Although he might argue with me there, his name has cropped up numerous times in years of conversations with comic creators as a highwater mark for artists working on superheroes, with his yeoman-like work ethic and ability to get to the top of the charts without compromising himself or his work. Immonen’s art blazes a trail between realism and exaggeration, and the cartoonist really hit his stride in the public eye with the 2006 series Nextwave. Immonen had been on some top-sellers before, including the Red/Blue Superman, the alt-realty Superman: Secret Identity and earlier stints on both Avengers and Fantastic Four, but it was his work on Nextwave and the genre-bending style that allowed him to show a more diverse skillset. Marvel and its star writer Brian Michael Bendis took notice, bringing him on-board for Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers and, well, New Avengers again with the series’ recent relaunch.
But one of the things that gets me is Immonen’s devotion to his own creations with wife and fellow comicker Kathryn. They got their start in the world of cartooning with their own self-published series, and jumped back into it a few years back with several webcomics and printed books. Last year, Top Shelf released their webcomic strip Moving Pictures, and the duo has plans for a new creator-owned original graphic novel for next year.