One of my biggest influences was Alfredo Alcala, after being blown away upon seeing a 2 page spread from Voltar for the very first time. Almost immediately I latched on to the “insane detail” technique which I’ve now used all my life. That spread appeared in a world encyclopedia of comics at my high school library. The spread, as presented in the book, was a mere 5 or 6 inches across, it was quite small, but it’s a drawing that would largely influence me from then on.
Later on, I discovered Bernie Wrightson‘s Frankenstein and once again, it just blew my mind. Like Voltar, it used that “insane detail” technique and it pretty much cemented how much I loved it. Sure, a lot of this detail is completely unnecessary, as far simpler illustrations could convey the same mood, but I didn’t care. I wanted my lines. I wanted my millions of lines and that was it.
Much later, I would discover Franklin Booth, who as it turns out, influenced both Alfredo Alcala and Bernie Wrightson in that “insane detail” style. In fact, Franklin Booth is the all mighty godfather of the insane detail style. This is perhaps where it all comes down to. Sure one can argue that Booth my have been in turn influenced by the likes of Albrecht Durer, but it is Booth who seems to have perfected the quintessential insane detail style.
Later on, other artists of a similar vein have all contributed to that insane detail pool in my head: Geoff Darrow, Mike Kaluta, Charles Vess and Barry Windsor Smith. These artists… I love them all.