Art, Comix, Food, and Other Random Silliness
Well here we are back to my on the road exploits. This is when we’d finally reached New Jersey with our guy we met in Daytona, the weirdo named Rick who turned out to be a pretty decent person when he was sober. He was pretty annoying when he was drunk though.
Anyways, I’ve been reading a lot of manga lately, so I had thought about talking about that stuff, until Brandon Graham posted on his blog with these awesome Akira Toriyama stuff so I wanted to talk about how influential Toriyama has been to me as a cartoonist.
Toriyama basically taught me how to draw. Now he didn’t do it personally. His work was kind of the first stuff I started imitating with a passion. This is important to have I think when you’re growing up with a passion for comics is to have influences you aspire towards and for me this was Toriyama. He did everything right and everything I could ever want to do and if I wanted to be a cartoonist then I needed to draw as great as he did.
Now that I’m older I appreciate his art even more because of how simple and easy he makes it look and how creative his characters and his worlds are. I started out my love for Toriyama with Dragonball and now that I’m older I find myself drawn more towards Dr. Slump because of how great and original and different it still is compared to all of his other work even. It’s amazing, the period where he was working on Dr. Slump he seemed so ahead of his time, his style was so different and so were his comics. He was competing against Kinnikuman and some other great manga that Jump was publishing at that time and Toriyama immediately just stands out.
I was telling Brandon Graham after I saw the video of him over at inkstuds, where he talks about how he starts off a drawing, and I told him that I start my drawings off when I’m drawing a person by drawing the ears. This came about form trying to draw like Toriyama, everything about his work seemed easy enough to copy, except his complex ears. I’d never seen a character in a comic or cartoon with such detailed ears as I saw in Dragonball, and I’d go look in the mirror and realize they were pretty accurate, so I started drawing those ears and just threw the rest of the head in. But it always has, and still does, start with the ears for me because it’s the center of the head. Makes it easier for me to scale out the rest of the character’s head.
But Toriyama, like Yui who’s porn manga I talked about a couple of weeks ago, these are the types of guys who inspired me and though my style isn’t very Japanese these days, back in the day, especially in high school it looked exactly like horrid manga you’d see coming from bad Tokyopop OEL. I’ve gotten myself more into European and American comix since then so my style has evolved more into what it is, but it’s still rooted very much in Toriyama and Dragonball and I still start with the ear.