Comics that Influenced Me

Somebody asked me to write a post about the various comic books that influenced my writing.  This is a tough one because I was into a lot of them and was running off to comic show after comic show.  I had a battered little notebook with a listing of what I was looking for and it eventually fell apart around the same time I ran out of money.  I did get a few sweet finds though:

  • Very battered first appearance of Sabretooth.
  • Wolverine Limited Series #1
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #1
  • A bunch of first appearances like Rogue, Gambit, Apocalypse, Deadpool (that got damaged during the Florida move), and mostly other mutants.
  • All of the Batman: Knightfall story arc, which took me 2 years to collect.
Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage from Marvel Comics

Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage from Marvel Comics

The first influence I should mention is Spider-Man.  I was into the games and cartoons before I stepped into the comics.  In fact, the first ones I got was the complete collection for ‘Maximum Carnage’.  That means I began with Spidey, Venom, and Carnage in the spotlight.  These three became my mental standard for heroes, anti-heroes, and villains that were connected.  For those that don’t know:

  • Spider-Man was the true hero who was always doing what is right.
  • Venom was the violent anti-hero who would do what he thought was right even if it broke the law to help others.
  • Carnage was a murderous serial killer that went on to get used so often that he lost his impact.

You might see this triad turn up in my stories from time to time.  Not sure if it turns up a lot in Legends of Windemere or if it’s so clear.  You might find parts of Spider-Man in there though like Luke Callindor worrying a lot or Delvin Cunningham being very responsible.  Honestly, I tend to look into a character’s sense of responsibility a lot as they go through with their adventure.  One thing I can say is that Spider-Man is a big influence for Savior.

Giant Size X-Men Cover

Giant Size X-Men Cover

The next big comic series I got into were the X-Titles.  For me this was, X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, Cable, Wolverine, and Generation X.  Not really sure where I started with this, but I remember a lot of the big events of the 90’s.  As far as influences go, I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific.  There were so many characters in these titles that I could connect every character of mine to somebody.  One thing I do think this helped me with is figuring out team dynamics and making it more like a family than a business partnership.

Deadpool and Domino from Marvel Comics

Deadpool and Domino from Marvel Comics

Lloyd Tenay from Crossing Bedlam took a lot from Deadpool.  I liked the violence and humor of him.  Not as much 4th wall breaking in the beginning from what I remember, but I’d have to read his original comic run again.

I’ll finish on two aspects of comics that I tend to include in my books and both of which end up in the action scenes.  One is the blow for blow, back-and-forth battles that tries to make it visual.  It’s not very often that you find a one-sided comic fight.  At least when I was reading them and that was predominantly Spider-Man.  All combatants took blows and many times the hero had to think of a way to end the fight after being injured.  I see the fight play out in my mind as pictures instead of words, which is a big reason why the scenes are what they are.  Also might be why I write in present tense.

Finally, the second aspect is the banter during fighting.  A break to catch their breath and try to get an emotion out of the other.  This doesn’t always go over well with people, but I use it to do a variety of things.  You get a sense of the mental status of a character and the fight can be more than a paragraph of pain.  This doesn’t always work though.  I try to have the banter hit when both combatants are wounded or tired, so they welcome the pause since neither can take advantage of the others’ weakness.  Another part of this is that different characters have different banter styles and rates.  Luke Callindor and Sari tend to mouth off a lot.  Nyx does it too, but more threatening than teasing.  Delvin and Timoran aren’t much into talking during battle unless they see a strategic reason.  I’m always curious to see how it comes out for new characters.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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34 Responses to Comics that Influenced Me

  1. L. Marie says:

    I can definitely see the influence of comics in your writing. Raven’s Hold also benefitted from the banter you enjoyed.
    I also was influenced by the comic books I read–Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, and especially Thor. My brother is not a fan of Thor because of the uneasy fit with Norse mythology. But I am a fan of mythology!

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    • Wasn’t really sure about Raven’s Hold I tried to minimize the banter, but it comes out.

      Thor was a strange one for me. I paid some attention to him, but was more Spidey and X-Men. Always figured he wasn’t a close fit with the actual mythology, but those stories wouldn’t always work. Wasn’t Loki the father of Odin’s horse and Fenris?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely loved reading this. A treasure trove of memories came back to me. I agree with you, comics have a way to go beyond the action and pain. They gave us the mental status of each combatant through dialogue. I had a nice collection, followed many of these heroes (including Spiderman), but I was a freak for Batman, Captain America, and Ironman, Couldn’t get enough of these guys. Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing this. Will look back at my own work to see how I conveyed combatant’s mood. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C.E.Robinson says:

    Fun post, Charles! Now I’m completely versed on comic books I never read, and some never knew about. Can see why you’d love them based on your writing! You do have the fantasy genre down pat. I’m impressed! Chryssa

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  4. Great post, and very insightful. Comics have a lot to offer.

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  5. Thank you for the great post. I believe I was the one who asked you the question that prompted this post, so it was twice the fun for me 🙂

    Spiderman was my first comic, courtesy of a couple of American friends living near our home in Athens (their father worked at the US Base near Marathon). I was mesmerized by the colors and action, and that sparked my lifelong love of comics.

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  6. Bookwraiths says:

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. While I was always into comics as a kid, I was more of an Avenger, Thor, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Hulk guy back in those days. I read a little of everything though (probably because it was fairly cheap entertainment back in the dark ages of the 1980s!), and eventually I got into Spidey when McFarlane was there. Think it was more because of Peter Parker’s character and his life style than the great art. Back then, Peter was an average guy who you could really relate to, not like these days.

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    • I do remember how McFarlane had Spidey extremely bendy, which caught my attention. Though I agree that it was Peter and his non-superhero lift that had me really connect with the character. I was a scrawny, nerdy kid with glasses, so no surprise there. Even as an adult, I can’t connect the current Peter with old Peter. Might be why I don’t miss it as much.

      I’m starting to wonder if I’m one of the few people that never got into Thor.

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      • Bookwraiths says:

        I started Thor with Walt Simonson, so that was the Thor I grew up on. The other versions after Simonson were mediocre at best, not up to the master, at least, in my opinion.

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      • Thor is a hard character to keep going compared to the others. Not easy to relate to him since he’s a god. A lot of the space characters of Marvel have trouble like Quasar, Nova, and, until recently, Guardians of the Galaxy. At least from what I remember.

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  7. Kev says:

    So the question is: DC or Marvel? 😀

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  8. I love the banter during the fights in Legends. I can’t imagine who would not like that kind of interaction.

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  9. noelleg44 says:

    Comic books were never part of my reading when I was a kid, but I did follow the newspaper comics. I loved Pogo. Calvin and Hobbs, and Peanuts. Guess I missed out on something, huh?

    Like

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