In this thread we celebrate the "Worker Bee" artist.
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19 posts in this topic

Bob Brown immediately comes to mind.  Anyone ever seen or read an article about him?  Likewise, John Calnan?  Well, I was able to find one interview with John:  https://www.nerdteam30.com/creator-conversations-retro/an-interview-with-john-calnan-a-comics-artist-too-often-forgotten

for Marvel, I’d say Ron Frenz was a longtime workhorse who didn’t receive much in the way of praise, likewise Keith Pollard.

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Bob Brown and John Calnan are great examples.

For his various DC work and especially because of his 30 or so years drawing Superman, Curt Swan.  I'm not really a fan.  But I respect his ability to draw Supes for so, so long.

Similarly, for drawing just about 10 years worth of Justice League and various issues for DC (e.g. Blackhawk, Hawkman/Atom, World's Finest), D ick Dillin.  I'm not sure JLA was a monthly title for those 10 years but drawing a team book over that period had to be a drain.

The above artists drew high profile titles.

For the journeyman artist, I'd say all the Filipino artists who drew for DC and Marvel.  For example, DC's horror / mystery and war titles.  Lots of high quality work and little or no glory. 

Add Jose Delbo and Tony Abruzzo (major Lichtenstein source).  Also, many of the Golden Age artists who continued working into the 60's and 70's (e.g. John Celardo, Bob Powell).  Gray Morrow, great art, not a lot of glory.

Based on OP's criteria, artists who drew pre-Silver Age romance comics.  Man, some of that art was terrible (see: Sturgeon's law).  But those artists were certainly productive.

 

Edited by Will_K
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8 hours ago, Brian Peck said:

Eduardo Barreto worked for over 30 years in comics mostly known for his DC work like New Teen Titans, Shadow Strikes and a number of Superman covers. He was a true work horse and mostly over looked. He was overshadowed by George Perez and José Luis García-López on New Teen Titans, though I prefer Barreto over both of them on New Teen Titans. He did some mazing compositions, his use of light and dark on Shadow Strikes always blew me away. I wish he was given more more at DC and Marvel. He dies in his 50s, way too young. 

New Teen Titans #31 Cover

New Teen Titans #31 Cover.jpg

 

 

 

New Teen Titans #39 page 20

New Teen Titans #39 page 20.jpg

 

The Shadow Strikes #2 cover

The Shadow Strikes #2 cover.jpg

 

 

Shadow Strikes #13 page 5

Shadow Strikes #13 page 5.jpg

 

 

 

 

Speeding Bullets Cover

Speeding Bullets Cover.jpg

 

 

 

Sinbad, The Coils of the Serpent GN (last project he worked on which went unfinished)

Sinbad, The Coils of the Serpent GN .jpg

Thanks for posting those Barreto Shadow pages. I really loved his run on that book. Just beautiful art that had wonderful nods to the past but also felt very present and modern. Beautiful work all around. 

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9 hours ago, Blastaar said:

What about Ayers or Jim Aparo?

You will catch heat from fans about Aparo if you call him a journeyman or “worker bee”. I also think you are confusing “fan love” with being at the top of their profession.

Bear in mind that “way back when” they were almost all journeymen artists because they weren’t celebrated like now. Artists like Jerry Grandinetti, Jack Sparling, and Joe Orlando were excellent (at least with the right material). Same with Tony DeZuniga. Today, we have producers like Tom Mandrake who are also excellent (see his run on the Spectre), but don’t get the fan love they deserve. 

Stylistic preferences vary by the buyer. Some artists do transcend the average. But I would not think of the others as drones.

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Rich Buckler.  He's done a lot of work for the DC and Marvel.  He drew just about every character for them.  Not a name that comes to mind easily but you know who he is.

Gil Kane.  I've heard it mentioned that his page count is close to (or exceeds) that of Jack Kirby.  Not an unknown.  A totally recognizable style, regardless of who inked him.  A great artist.  He had every reason to toot his own horn but didn't.

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Just now, Will_K said:

Gil Kane.  I've heard it mentioned that his page count is close to (or exceeds) that of Jack Kirby.

The top creators lists on the Mike's Amazing World website have Kirby at #2 (behind Swan) and Kane at #8 (following J Buscema, Colan, Byrne, S Buscema and Infantino) for number of pages pencilled, and at #1 and #2 respectively for number of covers drawn.

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1 hour ago, Will_K said:

Similarly, for drawing just about 10 years worth of Justice League and various issues for DC (e.g. Blackhawk, Hawkman/Atom, World's Finest), D ick Dillin.  I'm not sure JLA was a monthly title for those 10 years but drawing a team book over that period had to be a drain.

Spoon Dillin drew JLA from #64 (published in June 1968) until #183 (published July 1980), missing only five issues.

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9 hours ago, Will_K said:

Gil Kane.  I've heard it mentioned that his page count is close to (or exceeds) that of Jack Kirby.  Not an unknown.  A totally recognizable style, regardless of who inked him.  A great artist.  He had every reason to toot his own horn but didn't.

I was under the impression he wasn’t that shy about the subject.

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I think Bob Layton fits the bill. He’s filled in on most Marvel titles, done pencils or inks, and has a ton of output. The Hercules limited series was where I really came to love his style. (And if you ever meet him at a con, he’s a lot of fun and a great guy.) Here’s an Hercules page of mine. 

8C64B247-281F-4A1A-A57A-8FD65CC71681.jpeg

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