Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Stylistic Influences Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Good lord, I am one sleepy brother today! Been burning the midnight oil after work writing, reading and researching for Pop Zeus. Pretty much working all of the time these days. And before bed over the last few nights I've been glued to my bootleg DVD of the Muppets hosting the Tonight Show back in the 70's- so funny and Frank Oz was spot on with the improv that night. I am back to being a full-fledged Henson/Muppet super-fan (was a big part of my childhood as mentioned in an earlier post).

Took a visit to my groovy local comic shop Comix Experience over the weekend. It was a much needed mental break from the grueling writing slog I was going through. I grabbed a copy of issue two of Batman Year 100 by Paul Pope while I was looking around. Read the article about Pope and the project in Wired a few months ago, and was glad to find it already hitting the shelves. Sadly, I missed the first issue- can anyone out there find me one?

Plus I needed to get some other stuff as reference material for Pop Zeus. Haven't spent much time shopping for or reading comics in the last 5 or so years (Cerebus is over?). But, it was fun to pick up work copies (ones I can beat up) of old favorites and leaf through them at the store. Also, discovered some new inspirations while I was milling about.

So here is the second list of influences/inspirations for stories in Pop Zeus. Won't spill which ones go with which stories just yet. But I am still stoked to pay tribute to my favorite band in the world, using my favorite cartoon styles...

Tales From The Crypt (EC Comics in general)- This inspiration was unexpected for me. But, it fits in perfectly with one of my ideas for the comic. Plus the originals are just so so classic (and still very creepy and somewhat brain damaging). Hard to hate something that spawned a Congressional investigation, the creation of the Comics Code Authority, and the creation of Mad Magazine!

Dork by Evan Dorkin- Can't recommend Dorkin's work enough. Possibly the funniest man in comics. Milk and Cheese is another big influence of mine, but it is some of the stuff in Dork which will directly apply to Pop Zeus.

Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware- Extremely depressing but eye-poppingly beautiful comics! If you are not familiar with Ware's work by now, run don't walk to your nearest decent bookstore and check this stuff out. Thought of ANL immediately for a particularly dreary section of the comic.

Land Of Nod by Jay Stephens- As mentioned in an earlier post, Land Of Nod is one of the funniest and most crudely drawn comics ever. The minimal style of Stephens early work still cracks me up and would be great to emulate.

Mad Magazine by the usual gang of idiots- One of my cornerstones- there was nothing that gave this young lad more joy than pouring over the pages of Mad (Cracked and Crazy were pretty good too). And it is still a bold, daring and damn funny magazine. If you haven't checked out Mad in 20 odd years, I challenge you to go to your local newsstand and not embarrass yourself laughing.

Archie Comics by the usual gang of idiots- Another big childhood influence on young Phil (along with the music of the fake Archie band- see earlier post). The clean line drawing style and light adolescent humor of Archie comics buoyed me through many a lazy afternoon. And the cute girls certainly didn't hurt (I'm a Betty guy all the way- what did they see in Archie anyway, two babes fighting over that guy?).


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