2011 was a year of truly awesome artistic talent in the comic book world -- and picking 10 of the best was no easy task. Enjoy this trip through some of the most exciting artists working in comics today!
10. Tradd Moore (The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode)
We like to refer to Tradd Moore around here as "our" discovery -- in that we picked up The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode not knowing what to expect and realized Moore was one of the breakout new artists of the year. What can we say after looking at his art, but: "Moore! Moorrrrrre!"
9. Mike Allred (iZombie)
It is sooo good to see new Allred stuff hit the stands, and iZombie was the perfect project. One of the few artists to make undead women look sexy, smart, and definitely not mindless (though perhaps also with an appetite for minds).
8. Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D., Petrograd)
Stunning work as the new artist on Dark Horse's B.P.R.D. AND illustrating the breath-taking Petrograd graphic novel for Oni -- 2011 was definitely Tyler Crook's year. We'd say that he's another Mignola in the making -- but that would take away from the unique style of Crook's art that is all his own.
7. Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man)
Humberto Ramos had an impressive run on Amazing Spider-Man this year, with the "Big Time" and "Spider Island" arcs. Not since Todd McFarlane has anybody quite nailed the flexibility and web-swinging arachnoid qualities of Spider-Man!
6. Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation)
Christian Ward's trippy, day-glo illustrations for Image's Infinite Vacation are like uncorking a bottle of champagne laced with LSD. Homework: imagine an issue of your fave mainstream comic book drawn in this style!
5. Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man)
Pichelli won Best Newcomer Artist at the Eagle Awards this year, beating out such formidable talent as Bryan Lee O'Malley -- and there's no wonder why. All eyes were on Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1 this year, and Pichelli's beautiful and dynamic renderings brought a particular humanity to this comic that rare to find.
4. Marcos Martin (Daredevil)
A word to sum up Marcos Martin's work on Daredevil: EXCITING! His fun, bold, and graphically stunning work on the new Daredevil comic is reminiscent of Will Eisner, and is rightfully lighting the comics world on fire.
3. Francesco Francavilla (Detective Comics)
Francesco Francavilla's art hearkens back to a more classic period of time in comics, but with a streamlined twist and a firey color palette. Whether working on a memorable run on Detective Comics, to his prodigious cover work, Francavilla's work is always a treat.
2. Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key)
Rodriguez's distinctive and consistent work on this fan-favorite IDW book is at turns humorous and haunting. Through his work, we feel we know the Locke children -- and the horrors they face -- personally.
1. J. H. Williams III (Batwoman)
When we opened up the long-awaited Batwoman #1 this September, our first reaction was: this art is in a completely different league from anything else on the stands! A dazzling, complex tapestry of overlapping, almost hallucinatory images makes reading Batwoman an unique experience without peer.