Best Cartoonist – Multiversity Comics

Image by Mike Romeo

Welcome to the multiversity year review for 2021! To call it a Weird Year is a Hulk-sized understatement, but one thing that came as a pleasant surprise was the sheer number of interesting and excellent comics that came out this year. We have over 25 categories to browse, so be sure to check out all of the articles using our 2021 Year in Review tag.

Best designer
Some comics are a team effort, with various people cutting out both large and small parts to make a comic stand in front of you. But sometimes there are people who take the lion’s share of the blame, writing and illustrating – and sometimes coloring and / or lettering – their own work. These are, in some ways, the purest expressions of creativity that we see in the comics. Today we honor those who do the heavy lifting.

5 (tie). James stokoe

The coolest thing about James Stokoe comics is that no matter what world he draws you can always tell it’s James Stokoe. He drew amazing Xenomorphs crossing a spaceship and he drew the King of the Monsters. It was in 2021 that Stoke returned to designer-owned books with “Orphan and the Five Beasts,” a comic that combined a martial arts fairy tale with Stokoe’s distinctive brand of body horror. Its panels are teeming with an almost overwhelming amount of detail, but a keen eye for visual storytelling clearly guides your eye through the story. Then there are his designs, which are downright disgusting. The villains of this book obey the physical laws of Looney Tunes, but with far more bloody consequences. A designer gets the chance to visualize his story as he writes it, like few other designers can. Stokoe remains at the forefront of the cartoon game because he has unmistakable individuality. – Jake hill

5 (tie). Joelle jones

The late Governor of the US State of Texas, Ann Richards, once said of Ginger Rogers that she “did everything that Fred Astaire did.” She just did it backwards and in high heels. This is a good maxim to describe the designer who juggles the entire creative process of comics, from writing to drawing to lettering. The work of four people becomes the work of one – – and when it comes to a work belonging to a creator, it is quite easy. But what if you take the leap to something that doesn’t belong to you? You have to combine bringing your own sense of style to the craft while mixing up the above. It’s a challenge that Joëlle Jones took up in 2021, with the majority of her work on DC Comics.

One thing I noticed when looking at Jones’ work in DC for 2021 was that his books were all about women – Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl. It was these last two where I felt she left the biggest impression on readers (including this one). She introduced readers to Yara Flor, combining strength, femininity, wonder and heritage in one character. The artwork stays true to the iconic Wonder Woman look, but adds touches that incorporate Yara’s South American heritage. The shy looks and moments of wonder underscore Yara’s admiration for humanity, showing that every superhero still has moments of discovery. Yara Flor may not belong to Joëlle Jones, but her skills in both screenplay and art help her make it her own.

Over the years, one constant of Wonder Woman has been her love for humanity. Joelle Jones shows us new ways the character expresses that love, and in a year as we celebrate eight decades of Diana Prince and Wonder Woman, I can’t think of a better successor to The Lasso of Truth, both in the character and the creator. – Kate kosturski

4. Stan Sakai

The legendary cartoonist had a hell of a year, in 2021 he won the Eisner and Ringo Awards for “Usagi Yojimbo” and a Ringo for Best Cartoonist and, if you think about it, he just did his thing: a book of samurai adventures simple, but in this deceptively simple concept, “Usagi Yojimbo” continues to be, after 37 years, brilliant.

His art remains exceptional and his stories continue to be both entertaining and moving. This year he published the stories “War of the Tengu”, “The Master of Hebishima”, “Ransom” and “Yukichi”, featuring a new character who will join Miyamoto in his musha shugyō (pilgrimage). And I think it’s all been great, especially number 19’s standalone story, I can even say it told some of the best stories out there.

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But not only that, Sakai also worked on an OGN called “Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Hoobie Chibis” while working with his wife Julie, this lovely book with the same story format as the classic book: A city invaded by monsters, and Usagi and some friends help them out, since it’s a children’s book, it’s faster, with shorter passages, and more comedy. Sakai also took the time to do some variant covers and even write a short Deadpool story for the third issue of “Black, White and Blood” about how Wade got his swords, and that’s still cool. to see him make stories outside of his iconic character. . – Ramon piña

3. Daniel Warren Johnson

Daniel Warren Johnson’s cartoon style is best described as if you take the 90s excesses, hair metal, and saddest book you’ve ever written and put it all in a blender with “One Piece.” . It’s strong, it’s very detailed, it’s impressionistic, and if it doesn’t fill you with adrenaline, it makes you cry. It’s a nice style but it’s not clean or shiny, although it’s not dingy either. This is, at least for me, what the world often has feels like, although it doesn’t look like the idealized or realized versions of other artists.

And it’s not just in the visuals. His writing and letters capture this love of the human and the fiery, sad but still strong nature of the people. 2021 saw Johnson apply his storytelling prowess to Thor’s beloved character Beta Ray Bill, as well as some short stories, all of which left an indelible mark on me. No matter how many days or weeks go by, the images of Bill battling losing his hammer against Thor’s or fighting Surtur, his arms stretching in impossible arcs, tiny in one panel and encompassing everything in the next, remain. with me.

The tenderness with which Johnson creates is unlike any other, which may seem odd considering he has a series called “Murder Falcon,” but read any of his stories and you’ll know what I mean. Whether he tells a story in 5 or 100 pages, Johnson will have you every time, letting a single tear fall as you whisper – metal. – Elias Rosner

2. Jeff Lemire

At the end of ‘Sweet Tooth: The Return’, Gus leaves the underworld behind, moving from the digital color palettes of the book so far to a world of paintbrush color, visually expressing the new beginning he’s embarking on. . In “Fishflies,” Franny wears a red jacket outside her house, but inside she removes it, visually blending into the background to avoid her father’s wrath. In “Mazebook,” the mazes are part of the layouts, first creeping around the gutters, then becoming more prominent as they grapple with William’s mind. Colors are limited in “Mazebook” associated with William’s lost daughter. Tellingly, her main association is rouge, for pain, and a disentangled sweater that reflects the outcome of William’s life without her. The real world backgrounds are drawn in pencil, while the maze world is in ink, letting us know how much more substantial it is for William.

Anyone who knows Lemire’s work knows he is a masterful storyteller, but in the works he writes and draws he pushes the side of himself that plays with how art can reflect themes and characters. in a non-literal way. It’s not only that he’s a great draftsman, but that he always explores how he can take an idea further – art fuels writing and vice versa – and that gives his comics a feel-good feel. limits. ?? Marc Tweedale

1. Chiang Cliff

There is no secret formula we can use to define what a “better” cartoonist might look like. You sort of know. Like when you hold an artist’s work in your hands and see the end product, and when you turn that last page and the comic is still close to your heart. When the culmination of all an artist’s thought, attention, and talent is seen on the page, magic can happen. And while Cliff Chiang hasn’t released a large number of books this year, it has had one release that has opened our eyes to just what Cliff Chiang is capable of. As a writer, artist, letterer, and colorist for DC’s Black Label book “Catwoman: Lonely City,” Chiang opened up her entire toolbox, got down to business, and produced something really awesome.

Chiang is no stranger to creating great comics – having started as an editorial assistant at Vertigo over twenty years ago, he has long been in and around the industry as a creator. More recently, this took the form of an artist on Image Comics’ “Paper Girls,” a coming-of-age story about four teenage girls – and Chiang’s expressive and engaging art (and colors) was just as important to storytelling as the writer. The intricate plot and strong characterizations of Brian K. Vaughan.

What we get, however, with “Lonely City,” is an uncompromising look at all that Chiang has to offer the entire creative process of comic book creation. Studying the craft for decades now, Chiang knows that creative decisions being in the hands of one person can offer more nuance, and the specificity of vision is more complete. With her portrayal of an older version of Catwoman, Chiang has the opportunity to add to the legacy of a character who is almost as important to DC canon as even Batman himself, and the seriousness of that. does not seem lost to the artist. “Lonely City” feels like a personal journey to Chiang, presenting not only an exciting new chapter in Selina Kyle’s story in a way only he can, but also as a commitment by the artist to pay homage to the creators of Catwoman before him, and even the technical creative processes used in the creation of comics (like lettering right on the board!). It all sounds like a momentous achievement for an artist we all knew to be capable of such a feat, and pleasantly surprised when our suspicions are confirmed. Thinking back to all the artists who could fall under the moniker of “Best Cartoonist” for me this year, nothing strikes me more than the moment I closed this first issue of “Lonely City”, still shrouded in elation. to see an artist succeed so fully in his vision. What a sensation. – Johnny hall

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