INFLUENCE: Guy Davis

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One of the possibly problematic things about when I’m drawing is that I’m always a little influenced by whatever comics I’d been reading lately. If I read something by Paul Pope, I may try my hand at inking kind of like him. Or reading Brandon Graham’s King City will make me want to put weird little details and graffiti everywhere. Or Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira will make me want to try a certain angle out or something. In the time it took me to draw the first chapter of Other Sleep, I couldn’t tell you how many comics I read or at least flipped through, but one consistent thing was the magnificent BPRD series.

I’ve been a Hellboy fan since high school, but for some reason, it wasn’t until this year that I started randomly picking up discounted BPRD trades at my local shops and fell head-over heels in love with Guy Davis. This guy is probably THE greatest horror comics artist out there, and his monster designs are just nuts.

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His cartooning is loose, visceral, intense, with a lot of hatching going on. His monsters are twisted, with weird angles and alien characteristics that just make you feel a little queasy when you look at them. It took me forever to nail down the final designs for the Giant (which you’ll get a VERY good look at in chapter 2!) and the sections from Guy’s sketchbook in the back of every volume of BPRD were a huge help in coming up with something that’s (hopefully) successful, and his inking was a huge influence for how I handled the Giant’s silhouette throughout the first chapter. Again, I’m constantly reading all kinds of different comics by different creators, but I was buying a new BPRD trade almost every week for a while there, so I always had one of the books sitting nearby to flip through while I was drawing.

Sadly, he’s no longer drawing BPRD, working instead on his creator-owned comic the Marquis, which has equally impressive monsters, but is harder (for me anyways) to find. I also learned that he was the head concept artist for Guillermo del Toro’s next film, Pacific Rim. You know what that means? If they stick close to his work, the giant monsters in that movie are going to be SICK. I have faith that we’re gonna see some great stuff in that movie, especially knowing that del Toro himself is a massive fan of Guy’s work…

…What? What about the winged creatures in chapter one? No, I don’t know where those guys came from…

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