Sunday, September 5, 2010

Influence Map--Part II

Here's the continuation of yesterday's explanation of my influence map:

9. Alex Ross: I mentioned him in yesterday's post. I was never a huge comics fan, and especially not a superhero comics fan, until I saw Alex Ross's work in Kingdom Come. Just…wow. It suddenly occurred to me that the use of primary colors in comics was often a turnoff to me. But Ross paints the superheroes which gives them a vitality I've never seen before. Even a silly character like Plastic Man seems alive and serious with the Ross touch.

10. Andrew Loomis: Alex Ross was influenced by this drawing instructor, too. I've gone to great lengths to buy all of Loomis's out of print books, and it was worth it. His approach to drawing is easy to understand and execute. When I actually put in the time and make the effort (!) I immediately see an improvement due to his clear examples and explanations. Loomis is my number one drawing instructor.

11. MAD Magazine/Mort Drucker: I went through a period in the 1980's where reading MAD every month (I think that's how often it came out) was a huge pleasure. I was fascinated by the art; the various styles and the amazing ability to capture the likenesses of some many people. And those hands! I listened to a Schoolism video of Drucker and he talked about how many artists can't draw hands, that they go to great lengths to hide the hands in some way. Drucker decided he would tackle the challenge of hands and it shows! I love the cartoonyness and the expressiveness of his hand drawings. That's how I'D like to draw!

12. The Graduate: I love the post-college malaise that's captured in this film. Maybe because I, too, felt lost after graduating from college. This film is a model for a story I'd like to tell. I'm just trying to figure out how to make it nearly as good.

13. Will Eisner: It took me way too long to discover his work but now that I have, I can't get enough! I've bought all of his graphic novels, all of the black and white dailies of The Spirit and some color collections as well. Not to mention his books about sequential art. This man was a tremendous draftsman and I look to his work often for inspiration and as a standard to which to strive.

14. Burne Hogarth: My next favorite figure drawing instructor, second to Loomis. Although his work has been criticized for showing every muscle in a state of contraction, I value his drawings for revealing the human musculature. I have all of his instruction books, too, and have found them to be incredibly helpful. Some people prefer George Bridgman but I find his explanations and his drawings unclear. Hogarth is much easier to understand and apply.

15. Classic Steven Spielberg movies: I say classic because it's been a long time since I've loved a Spielberg movie. These are my four favorites--Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and, no, I will NEVER call this movie its alleged new name, "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark." GTFOH!!) and E.T. These movies were all released between 1975 and 1982. After that, I've liked a few Spielbergs but definitely haven't loved anything. In other words, between 1984 and 2008, Spielberg hasn't directed ONE MOVIE that I think comes close to my fave four. I hate to say it, but once he got married and started having kids, the "magic" left his films. I mean, really, removing the cops's guns from the re-release of E.T. because now he suddenly thinks that cops wouldn't pull guns on kids riding bikes with an alien from another planet sitting in a bike basket?!?! Are you kidding me?! The average American cop would've put a bullet right through E.T.'s head and asked questions later. Why not, they do it with humans!

Sorry about the digression…:)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my influences. Now go explore yours!

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