My World is Funnier

Saturday, August 19, 2006


So, at some point in their career every professional cartoonist fields the question "who were your influences?". Though I'm not as of yet a profesional, nor did anyone ask, I'm going to list some of my influences...... because it's my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want.

When I first got back in to drawing, when I was about 22, I had my sights set on being a comic book artist. After seeing the Kevin Smith movie "Chasing Amy", I was inspired by the artwork I saw. With the help of the internet I discovered the artist behind these beautiful renderings was a fella by the name of Mike Allred, who also happened to be the creator of the magnificent "Madman" comic. Through this initial discovery I uncovered a whole new world of underground comics by artists I love to this day including (from left to right) Michael Oeming ("Powers"); Scott Morse ("The Magic Pickle"); Mike Kunkel ("HeroBear and the Kid"); Ty and Ian Smith ("Odd Job"); Jim Mahfood ("Stupid Comics"); and Judd Winick ("Barry Ween: Boy Genius").

About a year later, through a friend, I was turned on to Tom Beland ("True Story Swear to God"). His beautiful linework (along with speaking with him at a convention) is what inspired me to start using a brush to ink. Through Tom came the work of Keith Knight ("K Chronicles"). Little did I know that Keith lived in the Bay Area as well and was involved with the Cartoon Art Museum, as was I. These two created comic strips and became the spark that caused my shift of focus from comic books to comic strips. I then, understandably considering these sources, began creating a semi-autobiographical comic strip and drawing further inspiration from the likes of Jan Eliot ("Stone Soup"); Lynn Johnston ("For Better or for Worse"); and the team of Jerry Scott/Jim Borgman ("Zits").

Once I realized that autobiographical comics were not for me, I began to create characters who were far less realistic and much more fun to play with. One of my favorite comics from childhood was "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson. A few others whom have had the largest impact on my art and writing were (and are) Frank Cho ("Liberty Meadows"); Berke Breathed ("Bloom County"); and Michael Jantze ("The Norm").

Though my list of influences and inspirations stretches far beyond this short list, the afforementioned artists and comics were milestones in my development as an artist (and that's with a small "a"). I hope to always discover new and interesting artists that will continue to expand my mind and further push me and my abilities. If you've actually read all the way through this I want to thank you for putting up with the long-windedness of this post and assure you the next one will be truncated considerably.
Peace everyone.


  • Excellent taste in comics there. When are we going to see some new strips?

    By Blogger Brian, at 10:55 AM  

  • Herobear Rocks!

    By Blogger ~Dawn, at 3:37 PM  

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    Wow, I've found the same to be true too!  Where did you get that at?  

    Bye, - Shelia! 

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  • A is for Artist (that's with a capital "A"!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

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