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Squa Tront! Spafon Wood!

Like most kids growing up in the 1960s, I liked monster and sci-fi movies. But the primary inspiration for the aliens and space-men I draw was not to be found in movies. It was in old comic books.

Specifically the science fiction comics published by EC in the 1950s, and the covers and stories drawn by Wallace Wood. The style and content of Wood's EC work set the standard for sf art in comic books. The future as depicted by Wood was firmly rooted in the 1950s: the riveted, gleaming spaceships and fantastic, domed and spired buildings that formed his cityscapes were extrapolations on industrial design of that era. Cars such as the '57 Chevy came equipped with fins, hood rockets, and front bumper bullets; these vehicles already seemed like a fantasy form of transport.

Wood rendered these creations with a style that suggested weight and depth as no other comic book artist before him. The shadows and double-lighting he employed made his comic book panels look like 3D dioramas.

Every time I draw the reflection of a planet on a glass bubble helmet, a spacesuit with a utility belt, a double-lit oxygen tank or a cratered moon, I am walking in the inky footsteps of Wallace Wood.

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