Wednesday, 25 January 2012


While there are many great comic creators out there, I have formulated a rule of thumb that for me signifies an outstanding comic creator. For me a truly great comic creator inspires a school of comics, by which I mean a way of producing comics which has its own distinctive methodology ranging far beyond the mere aping of the original creator's style. These are creators who have influenced many other creators and therefore had a lasting effect on the medium.

Here are some examples of creators who have founded "schools"...

Herge didn't just create Tintin, he established a way of creating comics, consisting of complex plotting, well defined characters, international locales and meticulously researched clearline drawings.

Stan Lee created the soap opera superhero comic where characters evolved and storylines continued from one issue to another and characters occupied a shared universe. The fact that he wrote so many books led to a greater reliance on the storytelling skills of the artists. Stan Lee would recount a basic plot to his collaborators who would then draw the entire issue from his outline and Stan would return to add dialogue to match the pictures.

Jack Kirby personified power and movement in an art style perfectly suited to the superhero, his drawings seem simple yet they are dynamic and when he moved to DC comics in the 70s he developed his own storytelling style which perfectly suited his art. Vast inter-dimensional dramas played out by all too human protagonists.

Osamu Tezuka is the godfather of manga, having established the styles and working practices for two media – manga and anime. He synthesized the American approach and suited it to post war Japanese tastes giving fantastic cartoony characters and dynamic action scenes their own distinctive flavour. Tezuka laid the foundations for manga and anime which eclipsed their American inspirations (newspaper strips and Disney animation) in Japan.

Tune in for more Classic Creators in future blogs.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to Part 2. You don't post often enough - hope it's because you've got loads of work on.