If you’re a comic book writer or that loves comic book heroes, discover the top comic book writers in our guide.
When reading comic books, it can be fun to imagine writers’ creative processes, thinking about how they’ve worked to dream up the worlds that feel like a second home to so many. For some, comic book writing started at a young age. For others, it was a passion that developed over time, often in unexpected ways.
Here, we’ll learn more about your favorite comic book writers, look at some of their most famed quotes, and check out the works for which they’re best known.
1. Geoff Johns
Former Chief Creative Officer and President of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns has received critical acclaim for his writing, screenwriting, and producing skills. Writing career highlights for Johns include Aquaman (2018) and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). In 2018, Johns, the creator, stepped down from his role with DC Entertainment 2018 and opened Mad Ghost Productions, where he and his team work to create films based on DC Comics.
Johns is also known as a self-starter in the industry, as he got his first internship by cold-calling the office of filmmaker Richard Donner and asking the well-known film industry phenom for an internship. If you’re a huge comics fan and are looking for the best Japanese comics, check out our round-up of the best books by Hajime Isayama!
“Take it. Close your eyes. Go on. Now, can you remember exactly how you felt that day? That’s how I feel when I’m flying. Like that plane is a part of me. No, it’s like, no matter how bad things get, there’s something good out there just over the horizon.”Green Lantern
2. Mark Millar
Scottish comic book writer Mark Millar is known for his work with Marvel comics. According to Time magazine, some of his writing on The Ultimates led to him becoming known as one of the best comic book writers of the decade. The author’s mini-series Civil War was written in 2006 and inspired Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. In addition to writing hits like Kingsman and Ultimate Fantastic Four, Millar has been in the news for his controversial statements but has remained a well-respected individual in the comic book industry. He has published several titles under his Millarworld company, including Nemesis, Supercrooks, and Jupiter’s Legacy.
“Your excessive need to protect me will not redeem your failure to protect mother.”Kingsman
3. Rick Remender
Rick Remender started with cult-favorite comic books, including Murder Can Be Fun, Lowest Comic Dominator, and Black Heart Billy. Later in his career, Remender became known for writing on Captain America, AXIS, and Avengers: Rage of Ultron. The Los Angeles-based creative recently gained critical acclaim as the showrunner and lead writer for the Sony Pictures Television show Deadly Class in 2019. Recently, his work The Last Days of American Crime was picked up by Netflix and made into a feature film. Before this work, he got his start in animation, working on The Iron Giant, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Titan AE.
“You think that a lifetime’s worth of training would’ve prepared me for this. It hasn’t. I’m completely helpless. My nightmare is finally going to catch me, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.”Venom
4. Warren Ellis
English comic book writer Warren Ellis is known for writing several comic books that have been turned into feature films. The novelist, screenwriter, and comic book writer started with short stories and one-pagers, and within a few years, he began working as a writer for Marvel Comics. The author is known for several works, including Astonishing X-Men, Iron Man, The Authority, Planetary, Global Frequency, Thunderbolts, Trees, and FreakAngels. Today, he’s not just known as a writer–he’s also heralded for his humanist work and sociocultural commentary. Ellis covers topics including human enhancement, mind transfer, cryonics, and nanotechnology with his online presence.
“Everything is so fragile. There’s so much conflict, so much pain… you keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize this is it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along–that weird, unbearable delight that’s actual happy–I think you have to grab it while you can.”Venom
5. Chris Claremont
Chris Claremont is known for writing for Uncanny X-Men for nearly two decades. The writer worked to develop female characters and used his skills as a novelist to introduce complex themes into various comic book series. He’s also known for introducing many characters into the X-Men universe, including Gambit, Sunspot, Nimrod, Mirage, Lady Mastermind, Moira MacTaggert, and The Brood. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Claremont is the best-selling comic book of all time with his 1991 comic book X-Men #1 (co-written with Jim Lee). The author is also known for writing in Excalibur, Captain Britain, and Wolverine.
“He was older than me. He always liked to enjoy himself. I used to admire him for that. Now it makes me sick to know that he’s my brother. I hope they kill him. But I don’t want to be here when they do. I’ve got to go. Not back to the manor… anywhere but there.”Captain Britain
6. Scott Snyder
In addition to his comic book writing, Scott Snyder is also known for his 2006 short story, Voodoo Heart. Snyder graduated from Brown University in 1998 and then worked at Walt Disney World before becoming a full-time writer. Snyder says that his time working at Disney has heavily influenced the writing he does today. The writer began writing for Marvel in 2009 and created his American Vampire series in 2010. In 2011, Snyder signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, where he began to write both Detective Comics and Batman: Gates of Gotham. Snyder is also known for his work in Swamp Thing, Justice League, and Wytches.
“There are heroes among us, to remind us that only from fear, comes courage. That only from the darkness, can we truly feel the light.”Justice League
7. Gail Simone
Batgirl writer Gail Simone broke into the male-dominated world of comic book writing in 1999 when she founded a website entitled Women in Refrigerators, which was developed to analyze how female comic book characters are treated. She contacted comic book giants through her site and began working as a writer herself. Today, she’s known as the longest-running female writer for the Wonder Woman series and for her work in Red Sonja, Batgirl, Welcome to Tranquility, Secret Six, and Birds of Prey. The artist won the True Believers Comic Award for Roll of Honor/Comic Excellence at London Film and Comic Con in 2014 and the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Inkpot Award.
“Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”Wonder Woman
8. Jack Kirby
Born Jacob Kurtzberg, Jack Kirby is a New York native who wowed readers as an artist, writer, and editor. He also worked under the pen name Jack Curtiss. He started in the comic world in the 30s and is known for creating Captain America alongside Joe Simon in 1940. Many of Kirby’s works have been made into major motion pictures (including Black Panther, Captain America, Thor, and Fantastic Four), and he’s known as “The King” in the comic book fandom world.
Today’s comic book artists strive to earn a Jack Kirby Award and be inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. There is also a museum and research center named for the artist. The museum is available virtually, and the collections are physically stored in Hoboken, New Jersey.
“You can’t let your father’s mistakes define who you are. You get to decide what kind of king you are going to be.”Black Panther
9. Todd McFarlane
Canadian comic book phenom Todd McFarlane is known as both a writer and an artist. He worked double duty on his fantasy-horror comic book series Spawn, serving as both the writer and the artist, and he’s well-known for his art in The Amazing Spider-Man. During his rise to fame due to his work for the Spider-Man franchise in the 80s and 90s, McFarlane drew the first full appearances of Venom in the series.
In addition to being a mainstay in the comic book world, McFarlane is well-known in Hollywood as a producer and director of comic book-based films. Want to read the best comics? Check out our round-up of the top 10 comics of all time! You can also use our search box if you want to explore other best books in other genres.
“Aren’t there any normal people left on Earth, or is everybody just back from hell?”Spawn