That's going back a little ways, Milk!Originally Posted by MilkManX;1172391[B
I remember buying my little brother the A-TEAM comics in a three-pack (or possibly a four-pack) at a local toy store. He was into GIJOE, Transformers, Thunder Cats and SilverHawks, so I tried hard to get him to also read comics at that time. He liked the Secret Wars toys a lot, but I don't think he developed a love for comics in a big way.-Did comic books play a large role in your love for drawing?
They sure did.
First it was Dinosaurs and then Muscle Cars. I got into comics right around 8 or 9 and then got into drawing the characters from them. Batman,X-Men,Conan,and G.I Joe/Transformers were my favorites as a kid. I remember that besides the spinners the Toy stores would have a grab bag of like 5-10 comics repackaged cheap. I would get alot of comics that way.
I was the dinosaur lover in my family. I still have all of my Marx dinosaur figures, and I occasionally still buy dino toys.
Two very strong influences, indeed. I think Kirby probably influenced more people in comicdom than any other single creator. Even industry mega-stars like Neal Adams, John Buscema, Gil Kane, and John Romita Sr claim Kirby as a primary influence. Kirby certainly continues to influence creators. Alex Toth's influence is pretty broad too. I know Michael Lark's work has some Toth influence, as does the works of Steve Rude (who's also influenced by Jack Kirby and Andrew Loomis, among others).-Did comics have a major impact on the way you draw now?
Yeah I think so. The Kirby and Toth influence is hard to rub off once it gets into you..
As a kid I loved the O'Neil/Adams BATMAN comics. I also loved the Don Newton-era BATMAN books. Not enough fans and pros know about that era of Batman because CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS sort of eradicated all of that era from continuity, and then the Frank Miller BATMAN stuff sort of overshadowed it all. It's too bad, because that's my favorite era of BATMAN ever. The drawing was never better, and the stories were never greater, IMO. I know Frank Cho and several other creators have sited Don Newton as an artistic influence on their own art. I would have to say so as well.-What was your favorite comic title (and tell me why, please)?
I liked alot of comics growing up but I seem to remember really liking Batman/Detective Comics and X-Men the most. I really loved that Clairemont/Byrne/Austin run.I liked the dynamics that the characters had. Batman was always just cool looking. Marshall Rogers and Walt Simonson on Batman was awesome.
In my teens I would really get into X-Men as it related to me more and the stories were really great.
I also would buy Savage Sword of Conan since I loved Conan as a kid and the B&W magazine offered more bang for the buck.
I loved CONAN THE BARBARIAN and THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN. I couldn't get enough of those books growing up! Conan dealt out justice with a sword in a way that know superhero could or ever would. Conan was a real manly comic. I enjoyed the hell out those mags!
Marshall Rogers died too young. He was a great creator. Know one drew better capes than Rogers, and I think McFarlane's SPAWN cloak owed a lot to Rogers' work. Rogers did some great BATMAN stories. I like that there was usually those big typewriters and giant props in the stories he drew with writer, Steve Englehart.
I think the Michelinie/Byrne run of the Avengers (issues 181-191) is very underrated. I enjoyed every issue of that all too brief run!
GI Joe, TMNT and Real Ghostbusters were staples of my childhood. I thought the X-Men cartoon was pretty great, it packed a lot of arcs effortlessly into 1 season that would've taken most other shows a few years to do. Batman TAS is a given, but I thought Batman Beyond was a gem of a show, it had a style and vibe that was way ahead of its time. Pirates of Dark Water, Exo Squad, Gargoyles were pretty top action shows as well. On the comedy side Animaniacs would probably top the list, it was a pretty clever and hilarious show.
Money can't buy you happiness, but it will pay for the search.
Great thread idea, Loston!
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. At the age of 3 or 4 I was drawing Batman and Superman and Ninja Turtles, and from there on drawing just became my favorite hobby. I can't say if drawing was something I picked up, or if it came to me naturally. Both of my mother's parents were artists, and my grandfather especially had a huge influence on me growing up. My grandfather's name is Jerry Smath and he illustrates children's books and when I was younger he was doing illustrations for Sesame Street magazine. He gave me some watercolors and some colored pencils and really encouraged me to pursue art. To this day he's one of my biggest influences, and we get together about once or twice a month to check out what the other is working on, and talk shop or just do some sketching.
Comics were always a part of my life, and were probably another inspiration for me wanting to pursue art. I can't explain why I like comics. Something about them just resonates within me. I've dabbled in many different forms of art, but I always end up coming back to comics. I had a few comics when I was younger, but the first that really struck a chord with me was X-Men Classic #54, which was a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #150, a story titled "I, Magneto!". These characters were just WEIRD. Superman and Batman were still cool by me, but they were just guys in suits. The X-Men were something else. Nightcrawler looked like a villain, and he was always an outsider because of his blue skin and pointy tail. Colossus turned into metal. Storm had white hair and could fly and could make it rain or create lightning. Wolverine had claws in his hands and he had this whacky pointy hair that I had never seen on a person before. And lastly there was Cyclops, who was the weirdest character to me - He had a power he couldn't turn off! These were some really flawed characters, and unlike Superman who was great because he was perfect, these characters were great because they were just so messed up! I picked up any X-book I could, and I'd venture a guess that 1/4 of my comic collection is X-Men related. However, in recent years there's really been something missing from the books, and I haven't picked up an X-title in about 6 years. Even so, the stories just weren't the same after Claremont left, and the only times I really really REALLY enjoy new issues are if he writes them.
When most kids were in Kindergarten they wanted to be police officers or firefighters or astronauts. I wanted to draw comics. And a majority of what I drew were superheroes, or funny gag strips. I was always considered the best drawer in all my classes, and that encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing, since I wasn't really that good at anything else. In middle school and high school there were times where I kind of forgot about comics, but then something would come along and get me inspired to draw again. Oddly enough, there was a period of about 3 years when I stopped drawing for fun, but I was inspired to get back on the horse by seeing the Daredevil movie. Yes. The Daredevil movie.
College was weird for me in regards to comics and drawing. I studied fine art at SUNY Oswego, and from the get-go I was kind of ostracized because I liked comics. I took a 2-D design class freshman year, and I asked the professor what he though about comics. He thought they were trash, and from that point on, he never gave me good grades because he thought I was some kind of punk. The thing is comics are filled with design principles, and our textbook even devoted a few pages to talking about comics (Which he happened to skip over when we had to do readings). So I got into drawing and painting, and I was always told to add some energy into my work by getting influences from "Those comics you read". It wasn't until junior year when I was able to embrace my love of comics. I took an advanced illustration class, and the professor, who I got along with well, allowed me to make up my own cirriculum and projects, and she encouraged me to draw a comic. So I wrote and drew a 10-page humor comic that I was really proud of (I'd post it, but the drawings are pretty crude and the writing is a bit iffy), and I got an A+ on it. Around this time comics were looked down upon, but "graphic novels" were being praised by everyone, so all I had to do was say I drew "graphic novels" and people accepted me. I'd show my work to professors or students, and if I said I drew comics, they would dismiss me. If I said I drew graphic novels they would allow me to be amongst them. It was odd. But my college eventually started a class which dissected comic books and we got to make our own short comics, and it was the best class I had in those 4 years. The professor even got Art Spiegelman to come to the school and give a speech and then meet the class afterwards.
So, the cliffnotes - Yes, comics have influenced me in so many ways, and right now at the age of 24 I'm working as a full-time comic artist and loving every minute of it. I've been told that it's not a wise decision to be a freelance artist, but it's all I've wanted to do, and it's what I'm happy doing. Before I left my last job I was looking for new positions in sales. And I hate sales. I'd rather do what I love than get a job I hate because it pays well. And I'm hoping this will all pay off one day!
-How long have you been drawing?
Ever since grade school. I have some memories of trying to draw Snoopy and the Peanuts crew early on in grade-school. Of course I was one of those kids bored with school and sat there drawing things and making my own sound effects, and getting in quite a bit of trouble because of it.
-Did comic books play a large role in your love for drawing?
Yep. Loved me some comics as a kid. I was a Marvel Kid growing up and would breathlessly trek down to the local 7-11 to get the latest issue of Hulk or Avengers or the FF from the spinner rack, and a slurpee to go with my comics.
-Have you always wanted to draw comic book characters?
Not always. There was a point when I wanted to do political cartoons, and then humor-cartoons, but was never quite funny enough to think I had the chops for Mad or Cracked magazines.
-Did comics have a major impact on the way you draw now?
Yup. I ruined quiet a few comics as a kid tracing over the characters with ball point pens, trying to figure out how they were drawn so well. Later on I tried to devour every bit of Buscema's lessons in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Wore the cover off of at least 2 copies of that book.
-What was your favorite comic title (and tell me why, please)?
Like a lot of guys have mentioned, I loved John Byrne's run on the Fantastic Four. I think one of the first comics I can really vividly remember was that giant-sized FF he did where Doom kidnapped the FF, and put them into that small town without powers, and they were like mini-versions of themselves...? LOVED that comic so much as a kid I probably read it a thousand times, and was super disappointed when he left the FF. Byrne probably isn't the kind of guy I'd want to sit down and have a beer with, but I love his work from the 80s and the early 90s.