A few weeks back I made a comment on Twitter about being able to count on my hand the number of artists who broke into comics with their first gig at Marvel or DC. While I made this comment in reference to the number of people who have done so during my time at Marvel, over the past 8 years, the always enterprising Eddy Choi decided to research things a little farther back and sent me over the following list, reprinted with Eddy's permission:
"Hey CB, your recent tweet, "I can count on one hand the number of creators I know who had their 1st writing or art gig on a Marvel or DC book with no prior experience." got me thinking. I used to hunt down back-issues of a creator's first work as a kind of "rookie comic," so I wanted to see how many creators I could find who started at DC or Marvel and here's what I got:
Jason Aaron - Wolverine #75
Chris Bachalo - Sandman #12
Travis Charest - Showcase '93 #3
Jim Cheung - Justice League Task Force #26
Darwyn Cooke - New Talent Showcase #19
Marko Djurdjevic - X-Men: First Class #1
Ron Garney - G.I. Joe #110
Gene Ha - Green Lantern #36
James Jean - Fables #1
Geoff Johns - DCU Heroes Secret Files and Origins #1
Joe Kelly - Fantastic Four 2099 #5
Adam Kubert - Secret Society of Super-Villains #13
Andy Kubert - Savage She-Hulk #20
Jeph Loeb - Challengers of the Unknown #1
Joe Madureira - Marvel Comics Presents #87
George Perez - Astonishing Tales #25
Whilce Portacio - Alien Legion #6
Paolo Rivera - Marvel Double Shot #2
John Romita Jr. - Amazing Spider-Man #146
Jim Shooter - Adventure Comics #346
Marc Silvestri - House of Mystery #292
Walt Simonson - Weird War Tales #10
Chris Sprouse - War of the Gods #1
J. Michael Straczynski - Teen Titans Spotlight
Brian K. Vaughan - Tales From the Age of Apocalypse #2
Btw, one of the first guys to come to mind was Stephen Platt. I still remember when he did Moon Knight #55 and it was such a splash for an unknown guy to be so popular right off the bat. I found out later that he did a cover for an independent company earlier in the year, so I didn't include him in the above list, but I'm sure there are plenty of guys like that who just got one little thing published somewhere before getting their first storytelling work.
Another example is Olivier Coipel who got a single character published in Resident Evil Magazine #3 through WildStorm and then years later, he drew Legion of Super-Heroes #122. Techincally, his first work is Resident Evil, but like Platt, I could see where some would say his first work is actually LoSH, b/c I don't think he really used that previous piece to land work at DC."
Wow! That's a pretty damn impressive list. Thanks for compiling it and sharing, Eddy. And couple artists I can add off the top of my head are...
Skottie Young - Iceman #3
Adrian Alphona - Runaways #3 (although it may technically be an Exiles pinup in X-Men Unlimited.)
But I know there are probably a few more that I'm blanking on now. Anyone care to play along and try to add to the list?
Update from Mark Waid: "Not to undercut your point, which is FAR more applicable today than it was in the two-horse-town days of the '70s and early '80s, but, yeah...my first published gig was Action Comics #572, Oct 1985."