In keeping with our comic book related Top 10 lists I thought I would do one for the greatest comic book cover artists of all time. Only one problem; I couldn’t limit myself to just 10. If I did that I would have probably just picked 10 guys that worked for EC and called it a day.
I wanted to cover the full history of comics from Golden to Modern and cover all different genres (not just Marvel & DC Super-Hero stuff) and publishers over the past 80 years so I did 25 instead of 10 and I probably could have done 50 easily (but where’s the fun in doing that which would be cheating since I could include every single artist everyone would expect on here?). Honestly, you could probably replace this list with what would have been 26-50 and not missed much of a beat.
While putting this together I thought about genres and the legacy of the artist as well the artwork influence on the medium. The order of this list is pretty much how the names came to me while I thought of them so that’s how I ranked them. This was hard so if you feel I slighted an artist chance are they were on the cusp of making the list but just fell short. For instance, not every EC artist made the list but I love them all. Also, not every artist is a “big name” either. For the cover images, I wanted to use a mixture of iconic and lesser-known pieces.
So here goes.
1. Wally Wood (1927-1981)
Wally Wood was an American comic book writer, artist, and independent publisher, best known for his work at EC Comics as well as T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (Tower) and Daredevil (Marvel).
2. Frank Frazetta (1928 – 2010)
Frank Frazetta is often referred to as the “Godfather” of Fantasy Art, and one of the most renowned illustrators of the 20th century.
3. Neal Adams (1941-)
Neal Adams is known for his modern imagery and is often considered the definitive artist on both Batman and Green Arrow.
4. Alex Schomburg (1905 – 1998)
Alex Schomburg was a Puerto Rican commercial artist and comic book artist and painter whose career lasted over 70 years in the mainland United States. He is most famous for his work at Timely Comics and often signed his work “Xela”.
5. Gil Kane (1926 – 2000)
Gil Kane’s career spanned the 1940s to the 1990s. He co-created the modern-day versions of the Green Lantern and the Atom for DC Comics and a substantial amount of covers for both DC and Marvel for over the decades.
6. Jack Cole (1914 – 1958)
Jack Cole was an artist best known for creating the comedic superhero Plastic Man, and his cartoons for Playboy magazine.
7. Will Eisner (1917 – 2005)
Eisner was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the comic book industry, and his series The Spirit was noted for its experiments in content and form.
8. Johnny Craig (1926 – 2001)
Johnny Craig is best remembered for his artwork at EC Comics during the 1940s and 50s.
9. Matt Baker (1921 – 1959)
Matt Baker was the first African American to work as an artist in comics and is widely considered to be the King of “good girl art”. He is best known for drawing the costumed crimefighter Phantom Lady.
10. Murphy Anderson (1926 – 2015)
Murphy Anderson worked primarily as an inker but also pencilled his fair share of covers and stories. His career with DC Comics lasted for over 50 years.
11. George Perez (1954-)
Famous for his detailed artwork and ability to draw countless characters on a page George Perez has worked mainly for Marvel and DC since the 1970s.
12. John Buscema (1927 -2002)
John and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics during its 1960s and 1970s ascendancy into an industry leader and its subsequent expansion to a major pop-culture conglomerate.
13. John Romita (1930-)
John Romita is best-known for his work at Marvel Comics and is one of the most popular artists ever to draw The Amazing Spider-Man.
14. Al Feldstein (1925 – 2014)
Feldstein was a writer, editor, and artist, best known for his work at EC Comics and, from 1956 to 1985, as the editor of the satirical magazine Mad.
15. Joe Kubert (1926 – 2012)
Joe Kubert is best known for his artwork on the DC Comics characters Sgt. Rock and Hawkman. He also founded The Kubert School to teach comic book illustration.
16. Jack Kirby (1917 – 1994)
Jack Kirby is one of the most influential artists ever to work in comics. He co-created countless characters including Captain America, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four.
17. Mac Raboy (1914 – 1967)
Mac Raboy is best known for his comic-book work on Fawcett Comics’ character Captain Marvel Jr. and as the Sunday comic-strip artist of Flash Gordon for more than 20 years.
18. Dave Cockrum (1943 – 2006)
Dave Cockrum is best known for his work on the X-Men for Marvel and the Legion of Superheroes for DC.
19. Jack Kamen (1920 – 2008)
Jack Kamen is best known for his work at EC Comics as well as the artwork used in the movie Creepshow.
20. Arthur Adams (1963 -)
Arthur Adams broke into comics with the Longshot mini-series and has worked primarily as a cover artist for most of his career.
21. Bernie Wrightson (1948 – 2017)
Wrightson is best known for his work his horror artwork on characters including Swamp Thing and Frankenstein.
22. Brian Bolland (1951 -)
Bolland is best known for his work on The Killing Joke, Camelot 3000, and Judge Dredd as well as his comic book covers.
23. Curt Swan (1920 – 1996)
Curt Swan is remembered for his work on the Superman family of titles. He drew thousands of covers and stories for DC Comics over his decades-long career.
24. Ken Bald (1920 – 2019)
Ken Bald worked at Timely Comics in the Golden Age and also drew the Dark Shadows newspaper strip.
25. Jack Davis (1924 – 2016)
Jack Davis is most well known for his work at Mad and characterizations of people with extremely distorted anatomy, including big heads, skinny legs, and large feet.