Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Beautiful Career Installment 2







However, I found that I couldn’t draw anything twice, let alone 24 times per second. As I turned 12, I decided to focus on drawing comic books as a means to acquiring the chops necessary for being an animator. I started collecting comics for research purposes in the summer of ’71. Up until that time, I’d been interested mainly in “Mad Magazine” and “Archie” comics. Superhero comics seemed pointless and stupid; whoever was strongest would win, so who cared? However, I discovered the work of Neal Adams, and to a lesser extent, other realistic artists like Gray Morrow, Al Williamson, Alex Kotsky and Doug Wildey. I was in awe of their ability to make their characters look so lifelike. Jack Kirby was too weird, too abstract; Alex Toth was too simple. Barry Smith and Bernie Wrightson’s characters looked deformed to me.

I fell in love with Marvel and DC continuity, escaping into those worlds the way others have found refuge with Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and so on. I dreamed of moving to New York City, and becoming like the son and or brother of the cartoonists I so admired; one big, happy family.

As I matured, other influences took hold. Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” was a major mind blower when Warren Publishing started re-issuing it in 1974. I came to admire the previously maligned Wrightson, and Smith, as well as John Buscema, Gene Colan, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Mike Kaluta, Arthur Rackham, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, and Howard Chaykin among others.However, I found that I couldn’t draw anything twice, let alone 24 times per second. As I turned 12, I decided to focus on drawing comic books as a means to acquiring the chops necessary for being an animator. I started collecting comics for research purposes in the summer of ’71. Up until that time, I’d been interested mainly in “Mad Magazine” and “Archie” comics. Superhero comics seemed pointless and stupid; whoever was strongest would win, so who cared? However, I discovered the work of Neal Adams, and to a lesser extent, other realistic artists like Gray Morrow, Al Williamson, Alex Kotsky and Doug Wildey. I was in awe of their ability to make their characters look so lifelike. Jack Kirby was too weird, too abstract; Alex Toth was too simple. Barry Smith and Bernie Wrightson’s characters looked deformed to me.

I fell in love with Marvel and DC continuity, escaping into those worlds the way others have found refuge with Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and so on. I dreamed of moving to New York City, and becoming like the son and or brother of the cartoonists I so admired; one big, happy family.

As I matured, other influences took hold. Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” was a major mind blower when Warren Publishing started re-issuing it in 1974. I came to admire the previously maligned Wrightson, and Smith, as well as John Buscema, Gene Colan, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Mike Kaluta, Arthur Rackham, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, and Howard Chaykin among others.

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