I was introduced to Andy Kubert X-men in the early 90s, (issue 20 iirc) and when I started collecting back issues I found Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio, so those three defined comic book art for me in my formative years.
Nowadays I'm pretty fixated on just two artists. Hiroaki Samura of Blade of the Immortal and John Romita Jr. of pretty much every comic book on the shelf. Not to say that I don't admire many other artists but those guys are the ones who really do it for me.
I will add that I've never been more in love with an artist than I was when Chris Bachalo was doing his early Generation X issues. Those first 2 issues in particular are just fucking insane.
He still drops an impressive page layout every now and then, but his style of rendering is so simplified nowadays that I don't get the same thrill.
And where are the DC comics/artists?
I never really got into DC.
I mean, I love my Watchmen and my Death: The High Cost of Living TPBs (among many others) but the only regular series that I ever collected was about a year's worth of Impulse when Humberto Ramos was new.
So as strange as it seems, I am now a DC man, and it wasn't because of Batman or Superman or any of the other legendary superheroes.
Nope, it's all because of Zuda.
I own a Corvette, an 86. Most people who know what an 86 corvette looks like call it 'the ugly one', but I think it's just a simple design, not an ugly one.
The C5 Corvette that ran from 1997 to 2004 on the other hand? That's going to be thought of as the ugly Corvette 30-40 years from now. I'm confident of it.
The butt on that thing is enormous.
I hate the musical snobbery of Radiohead fans.
I ran across a blog post titled '50 bands you MUST teach your kids about'.
At #2 he had Nirvana with the following justification (paraphrased)
'Brought life back to the genre and ushered out the tired old sounds...'
(Radiohead was somewhat lower, but still at #15 ranked higher than Madonna and Micheal Jackson who between them have sold about a billion gazillion million records.)
Well pardon me for having opinions but I rather enjoyed the 'tired old sounds' and I resent Nirvana for shifting the paradigm.
I was exactly at the 'Nirvana age' when they were big so it may have been partly a desire on my part to be non-conformist, but I actually find that I like their musis LESS as I get older and my own tastes have been drifting back into the early 80s, late 70s.
My most recent album purchase was E.L.O.'s Greatest Hits, and before that it was Queen and Prince.
Here's a theory.
The people who like the Britney Spears (me) generally like her for a certain set of reasons, and the people who like Radiohead like their music for a completely different set of reasons.
The Britney set's reasons typically don't lend themselves to deep justification. It's just something to shake your ass around and have fun with.
But those radiohead jerks are connecting on a different emotional basis.
NOT a more valid basis, but one that lends itself more to introspection and analysis.
So what do you get? You have a 'music society' full of people writing about their favorite bands and they're all writing about radiohead because the people who like Britney are too busy shaking their ass, and because the radiohead fans encounter very little opposition to their views they start to think that they have authority.
But then the billboard sales numbers come out and Britney Spears is doubling up the next 5 closest competitors.
"Oh the HORROR!" There's got to be an explanation!
Well, yeah, it just means that there's a lot more people who like Britney Spears music than people who like Radiohead.
It's not a 'plot' or 'the man keeping your band down' or 'she's just a sell-out pop artist'.
The radiohead fan is suffering from a delusion. If Britney fans were as passionate about reviewing and talking about music as Radiohead fans seem to be, there wouldn't be room in Spin magazine to cram in an article about the crap little band.
You know what?.....
I could paint the sistine chapel in miniature on the roof of my mouth using a combination of feces and uranium filings, then puke it out and call it 'art'.
I can pretty much guarantee that it's never been done before, and that might give it artistic value. Not sure, maybe. Depends on if I can sell it as art.
And there's the key. Art isn't art unless you can convince someone that it is art, and if it's so sellable that people are willing to pay money to own it and not just look at it, that's what makes it good art.
And the more people who are willing to buy it, the better it is.
Based on that principle I would have no problem whatsoever in ranking my own personal 'most influential artists' list based solely on sales numbers.
1. Micheal Jackson - Thriller (by far)
4. Whitney Houston
5. Bee Gees
6. Pink Floyd
7. Backstreet Boys
I don't really care for the Eagles, The Bee-Gees, Pink Floyd or the Backstreet Boys but I'm willing to let the integrity of my beliefs come before my own personal taste.
Of course I'd want to adjust the numbers based on performance relative to the industry and perhaps tweak it for price variations as the format changed from record to tape to cd, but if you're comparing influence I think it's silly to suggest that any album influenced more people than Thriller at over 100 million copies sold.
Now if you wanted to suggest that an alternate band or album influenced BETTER people... as if to say that the Britney fans don't matter cause they don't make music while the Radiohead fans are the musicians of tomorrow.
Well I might be more understanding of where you're coming from, but in such a case I'd know for certain that you're nothing more than a music snob. Take your elitist 'influential' band and shove it up your ass.
Consider me the voice of the silent majority.