From the email inbox:
Hey – I love reading your I Should Write The Legion things, but writing is only half of a comic. So my question is – who would be your ideal artist(s) for the Legion when you get to write them?
Firstly, I feel it’s important to emphasize that, although I appreciate the vote of confidence with the “when” rather than the much-more-deserved-and-appropriate “if,” that the odds of me ever writing comics period are small. There are two ways to break into writing comics for the “majors”: either be very successful at writing other media or be reasonably successful at writing comics on an independent basis. Given the arc of my career both as a writer and in everything else, I simply don’t have the time to pursue the second and the first, while certainly possible, remains unlikely.
I say this not to disparage myself, because I am awesome of course, but to remind anybody watching that “I Should Write The Legion” exists, as it always has, for two reasons: for me to refine my storytelling and pitching process (because every post is, in essence, a practice pitch to an attentive audience – which, it should be noted, is different from pitching to, say, an editor), and for me to enthuse about how awesome the Legion of Super-Heroes is.
I would like to stress this to onlookers: if you want to write comics, for the love of Christ do not follow my example.
That having been said, to answer the question:
1.) with a bullet: Takeshi Miyazawa. If I had any authority at DC I would be offering Miyazawa fucking gobs of money to come draw Teen Titans or Legion or Supergirl or Robin or anything with teenaged heroes in it; I can’t think of any comic artist working today who so excellently marries the manga artistic style with the Western superhero style. Other artists might be able to likewise draw the shit out of the Legion, but I can’t think of anybody else whose art in and of itself carries with it the potential to expand the reading audience just by its very nature. (Plus, Miyazawa is just fucking amazing and I would love to see him draw Brainiac Five.)
2.) Adrian Alphona. Is he even doing anything right now? Regardless, I love his designs and his detailed-yet-distorted artistic style. AND he can keep to a monthly schedule, which earns big points in my book.
3.) Michael Ryan. The fact that I have listed three artists in a row who are notable for working on Runaways is not an accident; Marvel have done a ridiculously good job giving that book excellent artists who are capable of drawing teenaged superheroes without having them appear too adult or too infantile. Ryan’s backgrounds are crazy good.
4.) Skottie Young. I just love his stuff. I know this is not a universally shared opinion, but so what – it’s my list, nyah nyah nyah. I think he would draw a wicked awesome Shadow Lass. And a wicked awesome Blok. And a super-double-plus wicked awesome Validus. And the lightning effects for Lightning Lad! Just imagine what Skottie Young would do with THAT shit!
5.) David Baldeon. Apparently currently the artist on Robin, which I don’t read regularly, but he also filled in on an issue of Blue Beetle a while back and I really loved his clean character work and design sense. Reminds me of a more stylized Chris Batista in a way.
So that’s my top five. There are plenty of others I could rattle off: Amanda Conner, Freddie Williams III, Peter Snejberg, Chris Sprouse, even Mike Krahulik. And Francis Manapul is excellent, and his only downside is that it’s only a matter of time before he’s transferred to a higher-profile title. But it’s all moot, anyway, so in the end I vote for whichever one that will give me money and power and women.