Cartoonists' Club members discuss their influences
MATT BUCK (HACK)
Er...Mel Calman. Ralph Steadman memorably described him as being able to draw the human condition in a space the size of a nutshell. I always thought that was pretty high praise.
He also made me laugh.
As barely a teenager in the early sixties, I was mad keen on cars and bought The Motor magazine every week. Towards the back of this was always a splendidly drawn and funny cartoon by Russell Brockbank.
For motoring gags he was in a league of his own. The accuracy and quality of the cars he featured and his characterisation of the drivers was always perfect. Nobody drew a 1930's Le Mans Bentley hurtling along an English country lane with a moustached gung-ho type at the wheel better than him. A very visual cartoonist and definitely my first cartoon hero.
At the same time I was a Goon Show fanatic. Milligan's daft illustrations for his books A Dustbin of Milligan and Silly Verse for Kids were a big influence.
Well my first introduction into the wacky world of cartoons came from my Mums' Titbits magazine. It was very different back then to what it is now - less Tits, more bits! It was always peppered with dozens of Roland Fiddy cartoons plus many other artists whos names escape me I'm afraid. I also was very fond of 'Do not adjust your set' then later 'The Goodies'. I used to draw lovely little adventures for Bill, Graham and talented Timbo. Unfortunately they always seemed to end with the Earth being invaded by Aliens. Lots of gore! Lovely.
I have never had, nor expect to have, any cartoonist heroes! All I can remember is that I was incredibly jealous of EVERYONE who was getting cartoons published in Weekend, Reveille, TitBits, The Daily Mirror, etc.! I have a memory of drawing cartoons on the pavement, in chalk, as a child, so goodness knows where the earliest influences came from.
I started drawing cartoons as a kid, because that is what you do when you are the class clown and you aren't into slapstick or getting hauled before the head every five minutes. I did an on going cartoon strip called "Changeman" about a dubious and often violent superhero. This was passed around amongst my classmates to massive acclaim ( which was pretty good for class 4B). Decades later I took up the pen of humour once again in earnest when I got fed up of the council work I was doing at the time and decided that I wanted to do something more worthwhile and rewarding. I never got that but I stuck with the cartooning :of)
Influences: Gibert Shelton - "Fabulous Furry Freak Bros.", "Fat Freddy's Cat" "Wonder Warthog" and many more.
This guy made me want to do my own cartoons as a teenager.
Phil Foglio - "Buck Godot zap gun for hire", "Mythadventures (the early comics)" brilliant expressions, story telling and above all humour.
Bill Watterson - "Calvin and Hobbes" what can you say.
Dave Sim - "Cerebus the Aardvark" currently the longest standing independent comic book. I was drawn in by the humour of the early stuff but the styling and artwork of his later stuff has no equal
Brian Talbot - "Luther Arkwright" plus loads of stuff for 2000AD another brilliant artist