Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Creative Yodas...John Byrne

Hello, All. I'm starting another set of posts called My Creative Yodas, which highlight, big surprise, my favorite artist and writers who turn on the inspirational well for me and make want to sit down and write or draw. I'm starting with one of the biggest names in comics in the 80's and is still turning out work today, Mr. John Byrne.

The first book of his I ever read was X-Men #129 which introduced me to Kitty Pryde and the brilliance or Mr. Byrne's artwork. After that, I tried to get my hands on pretty much anything John Byrne drew and basically aped his drawing style. (I wasn't as good as a guy named Vic Bridges who drew a book called Faze 1 Fazers, but then again, I haven't seen anything by that guy since.) Eventually, I would learn about using real human pics for reference, but I did my very best to draw figure exactly how John Byrne did. His big guys looked truly big, his women alluring and beautiful and his vehicles, slick and futuristic. He was basically the Jim Lee of his time, because his renditions of Marvel heroes and eventually, DC characters looked exactly how the characters should look.

His first major work was the book Doomsday +1 for Charlton Comics, then he went over to Marvel doing different series, most notably Iron Fist and Marvel Team-Up. His career caught fire when he teamed up with Chris Claremont on Uncanny X-Men and began their series-defining run on the title.

After that, Byrne again bounced from title to title, but when he landed the gig as writer/artist of the World's Greatest Comic Magazine, lightning struck twice for him.
Before Byrne started on Fantastic Four, the book had been lackluster in sales and popularity, but Byrne took a back to basics approach that mined the rich history of the book and allowed him to work on characters Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, an influence of Byrne's, created and his love for the book showed as he took comic's First Family from one side of creation to the other.

As we all know, Byrne left Marvel for DC and the lightning struck for a third time as Byrne took on the Dc's flagship character, Superman.
In the Man of Steel mini series, Byrne once again pared the character down to all the concepts that made Superman who he was and redefined him for modern readers. Before Brian Michael Bendis, who's known for churning out 3 or 4 titles a month, John Byrne handled the writing and art on Superman and Action Comics as well as writing the other 2 core books.

After this, Byrne started working on mostly his own creations like Danger Unlimited and 2112 and Next Men. He also worked on Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Namor and recently reuinted with Chris Claremont on JLA.
My artwork has finally started to gain a look of its own, but when I look back on my older stuff, I grin at how much it changed. It wouldn't even have started if I hadn't admired Mr. Byrne's work and wanted to emulate him so much. There've been others after, but you never forget your first...but let's forget just how wrong that phrase actually sounds...

And now for a small gallery of Mr. Byrne's work...

                               And this is John Byrne's latest a dear and pick it up


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