Wednesday, June 9, 2010

props to my homeboys

not even a week into this blogsperience, and i've already hit writer's block. 
i blame the oil spill. 
so... instead of another entry cataloguing my excellence, i have decided to talk a little about my influences and inspirations.

Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes had a profound influence on me.  even before i could read, i looked forward to getting the full color comic section of the Sunday paper.  i would look at the illustrations and do my best to figure out what was going on.  Mr Watterson animated the story so well, i was able to follow the story fairly well, for an illiterate.  i can even remember the first time i picked up the comics, searched frantically for the Calvin & Hobbes strip, and discovered that the strip had been retired.  newspapers have been dead to me ever since.  no Calvin & Hobbes?!  why even bother?  
my drawing style has always leaned toward animation, and that's in large part because i spent so much time drawing and tracing Bill Watterson's work.  
there's a video documentary in the works right now, called Dear Mr Watterson.  its about artists who consider Calvin & Hobbes to be a major influence on their artistic vision. check it.

i first discovered Frank Miller's work in college, as i was taking my first art classes, after my red shirt freshman year.  i bought the first Sin City graphic novel, The Hard Goodbye, and read it in a day.  by the end of the week, i had bought the whole set.  i absolutely loved the way he told such a dirty, gritty story in stark black and white.
the artwork is simply incredible.  after i carved my first woodcut, i fell in love with the style of Sin City all over again.  it was like he drew in relief.  his ability to tell such incredible stories also astounded me.  i read his novel, The Dark Knight Returns, 6 times in a month.  its still one of my absolute favorites.  

here recently, i have started collecting Mike Mignola's Hellboy.  his stories are a wonderful blend of local folklore and his own personal folklore.  i'm always surprised by his use of color and subtle background imagery.  like birds with piercing eyes, or crosses covered in vines.  Hellboy's cool demeanor in the face of otherworldly threats who call for him to take his rightful place as the bringer of the apocalypse is almost comical.  its a powerful, well thought-out body of work that continues to grow stronger with every new story.  

up until my thesis, i was embarrassed to say that after years of art history classes and visiting artist lectures, i am still most heavily influenced by comic book illustrations.  especially super hero comics.  i'm not sure why.  these guys are awesome.  so, i threw out the "high art/low art" argument and realized that i can no more control what moves me than i can control Sauce's undying love for Hanson. 

knowledge is power.

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