Tuesday, March 4, 2014


That is, after Jack Kirby.

I have read in recent obituaries of recently dead talented comic persons that that creative talent in the world of comics had a great deal of influence upon the industry.   I know people want to be recognized for their work, and many from the Golden age of comics were not recognized, but, I thought, I wonder who really has had the most influence upon the comic book industry today.  So I asked a number of my creative friends what they thought.

Not all of those I asked answered, and after answering some asked not to be quoted.  So here is what I asked and let me explain my question before revealing the answers of those who allowed me to use their answers.

“After Jack Kirby, who would you say is the greatest comic book talent regarding influence upon the industry?“

The question was constructed that way because most people familiar with comics, whether they believe it is true or not, will say Jack Kirby.   I have no doubts he is the most influential but I’ve heard people say his name, and then denigrate his work or suggest their taste towards him is not enormous.   I am not interested in that debate, I hardly see it being needed.  But I wanted to see what the creative people thought, without having to say the name of Jack Kirby, and what many would say.  Thank you all who participated and also to those who did as well but didn’t give permission to me to quote you.

Erik Larsen: Michael Golden.

Art Adams springs from that well, Jason Pearson, Chris Bachalo, most Image guys--his effects are pervasive. And few people even know his stuff, the general public I mean.   I was thinking artists but as far as writers-- Alan Moore.

Chris Weston:  Alan Moore.

Jimmy Palmiotti:  Two men, Will Eisner and Joe Kubert. For me, Joe all the way since he did so much and all his own creator owned personal work.

Mike Grell:  Stan Lee. No question.

#2 is WILL EISNER, who was the greatest storyteller in the history of the medium.   He was greater by far than Kirby (by himself) or Lee (without Kirby).

Chuck Dixon:  Wally Wood. Then Harvey Kurtzman. Then Carl Barks.  Then Joe Kubert.  But then the Image boys reversed it all.

Jim Keefe:  I'm waffling between Joe Kubert and Will Eisner - Leaning towards Kubert because of his school/teaching. The school was founded in 1976, which means over 35 years worth of students entering the field - many becoming professionals in the industry.

Norm Breyfogle:  I sincerely don't know.

For me personally, I'd name Neal Adams.

Matt Feazell: That would be Neal Adams!


Talent-wise I was rather amazed no one mentioned Frank Miller, or Neil Gaiman, and stretching the definition of comic talent, even maybe Jenette Kahn for her opening the market to new kind of works.   As various people answer they define the questions themselves so I honestly expected someone to mention the originator of the direct market for comics, or some of the pioneers who changed the look of comics through digital means, or even, some of the larger retailers like Chuck Rozanski and Mile High Comics.

I recommend that everyone reading here now go and look up all the names mentioned, and consider who would fall in the next question, if these names were all removed.  I am very grateful for the answers and I thank everyone for being a part of the brief interview.


Sorry I didn't get the message til now, Frank Miller.

1 comment:

Paul Ewert said...

Will Eisner, C.C. Beck, Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox, Jack Cole, Harvey Kurtzman, Neal Adams, Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Steve Engelhart,