Unfortunately there is to many Awful writers in comics to keep up with the amazing artists. So you are kind of stuck buying just for the artist.
The artists usually create the best books anyway... Maybe because they realize it is a visual medium, and not a word balloon fest.
I'm fairly selective in my comics reading, though I do like to peruse to keep on top of current events.
The thing that initially draws me to a book is kick-ass artwork, followed closely by a great cast of characters (sorry Bwana Beast but no matter how well you're drawn you just don't do it for me). But what keeps me glued in is the writing.
Having just great writing alone with bad art doesn't make much sense to keep reading; why not just read straight prose?
Style and design of that comic
Story. The art is secondary. I like Kentaro Miura's style. He's ****ing beast.
In most cases, I will pick it up for the writer. When Grant Morrison was writing New X-Men, I read New X-Men, and when he stopped, I stopped. I will pretty much never pick it up for the artist, with the one exception being Batwoman, which I was largely drawn to because of J. H. Williams III's art.
Of course, if I find the premise of that particular story compelling, I will also take a look at it. I really got into How Loathsome, Scalped, and other books without first knowing the writer. But ultimately it was still the story and writing that got to me. Certainly art is a pivotal part of comics, but as a writer, I am drawn to the writing first and foremost and would rather read a strongly written story that has mediocre art than a mediocre story that has great art.
well for me I normally will go by opinions of people I trust but if I'm just mulling about I go by character, art, writer in that order and the first two are what really will determine if I buy it. Mainly because its easy to flip through a comic in the store and judge the overall quality of the art so I know what I;m getting into however you cant just flip through a book and pick up the writing or story as quickly or as solidly as you can with art. If I'm buying for story its a craps toss until I read the entire book whereas with art its much easier and quicker to judge if its worth my "cheddar"
"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."
Never argue with an Idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with exp.