It was great to read about the various influences on people's comics last week. I don't know if this topic called for a second part, er, so here it is!
Once again, these are the major influences I've identified for my current comic, Typical Strange. They stretch back through most of my life of watching/reading stuff.
Last week, I identified The Muppet Show, Clerks and the Kevin Smith oeuvre(?), and the Myth series by Robert Asprin. Here's last week's article:
And here are the rest!
Is anyone NOT sick of hearing me talk about Archie all the time? I blame HippieVan, who did some articles about Archie awhile back and reminded me what a deep, lifelong love I have for those characters.
The notion of a close-knit group of friends with interesting emotional connections/tensions between them, and who each go a little nuts from time to time, made a huge impact on me and is something that appears in a lot of stuff I've written. Jughead is the greatest comic book character ever, for my money; he's the prototypical wacky best friend/eccentric hero that shows up in a LOT of the stuff I like: see Randal in Clerks, Aahz in the Myth books, and on and on. Jughead led directly to my characters TK and Penelope.
I particularly loved the stories drawn by Harry Lucey.
The Facts of Life/Three's Company/sit coms
Okay, I can't say I'm proud of this. It's something I realized only last week as I was unpacking my influences. But as a very young guy, the shows I was obsessed with were 80's sitcoms.
The quartet of diverse personalities on the Facts of Life (especially the tension between spoiled princess Blair and my favourite, tough tomboy Jo) was endlessly compelling to me. I watched reruns every day. My comic is often very sit-com like, and a LOT of my plots came from ‘Facts, Three’s Company, and Family Ties.
Honestly, this might not be a good thing. But that corny sit com influence is all over the plots I write.
The Uncanny X-Men
X-Men comics, especially the Chris Claremont years (drawn by Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, John Romita, Marc Silvestri, Arthur Adams, John Bolton, etc) might be the biggest influence on almost everything I've written.
Even though I don't do many superhero stories, the attitude, the mood, and the way a cast of characters relate to each other in the best X-Men stories is something that's deeply ingrained in me. The cast of mutants who don't truly belong anywhere but with each other led directly to my cast of slackers. The idea of personal, small stories and then bigger team adventures is what I try to do.
There's a tension to a good cast of characters. They butt heads with each other, but they belong together. They might leave the group to have their own adventures, but always come back.
The Claremont stories from that era is the best the X-Men have to offer as far as I know; those are the stories that were largely adapted into the movies.
Anyway, that's about it! If you have more to share about your own influences, please do!
See you next week!
Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 12, 2015
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