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 12:00AM, Nov. 5, 2015
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