I stopped short of saying Mangaka, because some artists aren't writers ( like Takeshi Obata of Hikaru no Go and Death Note fame ).
I'm an Artist myself; also an Art History Degree and I'm interested in hearing people's opinions on this.
At present, my Top 20 favorites would be:
1. Takehiko Inoue ( Vagabond )
2. Miura Kentarou ( Berserk, especially the last 25 volumes )
3. Kishimoto Masashi ( Naruto.. duh! )
4. Segawa Masaki ( Basilisk )
5. Tite Kubo ( Bleach )
6. Takeshi Obata ( Hikaru no Go, Death Note )
7. Hiroaki Samura ( Blade of the Immortal )
8. Masakazu Katsura ( I"s )
9. Nobuhiro Watsuki ( Rurouni Kenshin )
10. Yusuke Murata ( Eyeshield 21 )
11. Eiichiro Oda ( One Piece )
12. Daisuke Higuchi ( Whistle! )
13. Kentaro Yabuki (Black Cat)
14. Ai Yazawa ( Nana )
15. Kishimoto Seishi ( 666Satan )
16. Hoshino Katsura ( D. Gray Man )
17. Hiromu Arakawa ( Full Metal Alchemist )
18. Tohru Fujisawa ( Great Teacher Onizuka )
19. Akira Toriyama (Dragonball)
20. Togashi Yoshihiro ( Yu Yu Hakusho )
Edit: Ok, forgot the mangaka of 666Satan; added him to the list.
Edit2: Added Kentaro Yabuki (Black Cat) to the list. And after reading Volume 3 of Nana, I've gotta bump Ai Yazawa up the list a bit. Her art just strikes a chord with me. And I suppose I should throw Akira Toriyama and Togashi Yoshihiro in there too, although I'm not as crazy about their art. I just remembered I also liked GTO, so I'll add Tohru Fujisawa to round out what is now a Top 20 list. LoL.
Masakazu Katsura (I''s, Zetman, Video Girl Ai) draws everything extremely well
Kubo Tite (Bleach, Zombie Powder) love his sense of style
Shin Takahashi (SaiKano, Kimi no Kakera) very unique, almost scribbles
Tsutomu Nihei (Blame!) can't beat this guy when it comes to skill, majored in architecture and it shows
Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond, REAL, Slam Dunk) very 'complete' artist
Nobuyuki Anzai (MÄR, Flame of Recca) tho not always very original, I love his facial expressions and character designs
Oh! Great (Air Gear, Tenjou Tenge) gotta give it to the guy, his art is insane
Inoue is the best, period. I am also an art buff of sorts (i have had to take two year long art history courses but enjoyed them) and really find Inoue's style of art work very appealing, it doesnt hurt that his stories are great for Real, Slam Dunk and Vagabond. He even uses brushes for his work now instead of pens which adds to the older feel of vagabond. Slam Dunk in the later volumes had just a taste of what was in store. The only blemish on his record for me is buzzer beater, wtf? that anime/manga went no where.
Kazushi Hagiwara, bar none. He's the guy who draws the Bastard!! manga which is up to 23 volumes now and is still running strong. He has become an extremely good artist as time has gone on, with intricate details and well-(endowed)-drawn characters, if a bit on the fanservice side. (A bit? Who am I kidding the guy's a pervert, even though his stuff technically isn't all porn.)
Either or, he's definitely my favorite. I guess it doesn't hurt that his sense of humor is pretty close to mine.
尊皇攘夷 Ask Zindryr Stuff MANga of Taste - Zindryr's Manga Review Blog - last update 07/29/08
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