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With a highly polished, precise style that combines and exceeds the best elements of Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, Jerry Ordway has brought Superman to the next stage in his visual evolution. In addition, his work on Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) has given the Big Red Cheese his best look in years, and as a painter he recalls the style of Russ Heath and his outstanding covers for DC's war books. Now writing more than drawing, Ordway needs to return to the board full time and reestablish his claim to greatness.

SEE: Power of Shazam graphic novel; Power of Shazam (covers)

Alan Davis is a sleek, solid, well-schooled artist who has all the tools: sharp figure drawing; direct, clear layouts; expressive characters, and polished finishes. Although remembered for his run on Excalibur (and more recently on Fantastic Four), Alan has suffered from the lack of a big name project or creation he could call his own. After almost 15 years he continues to turn out excellent, if unspectacular work.

SEE: Excalibur #1-10; Batman: Full Circle; Fantastic Four (3rd Series) #1-3; JLA: The Nail

If you read Jerry Lewis or Angel and the Ape comics in the 50's and 60's, you've probably seen stories by Bob Oksner. His cartooning is outstanding: loose, supple, sure-handed, and pleasantly goofy. A terrific talent in his idiom.

SEE: Angel & the Ape # 1-6

The consummate "good girl" artist, Ward created "Torchy" and many wonderful romance strips for Quality and others before his drawing developed into the overripe, highly exaggerated style that many younger fans know him for. A predilection for outright porn in later years belied his personal manner, which by all accounts was quite tame.

SEE: Modern #38

#96 C.C. BECK
A simple, straightforward artist, C.C. Beck rarely drew a line that was out of place or unnecessary. Amusing and fun (the way comics used to be), his take on Captain Marvel was inspired and definitive. Most of his reputation (and most of his career) rides on his work on the Big Red Cheese, but his style would have been appropriate for a variety of strips`during the Golden Age. He died in 1989.


Dan Adkins was a long-time assistant to Wally Wood, and it shows through in his drawing, and primarily in his inking. Although sometimes seen as a "swipe" artist (ala Sheldon Moldoff), Adkins is actually a solid draftsman and a top-notch finisher. His work at Warren and Marvel has a highly polished quality, but lacks the spark of Wood or Joe Orlando. Still, as an artist and an inker, Adkins enlivened many projects.

SEE: Strange Tales #168; Dr. Strange #169 (#1)

Anyone over the age of 30 or so will know Irwin Hasen as the artist of "Dondi", the venerable newspaper strip he drew for over 30 years. But before "Dondi", Hasen was a mainstay at DC, turning out "Wildcat" and other strips. A bold craftsman in the mold of Milton Caniff, he influenced Alex Toth and others. While "Dondi" was a quaint strip, it seems as though Irwin's talents would have obtained greater expression (but fewer tangible rewards) had he remained in the realm of comics.

SEE: "Wildcat" stories in Sensation Comics

Sergio Aragones dropped into the New York offices of Mad magazine unannounced one day in the early 60's, speaking little English, and almost broke. When he left, he had a job which began the career of one of America's favorite cartoonists. His greatest comic book creation is Groo, the obtuse swordsman whose stories Sergio has chronicled for 15 years. A truly gifted humorist, Sergio has entertained generations of fans.

SEE: Groo (any issues); Plop! #1-20; "Marginal Thinking" in Mad magazine

A non-pareil modern stylist, Howard Chaykin's work boasts comics' sleaziest and most wanton women. While other artists may have drawn prettier women (Wally Wood), lustier women (Frank Frazetta), or women with more "oomph" (Bill Ward), no one else captured the brazen sexual appetite of Chaykin's females. His greatest successes were American Flagg!, and Black Kiss, both of which exhibited his predilection for pornography and, well, exhibitionism. The strength of these books, however, was Chaykin's obsession with graphic design. Each cover, each page, was a complete graphic experiment unto itself. Simultaneously dictated by, yet independent of, storytelling elements, Chaykin's delicious graphics and spectacular contrasts enticed thousands of readers in the 80's and 90's.

SEE: American Flagg! #1-10; Black Kiss #1-10 (Adult material); The Shadow #1-4 (mini-series)

The man who created Scribby and Sugar and Spike certainly deserves recognition. Sheldon Mayer's career began near the fetal kick of the comic industry, and lasted, with a few interruptions, into the 80's. He split his attention between cartooning and editing for many years, with no appreciable damage to either discipline. His work is well remembered for its humor, sharp wit, and sense of whimsy.

SEE: Sugar and Spike (any issues)

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