Welcome to Comicon.com’s Best of the Year Awards, gathering the best comics and comics talent of 2019. This year we will be awarding in the following categories: Best Comic Series,Best Original Graphic Novels, Best Single Comic Issues, Best Writers, Best Artists, Best Cover Artists, Best Colorists, Best Letterers, Best Digital/Webcomics, and Most Progressive Comics.
Contributors to Comicon’s Best of the Year Awards this year include: Brendan Allen, James Ferguson, Oliver MacNamee, Noah Sharma, Rachel Bellwoar, Tito James, Tony Thornley, Richard Bruton, and Erik Amaya.
The following are Comicon’s 7 Best Comic Artists of 2019.
7. Fico Ossio for No One Left to Fight (Dark Horse Comics)
If you’ve ever watched Dragon Ball Z or played Street Fighter and wondered what happened after the credits rolled, then No One Left to Fight is for you. A large amount of that is attributable to Fico Ossio’s tremendous artwork; providing a vast world full of wonder, adventure, and excitement. And that’s before you mention a never-ending battle between good and evil. The super-powered element may be the hook that gets you in the door, but what will keep you in the room is Ossio’s incredible character work. So much is said without words, instead relying on a simple expression that speaks volumes. We don’t know the full story of Vale or his triumph over the biggest bad to ever terrorize this world, but we fully understand the toll it’s taken on the man and the price he’s paid for this fame and glory. It’s drawn all over his face. This is just one of the many reasons we need more No One Left to Fight in our lives.
— James Ferguson
6. Patrick Gleason for Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)
Few creators get to work on one iconic character — let alone two — but that’s the path Patrick Gleason has had, moving from Superman at DC to Spider-Man at Marvel. The artist made his debut on Amazing Spider-Man with a bang; like he’s been drawing him for ages. There’s a flow to the wall-crawler, lending itself to elaborate fights full of interesting attacks. Gleason gets all of this while highlighting the large lenses on the mask, giving Spider-Man more expression than ever, even with his face hidden. We’re just getting started with Gleason’s work in the Marvel Universe and it’s sure to be a big deal.
— James Ferguson
5. Takeshi Miyazawa for Ghost-Spider (Marvel Comics)
How do you package pure excitement and intensity? Takeshi Miyazawa has figured it out; mixing the innocence of youth with awesome super hero battles. We got a glimpse of this last year with Mech Cadet Yu and it’s been out in full force in 2019 in Ghost-Spider. Miyazawa’s style is a great fit for the title and the character, showing how Gwen Stacy can go from bright-eyed college co-ed one moment to a fierce warrior the next with dynamic panel layouts, top notch fight choreography, and interesting angles to come up with a complete package.
— James Ferguson
4. Jorge Jimenez for Justice League (DC Comics)
Having first discovered Jorge Jimenez on DC Comics’ Earth 2, I was immediately taken by his kinetic and exaggerated style that has only evolved during his successful run on Justice League with Scott Snyder. Team books can be tough, but with his apprenticeship on Earth 2, Jimenez has been more than up to the challenge of illustrating a series with a huge cast of characters. His ability to breathe life into each character – no matter how small a role they may play – and individualise them all is masterful, and his time on such a flagship title has certainly cemented Jimenez’s place amongst the top talent working in comic books today. I can’t wait to see what he brings to Batman in the new year.
— Oliver MacNamee
3. Mikel Janin for Batman (DC Comics)
This year, Mikel Janin has taken readers across the globe alongside Batman while racing across the finish line alongside his longtime collaborator Tom King in one of the most acclaimed runs in the character’s history. Janin has drawn more of King’s eighty-five issue run than any other artist and drew both his first issue in mid-2016 and the last issue just a few weeks ago.
In that time he’s chronicled heroes rising, villains triumphing, loves found and loves lost, all with a style that takes us right into the character’s heads and hearts. It’s impossible to see him as anything but an artist whose take on the Dark Knight is as iconic as those of Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Jim Lee and Greg Capullo. For that alone, he warrants a place on this list.
— Tony Thornley
2. RB Silva for Powers of X (Marvel Comics)
To a certain extent, the X-Men always deserved the European comics treatment. Their vast, colorful cast, sci-fi trappings, and themes of equality resonate alongside work published by Les Humanoïdes Associés and the like. And in Powers of X, RB Silva gave the X-Men that European sense of scope, polish, and artistry while maintaining an essential — and American — X-Men quality. In a book spanning thousands of years and an almost impossible to realize vision of a post-singularity Artificial Intelligence, Silva brought it all to life with spectacular vistas and a clarity which aided the far-flung conflict between mutants and AI. He also gave us our first glimpse at the fabulous Mister Sinister, which should be an award all its own.
— Erik Amaya
1. Pepe Larraz for House of X (Marvel Comics)
Pepe Larraz has quietly been flying under the radar at Marvel Comics for over a decade. However, 2018 saw him take on two high profile projects — Avengers: No Surrender and Extermination — that lead directly into the biggest project of his career: the massive X-Men revamp House of X. Suddenly Larraz was getting the accolades that he’d so rightly deserved.
It was all with good cause. His depiction of the new mutant nation of Krakoa was breathtaking. His character work was majestic, especially with the reinvention of Charles Xavier and Magneto. Most stunning of all, though, was his work on what became known as the “red issues;” two issues in the run that completely changed X-Men lore as we know it. House of X #2, revealed the secret lives of Moira X, and House of X #5 unveiled the truth about resurrection. Both had difficult stories to pull off, but Larraz did it ease; making then look as amazing as they were momentous. Now we’re waiting with bated breath for what he has in store in 2020 and beyond.
— Tony Thornley