Famous 20th Century Cartoonists

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Cartoonists, including Dr. Seuss, R. K. Laxman, Matt Groening, Gary Larson and Bill Watterson.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby.
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Famous As: Comic Book Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1994
Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby, initially published comics under various other pseudonyms, such as "Jack Curtiss" and "Curt Davis." He worked with Marvel, where he co-created characters such as The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, along with Stan Lee. He then joined DC, where he created the Fourth World Saga

 2 Matt Groening

Matt Groening.
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Animator
Birthdate: February 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland
Matt Groening is best known as the creator of the iconic animated sitcom The Simpsons, which is the longest-running American primetime TV series and has won Groening 11 Emmys. He had initially gained fame for the comic strip Life in Hell and also created Futurama and the Netflix series Disenchantment.
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 3 Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz.
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: November 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: February 12, 2000

Charles M. Schulz was an American cartoonist. He is credited with creating the popular comic strip, Peanuts, which featured world-renowned characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Considered one of the most influential cartoonists ever, Schulz's works have influenced other cartoonists like Dav Pilkey, Matt Groening, and Jim Davis. In 1996, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 4 William Hanna

William Hanna.
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Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: July 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melrose, New Mexico, United States
Died: March 22, 2001
William Hanna was an American animator, best known for creating popular cartoon characters such as Tom and Jerry, the Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo. He co-founded the Hanna-Barbera company, along with his longtime partner Joseph Barbera. Their team had produced more than 3,000 half-hour shows for 150 television cartoon series that won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards.

 5 Todd McFarlane

Todd McFarlane.
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Comics artist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: March 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calgary

Todd McFarlane is a Canadian writer, artist, comic book creator, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. Renowned for his artistic work on The Amazing Spider-Man, Todd became a comic book superstar during the 1980s and 1990s for his work on the Spider-Man franchise. As an entrepreneur, Todd McFarlane is credited with founding Todd McFarlane Productions and its subsidiary McFarlane Toys.

 6 Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson.
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: July 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

Bill Watterson is a retired cartoonist and author. He is credited with writing the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. In 1988, Watterson became the sixth person to win the Reuben Award twice. In 2020, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

 7 Scott Adams

Scott Adams
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Famous As: Comics artist, Economist, Journalist
Birthdate: June 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Windham (town), New York

Best known for his iconic comic strip Dilbert, Scott Adams has an MBA degree and has worked in banks and tech firms earlier. The character Dilbert first appeared in Adams’s office presentations and was inspired by his co-workers. His social-media video series, Coffee with Scott Adams, too, was quite popular.

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 8 Gary Larson

Gary Larson.
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: August 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington

Gary Larson is an American environmentalist, cartoonist, and former musician. He is credited with creating a single-panel cartoon series titled The Far Side, which was syndicated for 15 years to over 1,900 newspapers around the world. In 1990 and 1994, Gary Larson was honored by the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) with the prestigious Reuben Award. 

 9 Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones.
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Famous As: Animator, Filmmaker, Cartoonist, Author, Artist, & Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 21, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Spokane, Washington, United States
Died: February 22, 2002

Chuck Jones was an American animator, painter, and voice actor. Jones is best remembered for his work on Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes. He is credited with founding Chuck Jones Enterprises where he produced and directed the film adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth. During the course of his career, Chuck Jones received three Academy Awards and the Edward MacDowell Medal.

 10 Aaron McGruder

Aaron McGruder.
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Famous As: Writer, Cartoonist & Public Speaker
Birthdate: May 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago

Aaron McGruder is an American writer, cartoonist, screenwriter, producer, and lecturer. He is best known for writing a Universal Press Syndicate comic strip titled The Boondocks. He also wrote its TV series adaptation where he served as the creator, head writer, and executive producer.

 11 Hergé

Hergé.
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Famous As: Cartoonist (Creator of Tintin)
Birthdate: May 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: March 3, 1983

Better known by his pseudonym, Hergé, Belgian cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi was the man behind Tintin, a cartoon series that several generations of kids and young adults have grown up reading. He was a self-taught artist and wrote Destination Moon, featuring Tintin, 15 years before Neil Armstrong’s feat.

 12 Bob Kane

Bob Kane.
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Famous As: Comic Book Writer
Birthdate: October 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 3, 1998

Bob Kane was an American animator, comic book writer, and artist. He is credited with co-creating the world-renowned DC Comics character Batman. He is also credited with co-creating the popular animated series Cool McCool. In 1977, Bob Kane was honored with the prestigious Inkpot Award. In 1996, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

 13 Jim Lee

Jim Lee
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Famous As: Comics artist, Publisher, Blogger, Writer, Artist, Cartoonist, Visual artist
Birthdate: August 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seoul

Korean-American comic-book artist Jim Lee began his career with Marvel and then soared to fame with his X-Men series. Though initially trained in psychology, he skipped medical school and became a comic writer instead. Apart from co-founding Image Comics, he also created WildStorm, which he sold to DC later.

 14 R. K. Laxman

R. K. Laxman.
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Famous As: Cartoonist & Creator of 'The Common Man"
Birthdate: October 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mysore
Died: January 26, 2015

 15 Tex Avery

Tex Avery
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Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: February 26, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Taylor, Texas, United States
Died: August 26, 1980

Second only to Walt Disney in terms of influence, American animator and director Tex Avery is remembered for playing an important role in the development of  popular characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel  etc. Well-known for his technical innovation and directorial style, his characters are equally loved by adults for their inherent sarcasm.  

 16 Bill Finger

Bill Finger.
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: February 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: January 18, 1974

Bill Finger was an American film, TV, comic book, and comic strip writer. Although he had co-created the popular superhero character Batman along with Bob Kane, Finger's work was uncredited until 2015. As a result, Finger died in poverty and obscurity. He was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.

 17 J. Michael Straczynski

J. Michael Straczynski
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Playwright, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: July 17, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paterson

The son of a manual laborer, J. Michael Straczynski grew up to graduate in psychology and sociology. Best known for writing the Marvel Comics series The Amazing Spider-Man, he has written for both TV and films, apart from authoring his own books and creating the sci-fi TV show Babylon 5.

 18 Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Comics Artist, writer
Birthdate: September 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beech Creek, Pennsylvania, United States

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is best known for her Dykes to Watch Out For strip, which gained a lot of popularity in various LGBT weeklies. The strip’s prime character is believed to be modeled on her. The lesbian artist’s works gave rise to the Bechdel Test, which targets gender inequality in Hollywood.

 19 Jim Davis

Jim Davis
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: July 28, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Marion, Indiana, United States
Famous American cartoonist, Jim Davis is best known for his various comic strips such as U.S. Acres. He is the creator of Garfield which became one of the world's most widely syndicated comic strips. Davis wrote and co-wrote all of the Garfield TV specials for CBS. He is also the founder and president of Paws, Inc., a full-service licensing studio.

 20 Garry Trudeau

Garry Trudeau
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Journalist
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist, Garry Trudeau is best known for creating the Doonesbury comic strip which reflected social and political life in the US. He is also the creator and executive producer of the Amazon Studios political comedy series Alpha House. Trudeau has contributed articles to The New Republic, The New Yorker, New York,  Rolling Stone, and The Washington Post.

 21 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 22 Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey.
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Birthdate: February 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: April 15, 2000
Edward Gorey is known for his pen-and-ink drawings which reflect his arch humor and gothic sensibility. He has published over 100 independent works and illustrated over 50 works by other authors. An iconic figure in gothic culture, Gorey's famous works include The Unstrung Harp, The Curious Sofa, The Iron Tonic: Or, A Winter Afternoon in Lonely Valley, The Dwindling Party.

 23 Jim Henson

Jim Henson.
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Famous As: Puppeteer
Birthdate: September 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Greenville, Mississippi, United States
Died: May 16, 1990

Jim Henson was an American animator, puppeteer, cartoonist, inventor, actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, and composer. He is credited with creating The Muppets, an ensemble cast of puppet characters, for which he achieved worldwide popularity. He is also credited with co-founding Muppets, Inc. in 1958, which eventually became The Jim Henson Company. In 2011, Jim Henson was named a Disney Legend.

 24 Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein.
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1999

Shel Silverstein was an American writer, playwright, songwriter, and cartoonist. Renowned for his children's books, songs, and cartoons, Silverstein's works have been translated into over 30 languages. The recipient of many prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards, Shel Silverstein was posthumously inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

 25 Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar
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Famous As: Comics artist, Autobiographer, Writer, Music critic, Journalist
Birthdate: October 8, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland
Died: July 12, 2010

 26 Kevin Eastman

Kevin Eastman
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Famous As: Comics artist, Publisher, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portland

 27 Ub Iwerks

Ub Iwerks
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Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: March 24, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Died: July 7, 1971

Ub Iwerks was an American cartoonist, animator, inventor, character designer, and special effects technician. He is credited with designing such popular characters as Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Apart from being honored with several Academy Awards for his work, Iwerks was also named a Disney Legend. The Ub Iwerks Award for Technical Achievement is named in his honor.

 28 Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko
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Famous As: Comics artist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 2, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown

Steve Ditko was a writer and comics artist. He is credited with co-creating popular Marvel Comics superheroes like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. Ditko is also credited with co-creating Captain Atom, a character that appears in DC Comics. Ditko received several awards including many Alley Awards. In 1994, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.

 29 Ed Brubaker

Ed Brubaker
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Famous As: Writer, Cartoonist
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bethesda

 30 Al Capp

Al Capp
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: September 28, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Haven
Died: November 5, 1979

 31 Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Helsinki
Died: June 27, 2001
Finnish author Tove Jansson was the woman behind the phenomenally successful children’s books and comics on the fictional white hippo-like creatures she called Moomins. While the Moomins books have been translated into more than 50 languages, Jansson’s literary works also include several other novels and short stories.

 32 Rob Liefeld

Rob Liefeld
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Famous As: Editor, Comics writer, Draughtsperson, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Anaheim

Rob Liefeld is a comic book creator best known for co-creating characters like Deadpool and Cable. In the 1990s, he achieved popularity for his work on Marvel Comics' X-Force and The New Mutants. Rob Liefeld is credited with co-creating Image Comics which went on to become the third-largest comic book publisher.

 33 Berkeley Breathed

Berkeley Breathed
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Famous As: Author, Writer, Cartoonist
Birthdate: June 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Encino

 34 Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo
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Famous As: Comics artist, Painter, Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 25, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fismes

 35 Charles Addams

Charles Addams
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Famous As: Draughtsperson, Illustrator, Artist, Painter, Writer
Birthdate: January 7, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westfield
Died: September 29, 1988

Mostly known as a cartoonist for The New Yorker, Charles Addams was known for including dark humor in his works. Also known by his pseudonym, Chas Addams, he gained fame for his cartoons about a family of ghosts, which later inspired The Addams Family series of the 1960s.

 36 Jean Giraud

Jean Giraud
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 8, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-sur-Marne, France
Died: March 10, 2012

 37 Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Writer, Editor, Educator
Birthdate: February 15, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm

Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, comics advocate, and editor. His graphic novel Maus earned a special Pulitzer Prize for popularizing the comics medium among scholars. Over the years Spiegelman has helped promote a better understanding of comics. In 2005, he was named in Time's Top 100 Most Influential People list. He has also won many awards like Inkpot Award.

 38 Joe Shuster

Joe Shuster
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Famous As: Comics artist, Designer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 10, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: July 30, 1992

 39 Al Jaffee

Al Jaffee
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Famous As: Cartoonist, Journalist
Birthdate: March 13, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Savannah

 40 Jhonen Vasquez

Jhonen Vasquez.
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: September 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

 41 Alex Ross

Alex Ross
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Famous As: Comics artist, Illustrator, Painter
Birthdate: January 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland

 42 Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola
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Famous As: Comics artist, Novelist, Artist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 16, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berkeley

 43 Fujiko F. Fujio

Fujiko F. Fujio
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Takaoka, Toyama, Japan
Died: September 23, 1996

 44 Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman.
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: May 15, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wallasey, Merseyside, England

 45 Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg
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Famous As: Comics artist, Painter, Illustrator
Birthdate: June 15, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Râmnicu Sărat, Romania
Died: May 12, 1999

A qualified architect, Saul Steinberg later established himself as a cartoonist and an illustrator and is best remembered for his contributions to The New Yorker. Born to Jewish parents in Romania, he escaped to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks. He also designed advertisements, murals, and theater sets.

 46 Gerald Scarfe

Gerald Scarfe
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Famous As: Caricaturist, Illustrator, Designer, Animator, Artist, Postage stamp designer, Painter
Birthdate: June 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St John's Wood

 47 Will Eisner

Will Eisner
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: March 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 2005

 48 Dave Sim

Dave Sim
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: May 17, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamilton

 49 William Steig

William Steig
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Famous As: Writer, Sculptor, Illustrator, Children's writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 14, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 3, 2003

 50 Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe
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Famous As: Programmer, Comics artist, Writer, Computer scientist, Physicist
Birthdate: October 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Easton

Randall Munroe quit his career as a NASA roboticist to re-live his childhood obsession with comics by creating the award-winning webcomic xkcd. He also writes a science blog and has penned New York Times bestsellers such as What If? and Thing Explainer. His other interests include kite photography.