Best Artist of 2008

Doom DeLuise says: Sean Phillips!

For the second year in a row, this is my choice for Best Artist of the Year. There’s no better artist I can think of than the man behind Criminal, and, more recently, the Ed Brubaker penned Incognito.

criminal 2 sean phillipsJust take a look at the cover to this year’s Criminal Volume 2 Issue 2. I would be hard-pressed to find a better cover from 2008, and for good reason. As long as he’s part of the creative team, I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading Criminal. It seems like such a labor of love to both men involved, though, that I’m not sure they’ll ever pass on the duties to anybody else. It’s a damn fine book, and the art is consistently top notch.

Honorable Mention: Tony Daniel

I think his work on Batman has gotten stronger and stronger throughout the year, even though I’ve read a good deal of criticism of it on the Internet. Gasp! Imagine that. Somebody on the Internet being overly critical of something that’s perfectly well-done just because they have access to a keyboard and too much time on their hands. Oh, wait. That’s just like me!

Honorable Mention: Gary Frank

Here’s another guy who I think gets unnecessary criticism, as he’s pretty darn good at his craft. The cover to the New Krypton Special is a notable lapse in his overall quality, with Superman’s arm looking about fifty sizes too big, but, otherwise, his work on Action Comics has been the perfect compliment to Geoff Johns’ storytelling. Particularly, the Brainiac storyline was pretty fantastic work from Mr. Frank. You really got a feel for how strong Supes and Brainy are when they finally locked horns and laid into each other, and a lot of that has to do with the weight the art gave the characters.

Fin Fang Doom says: Mark Bagley!

Let’s jump right into the numbers: 30 issues of Trinity were released in 2008, and 12 pages of each issue were drawn by Mark Bagley. That’s 360 pages in ’08, which translates to over sixteen 22-page issues. And Trinity started in June! In seven months, Mark Bagley produced more artwork than most comic artists can seem to produce in two years.

And you know what? That was a damn good 360 pages. I’ve had plenty to complain about regarding the story in Trinity lately, but I’ve never been disappointed by Bagley’s work on the title.

Jim Doom says: Eric Powell!

I have no other explanation for why I keep buying The Goon. Month after month, I find myself questioning my decision to read that comic, which is not even a hint of what it once was. It has to be Powell’s beautiful art. I can think of no better honor for an artist who manages to convince me to buy something that brings me little to no enjoyment while reading. It’s like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer to see the beautiful stars.

Honorable mention: Paul Pelletier

While I’m sure some credit is due to his inker, Guardians of the Galaxy is a beauty to look at.

Here are the picks we’ve made for Best Artist in years past! Check it out:

Jim Doom: (tie) Ivan Reis & Leinil Yu
Doominator: Jaime Hernandez
Fin Fang Doom: George Perez
Doom DeLuise: Sean Phillips

Jim Doom: (tie) Michael Lark and Steve Epting
Doom DeLuise: (tie) Pete Woods, Ivan Reis and Steve McNiven
Doominator: Bryan Hitch
Fin Fang Doom: John Cassaday