I’ve been burning the candle on both ends recently, working on my projects – mostly my secret Marvel project and my creator-owned book. Normally I would post my latest art I’ve finished, unfortunately I’m under strict order not to show any of the art from the above mentioned projects until they are officially announced.
So for now, I can only show you personal works that I’ve been dabbing on the side for fun. Here’s the latest update on the giant King Kong oil painting I’ve been working on over the years.
Hopefully in my next blog, I can show you guys something more current and exciting.
The topic of art influences came up recently in one of my friend’s chats. I brought up John Byrne as one of my earliest and unlikeliest influences. Love him or hate him, John Byrne was a dominant art force for those who grew up in the 1980s, just like Neal Adams was a decade before. Everything John Byrne touched in the 1980s was gold, instant best seller. He was in an elite class of comic creators who can single-handedly move the needle of comic book success.
I was first exposed to John Byrne’s art when I was in the 5th grade and I was instantly hooked, like many comic readers of my generation. There was something organic, shiny, hyper-detailed and fun about his artwork. I came on the John Byrne wagon a little late. I completely missed his incredible run on Uncanny X-Men with Terry Austin. I came onboard during his stellar Fantastic Four run few years later. My very first comic book I bought with my own money was Fantastic Four #250 where the Skrulls disguised as X-Men battled the Fantastic Four. I could still remember vividly when the Thing punched the bus off of himself. I thought John Byrne’s Fantastic Four run at times rivaled Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s legendary run.
Although my art is very classical and sensual in style now, when I was a kid first exposed to comics, Byrne was a heavy influence on me. Here’s my childhood art from 6th grade, when I was devouring all things John Byrne, especially his Alpha Flight and Fantastic Four comics. Like all budding artists, I imitated artists I really admired and loved. As I was exposed to more and more comic book artists I appreciated – Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, John Buscema, Don Newton, etc, I pulled their influences into my art. Eventually as I matured as an artist, all the styles blended together and my own style grew out of that stew.
And somewhere in that mixture, there’s a little bit of John Byrne.
Sorry for the late blog post. Been a busy weekend with all spring cleaning and stuff. Anyway, nothing new to report today. Fairly quiet on the home and work fronts. Oh, I did manage to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Love love LOVE the Hulk versus the Hulkbuster Ironman battle. Good fun flick, definitely go see it.
Picture of the Day: Here’s the colored cover to “Where Monsters Dwell #3″. Nice color job, Jason Keith.