So I went to Japan and returned a manga apostate. But if I wasn't going to draw anime-style, then how should I draw?
My assistant at the time was making weekly pilgramages to the comic shop. After a while, I started going with him. I have been in plenty of comics shops over the years, but I virtually ignored everything expect the Japanese imports and their North American clones; and superheroes still didn't interest me much. Fortunately for me, Mike was into the alternatives, stuff I knew nothing about. I had a whole new world to discover.
I started collecting again. After getting burned by the sporadic releases of my favourite Japanese authors, I didn't want to get sucked in again. So I stuck mostly to graphic novels and trade paperbacks. And I was choosey. I wanted something different but I had become picky about what I would spend money on. I picked up stories by Matt Wagner, Jeff Smith, Mike Mignola, David Mack and more. I was looking at a wide variety of artists and borrowing freely from what I liked. Eventually, I think, (I hope) it all evolved into something that was greater than all the parts.
Next time: an overview of my favourite artists and why I like them.