We here at SH5 have been really starting to get momentum to make Boy Commander Rex actually happen. In order to do that we’ve been discussing various aspects of the character, drawing characters in the world, and immersing ourselves in things we like that we could use for it. I’d like to take some time to show some of my personal influences, artistic and thematic.
First and foremost,
Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson
I want nothing more than to accomplish what Bill Watterson has done. He has created a world that is poignant, hilarious, and completely true to life. He fits in his own fantastic social critiques through the vessel of Calvin. He appeals to children as well as adults. The comic is enormously imaginative and perfectly illustrates a young, lonely boy’s thoughts. And on top of all that he has GORGEOUS artwork. His beautiful, colored, big Sunday editions were the only reason I picked up newspapers when I was a kid. Hell, it would still be the reason now if it was still going. He did amazing things with composition and really pushed comics forward. I can only hope to achieve a fraction of his artistic success. I see much of Calvin in Boy Commander Rex; mischievous, lonely, and lost in his own imagination yet adventurous, idyllic, and virtuous.
by Kazu Kibuishi
I recently purchased a collection of this webcomic, and that is actually the reason why I’m posting this. I felt so inspired after finishing it. Kazu certainly also looks up to Bill Watterson’s work as Copper practically breathes Calvin and Hobbes. It is also a very whimsical social critique, similar to C&H, and highly imaginative. The art is gorgeous. Simple, but breathtaking. Also, being a former Graphic Designer, Kazu has an excellent grasp on composition and layout making the comic even more visually dynamic. I’d like to emulate the whole “anything goes” imaginative aspect of this work. There isn’t really a cohesive storyline, but there are recurring characters and themes. There are little vignettes into the adventures of a boy and his dog.
by Pendelton Ward
I know I talked about this cartoon yesterday, so I’ll keep it short. I have loved the pilot of the cartoon for a long time now. It also carries the sort of whimsical, child-like, adventurous themes that I am going for with BCR. It also has a very simple, but effective and (more importantly) fun, approach to animation.
by Christy Karacas, Stephen Warbrick, and Ben Gruber
Less having to do with the thematic elements of the show, and more on the animation. This is a wonderful piece of animation. Everything flows into each other beautifully and horrifyingly. Karacas does AWESOME things with perspective and scene transition. Check out this video by Karacas and Warbrick entitled Barfight.
Ren and Stimpy
by John Kricfalusi
Again, not so much on the theme, but the animation. John K. rarely used the same expressions twice and his range was incredible in this show. I also enjoy the way the show is put together, two shorts with random funny bits in between, and would probably use a similar format for a cartoon series of BCR. The characters on this show are just so…animated. Even when they’re just standing there, motionless. It’s something I’d really like to capture, and BCR COULD use a bit of the crude humor that Ren and Stimpy are so well known for.
By Matt Groening
Simply because of the incredibly heart, intelligence, and cultural awareness this show has/had. Also, it had pretty good animation in the middle seasons. I don’t personally like the new, polished, computer generated look, but whatever. Count Futurama as an influence as well. Both shows just make you genuinely love and care about the characters so much. This is probably my favorite cartoon of all time, so naturally I’m going to look to it for guidance.
by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer
by Ben Edlund
Both these creations are not only fantastically drawn/animated, but have a great sense of humor. They are self-parodying comic book type characters. I love all the pop culture references. Most importantly, the creativity with villains and other characters. These guys can bust out the most ridiculous characters and still have them work. This is very important to Boy Commander Rex.
Well, that’s it. Have a good day.