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Which ten comic or manga creators/artists inspire you?

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:12 am
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
Hi guys,

It's been a while since I posted something on this board. So I thought I'd stir things up again by asking which comic artists or cartoonist inspired you to pick up a pen. With the Small Press Expo in Maryland coming in October, I've been hard at work preparing some mini-comics to distribute, and on and off I've been looking back at some of my favorite manga and graphic novels to get me motivated to work on thumbnails and dialogue at least a few times a week when my busy schedule will allow it.

Infact, I should be doing some drawing now.


Anyways, without further adieu, here's my list....

Sean Phillips/Steve Lieber/Michael Lark - These artists are cut from the same cloth as their work is more literal, heavily based on real life figure movement (something which I'm trying to improve on myself) - and they use their skills to aid the writer in telling a damn good story. Phillips uses tone and atmosphere to his advantage in Ed Brubaker's "Criminal", Lieber really emphasizes on detail and composition in Greg Rucka's "Whiteout", and Lark takes all those elements that the previous two use in their work, combined with photo realism to create a more documentary style look on his run in "Daredevil" and the late "Gotham Central." I know I'll never be as good as these guys, but I'm in no rush. But if only I can draw a person who looks like he's actually running, and not making a weird stupid dance pose for a camera, I'll be happy. :)

Scott Morse - From the time I first picked up the Barefoot Serpent, I knew this guy had a lot of powerful story in him that was just aching to present itself to the world. I love how the work of some creators can appeal to both children and adults, and his stuff definitely does that. He also brings the serious side of life into the fantastical settings of the worlds he creates and the result is a truly touching story. Read the Barefoot Serpent, Soulwind, and Visitations and you'll see how they can range from playful, to exciting, to absolutely heartbreaking.

Derek Kirk Kim - I love, LOVE LOVE Same Difference. It touched upon issues I experienced when I was a younger and jaded non-Korean speaking Korean American (man, that sounds so wrong) in high school. Not only that, he shows how comedy works in a comic book while also acknowledging the somber moments of life. Not to sound harsh, but I get annoyed by comic books like Eightball and Optic Nerve as they always contain that high degree of hopelessness and angst about how cruel life is. Yeah, life can suck. But it goes on. And while it does, you can still have a light hearted sense of humor about things.

Oy, please tell me he's got something else coming out soon.

Hayao Miyazaki - His seven volume manga of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind....not to mention his feature films....Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away...... Need I say more?

Jason Lutes - His stuff is like that of the kinds of classic/contemporary literature which I enjoy reading - whether they are socially relevant or based on historical events. Either way, Lutes really breathes life into the settings and characters he draws in a way most people don't. His ongoing series "Berlin" is something I look forward to every few months when it comes out.

Kazu Kibuishi - I don't need to say anything about Amulet, Copper or Daisy Kutter, because we all know how good he is. But being the editor of Flight and giving new talents the opportunity to tell their stories, putting up this board encouraging other artists to share their work, and creating this small but enthusiastic community of artists makes an incredible statement about his love for the medium. You're extremely awesome for that Kazu, so thanks.

Now enough of the Speed Racer love and give us Amulet 2. ;-)

Jeff Smith - Not only is he an extremely nice guy (I met him at SPX last year), but his comic Bone was inspiring in that you can tell a story that can appeal to both children and adults. I read the entire saga while on a plane to England earlier this year, and was delighted to find how it could make me laugh when it wanted to, or tense me up in serious moment when it was necessary. It's good for a young reader to have a healthy dose of both worlds before entering adulthood. I know this will be a graphic novel I'll be having my child read one day.

Osamu Tezuka - Phoenix has become one of my all time favorites and I plan on buying Buddha very soon. If you look at his body of work, it almost takes your breath away at how prolific he is. And despite his cartoony drawing style, he creates stories which can be dark and serious in contrast to some of the wacky humorous moments he can weave in from time to time. Not only that, he had a geniune love for working in comics(something that I think exists in almost everyone on this board). One of the last things he said when he was close to his death bed was "I just want to keep working."

Truly an inspiration.

Well, that's me. Anyone else care to contribute? :)

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:50 am
by KidVideo
Well, I'd have to say everybody really inspires me on here. The comics people make and the concepts they draw are so cool. But one of my all times favorites is Frank's Illustrations, i just love the angles he has and the expressions on the faces and they're just really cool. I always think about asking him if he would ever draw a wingman comic, that'd be so cool. I think that illustration is really sweet.

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:36 pm
by jdalton
Oh gee this list has a tendency to fluctuate a lot over time but let's see... In no particular order, and taking into account the comickers who are currently exercising the most influence over how I make comics and not necessarily the comics I enjoy reading the most or the ones who have had the most influence on me in the past...

Brian Lee O'Malley
Scott McCloud
Kazu Kibuishi
Kiyohiko Azuma
Dylan Meconis
Winsor McCay
Hayao Miyazaki
Gene Yang
...And the last spot is a toss-up between Marjane Satrapi and Alan Moore, because I just finished reading a book by the former and just started (re-)reading a book by the latter.

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:10 am
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
I'd definitely like to read Herge sometime. Especially with Peter Jackson and Spielberg being so keen to make stop motion animation films of Tintin. I didn't realize he was so influentual until I read an interview with Jason Lutes.

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:37 am
by cecil
i dont know if i have too many influences in the graphic novel or comic book world. a lot of musicians and authors have weighed their influence in though.

for his book Notes For A War Story
Gabriel Garcia Marquez for all of his work
Ashley Wood because of his use of oil paints
Ryan Armand because of his water colors
Explosions In The Sky
Godspeed You! Black Emperor / Thee Silver Mt. Zion And Tra la la band
Mike Allred because he wrote the only serial super hero comic i ever liked
Jen Wang because of the colors she chooses to use in her art
Cormac McCarthy writes a damn fine book about post apocalyptic america
and finally, as i don't actively see Kazu Kibuishi as an influence in my writing; his story The Iron Gate in Flight 3 is a really great story. i guess the story itself influences me.

i reckon' that is a short list of things i actively think about when i write.

also Bill Watterson. i like to think that i grew up early because of him.

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:36 am
by b.patrick
Jaimie Hernandez In my opinion the greatest cartoonist -- maybe ever. It's all there and near perfect - story, characterization, storytelling, composition, line-work, anatomy, expressions, gestures, pacing, heart, humor -- everything that goes into comics and everything comics can be. Incredible.
Bill Watterson Untouchable. The things he achieved within the limits of a newspaper strip leave me in awe.
Alex Toth I study his line-work endlessly.
Paul Pope Beautiful brush work.
Windsor McKay Mastered the medium. Even with those word balloons.
Frank Miller
Alan Moore
Dan DeCarlo
Jules Feiffer

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:57 am
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
Jaimie Hernandez In my opinion the greatest cartoonist -- maybe ever. It's all there and near perfect - story, characterization, storytelling, composition, line-work, anatomy, expressions, gestures, pacing, heart, humor -- everything that goes into comics and everything comics can be. Incredible.
Dude, I hear you. The reason I didn't put him up on my list was because I'd only just started getting into his work. I loved reading Maggie the Mechanic and I'm looking forward to the next trade.

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:26 pm
by Steve LeCouilliard
Narrowing it down to 10 might be tough, but here goes. In no particular order:

Bill Watterson
Walt Kelly
Charles Schulz
Hayao Miyazaki
Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Sergio Aragones
E.C. Segar
Harvey Kurtzman (& co.)
Theodore (Dr. Suess) Geisel

A few alternates:

Jeff Smith
Gilbert Hernandez
Toriyama Akira
Leiji Matsumoto

Yeesh. These are all 'desert island' cartoonists, and I didn't even mention Craig Thompson or Lewis Trondhiem...

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:48 pm
by thirdeyeh
Woof! here it goes : 8)

-Jim Lee is the all time for me. His work first got me interested in creating comics as a kid.
-Hayao Miyazaki
-Naoki Urasawa (monster is plain awesome serial storytelling)
-Jeff Smith
-Kazu Kibuishi (honestly my favorite in the biz right now)
-Derek Kirk Kim (Sam Difference was the first story got me interested in webcomics)
-Amy Kim Ganter (As a guy Sorcerer's and Secretaries has won me, it's just such a great story, Reman mythology was really influential in getting me to start posting on the web.)
-Brian K. Vaughn (best writer)
-Art Spiegleman
-Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira and Domu: A Child's Dream... nuff said)

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:27 pm
by mestioko
I'd say creators-wise:
- NC Wyeth
- Maurice Sendak
- Chris Van Allsburg
- William Joyce
- David Weisner
- Bill Watterson
- Gary Larson
- Berkeley Breathed
- Wiley Miller
- Sergio Aragones
- Don Martin
- Frank Frazetta (the MAN)
- Jack Kirby
- Will Eisner
- Frank Miller
- Jim Lee (All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder ... ah yes)
- Gene Colan
- Kazu
- Doug Tennapel
- Craig Thompson
(and many more I'm sure ...)

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:37 pm
by Harry Myland (IV)
Hmm... I gotta say, it's pretty interesting thinking about this sort of thing. In no particular order:

-Charles Schulz
-Bruce Timm
-Cyril Pedrosa (A recent discovery, but THREE SHADOWS blew my miiiind!)
-Jeff Smith
-Bryan Lee O'Malley
-Will Eisner
-Tom Wilson
-Theodore Seuss Geisel
-A host of web comics people like Scott Kurtz, Mike Maihack, Dean Trippe, Meredith Gran, etc.
-Jim Henson (Once my webcomic PUB really starts rolling, I think the influence will be really, really obvious.)

[EDIT]: I'd also like to add that I grew up watching a lot of cartoons aired on television stations like Disney, FOX, WB and Nickelodeon in the 90's. While I can't think of any particular creator, I have no doubt that a lot of my technical influence has stemmed from the mass consumption of that time period.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:39 am
by LetsMeetUpInParadise240
Dude, it's too bad you don't live closer to the Washington D.C. area. At the theatre where I usually spend some of my weekends, the AFI Silver, they're holding a Jim Henson retrospective, showing most of his films including the Muppet Movie, the Dark Crystal and such.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:58 am
by Harry Myland (IV)
LetsMeetUpInParadise240 wrote:Dude, it's too bad you don't live closer to the Washington D.C. area. At the theatre where I usually spend some of my weekends, the AFI Silver, they're holding a Jim Henson retrospective, showing most of his films including the Muppet Movie, the Dark Crystal and such.
Yes, yes that is too bad. Sounds like fun! I heard not too long ago that they're doing a biopic on him - there's a pretty good chance that it could be the best movie ever :)