I periodically read Transmetropolitan, and I periodically read The Invisibles. Why? Apart from their brilliance, and their capturing of a cultural zeitgeist, they both represent a viewpoint I am on board with, and something of an intellectual palate cleanse. They are both texts that more than withstand multiple readings, because they are layered, and the meaning derived from them shifts as you see them in the rearview mirror and gaze closer at it.
Some texts are alive when you read them, and some texts are not. The things that you read once and that never really breathe for you, and make you feel nothing, are the ones that you do not return to. Obviously these aren’t the same for everyone, but everyone recognises that quality in the things they love.
As an artist the desire is always to create something that achieves this affect – where it makes the leap from being something personal that the creator loves, to being something that someone outside falls in love with. It doesn’t always have to be a really huge acknowledgement either. I have finally started to draw a comic strip for the first time in years, and my wife, who I consider an excellent artist, complimented me on it – she saw it and something in it communicated to her. It’s a pretty simple thing, but that means a hell of a lot to me.
I know that one of my friends has a poem I wrote above her desk and that it inspires her – and that is magical.
I have one of my favourite writers following a few of my pages on Facebook, and when he gave me a like on a story I wrote it made my whole day.
Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis, in these texts gave me something invaluable, and there are others by them that I love just as much.
There is a re-reading of Sandman in my future too – those three are three of the big influences in my life. I know some people are worried about revealing stuff like that, in case their own work is then viewed as derivative of the influences, but I feel like, if that is the case, then you just need to step up your game.