Thursday, July 23, 2009

Under The Influences

If you're a creative type, you have influences. You might have moved away from them over time, but they made their mark on you in some fashion. I'm not much of an artist myself, so I can't really call any of my favorite artists "influences". Ah, but writing, that's another story. There is a short list of people who made such an impression on my (non-fiction) writing style that I still feel their presence to this day.

One is Roy Thomas, famed comic book writer/editor and current head honcho of Alter Ego magazine. I can't say his approach to scripting is much of an influence, but his letters pages and editorial voice definitely are. I was enthralled by his work in the 1970s-80s, and while the bloom is off that rose in many respects, I still hold him in very high esteem.

Another influence of mine is Damon Foster, pioneering (I bet he'd hate that word) editor of Oriental Cinema fanzine. Damon covered all sorts of films in his 'zine's heyday, and did so with a sense of humor and style that are often sorely lacking in fannish circles. I'm not even sure OC is still a current thing, but it was and is always a welcome sight to those of us who remember it.

The last person may be a bit surprising to many of you. It's Joe Kane, aka "The Phantom of the Movies". I found a copy of his book The Phantom's Ultimate Video Guide circa 1988-89, at a time when books of that nature were a bit harder to find in your corner bookstore. It opened my eyes to a whole world of movies not listed in the standard filmbooks. I often disagree with the Phantom's reviews, but his way with words left a deep and lasting impact on my own writing style - particularly when I use colorful and/or bizarre phrasings. So yeah, I'd call him an influence.

Who are your creative influences?

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