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Who are your Influences?

Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 5, 2015
tags: Banes, Influences

image by Banes, influenced by lots of things

When I came up with the characters and stories that became my webcomic here on The Duck, I knew it didn't come from a vacuum. But for the most part, it was only after writing and posting stories for several years that the strongest influences behind it became more clear.

There are many other inspirations of course, for other stuff I've done and will do; these are the big ones that specifically influenced my comic.

The Muppet Show
Before the Simpsons, the Muppet Show was the sort-of-kids show and sort-of-subversive-program of choice. It had vivid characters, and commentary on show business, and celebrities mocking themselves. Watching a show ABOUT a show that rarely worked the way it was supposed to was a revelation that primed me to love Late Night with David Letterman and Conan O'Brien later.

The idea of Kermit, the “Only Sane Man” surrounded by lovable lunatics was probably the major inspiration for that dynamic in my comic.

Slackers in a store being bored with their jobs and lamenting their unsatisfying lives! It may have been done before but this is where I first noticed it. The goofballs in the 40 year old virgin and High Fidelity came later, but Kevin Smith movies is where it began for me. It was a good dynamic to rip off, the Luke Skywalker-type “regular guy” and his best friend, the wilder and wackier Han Solo type. That helped me get started when figuring out the buddies in Typical Strange.

Clerks was such a big influence that I had to be careful to pull away from it as much as I could. My sensibility isn't nearly as dirty as Kevin Smith's, but my comic wouldn't exist without his movies.

The MythAdventures Books
The “Myth” books by Robert Asprin are the ones I wish I'd written. Well, the first six or so, at least. It's another combo of the “regular guy” and the “loudmouth tough guy”, and features a Magician's apprentice and his mentor, a Demon (which is short for “dimension traveller”), and their efforts to both stay alive and make money. Throughout each story they find themselves deeper and deeper in trouble.

To get by, they lie, cheat and steal, and abuse each other verbally, and manage to be both hilarious and lovable while doing it. This series of novels is an absolute blast!

Next week I'll share the other three major inspirations.

Can you identify the major influences on the comics you create? Or on the stuff you want to create?



Banes at 8:12PM, Nov. 11, 2015

Thanks, thenathannapalm, I appreciate that! I'm posting a second part to this for tomorrow, since I didn't finish my list, and since the response was so great to this one!

thenathannapalm at 6:43AM, Nov. 10, 2015

My series "The Desperately Departed" is hugely influenced by "The Road", "The Walking Dead" comic series, but most of all - Youtube's many conspiracy theories. But I gather inspiration for general story telling from Stephen King and from the crazy things people say in conversation during my life. I love this article by the way!

Michael_Ramsey at 1:42AM, Nov. 9, 2015

The only series I remember reading a lot of was anything Star Wars, the Myth books you mentioned, and Hellboy. Other than that, I never really developed interest in television, movies, comics and the like until long after I started crafting the story I'm telling, so it's hard to say what my influences really are. I think mostly what I'm doing is trying to 'fix' what I don't like about mainstream supernatural/scifi/superhero comics?

Shawn_Perry at 8:34PM, Nov. 8, 2015

My major influences have always been Berkeley Breathed (Bloom County), Vaughn Bode (Cheech Wizard), R. Crumb (Zap Comix), Jay Lynch (Nard and Pat), Sam Kieth (The Maxx), Evan Dorkin (Hectic Planet), Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn), John Holmstrom (Punk!), Peter Bagge (Hate), Daniel Clowes (Eightball), Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl, Gorillaz), Humberto Ramos (Out There), and Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2). My writing style is very heavily influenced by my own real life.

Banes at 10:17AM, Nov. 6, 2015

Thanks for all the comments! We may have (sorta) touched on this territory before, but I loved reading about the stuff that lead to your comics!

bravo1102 at 12:51AM, Nov. 6, 2015

Everything is grist for the mill.

KayJayLunar22 at 10:30PM, Nov. 5, 2015

My comic is influenced by old silent films like Nosferatu and Faust mixed with Sergio Leone's Man with no name trilogy. Art-wise I was heavily influenced by Heavy Metal T-Shirts like Iron Maiden and stuff like that as a kid. Then Jim Lee, McFarlane and basically every other Image guy from the early 90's.

Z74 at 9:43PM, Nov. 5, 2015

sky captain and the world of tomorrow , WW2 , Indiana Jones , star wars , Jim Lee , and recently Todd Nauck .

usedbooks at 6:35PM, Nov. 5, 2015

My roommates and half a dozen anime series. Also, I guess other shows, games, and books I like. Case Closed manga, adventure movies, interactive fiction games. Probably mostly the anime because I love to see a cast of characters play off each other. My friends and I always picked a character to identify each other as when watching. I ran out of new episodes/shows and made up my own. It's sort of an extension of fan fiction. As a kid, I stopped writing fan fiction and instead invented my own worlds inspired by the ones I liked. It became addictive. I love a long-running series most of all. Starting is hard, but then I can't stop once it gets momentum and stops being something inspired by something else and becomes its own thing. Individual arcs and characters have their own inspirations. (I've found real life to be more helpful for "bad guys." I spent time reading MRA rantings, historical slave narratives, biographies of serial killers, etc. Real life produces so much evil.)

Stellar at 11:46AM, Nov. 5, 2015

Goosebumps. Those stories kicked off my morbid curiosity of everything devilish, and love-hate of horror and suspense. Of course that translated to Lovecraft as I got older. Miyazaki, Cowboy Beebop, studio Shaft and similar high caliber Japanese productions helped shape my art. And like a few others mentioned, the Matrix showed me that action can be smart. But when it all boils down, music influences me more then anything. From Bach, to Stone Sour, to P!nk, being a synesthete I get really vague concepts for images in the form of blobs and smears of color from beautiful music, and snippets of story from how I translate lyrics.

Gunwallace at 11:12AM, Nov. 5, 2015

Star Trek : I gave up rugby for Star Trek, which in NZ is a big thing to do. I was in the First XV, but the games clashed with the show. No VCR at the time, so I made the only logical choice. I was never going to be an All Black. I did, however, get a degree in Physics. The Marx Brothers : NZ television, had all of two channels (later three!) when I was a kid, would often play classic movies around lunchtime on the weekend. The humour of the Marx Brothers, combined with The Goons and Monty Python (and yes, the Muppet Show) to make me. Tolkien : I owned very few books as a kid, but I owned Tolkien. Tolkien introduced me to Arthurian epic poetry, and gave me a life-long love of fantasy, which led to Conan, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, D&D, and Gene Wolfe. The Shadow of the Torturer was a revelation; Tolkien for adults! And I was only a teenager, so even better. I love his short stories. The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories, is my fave collection.

Zachary Seligson at 10:31AM, Nov. 5, 2015

My influences came from videos games. Mostly around the Ratchet and Clank series as well as games like Mass Effect and The Last of Us! I have had small influences from movies and books like Inception but I mostly get drawn to video games because, to me, they have a more dynamic world that you can learn about.

jerrie at 9:47AM, Nov. 5, 2015

I've been influenced by action movies mostly. To Live and Die in LA was a BIG influence. Also a big influence was AC comics. they did a LOT of comics starring women adventures, and Super Heroines, like the Fem Force. Made me want to do comics featuring women. I have a HUGE collection of AC comics

darkace at 9:19AM, Nov. 5, 2015

My comic was inspired by B-movies, all things anime and believe it or not--The Powerpuff Girls! The girls of VF are pretty much like adult versions of PPG as far as personalities. You got the leader of the pack, then the headstrong, always ready to fight girl and the adorable, scaredy cat one.

Amelius at 9:01AM, Nov. 5, 2015

Alan Lee and Brian Froud's "Faeries"!:D Classic Looney Tunes directors(mostly Chuck Jones). Three things my grandfather shared with me: Slovenly Peter (who probably influenced Tim Burton for Edward Scissorhands), Munro Leaf's "Safety Can Be Fun", Harry Graham's "Ruthless Ryhmes for Heartless Homes"! Disney,Bill Watterson,Charles Schulz,The Addams Family,Munsters,the Beetlejuice cartoon, and Dr. Seuss. Freakazoid, Batman TAS, Gargoyles, Animaniacs/Tiny Toons, Ren & Stimpy (before it sucked!)and Digimon! The Crow, Labyrinth,Willow;Goosebumps fed my interest in monsters as a child and I loved the covers.Same for Stephen Gammel's illustrations in Scary Stories series. Stephen King. Resident Evil,later Silent Hill and Shadow of the Colossus. I'm forgetting something I just know it! My current obsession/thing I'm trying to absorb power from is Vanillaware because I love Kamitani's colorful stylized art, and studio Ankama's Dofus/Wakfu world.

KimLuster at 4:57AM, Nov. 5, 2015

Another great topic!! Mine are The Matrix and Inception, with contribution from several other movies that have superhuman action but aren't really 'superhero' movies (Chronicle, Wanted) or other movies about Virtual/Dream Realities (The 13th Floor, Dreamscape).

Abt_Nihil at 3:40AM, Nov. 5, 2015

On Bombshell, my main influences were 80s and 90s Batman comics, Adam Warren's Empowered, Ghost in the Shell: SAC, and probably a lot of things I don't remember right now.

Peipei at 1:52AM, Nov. 5, 2015

I have a feeling i've answered this before but I can't remember now, lol xD. My comic was primarily influenced by various video games that I know and love (Rpgs: ie final fantasy, shin megami tensei series, shadow of the colossus & Ico hence the fantasy/adventure/rpg feel to Deadfingers! I also drew inspiration from the above sources when it came to the different personalities/skills and magical abilities etc.) as well as my own imagination as far as character designs are concerned. Ah Clerks! I can definitely see some Clerks aspects in Typical Strange. xD

carrollclifton at 12:44AM, Nov. 5, 2015

My comic is influenced both by local current events and well known comic creators. My comic is a love letter to early Marvel comics; Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko. I am a big Mike Allred fan too. A couple a years ago there was a chemical spill into the water supply of the city that I live in. In my comic this chemical has the effect of giving characters super abilities. The hero deals with small time crime, the things I hear about on the news broadcast.

Ozoneocean at 12:23AM, Nov. 5, 2015

Ghost in the Shell, Tank Girl, Run Lola Run- The idea of a totally bad-arse, self reliant, woman with funny hair and a strong sense of her own individuality came from them... With a little bit of Aeon Flux, because I loved the way all her carefully choreographed missions ended in crap.

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