Here is a quick list of some of the most influential artists and writers in comics! Not all of these are relevant in the current market but I bet you will be surprised to find what comics gave them their big break!
1. Brian Bendis
This comic was written by the modern Marvel legend. Look back in his catalog and you will find he has done some obscure stuff. One of the best dialogue writers of his age, Brian continues to churn out quality work.
Other notable early comics: Parts of a Hole, Caliber Presents 23, Torso, Jinx, Batman Chronicles 23
2. Brian K. Vaughn
Tales of Apocalypse 2 ( Marvel )
This is probably not the comic you would think of when the creator of Saga and Y the Last Man comes to mind but early on he wrote Ka-Zar, Captain America and this forgotten X-Men related issue!
Other notable early comics: Cable 43, What if 112, Wolverine 131 (slur error )
3. Jim Lee
Solson Christmas Special Samurai Santa 1 ( Solson Publications )
This one should remind us all that Alpha Flight 51 was not Lee’s first pro work! Those who collect Lee likely know this by now but it should be repeated. This comic is very tough to find.
Other notable early comics: Alpha Flight 51 of course!
4. Frank Miller
Twilight Zone 84 ( Gold Key ) Whitman Variant
So one of the most prolific writers in comics was first published in what? That’s right! The man who revolutionized Daredevil, Batman and others has one of the more rare first efforts. There’s a Gold Key logo cover but the Whitman is the one to have!
5. Scott Snyder
The Human Torch: The 70th Anniversary Special ( Marvel ) Marcos Variant
Scott Snyder has yet to prove that he has any staying power in this industry but so far he’s doing a pretty good job! His Batman run has redefined the character and is one of the few modern examples of how to successfully craft a reboot of an icon.
Other notable early comics: American Vampire 1 ( all versions ), Iron Man Noir 1-4
6. Mark Millar
Mr. Millar has become one of the more successful writers of the last decade. With movie adaptions of works like Wanted and Kick-Ass, it appears as if he’s here to stay. Mark Millar’s early DC work includes Batman LOTDK 79 ( DC ) which is a cheap snag at any shop but his first pro work was in 2000 A.D.
Other notable early comics: Saviour, 2000 A.D. 648, Swamp Thing 140
7. Chris Ware
Eclpse GN Series: Floyd Farland
Mr. Ware is an indie great. He has established himself as one of the most creative sequential artists alive today. But his earliest work was a mess that he hated so much, he offered original art to those who mailed him copies. Finding it now is nearly impossible.
Other notable early comics: Raw 2, Zero Zero 5, Pictopia 3
8.. Mike Mignola
Putting any speculation to rest on this legend’s first work was not that easy so I asked the man himself at the Boston Comiccon 2013. A simple black and white pin-up of Red Sonja was all he had published but it was the start to a career that has influenced so many current artists.
Other Notable early comics: Rocket Raccoon 1-4, What if 39, Comic Reader 184,203
9. Robert Kirkman
Battle Pope 1 ( Funk-O-Tron )
The man who penned Invincible, Battle Pope and, oh yea, The Walking Dead has done a fair amount of work for Image. But his first pro work was in this fabulous series from Funk-O-Tron!!!
Other Notable early comics: Tech Jacket, Inkpunks Quarterly
10. Alex Ross
Do I really have to list this artist’s accolades? He’s easily the best comic illustrator in history. Disagree? Let me know why!
Other notable early comics: Hellraiser 17, Miracleman Apocrypha 3
( If you read my articles you will see that some of these have been mentioned in the past. Don’t be alarmed, it has been done intentionally )