1) Jim Lee
When I first started reading comics, it was all my brothers' trades, based on his recommendations. His favorite artist was Jim Lee, and I have to agree on that. While I like him less on the current Justice League title, Lee's art on Hush, All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder, and Superman was utterly spectacular. To this day my very favorite panel is the full page of Catwoman and Batman kissing in Hush (which is possibly my favorite graphic novel). While not everyone loves Lee's art, he is a definite choice for my number one.
2) Alex Ross
3) Greg Capullo
Anyone reading this blog knows how much I goddamn love the current New 52 run of Batman. Everything so far has been really spectacular, in large part due to how great the art is. Greg Capullo draws a great Dark Knight, and did a fantastic job bringing the creepy Court of Owls and their Talon assassins to life. And don't even get me started on the Joker and his face.
4) Doug Mankhe
Doug Mankhe made the list just by pure volume of things he has drawn that I love. He was involved in Final Crisis, The Man Who Laughs, some decent Superman issues, and did covers for some of the inFamous comics. All around great artist with a number of really solid works.
5) Ben Templesmith
One of the creepiest art styles I have ever enjoyed is that of Ben Templesmith on his career-starting 30 Days of Night. The art style fits the tone better than most comics I have read, and his flavor of vampire drawing is spectacular. I also enjoyed the tonally similar Criminal Macabre and his contribution to the Dead Space comic.
Writers1) Frank Miller
Frank Miller is such a good writer he has an entire Earth (31) in the DCU dedicated to make his stories canon somewhere. That is how fantastic his stories are. Best known for The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman Year One, Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder, Sin City, and Daredevil, he is loved by fans of several different genres and characters.
2) Scott Snyder
Once again, I love the New 52 Batman. Scott Snyder is doing an excellent job, and is easily writing the best book of DC's largely poor relaunch. Every month I look forward to the issue of Batman, with every story arc and filler issue so far being an enjoyable read. While there is less focus on Bruce Wayne and his life in Snyder's comics, that is okay with me as long as he continues to handle the Dark Knight with such finesse,
Joss Whedon is an incredibly talented man who will reach into your soul and slap it about. Best known for his work in T.V. with fan favorites Buffy, Angel, and Firefly (Browncoat for life here), he has also done some great comic writing. The prime example is his run on Astonishing X-Men in which he hurt every reader somehow. He also writes the Serenity comics which are no substitute for more show but are still excellent. At least we got some closure from Shepherd's Tale.
I am a huge fan of Deadpool but have had difficulty finding arcs that really blew me away. Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force Volume 1 was not only a spectacular Deadpool book with some of the best character moments ever, but an all around great book. I loved all the characters, even AOA Nightcrawler, by the end of the series (I was bitter about him for a while). I was unaware of Fantomex until reading this and now he (they) is (are) one (some) of my favorite characters. He even made a joke about Deadpool being needed for "zombie Nixon" which is the Brain Posehn arc that just concluded, and was awesome. He also did the What If, in which Deadpool and Venom mixed. Just yes. Other works I like include Spider Island event contributions and the current Uncanny Avengers series which may be my favorite Marvel NOW book.
Everybody knows by now that Morrison killed Damian Wayne recently. His work on Batman, Inc has always been very good, even if I find the concept of Inc a little shaky at times. He also worked on All-Star Superman, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, important Batman arcs such as Black Glove, Batman and Son, Batman R.I.P, Return of Bruce Wayne, and DC's huge Final Crisis event. Fun fact: in refreshing my memory on what books I had read were by him I discovered he wrote Spider-Man and Zoids. That is priceless.
Best of Both!Some creators write and draw their books. While I did not want to do a top five, the following two creators are responsible for some of my favorite works. I didn't want them monopolizing both lists, so I gave them a seperate section. Hooray for cheating!
Bryan Lee O'Malley
Bryan Lee O'Malley has become very famous for his Scott Pilgrim books which were somewhat recently made into a movie. I adore his art style in Scott Pilgrim and Lost at Sea, as well as the previews of Seconds he has done and the posters/promos he has participated in, like a poster for Battle Royale. His writing is amazing, with all the volumes of Scott Pilgrim and the one-shot Lost at Sea both being on the list of my favorite comics ever.
With a huge following from his show Invader Zim, Vasquez is fairly well known for his writing and art there. However, his true gems are the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comics, as well as tie-ins and fillers such as Squee's Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horror, Happy Noodle Boy, Wobbly-Headed Bob, Filler Bunny, and I Feel Sick. His art stands out quite a bit with a creepy vibe and odd proportions, and his writing is a lot of fun. When story needs to be told, he does it well, but he also excels at jokes and funny panels. All his filler works such as "autobiographical" comics, bits making fun of his fans, and the ever suffering characters that are aware they feel pain for our amusement are clever and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. I can highly recommend all his work to anyone who isn't too easily offended (he does include a rapist hobo aptly named Rape-Bo and a filler comic about an aborted fetus).