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Another modern artist whose exceptional technique dominates his image. While a good, if unspectacular storyteller, it's primarily Bolland's sharp drawing and breathtaking inks which have catapulted him to superstardom. His command and control of precise and detailed finishes puts most "renderers" to shame, and is in a league with greats such as Russ Heath, Dave Stevens, and Craig Russell.

SEE: Batman: The Killing Joke; Camelot 3000 #1-12; innumerable covers for DC and Vertigo

What can you say about the man who helped bring Bettie Page back to national attention? His drawing is polished, detailed, precise and meticulous, without ever appearing labored or overwrought. Dare we say that his technique occasionally rivals the likes of Frazetta, Foster, or Alex Raymond? Why not? The past shouldn't have a monopoly on greatness.

SEE: The Rocketeer Graphic Novel; various covers for Pacific and Eclipse comics

George's place this high on the list may surprise some people, but he has already logged (gasp!) 25 years experience, and continues to do essential work and improve with age. Perhaps the last in a line of "classic" 60's style comic artists, George has followed the tradition of outstanding illustrators such as Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, John Buscema and John Romita. His dedication and enthusiasm have helped him remain a star with much of the youth culture while many of his early contemporaries appear dated.

SEE: Avengers #1-10 (3rd series); Titans #50; Crisis on Infinite Earths #8; Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect #1-2

If you listed the three "best" artists in the field of war, western and historical comics, John Severin's name could appear on each of those lists. While not among the most dynamic of artists, his feel for the subject matter and consummate draftsmanship elevated hundreds of stories to classic status. At the same time, John was a wonderful humorist, a dead-on caricaturist, and an all-time first team inker. His use of duo-shade, and his wonderful graphic techniques have created some of comics most beautiful stories.

SEE: Various stories in Cracked magazine; "The Trap", Two-Fisted Tales #26; "The Trench", Blazing Combat #4

Jack Davis is easily comics' most famous graduate. While not known to the general public by name, his commercial illustrations for Time, TV Guide, Raid, and innumerable ad campaigns have made his art among the most widely viewed of the last 40 years. Known as a caricaturist and humorist through Mad, Davis also drew some of the mouldiest, most fetid horror stories ever to invade the dreams of children. His stint at EC was one of the great marriages between publisher and artist of all time.

SEE: "I Touched a Flying Saucer", Panic #4; "Foul Play", Haunt of Fear #19; "Death of Some Salesman", Haunt of Fear #15

Stan Lee didn't tab Gene "The Dean" for nothing. Versatile in the extreme, Gene adapted his highly individual style to a variety of subjects and always came out looking great. Who as an editor would have thought that Colan's style would have suited the likes of Iron Man? But suit it he did, becoming the most acclaimed artist on the strip, as well as on Daredevil, and running the top tier on Captain America and others. In addition, Gene tackled science fiction, war, romance, and suspense with equal elan. Although health problems have dimmed his edge in recent years, Gene nonetheless still consistently turns out high-calibre work .

SEE: Tomb of Dracula #20 -40; Tales of Suspense #70-72; Nathanial Dusk #1-4; "Ragamuffins", Eclipse Monthly; "Conflict", Blazing Combat #4

Amusingly, astonishingly, and utterly singular, Basil Wolverton created some of the most bizarre and fascinating drawings done not just in comics, but in cartooning of any kind. A master of the absurd, he is, with Robert Crumb, comics' most individual "cartoon" style artist. It is unfair, however, to label him as just a "cartoon" artist. He produced some of the most surreal and disorienting science fiction stories ever, and his so called "bigfoot" work exhibits a total mastery of drawing and rendering, just as Crumb's does. His influence reached far, and can be seen in a generation of underground and aboveground artists such as Will Elder, Gilbert Sheldon, and of course, Crumb.

SEE: Powerhouse Pepper #1-5 (Plus assorted appearances in Timely books and reprints); Target #7 (cover and interiors); Basil Wolverton in Space (trade paperback from Dark Horse, 1997, reprints many "Spacehawk" strips, plus other Wolverton gems)

Of all the great war-era cover artists on this list (Kirby, Fine, Schomburg, et al) Mac Raboy may be the top of the heap. Take a gander at just about any issue of Master Comics in 1942, '43 or '44 and you're likely to see not just a gem, but one of the great comic covers of all time. His command of lighting and effects may be his greatest attribute, and helped give his work a sleek, polished look which many attempted to duplicate. (Wally Wood appears to have appropriated his multiple light-source fecundity years later.) If you can find the reprints, Raboy is a man to see.

SEE: Covers for Master #27, 30, 32, 40, 45; interior, Master #27

Another of the "experimenters" on this list, Frank has made it part of his job to push the barriers of storytelling and style. As result he has remained fresh and influential throughout his 20 year (!) career. It seemed obvious from the beginning that Frank was destined to be something more than just another hack. He spent hours sketching New York, drinking in the ambiance of the city, and it showed when he got his first break at Marvel. The city itself became a character in Daredevil, and Frank used it to great effect. He exploded conventional layouts, employing some of the strategies of Steranko, Krigstein, Will Eisner and others who wanted to drag the medium to its full potential. He has also reinvented his style regularly (Daredevil, Ronin, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City) to suit the tenor of his stories. While perhaps not a true "original", he has helped refine and hone great ideas to razor sharpness.

SEE: Daredevil #191; The Dark Knight Returns #1-2; Ronin #1; Sin City (any)

Johnny Craig is a man who has never gotten his due. Although his reputation rests primarily on his 7 or 8 years with EC, those years where crammed with a plethora of explosive, dynamic, beautifully designed pages which leave an indelible impression. His greatest strength was the noir thriller, which he executed sharply in the lead slot of Crime SuspenStories for many issues. The yarns of James M. Cain and Cornell Woolrich were perfectly suited to his style. In his slot as the lead man for Vault of Horror, he produced sleek, perfectly rendered stories, and created Drusilla, comics' sexiest recurring horror star until the advent of Vampirella. Take a good, critical look at Johnny Craig. You will not be disappointed.

SEE: "Touch and Go", Crime SuspenStories #17; "And All Through the House", Vault of Horror #35

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