10 comic book makers that even non-comic readers have heard of

In the timeline of art forms, comics are still relatively new as they debuted in 1897, just a decade later. Roundhay Garden Scene, the first film, created. The plays date back to long before the Theater of Dionysus organized competitions between playwrights. The The epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest known poem, was written around 2100 BC, and the rock paintings and music are as old as the first human.

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Yet, with over a hundred years under its belt, the general population does not know the names of most of the people who created the characters they love to watch on TV and in movies. Everyone knows who Superman is, but how many people know who Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are? In order for a comic book maker to be known by name and not just the characters he created, it takes a lot of hard work and luck.


ten Stan Lee receives standing ovations

stan lee

There’s no one more famous in comics than Stan Lee. While there is still debate over how much credit Lee deserves for Marvel characters, one thing everyone agrees on is that Stan the Man knew how to sell books. Stan has turned into a modern day carnival barker, making Marvel books the coolest thing and working in Marvel offices as the coolest thing to do. He spoke in colleges, appeared on television, and became an iconic character himself. His cameos in the Marvel movies became so popular that people applauded him when he appeared on screen. Stan Lee has become the face of the comics and he will probably never be replaced.

9 Robert Crumb has his own award-winning documentary

Documentary poster of Robert Crumb and Fritz the cat

One of the most important figures in underground comics, Robert Crumb was known to die-hard comic book fans for his unconventional art style and affinity for a specific body type. Two of his works, Fritz the Cat and Keep On Truckin ‘, went on to become pop culture hits, with Fritz getting an X-rated animated film and Keep On Truckin’ becoming one of the most pirated pictures and phrases for them. shirts, fenders and belt buckles in the 1970s and 1980s.

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But Crumb himself became a minor celebrity when filmmaker Terry Zwigoff used him as the subject of a documentary in 1995. Crumb won the Jury’s Documentary Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

8 Art Spiegelman is the only comic artist to win a Pulitzer

Mouse-in-prison-uniforms

Another prominent figure in the alternative comic book scene, Art Spiegelman was well regarded in the industry for years, but it was the release of Maus, his two-volume series on his relationship with his parents, both of whom were Holocaust survivors. The story primarily focuses on Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, and the horrors he experienced at the hands of the Nazis, but also shows the pain Spiegelman feels as he tries to turn the story into a comic book with mice replacing the Jews and cats replacing the Nazis. Maus has become one of the most acclaimed comics of all time, if not the most acclaimed. It is the only comic to have won a Pulitzer Prize.

7 Todd McFarlane hosted his own show

Todd McFarlane Creator of Spawn

Todd McFarlane became one of the biggest names in comics during his time at Marvel Comics, and he used that fame to help launch Image Comics alongside other popular Marvel creators. McFarlane Spawn was one of the first picture books to hit the stands and it was an instant hit, leading to an animated series on HBO.

Each episode of Spawn opened with McFarlane himself introducing the story, recalling Rod Serling on the fuzzy area or classic TV horror hosts like Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs. These intros gave people a human face to connect with the comedic character they loved.

6 Rob Liefeld sold Lévis with Spike Lee

Rob Lliefeld in popular Levi's commercial directed by Spike Lee

These days, Rob Liefeld is known for creating Deadpool, a mainstream pop culture sensation on par with the biggest superheroes around. Deadpool’s footage spans every merchandise imaginable, and both of his films have been huge successes, opening the door to R-rated superhero films.

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But what first made Liefeld a known figure outside of comics was his appearance in a Levi’s commercial directed by Spike Lee. Working from home, Liefeld saw one of Spike Lee’s TV commercials and the accompanying 800 number asking people with interesting jobs to call. Liefeld called and the rest became TV commercial history.

5 Neil Gaiman became a bestselling author

that of Neil Gaiman Sand seller stands out as one of the most amazing works in comics. An opus of 75 numbers, Sand seller tells the story of Dream of The Endless and the tragic decision it makes that will end its existence. Sand seller stood out as one of the most impressive exploits in comic book storytelling and helped give birth to DC’s Vertigo line. And while Sand seller is sure to become even more popular with an upcoming Netflix series, many people know Neil Gaiman for his bestselling novels, including Stardust, American gods, Coraline (illustrated by Dave McKean), and Good omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett.

4 Hergé has its own stores

Hergé draws Tintin Cropped

While Belgian artist Georges Prosper Remi, better known as Hergé, may not be a big name in the United States, the creator of Tintin is beloved in Europe. that of Hergé The Adventures of Tintin is a series of 24 graphic novels that have sold over 200 million copies in over 70 languages, as well as spawned a popular animated series and film directed by Steven Spielberg. Since 1984, Tintin boutiques have sprung up all over Europe, selling only Tintin products, a feat that even Superman has failed to achieve.

3 Harvey Pekar was a late night sensation

Harvey Pekar, from Cleveland, thought about making his own comic book for ten years before finally doing it. Pekar presented his comic using stick figures and had Robert Crumb and Robert Armstrong draw the stories. After appearing his stories in a number of alternate comics, Crumb released his own title, American splendor.

The success of American splendor led Pekar to appear on Late Night with David Letterman. In total, Pekar showed up on Late at night six times over a decade, with two of those appearing after his banning from the series. With its segments on Late Night with David Letterman, Pekar’s life was transformed into a critically acclaimed film, also titled American splendor.

2 Gerard Way used music to get started in comics

celebrities-gerard-way

Most people dream of being rock stars, but Gerard Way, frontman of the hugely popular band My Chemical Romance, used his rock stardom to launch his true passion, writing comics. In 2007 Way started to write and draw The Umbrella Academy. Although Way is a good artist, the decision was made to have the book redrawn by Gabriel Bá.

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The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite was a smash hit, winning an Eisner Award for Best Limited Series and spinning a number of back-to-back series. Way continued to write Fate Patrol for DC and created Peni Parker for Marvel. Peni would continue to appear in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse while The Umbrella Academy would be made into a hit series on Netflix.

1 Joe Hill didn’t use his father’s name to do it, he used his talents

Joe Hill could have taken the easy road to success using his real name, Joe King. The son of legendary writer Stephen King, Hill wanted to be judged for his own writing skills and not for his quality compared to his father. title 20th century ghosts. It was only after his second book, Heart Shaped Box, that most people have learned of Joe Hill’s parentage. Today, Joe Hill is perhaps best known for Lock & Key, the comic book he created with Gabriel Rodriguez, which was turned into a Netflix series.

NEXT: Marvel: 10 Most Important Creators Who Weren’t Stan Lee


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10 Marvel characters clearly inspired by Batman


About the Author

Lisa M. Horner