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Your formative inspiration as a comic creator

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, June 4, 2021
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I was on a livestream earlier today and the topic of Tim Burton came up when discussing my favourite movies. I went on to describe how influential his movies were for me, even going so far as to inspire quite the phase particularly when it came to creating comics. My third comic (and the first one I took seriously at the time) was heavily influenced by The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. From the designs to the tone, I was enamoured by the creeping charm of these movies and sought to emulate that.

However, Tim Burton was not the only creator to inspire me to practice drawing and comics seriously. When I first watched Sailor Moon my tiny child brain was blown! It was one of the most beautiful cartoons I had seen. I grew up with brothers, so it was hard to find interesting things to watch beyond Disney movies. To then see this anime sparkle onto my screen inspired me to pick up a pencil and try to capture that beauty myself.

I would read science fiction/fantasy novels in my lunch breaks at high school. It was my favourite time of the day; I would skive off to bury my nose in a book that really shouldn’t have been on the library’s shelves, particularly at a Catholic school. And yet, I am forever grateful that they were for, once again, I was exposed to stories I didn’t think were possible. Birdmen flying through the air, deity’s in the guise of cats, and a malevolent pyramid that stretched into infinity; all these stories exposed me to war, romance, adventure and the touching melancholy of a bittersweet ending.

Throughout my journey as a budding comic creator, I have taken inspiration from many sources. They shaped the stories I write and characters that I draw. Without them, I would not have gotten where I am today and for that, I owe them the world.

What were your formative inspirations as a comic creator? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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Kou the Mad at 9:47PM, June 5, 2021

While I'm not a creator (.....Yet.), I'd say the work that has influenced me the most (Outside Star Wars.) is Suikoden 2. So many things, so many tiny little things all in tandem.

cdmalcolm1 at 2:43PM, June 5, 2021

I got to say in my jr. high school years it was John Romita Jr.‘s DareDavil, Jim Lee’s Uncanny X-Men and McFarland’s Amazing SpiderMan. Their art made me want to do comics. But Really, reading mostly Marvel Comics influenced me to draw and write my own comics. So much so that I created my own universe of 150+ characters which is still growing. I wanted to make comics like marvel and DC. The only TV shows that inspired me to draw comics was RoboTech, Voltron and Transformers. Outside of that, nothing. Comic books was and still inspires me. My latest kick of inspiration are these comics. Solo Leveling, Ultimatum, Un-ordinary and The weakest Hero. I also have to say I draw inspiration from many artists here on the Duck. From their lastest updates, listening to the QuackCast, reading the forums and last but not least, things like Secret Santa, Collaborations greatly influence me to draw and write.

PaulEberhardt at 4:55AM, June 5, 2021

A much later but just as formative experience actually was stumbling upon the Duck (then still Drunk) in 2006 or so. That was my introduction to the world of webcomics, and only then did I really realise that just because you're an amateur doesn't mean you can't get an audience for your stuff. That's what really encouraged me to get into drawing comics as a serious hobby, not having drawn anything in years at that point.

PaulEberhardt at 4:44AM, June 5, 2021

Franco-Belgian comics and - as much as it irks me to admit it - Disney, especially the Donald Duck comics done by their Italian staff. I read this stuff to excess when I was a kid, so it must have left some traces. Another thing that I'm sure led me further on the path to comicing must have been Werner comics by Rötger Feldmann (aka Brösel), which aren't generally known outside of (especially Northern) Germany but are fairly well explained here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_(comics) Brösel started self-publishing his gags in the 80s, sometimes drawing them with ballpoints on the back of pub blocks and anything he could get his hands on, and quickly became popular because of his unique combination of lunacy and authenticity (basically everything his characters do, no matter how crazy, is stuff either he or his younger brother Andi experienced or did in real life).

dpat57 at 1:24AM, June 5, 2021

Growing up, I watched Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation puppet TV shows like Stingray and Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. These also appeared in comic form tie-ins in the excellent Brit comic TV21 (television in the 21st century!) whose B/W and color artwork was just amazing, produced by top talent. I was reading Star Trek adventures in TV21 before the TV series arrived here, I didn't know what the heck it was about but I was fascinated. Fast forward an uncomfortable number of years later and here I am, actually updating my Captain Gold and the Robotrons, and Starship Captain III comics this fine Saturday morning in the 21st century. Thanks, Gerry.

hushicho at 3:12PM, June 4, 2021

That is such a delightful story! Many comics certainly had an influence on me as I grew up, as well as animation, horror, science-fiction, and of course various stories of romance. But there were unique, stand-out things like Dark Shadows, reading mythology and legend from around the world, and of course discovering art movements I love, like art nouveau. I'm sure one can see all of them, if one knows where to look, in my work. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

Andreas_Helixfinger at 11:16AM, June 4, 2021

For some examples of more direct and more comic book related sources of inspiration. Molly Lusc is basically a combined inspiration of Blacksad and The Duck Avenger.

Hapoppo at 10:57AM, June 4, 2021

Funny you should mention Sailor Moon. It wasn't necessarily an inspiration for Punk-Pink, but it was for the first comic I scribbled down that would eventually lead me to it. Of course, eventually I'd discover DragonBall Z and Final Fantasy 7, and my characters suddenly started carrying sword larger than they were and shooting world-destroying fireballs at eachother. As for Ubasti and Tenkyo, their designs evolved from a moogle and Spyro, respectively.

bravo1102 at 10:53AM, June 4, 2021

So many things over the years and I'm always looking for something new to inspire me. My earliest comics were based on Mad magazine and the Marx Brothers so it's been a long road.

Jason Moon at 8:00AM, June 4, 2021

I would sit around as a kid and watch Beetlejuice and the first batman film with Michael keaton. I watched them so much I wore out the VHS tapes. An online friend keeps comparing CE to Tim Burton and he thinks the comic would make a cool claymation series.

fallopiancrusader at 6:44AM, June 4, 2021

Pre-teen, I was influenced entirely by American underground comic artists, like Vaughn Bode, Richard Corben, Larry Todd, Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez, Robert Crumb, and others. In my teen-age years, My biggest influences were Moebius, Gaetano Liberatore, Enki Bilal, and Silvio Cadelo. Story/theme wise, I was influenced by a lot of stuff, but the films "Walkabout"(1971) by Nicolas Roeg, "Stalker"(1979) by Andrei Tarkovski and "Liquid Sky"(1982) by Slava Tsukerman stand out in particular.

lothar at 4:23AM, June 4, 2021

Tank Girl

Frenemy at 3:51AM, June 4, 2021

That’s awesome. I was living in Seoul. South Korea in 2012 and I saw an exhibition of Tim Burtons work that exhibited hie works spanning his entire life at the Seoul Museum of art it was pretty amazing!! My biggest influences are indie comic books from when I was a kid like The Maxx, Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, Weird Comics, Maus, Bone, and Robert Crumb among others. I was always attracted to the comics that were a little bit different with weird art styles and different stories. Also cartoons I grew up loving like all the Nicktoons cartoons Ah Real Monsters!, Ren and Stimpy, Rockos Modern Life and also the whole Liquid Television series on MTV. All of those things really shaped my artistic style in both my art and my writing.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:27AM, June 4, 2021

Well, if there is any creator/creation that I'd call a formative inspiration for the way I write for my comics, it would have to be Hideo Kojima and his Metal Gear Solid game series. The storytelling in those games where the first to introduce me to gaming with a cinematic presentation and they also introduced me to a type of storytelling that absolutely blew my mind and still does til' this day. Kojima's writing style of blatantly incorporating tropes, from movies in particular, with historical and contemporary facts and going-ons of society was, and still is, nothing less then masterfull to me. Looking back I realize that the information in his MGS plots was not always realistically accurate, but that didn't matter and still doesn't matter, because they still carried them with such conviction and such theatrical weight that I'd buy it regardless. The genious doesn't lie in what he wrote, but how he wrote it. Kojima taught me that it is the form, not the substance, that truly matters.


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