10. Hidetsugu Yoshioka
I'm a relative newcomer to this artist. I first discovered this art on the E-Hobby "Solar Requiem" comic that came with the Shattered Glass Soundwave VS Blaster set. His art, while it does bear a Derek Yaniger influence, is expressive and fluid.
|Picture from TFWiki|
9. Josh Burcham
I was first introduced to Josh Burcham on the old Dreamwave message board. At the time, he was primarily a fan artist, but he eventually found his way to being employed by Dreamwave as a colorist. As a matter of fact, most of his official work has been as a colorist. He's colored for IDW and Fun Publications. However, he did provide actual art for the latest Botcon comic "Termination".
|Picture from www.tfw2005.com|
8. Makoto Ono
Another great artist who hasn't done a lot of official work, his art is still amazing. I first found out about him thanks to this picture:
As far as official work goes, Ono (also known as Makotron) has done work mainly for 3H and Fun Publications. He did do some art for the Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye profile series that Dreamwave put out, but his style was sublimated a bit to conform to Pat Lee's house style.
|Picture from tfwiki.net|
7. William Johnson
Some of you may be scratching your head over this one. Maybe some of you don't know who he is. Maybe this will jog your memory:
This was the first Transformers comic I read as a kid. Back in the day, you could buy multipacks of comics at store like Hills or Roses. The art in this issue had a lasting impression on me, especially as I was later exposed to the art of Jose Delbo for so long when I started buying comics on a regular basis. Johnson only penciled two issues of this comic, issues #7 and #8, but they were beautiful to look at.
|Picture from tfwiki.net|
A lot of the early Marvel Transformers artist get dismissed, and rightfully so. The artwork for the early issues seemed to be done by staff artists on the downturn of their careers. But something about Johnson's work spoke to me. It was lively and actually good! Sure, there may have been an error here or there, but it looked much better than this:
|Picture from tfwiki.net|
6. Alex Milne
If I had written this list 8 years ago, Alex Milne would not have been anywhere on this list. He would have maybe been on my list of the worst Transformers artists of all time. That just goes to show two things: 1) how pervasive and horrible the enforced Dreamwave house style was and 2) how much Milne has rid himself of this and become his own artist.
|Dreamwave influenced puffy art. Pic from tfwiki.net|
I was genuinely shocked and dismayed whenever IDW announced that Milne would be handling art chores for the Megatron Origin comic. When I read it, the Lee puffiness was gone, but it still didn't look that great. Imagine my surprise when he kept getting work from IDW for the live action comics (which in all fairness, I haven't read). I think that his speed had one thing to do with it.
After not seeing his work for a few years after Megatron Origin, I was pleasantly surprised to open up issue #2 of The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye and, after reading and checking the credits, realizing that Milne had done the art. The line work was much tighter, and it was pleasant to the eye. I truly enjoy his art now so much that I'm disappointed when he doesn't pencil and issue of MTME. His art has progressed to the point that Hasbro are basing figures from his designs, such as the upcoming Skids release in the Generations line.
|Milne's real style|
5. Geoff Senior
Here's the thing about reading the Transformers comics in the 1980's: you couldn't read it for the art. Sure, William Johnson did two great issues, but that was about it. That changed with issue #61, for in that issue, we were treated to Geoff Senior. His art was stylized, blocky, powerful, and robotic. In short, it was awesome.
|I know it's not from issue #61, but it's still from tfwiki.net|
4. E.J. Su
My introduction to E.J. Su came with the "-tion" comics from IDW, but he had done some Transformers work for Devil's Due for their G.I. Joe vs Transfomers comics. When I read Infiltration, I was blown away by the art. The robots were detailed, yet still a little cartoony and the humans looked like humans! This had been a problem during the Dreamwave issues. The humans all looked weird for some reason. Su had done some redesigns on a lot of the characters in the arc and they looked fantastic. It was certainly a breath of fresh air.
|E.J. Su cover art|
|I can see this on a canvas. Click to see the full size.|
3. Nick Roche
As sad as it was to see E.J. Su leave, it paved the way for another great artist to come aboard - Nick Roche. Roche basically broke into comics by landing work on Spotlight: Shockwave. His art is very stylized and on first glance, you know it's him.
You know the other great thing about Roche? He's a writer as well! He has written some of the better received issues of the IDW comics. Spotlight: Kup? Spotlight: Megatron? Last Stand of the Wreckers? They were all written and drawn by Nick Roche. The man's influence in this continuity is strong. Because of this, he was approached by Hasbro to design Sandstorm, and in turn Springer for the Generations line, two of the most hotly anticipated and beloved figures released this year.
2. Don Figueroa
The DON. His influence has permeated the Transformers brand for a decade now. Don't believe me? Have any Titanium or Classics figures? How about the new Generations Megatron? Guess what? They were designed by Don Figueroa. Well, he didn't design all of the Classics figures, but he either outright designed or helped to design a big chunk of them.
Like everyone else, I was first introduced to Don Figueroa's work through his Macromasters online comic. For those who haven't read it, you can check it out here. Not only was the art top-notch, but Don even created custom figures from scratch based on these designs. This lead him to Pat Lee's doorstep and he was eventually hired to pencil their The War Within miniseries. This led him to being hired by Hasbro, and essentially becoming Dreamwave's go-to guy for Transformers, which suited everyone fine because then we didn't have to look at Pat Lee's work anymore.
|MY EYES! tfwiki.net|
Yes, Bay movie inspired designs. Eww. At any rate, Don tired of doing Transformers and took a break. Now he's working on a project called Armarauders which looks fantastic.
Don's art has quite a few traits that never seem to change. The eyes are wide, teeth are present, the characters all seem to be broad shouldered and look impossibly strong. Don's Transformers are detailed, but not overly so. The most telling characteristic? The vents on the hands.
1. Andrew Wildman
And here we are, at number 1! Why, you ask, did I pick Andrew Wildman as the greatest Transformers artist ever? Simple: his work is super expressive.
Andrew Wildman has caught a lot of flak for his art in the past. There are those who have thought that his Transformers aren't really robotic. They looked cartoonish. They had teeth! None of that matters to me. His art is what I think about when I think of the Transformers. Wildman's ability capture emotion with giant robots helped to sell Simon Furman's scripts. Sure they always seemed to be wet for some reason, but that's fine. Even though I had no idea who Andrew Wildman was, or where he was from, his Transformers always looked British to me. I can't really explain why, but when I was 13 years old, I took one look at his art and said "I guess the Transformers are from Britan." I had never read a British comic in my entire life.
|Optimus Prime, dry for once during Wildman's run|
|And he's wet again.|
Well, there you have it. All 10 of my favorite artists of all time. Agree? Disagree? Let's talk about it in the comments section!