Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Primary Influences



I believe that primary influences date back to when you were really young and first discovered something and it made an impact. This strange new thing... it will affect the way you live the rest of your life. Artists I've discovered recently have little to no influence on me, no matter how good. When I was learning to draw, I studied a bunch of artists and cartoonists to teach myself (I had a really lousy elementary-school art teacher). I was handed down my aunt's old MAD magazines when I was about 8. So I guess my influences from those years would be:

Norman Mingo
Mort Drucker
Antonio Prohias
Basil Wolverton
Bill Wray
Al Jaffee
Don Martin
Dave Berg
Jack Davis
John Caldwell
Don "Duck" Edwing
Tom Bunk
Bill Elder

I copied them all over and over, so MAD influenced me more than anything else. Of course, I was also influenced by the newspaper comics guys:

Bill Watterson
Berke Breathed
Gary Larson
Charles Schulz
Patrick McDonnel
Kaz
Tony Millionaire

Copied them too. Later still, I got my hands on a complete collection of Tales from the Crypt, so my influences from them would be:

Graham Ingels
John Severin
Al Feldstein
Jack Kamen
Johnny Craig
George Evans

Copied them more than anything else. Later than that (or earlier? I can't remember), I got a book, "The Comics Before 1945", which I read religiously, and it had its influence, possibly more than any (exclamation points by the greatest influences):

Winsor McCay (Little Nemo!)
Harold Knerr (Katzenjammer Kids!)
Harold Foster (Prince Valiant!, Tarzan)
Cliff Sterrett (Polly and Her Pals)
George Herriman (Krazy Kat!)
Richard Outcault (Hogan's Alley!)
Frederick Opper (Happy Hooligan!)
Gustave Verbeck (The Upside-Downs)
H.T. Webster (The Timid Soul!, The Thrill That Comes Once in a Lifetime)
E.C. Segar (Thimbe Theatre!!!!)
Bud Fisher (Mutt and Jeff!)
Rube Goldberg (The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G. Butts!)
George McManus (Bringing Up Father)
Harold Gray (Little Orphan Annie)
Frank King (Gasoline Alley)
Chester Gould (Dick Tracy!)
Billy DeBeck (Barney Google!, Snuffy Smith!)
Roy Crane (Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy)
Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates!, Steve Canyon, Male Call!)
Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon!)
Milt Gross (Count Screwloose)
Jefferson Machamer (Gags and Gals)
Al Capp (Li'l Abner!)
Ernie Bushmiller (Nancy!)
Will Eisner (The Spirit!)

More Laterer, I discovered the underground comics and MAN!!!! What an impact!:

Robert Crumb
S. Clay Wilson
Dan O'Neil
Jim Osborne
Robert Williams
Kim Deitch
Greg Irons
Rory Hayes
Vaughn Bode
Spain
Skip Williamson
Rick Griffin

Other than the comics, movies were also an influence upon my then tender young mind:

Psycho
Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Shining
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Friday the 13th
Twilight Zone: The Movie
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
plus some b-grade comedies

Miscellaneous influences:

Saturday morning cartoon shows (particularly Looney Tunes)
Disney movies
Salvador Dali
John K.
Old sitcoms (All in the Family, Seinfeld, Beverly Hillbillies, etc.)
Ad art
Old, broken-down buildings
Graveyards
Sharpies
Churches
Parks
Tall buildings
Old people
Little kids' scrawled drawings

Put 'em all together annd whaddaya got?? ME!! Or at least my drawings. And personality.



On an unrelated subject: It should be noted that I won't ever mention these things on my blog: Religion and politics. One I respect (religion), the other I don't (politics). I believe that making fun of either is kind of sleazy (unless it's done tastefully like, say, Stephen Colbert). On a lighter note, does anyone share any of these influences?

7 comments:

J.R. Spumkin said...

Mort Drucker, Basil Wolverton, Bill Wray, Crumb. All great choices.

And as for the last subject, I personally don't subscribe to any religion or political party unless it's so full-blown crazy that I simply must!

Why do you think I'm a Democratic Pastafarian?

RAmen.

Phantom Spitter said...

Haw! Spumkin, you just crack me up!

Thanks for your support on my main influences. Yer a real pal.

Deniseletter said...

Hello Panthom! I knew some of these artists,I always love Mad Magazine when I could see one,I had fixed remindings of Don Martin,Spy vs Spy and some movies parodies,but thanks for Internet I have an opportunity to know more of those awesome cartoonists in your list.Btw Remember my last post? The landscape I was about to do?At last.Here it is:

The drawing I made

Phantom Spitter said...

Thanks, Deniseletter!

That landscape drawing is beautiful. How long did it take you?

Deniseletter said...

Thanks for your comment!Dunno exactly (could be a half century!!!)Since the last week I did discountinuous doodling and erasing due to researching which was the angle to draw and reference images until finished yesterday night.

mantmarble said...

A person could truly live in a universe by the people you listed. Basil Wolverton is the King of Ugly, a god in my opinion. The only person who comes close is the unjustly neglected Richard Alf. Ever seen NO SKIN OFF OF MY MOUNTAINS? Like S. Clay Wilson channelling Outcault, if you can imagine that...

Phantom Spitter said...

Hi Mantmarble! Sorry I discovered your comment late. I don't often check old posts. I've never seen (read?) No Skin Off My Mountains. I'll look into it though.

I live in that universe of the people I've listed.

Thanks for stopping by!