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Who Inspires Your Work?

Hey guys and gals, new site, let's start some new discussions.

Who, or what styles, have effected your work (writing or art?)

For example, my art is inspired largely by Bruce Timm (Batman the Animated Series) and Gendy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack.)

Webcomics, as a whole seem to draw from a much larger pool of influence than comics you find on the spinner rack, what's yours?

And have some webcomics reached a point where THEY are inspiring other work, be it comics or otherwise?

I'd say yes, but are we too young too have any real influence outside of ourselves?


Sean C's picture

I'd have to say that as soon as I saw Jim Mahfood's work, I immediatly began trying out some of his techniques. No other artist has influenced me like he has, but I don't outright copy his stuff, either. I've mostly been trying to do my own thing, and make my style as distinct as possible. (I still need more time for that, though.)

Don't hesitate to procrastinate.
See my stuff at

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic:

My inspirations

Brad Hawkins's picture

My writing inspiration has always been Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury.

My artistic inspiration has always been the fact that I can't draw.

Having cool influences makes you sound professional

jdalton's picture

My influences have gone through some radical shifts that may not be obvious in my work. My first major influences in comics were Marvel zombiemasters like Alan Davis and Chris Bachalo. From them I learned the basics of proportion and pseudo-realism. Then I really got into obscure historical art like Japanese woodblocks and Mayan codicies. From them I learned how much fun it can be to play with 2D vs. 3D. Also that highlights in hair and eyes are a recent an unnecessary innovation.

Then I started reading nothing but manga. I learned pacing, backgrounds, and composition from the likes of Miyazaki Hayao, Samura Hiroaki, Takahashi Rumiko, and Azuma Kiyohiko. Plus I've been trying desperately to mangasize my figure drawing- but it's not working.

Online my only influence of any merit is Amy Kim Ganter. Who rocks. In writing, my current major influence is Ursula LeGuin (believe it or not).

Jonathon Dalton
A Mad Tea-Party

Jonathon Dalton
A Mad Tea-Party

Re: Having cool influences makes you sound professional

Tim  Demeter's picture

[quote=jdalton]My first major influences in comics were Marvel zombiemasters like Alan Davis and Chris Bachalo.[/quote]

Chris Bachalo is the MAN.

Tim Demeter
Reckless Life

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Bustout Odds

In terms of visual

In terms of visual style:
Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys.

No idea, really.

Inspiration: Hugo Pratt Dave

Fabricari's picture

Hugo Pratt
Dave Sim and Gerhard
Katsuhiro Otomo
Yukito Kishiro
Milo Manera
Mike Mignola
and many many more.

Fabricari - Sexy, Violent Cyberpunk

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Art-wise, Jack Kirby, Jay

MattPutPoul's picture

Art-wise, Jack Kirby, Jay Stephens, Bruce Timm, Harvey Kurtzman, Darwyn Cooke, Jim Lawson, Mike Mignola, Hayao Miyazaki, Mike Allred, Erik Larsen, Guy Davis, Craig Thompson and Doug Tenappel are all influences to some extent, either in style or design. L. Frank Baum, Charles Addams, Akira Toriyama, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, John Kricfalusi and the Spumco team, Herge, Rumiko Takahashi and many others I'm probably forgetting influence the kinds of stories I do or the way I do them.


Hendrix, Page, Clapton ...

spargs's picture

I'd say I was most influenced by this guy: A local political cartoonist who used to give me cartooning lessons on Saturdays when I was a kid in my small home town.

Other than that, I used to try to redraw TMNT and Asterix books.

I'd say Bruce Timm, PA, and Dilbert were my core influences when I decided to start webcomicking back in 2002.

Now I'm trying to find influence in things around me and to develop my own style.


garrett izumi. chris ware.

cayetano garza's picture

garrett izumi. chris ware. george carlson. joost swarte. keith knight. lance myers. tom king. walt holcombe. al columbia. jeff soto. camille rose garcia. twist. jim woodring.

besides the obvious ones or ones i've mentioned in the past...

year of the rat


Jerzy's picture

My writing is most informed by the work of Keith Giffen, Ron Friedman, and Bob Forward. Simon Furman is the inspiration for some of my dialogue--his was the first work where I've ever seen a character say something like "nnn" to express frustration.

As for art--I'd have to say guys like Chris Sprouse, Ty Templeton, Ernie Colòn, and Sal Buscema.

Yeah, spinner rack guys, for the most part (though Ron Friedman and Bob Forward are known for their animation work). But I also admire and try to live up to standards set by people like Derek Kirk Kim and Amy Kim Ganter. Their super-clean linework just blows me out of the water. - Saturday Morning Comics for kids of all ages. - Saturday Morning Comics for kids of all ages.


Katie Sekelsky's picture

I'd be lying to say that everything I see doesn't affect/influence me in some way. Even if it's a "wow, I NEVER want to do that" train of thought.

However, as far as webcomics art goes, I think I owe the most to Mitch Clem. Though a lot of my style (drawing, not shading/coloring) has also become a derivitive of animated shows. A lot of my drawings end up coming out looking like they're straight out of Daria, whether I intend them to or not.

Writing-wise? I really can't say for sure. When I was still doing humor, I could probably cite Greg Dean with having influence on my writing style. But I read relatively few serious comics, so now that I'm writing one, a lot of it isn't coming from anywhere in particular (which has also tended to make the writing process a lot more slow-going as well)



bobweiner's picture

Inspiration for me comes from a lot of places. Lately, I've been very inspired by the art I've seen on places like as well as the Flight forums on BoltCity. Kazu Kibiushi's "Copper" has been tremendously inspirational in teaching me the nuances of color theory and shading. The man just rocks.


Krishna M. Sadasivam
Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

you suck like Rob Liefeld!

Tim  Demeter's picture

Ah, Ghastly, you are the man.

The extra eyes is a good thing to have. I have two comic savvy friends go over all my stuff before it goes live and it's a huge help. I find being subjective about my own work is tough a lot of times.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Bustout Odds

Ghastly's 1-2-3 Rule for Lessening the Suck.

Uncle Ghastly's picture

For the past year I've been using what I like to call my 1-2-3 Rule For Lessening The Suck.

Basically 1 week after I've finished my a comic I go back and look at it again. This gives me some distance between the work and the infatuation of creation so I'm able to see it with a more critical eye.

Then I pick out 2 things in the work I really liked. 2 things I nailed. 2 things that made me go "YES! I'm a god amoungst men!". I remember those 2 things and try to keep them in my bag of tricks.

Then I pick out 3 things in the work I absolutely loath. 3 things that sucked ass. 3 things that fill me with bright crimson shame when I gaze upon them. 3 things that make me go "I am a sin against god and man and should not be allowed to even look at a pencil ever again let alone draw with one". I remember those 3 errors and try to keep them in my ledger of shame so that I will strive and be mindful to never wrought their likeness upon the earth again.

I think it's been helping as I've noticed it's been getting easier to find the 2 things I liked about a comic now.

That's absolutely brilliant,

Brad Hawkins's picture

That's absolutely brilliant, Ghastly. I am going to immediately start doing that with my own strip.

Now we have to kill him.

Tim  Demeter's picture

Pay no attention to the William G behind the curtain, please. All comics are totally original. Ask Rob Liefeld.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Bustout Odds

Ah, Rob Liefeld, will you ever win?

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Ow! Laughing with cracked rib is not fun. Today when I was working on some pencils at Tim Hortons (as is my daily ritual) I looked down at some whacked out, mishappened, disproportioned abomination of human anatomy I had just drawn and thought to myself "Congratulations Ghastly, ol' boy. You've now improved your artwork to the level where when people say you suck they can say you suck like Rob Liefeld!" Then I erased the abomination and drew it again.

Influenced... influenced... I can't really say there is one artist who has influenced me. I'm still very much a novice and I've only been drawing for a relatively short period of time with no formal training at all.

I know that Clay of Sexy Losers fame has done a lot to inspire my work but I don't draw in anything remotely similar to his style (I know that to many people, particularily those not fond of the Japanese style of comic art all that "manga shit" looks the same). I've probably just put together my own style, influenced subconsiously by the hundreds of anime/manga artists whose works I have seen since I was a little kid watching Speed Racer, Battle of the Planets, Astro Boy, and Starblazers without even knowing they were Japanese productions.

As far as learning from. Well Hyung Sun Kim's instructions have definetly given me the biggest push in how I've started to improve my skills over the past year. Offline there's an artist from Montenegro who now lives in Hamilton named Bozidar Cejovic who has kind of taken on the mentor role for me. He's usually at the Tim Hortons doughnut shop I stop at each morning. I come in, get my XL black and old fashioned plain doughnut, sit in my usual table to consume my breakfast and then work on the pencils for Apophenia 357. He sits at a nearby table with his wife and friend and comes by my table and points out what I've done well in the work and what I've fucked up horribly. The encouragement coupled with the unabashed honesty has really helped me improve and helped to make the artwork on Apophenia some of my best stuff to date. Of course he's not there every day so often he doesn't see the mistakes until after they've been inked and coloured. But having them pointed out to me is very helpful for ensuring I don't do them again in the future.

His artwork though is vastly different from mine and he is not a fan of the Japanese style in the least so instructionally he's an influence but not sylistically.

Probably as I become stronger in my own style and more skilled in my technique the dominant artist styles influencing my art will become more appearant. Right now somebody more learned in art would probably be able to tell me who my stylistic influences are better than I could.

Hmm... I dunno. A bunch of

The William G's picture

Hmm... I dunno. A bunch of people. I steal a bit from everyone.

Oops! Gave the secret of comicking away!


Aleph's picture

I'm influenced by Cowper on some of my shading, as well as an artist I grew up with, Mary Koski, who shaped some of my early opinions on the handling of light in art. I've done a lot of study of Noah Grey's photography as I went on, and his studies have really helped me with some of my anatomical trouble.

As for writing, I'd have to say I'm in debt to Gregory Widen for putting out movies that ended up crushing my idea of publishing the initial story that preceded Malakhim, because that story was truly crap. If I hadn't been slapped in the face by how much more cleanly he delivered stories around the same mythology, I never would have deconstructed the first book and drawn the best bits of it into what I have now. Most of the similarities between our mythology are coincidental due to drawing from the same sources, but, the time spent freaking out about it was very good for me.

The key inspiration are the

LineItemVito's picture

The key inspiration are the "heroes": hypocritical, corrupt, and stupid politicians. After that I'm inspired by the great editorial cartoonists: Oliphant, Tom Toles, Gary Trudeau ("Doonesbury"). For the artwork -- which is minimalistic -- I follow my own internal muse which tells me that the less said and shown, the more the audience is inspired to bring to the work. See Marshall McLuhan's definition of "Hot Media".
Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

I can totally see that influence

Xaviar Xerexes's picture


those influences are definitely there in your work but I think you're doing them justice.


I'd say Gabe of PA has had some influence on people, if for no other reason then I suspect a lot of young webtoonists may not be well-read enough to be influenced by Gabe's influences directly.

In that sense I think several of the more widely read webcomic creators are an influence at first to a lot of rookie creators who are inspired essentially to copy from things they see online and like.


Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.