The 2022 Golden Issue Award for Best Artist

Welcome back to the 2022 Golden Issue Awards. The comics medium is literally defined by how it uses artwork. By harnessing the power of art, comics are able to tell an infinite variety of stories, many of which are impossible to properly showcase in just about any other medium. Artists are the yeomen of the comics industry, the people who toil away over the drawing board (or tablets, in the modern day) to bring the fantastical, the tragic, and the wondrous to life. Artists are just as important to the storytelling of comics as writers, as they are the ones who ultimately depict both the "cool" moments and all the emotion and bring it to readers. 

And the winner of the 2022 Golden Issue Award for Best Artist is...


Greg Smallwood!

Greg Smallwood has spent his 2022 making The Human Target one of DC's most compelling and interesting series. While Smallwood established himself as a premier artist working on comics like Moon Knight and The Punisher, his clean and emotive artwork has really elevated The Human Target into a must-read comic every issue. From the deliberate use of simple color palettes that give the comic an almost Mad Men or Parker-esque vibe to the subtle facial expressions that showcase Christopher Chance's smug veneer that hides his own impending doom, it's really Smallwood that has defined The Human Target and separated the book from other Tom King-written work.

Even those who have a mixed opinion about King's other DC mini-series can't argue that The Human Target is an absolute joy to look at. Smallwood really captures the throwback aesthetic of the Justice League International while simultaneously showing off their joy, anguish, and anger. The Human Target isn't a superhero comic, but it's a comic book about superheroes and I think that separation largely comes via how Smallwood shows off the various heroes. Smallwood does such an excellent job at using posture, small glances, and little gestures to pull back the layers of Chance, Ice, Guy Gardner, and the other superheroes seen in the comic, revealing them as flawed people that just happen to wear flashy costumes. Even the "Batman" issue of The Human Target, in which Batman doesn't appear at all, is perfectly sold through the increasing panic and the erosion of Chance's calm and cool demeanor throughout the issue. The Human Target wouldn't be The Human Target without Greg Smallwood, and arguably I doubt that any other comics artist could pull off the complicated layers of emotion that the series conveys. 

Congratulations to Greg Smallwood for their Golden Issues win! 

The nominees for this year's Golden Issue Award for Best Artist was:

  • Peach Momoko (Demon Days)

  • Dan Mora (Batman/Superman: World's Finest)

  • Fiona Staples (Saga)

  • Greg Smallwood (The Human Target) – WINNER

  • Michael Walsh (The Silver Coin)