Ken Landgraf is a true cult icon in the world of comics. He studied with legends like Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman and worked as an assistant to Gil Kane and Rick Buckler. In the ’70s and ’80s, he went on to work on some of DC Comics, from titles like Weird War Tales to Superman Family and World’s Finest. His most infamous work might just be New York City Outlaws with Bob Huszar, perhaps the first true ‘outlaw’ comic. Huzar and Lamdgraf most recently collaborated on Apocalypse 5000, from Floating World Comics. Currently, Landgraf is at the tail end of an already funded Kickstarter campaign for a new project, Ink Zeitgeist, described as “a black and white outlaw genre pastiche comic (bikers, horror, cult cinema, superhero, punk, sci-fi, rockabilly, etc.) that takes place in Ink Town, a low-class but captivating destination of flea markets, arcades, trailer camps, diners and sideshow carnivals.” Mr. Landgraf took some time to rattle out his top five writers and inkers in the world of comics, along with some cool details. Check it out below, in his own words, along with some preview images from Ink Zeitgeist. Then make sure you head over to the Kickstarter page and push Ink Zeitgeist to the extreme!
Special thanks to Kirk Oldford (author and campaign manager for Ink Zeitgeist) for making this article happen. Could not have been possible without him!
Ken Landgraf’s Top Comic Book Writers
Stan Lee: The ultimate creator of major Marvel superheroes. His word balloons were funny and unique to read. A major influence on future Marvel and DC writers.
Roy Thomas: A master writer trained by Stan lee, he was the best Conan writer. Even worked on the screenplay for the first Conan movie!
Doug Moench: A great prolific writer of Batman and Master of Kung Fu.
Gardner Fox: An important early DC writer, worked on The Atom and many of the DC classic comic book stories. He also wrote for the paperback books.
Paul S Newman: The writer of Turok Son of Stone and a major writer for Dell Comics. I even got to draw a sci-fi story that he wrote at DC comics
Ken Landgraf’s Top Comic Book Inkers
Wally wood – A master of light and shadow, face lighting effects, master of the female figure; master of the brush I never became a Wood assistant. When I did get the chance I was already starting to get work at DC Comics. I met Wood 3 times as I would hang out with Jack Able watching him ink Iron Man. Wally who was friends with Jack would sit on the floor and talk. He told me to never ink a figure more than 50 percent black. He would ask me to go down to the Deli and get him a sandwich and said “get a soda for yourself. Mostly I got him a plain ham sandwich.
Dick Giordano: A pen master of dynamic ink line. Whoever he inked, he improved. Giordano was responsible along with Joe Orlando, on letting me draw Hawkman.
Russ Heath: He had a perfectly controlled ink line. Another master of light and shadow. I would often watch Heath ink up at Continuity Studios. I gave him blotting paper and purchased original art from him.
Dan Adkins: trained by Wally Wood, he kept the pencil style of each artist he inked. He would put his ink into a heated pot on the stove to take out water so the ink would be super dense. Dan invited me to dinner a few times and I got to watch him ink a John Byrne Iron Fist story.