’s not Burnham’s art in that Officer Downe piece. It’s Ryan Browne.

  10. Nick Pitarra, Tradd Moore, and Chris Mooneyham are three new guys who have caught my eye in recent times. Lots of talent out there!

  11. Keyser says:

    I wonder why Nicola Scott is not on the lists. She’s been pretty impressive since she started at DC and her stuff is solid.

    Skottie Young (Wizard of Oz books) and Darwyn Cooke (his Parker series) are favorites for me.

    I’m running a blank after that though. I need some coffee.

  12. Chris Hero says:

    I don’t understand any list like this not including Jane Mai.

  13. Charles Knight says:

    “I wonder why Nicola Scott is not on the lists. She’s been pretty impressive since she started at DC and her stuff is solid.”

    been working for nearly a decade I think?

  14. Aaron B. says:

    Marcus To. Dexter Soy. Francesco Francavilla.

  15. Ross Campbell, Marcos Martin & Sanford Greene.

  16. Johnny Memeonic says:

    His career goes past the five year mark, but Jerome Opena is one of my favorite newer artists. I also really like Fiona Staples’ Saga and Michel Fiffe’s Copra.

  17. Larry Vossler says:

    Michael DeForge, Michel Fiffe, Brecht Evens, R.C. Smith, Jesse James, Simon Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis.

  18. Daryl Tucker says:

    No Brandon Graham!?! Seriously?

    Am I missing something?

    But yeah, I agree with all the other names mentioned. Specifically Stokoe, Aja, and Rios.

  19. John Warren says:

    I love Marcos Martin, but he did work for DC as far back as 1998. Aja was working on Daredevil (and getting lots of attention) in 2006, so I think you have to disqualify him, too.

  20. Larry Vossler says:

    I thought Graham has been in comics longer than five years?

    Of course Emma Rios and Stokoe.

  21. Joshf says:

    Rebecca Isaacs, Nate Bellegarde and Piotr Kowalski are names I would add, some great names on the main list and in the comments.

  22. Five years, people.

    C’mon.

  23. Brandon Graham has been in comics since at least 1997.

  24. johnrobiethecat says:

    Should participate in something fun for a change,..So I like Francesco Francavilla, Marcos Martin and Fiona Staples from what I’ve seen in last 5 years. if they are the last 5 yrs…

    If I can cheat and add Javier Pulido in there for Hawkeye #4 with the cassete tape cover. Hope he gets more work. I loved everything about that issue, even the writing (so I have to some of my anti-hipster crow a bit and see why Fraction is so good ) I know they follow the David Aja pace in art in the Hawkeyes books but that Pullido issue seem to demonstrate why the Marvel method has a better batting average for me. Let the artist’s breathe and do their thing. And good writing can follow, the medium can do the rest.

    It would be nice to see a Bryne/Miller/McFarlane size talent on the scene again but maybe that’s in formation already. Just cool to see more european , international artists adding a breath of fresh air to comics art and succeeding in an impactful way. High style and comics work well together (take notes DC)

  25. Some Guy says:

    In the last 5 years, Charlie Adlard has done what few artists have ever been able to do – draw a stylized book in the same style issue after issue without a break. Someone like Keith Giffen tried this in 1989 with the “Five Years Later” Legion and had to have a lot of fill-in issues the first year, and gave up after that. How many tiles in the past five years have not only had consistent art, but the same stylized art in a unique style? Doing a stylized art comic consistently is one of the most difficult things – I guess Adlard makes it look easy, or maybe it’s because of the B&W art, but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for pulling off what he’s doing. Just imagine five consistent years of the “Five Years Later” Legion.

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