Atlas Comics presents


Simon Bisley has staked out the high ground as comics' most brutal artist. His work is tough, brazen, rude, violent, brash, and powerful. From Lobo to Slaine to Death Dealer, Bisley's name is synonymous with aggressive excess. While his choice of subject matter may be, shall we say, less than subtle, his style and mechanics are anything but. As a painter he has produced rich, bold works. Unlike many modern painters obsessed with smooth technique (Boris Vallejo, Dave Dorman), Bisley has developed a more organic, classic look which suggests Frazetta (whom he much admires). If you like your comics broad-shouldered and rough, Biz is the man for you.

SEE: Lobo (1st mini-series) #1-4; Death Dealer #1-2

The man known as "Shelly" probably should have paid royalties to Alex Raymond, Hal Foster and the numerous other artists he swiped from. Moldoff usually made no effort to cover up his artistic "homages" in "Hawkman" and other strips, often lifting entire panels en masse. He was an excellent artist in his own right, however, and changed, chameleon-like to suit the feature he was working on at the moment. He spent years as a ghost for Bob Kane on Batman, drew great covers for "Green Lantern" in All American, and scores of other stories for DC in the 40's. The artist most fun to spot swipes from (Rob Liefeld would be a close second).

SEE: All American #16

An excellent painter and illustrator, John Bolton has had a limited output, but high, high quality. He is of the generation of stylists which produced Charles Vess and Arthur Suydam, and fits quite neatly between them. A master of fantasy and horror (he is lately taking on some characteristics of Swiss superstar H.R. Giger), John has also produced outstanding stories featuring characters such as Batman and Thor.

SEE: Black Dragon #1-6; Marvel Preview #10; "The Flowers of Romance", Vertigo: Winter's Edge; Army of Darkness #1-3; Marada The She-Wolf graphic novel

Moreira was another artist of the Golden Age in the mold of Alex Raymond and Frank Godwin. Over the years his figures took on just a pinch of the Caniff style, which made them somewhat weightier and more imposing. He developed this synthesis after the war and put it to terrific use at DC during the 50's. While not a superhero man, he took on anything else that came his way until retiring from comics in 1962 and returning to his native Puerto Rico. Mr. Moreira passed away in1984.

SEE: Adventures of Alan Ladd #3-7

A 20 year veteran of comics, Fred Guardineer, like most men of the Golden Age, did every type of strip imaginable. As a result his career may not have an obvious summit, but it stayed on a high plateau for a long time. His style was plain and uncluttered, rather like a slick, more modern Chester Gould. If you can get a look at his work, you'll see why Fred was a true original.

SEE: Durango Kid #19-42

What Dave Mazzuchelli wrought in a very short time was wonderful to look at. After beginning his career under the tutelage of Gene Colan (evident in his earliest work), he developed a rich, dark style that lent itself perfectly to his role as visualist for Frank Miller's stories on Daredevil and Batman. His layouts were subtle and exciting, exhibiting a depth of thought and craft rare for the modern star. He has recently stepped away from mainstream comics to publish Rubber Blanket, a bold, risky venture which has seen him eliminate much of the artifice in his work and delve into a simpler, more direct core. Dave has the drive, the impetuousness, and the skill to help push comics to a more mature and enlightened path. We need more like him.

SEE: Batman #404-407; Daredevil #227-233; Rubber Blanket #1-2; Marvel Fanfare #40

What is it about Al Feldstein that makes him more memorable than a horde of contemporaries who were far more accomplished artists? His work has been described as crude, stiff, awkward, clumsy, and static. Yet there is a charm and an inventiveness that supersedes the technical elements to create a peerless vision. More than any other artist, he is not only uniquely of his era, he exemplifies it. Other artists may have been more popular during those years, but it is the Feldstein images, as much as automobile tail fins or the drive-in theatre, which remain touchstones to 1950's America. Whether they were of bomb bursts, flying saucers, or alien landscapes, Al's drawings tapped into something elemental that still resonates to this day.

SEE: Weird Science #12, 14, 5, (covers); Weird Fantasy #17, 6, 10, 11, 13 (covers)

Nick Cardy's reputation seems to have grown exponentially in the last 5 years. Once virtually unnoticed except by hardcore DC fans, Nick is finally getting his due after 30 years in the business and 20 years in retirement. He was a master of spotting blacks, a terrific draftsman, and had a looseness to his finishes that gave a pleasant, natural quality to his later work. In addition to these attributes, the suppleness and ease of his drawing, the beauty of his women, and the dynamic composition of his covers all contributed to a superb career.

SEE: Teen Titans #27-32 (1st Series)

"Sheena", "Mr. Mystic", Blackhawk. Bob Powell helped make each of these strips a success. With a broad-shouldered, solid style, and a super feel for vehicles of every kind, Bob survived 30 years in the business, working for many publishers on many features before winding up at Marvel, pencilling Hulk over Kirby layouts. He died in 1967.

SEE: "Mr. Mystic" ('40-'43), Spirit Sunday Comic; Shadow Comics, Vol.7, #4; "Gotta Match?", Black Cat #9

A first class inker in any era, Kevin Nowlan's pencilling has been highly underestimated since he began his career in the early 80's. First appearing as an illustrator for the fan press through The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes, Kevin eventually moved on to create richly delineated work, both pencilling and inking. His collaborations with Dan Jurgens and Gil Kane have produced magic, while his own jobs showcase statuesque and heroic figures rendered with a feel gone since the days of Mac Raboy and Al McWilliams. One has a feeling that Nowlan will need a signature series to be associated with (ala Mignola's Hellboy, or Adams' Monkeyman) before he will be duly recognized.

SEE: Superman/Aliens; "Grimwood's Daughter", Dalgoda #3-6

Atlas Home | 100 Best Home
Artist Name Index
Numbers 100-91 | Numbers 90-81 | Numbers 80-71 | Numbers 70-61 | Numbers 60-51
Numbers 50-41 | Numbers 40-31 | Numbers 30-21 | Numbers 20-11 | Numbers 10-1