Jim Doom says: Tie (Ivan Reis on Green Lantern and Leinil Yu on New Avengers)!
As far as my personal enjoyment of comics goes, it was a treat that the two best artists of the year were able to work on books written by the two best writers of the year.
While I tend to enjoy virtually anything written by Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis these days, it says a lot that Ivan Reis and Leinil Yu are so great at what they do that their contribution often overshadows those of their accompanying superstar writers.
Johns built the structure, but Ivan Reis made the Sinestro Corps War. That story simply would not have worked as well without Reis handling the most important chapters. He simultaneously masters cinematic layouts with precise attention to detail, employing intricate cross-hatching without ever being stiff.
Yu is far more expressive in his work, and the tone of his drawings perfectly complements the claustrophobic action and dark humor Bendis writes in New Avengers.
Bravo to the assignment editors who put these guys on their respective books with these writers. The subject matter and the talent behind the words definitely helped elevate these guys.
It’s also probably worth noting that both books stayed on schedule. Reis took a few months off before the Sinestro Corps War, but it’s a lot easier to love an artist when you don’t have to also hate him for making you wait.
Doominator says: Jaime Hernandez!
Jaime Hernandez has me all but ready to get a tattoo of Maggie on my arm. I almost did. He doesn’t REALLY count, but he released enough in 2007 to eke by.
Fin Fang Doom says: George Perez!
George Perez in really in a class of his own. There aren’t very many comic artists that have been around as long as he has, and those that have don’t produce at quite the same rate or nearly the same quality (sorry John Byrne). And George Perez might be getting even better. Few artists can draw action sequences quite as well Perez can, and even fewer bother to draw to draw backgorunds the way he does. Geroge Perez is the quintessential “classic” comic book artist, and in the days of Micahel Turner and Rob Liefeld, that’s a unique quality that really appeals to me.
Doom DeLuise says: Sean Phillips!
I don’t know if he draws anything else, but his style fits in perfectly with the story in Criminal. It’s dark and gritty and simple, yet his attention to detail is fantastic. I’m not an artist, so I don’t know what technically makes a good artist, but, boy is his stuff pretty to look at. Honorable mention goes to Ivan Reis and Ethan Van Sciver for their work on Green Lantern.