Although he didn’t create any famous characters or have long runs on any well-known comics titles, Alex Toth is revered among comics artists for his sparse yet eloquent drawing style and his storytelling techniques. In animation, his character designs for shows such as Space Ghost and Jonny Quest have influenced many a modern cartoonist.
Morrie Turner created the Wee Pals comic strip in 1965. When Wee Pals first appeared, bringing black characters to the comics pages was by no means an easy task. At first, only five major newspapers published the strip. It was not until 1968 and the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that Wee Pals achieved nationwide acceptance. Within three months of Dr. King’s death, Wee Pals was appearing in more than 100 newspapers nationwide. In 2012 Turner was the recipient of Comic-Con’s Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. He also has the distinction of having been one of the handful of pros at the very first Comic-Con in 1970.
Alberto Uderzo was a struggling French cartoonist with several unsuccessful strips under his belt when he hooked up with writer René Goscinny to create Asterix the Gaul in 1959 for the first issue of Pilote, a comics weekly. After Goscinny died in 1977, Uderzo continued to produce Asterix albums on his own.
As a pioneer in the graphic novel, Lynd Ward produced six wordless novels in wood engravings from 1929 to 1937. His first novel, God's Man, was followed by Madman's Drum, Wild Pilgrimage, Prelude to a Million Years,Song Without Words, and Vertigo. All six books have been collected in a two-volume slip-cased edition by Library of the Americas.
Cartoonist Bill Watterson created the strip Calvin and Hobbes, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate from 1985 to 1995. The wildly popular series featured the highly imaginative little boy Calvin and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who came to life only with Calvin. In 1986, Watterson became the youngest cartoonist ever to receive the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award—the industry's highest honor. Watterson refused all merchandising for the characters, and after its 10-year run, he ended the series, saying that he had done all he could with Calvin and Hobbes. The final strip ran on December 31, 1995.
Len Wein is the co-creator of the legendary comic book series Swamp Thing, Human Target, and Brother Voodoo, as well as Wolverine and the New X-Men. He is noted for long runs writing almost every major character in the business, ranging from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Green Lantern, and the Flash, at DC to Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Mighty Thor, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men at Marvel.
The Superman editor at DC Comics during the 1940s–1960s, Mort Weisinger is also credited with co-creating Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Johnny Quick. It was under his tenure that many aspects of the Superman universe came into being, from Supergirl and Krypto to the Legion of Super-Heroes and the various types of kryptonite.
In the fall of 1934, Major Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications and published New Fun #1, the first comic book containing all-original material. The magazine was retitled More Fun in 1936. Wheeler-Nicholson added a second magazine, New Comics, in 1935, which became New Adventure Comics with issue 12 and finally Adventure Comics with #32. The third and final title published under his aegis was Detective Comics, premiering in 1937.
Ogden Whitney is best known as the artist of “Herbie, the Fat Fury,” the strange boy addicted to lollipops who appeared in ACG Comics from the late 1950s to mid-1960s. Herbie (scripted by Shane O’Shea aka Richard Hughes) made his first appeared in Forbidden Worlds in 1958 and got his own feature in 1964. In the later 1960s.
Al Williamson was the “young guy” among the EC artists of the early 1950s, producing classic stories for the various science fiction titles, often in collaboration with Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, and Roy Krenkel. After the EC heyday, Williamson moved on to draw a wide variety of stories for Atlas, ACG, and other companies. In the 1960s, he found his niche in adventure comic strips, with a regular gig on Secret Agent X-9 and then a memorable stint as the artist on the Star Wars comics strip.
As “Barry Smith,” Barry Windsor Smith became an immediate fan favorite in the early 1970s as penciler for Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian. After pursuing a fine-arts career, producing limited-edition fantasy-themed prints, he returned to Marvel in the 1980s, drawing and coloring Machine Man and writing and drawing “Weapon X,” his own take on Wolverine. In the early 1990s he served as creative director and lead artist at Valiant Comics. Since that time his work has been published by Malibu, Dark Horse, Image, and Fantagraphics.
Bill Woggon created “Katy Keene, the Pinup Queen” for Archie Comics in 1945. Katy appeared not just in her own book but also in Laugh and PepComics, giant comics like Katy Keene Pinup Parade, and occasional issues of Archie Giant Series Magazine. Notable about Woggon's comics was that he encouraged fans to send in their designs for clothes (as well as cars and even rocketships), for Katy and her accompanying cast of characters. The series ran until 1961. Woggon then went to work on Millie the Lovable Monster for Dell. A revival of Katy Keene comics occurred in the 1980s, with reprints of Woggon's stories, as well as new stories illustrated by other cartoonists.
Marv Wolfman is best known for Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths at DC and as the writer/creator of Blade, the Vampire Hunter and Bullseye (the prime villain in the 2003 movie Daredevil) at Marvel. Marv has also been editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, senior editor at DC Comics, and founding editor of Disney Adventures magazine.
Although he will be forever associated with the “Lena the Hyena” drawing he did for Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, Basil Wolverton produced memorable science fiction comics during the Golden Age, including the “Spacehawk” and “Space Patrol” series. He also produced hundreds of caricatures and other drawings in his distinctive stippled style and produced work for MAD.
Wallace Wood ‘s art style first captured readers in EC’s science fiction titles and particularly in MAD. He gave the distinctive look to the “Mars Attacks’ trading cards and created, edited, and drew T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents in the 1960s. He also produced work for Marvel, including Daredevil, and for DC (All-Star Comics). In his later years, he published one of the most polished fanzines (Witzend) and self-published a wide variety of works, from The Pipsqueak Papers to Cannon and the adult Sally Forth.