In, sort of order, here are some of my influences and explanations as to why I like them.
#1. A triple scoop of Green Lantern, Alex Ross, and Geoff Johns. Green Lantern (specifically Hal Jordan) is my all time favorite super hero because he's fucked up pretty bad numerous times (Parallax anyone?) but always managed to come back and fix things for the better, something I've got to start doing.
Alex Ross is, of course, one of many artists on this list who I will doubtlessly never be as good as but I would rather die than not try to at least attain the same level of skill.
Geoff Johns is an awesome writer who made me believe in the power of super heroes again.
#2. A double dip of Power Girl and Adam Hughes. I love Power Girl not just because she's beautiful but because she really does have a great personality. She, literally, never wins, is always the butt of a lot of abuse, and lives in the shadow of giants such as Superman, Batman, etc... but no matter what she always gets back up and keeps fighting. Even if the world won't acknowledge her as more than a set of boobs she knows that she's got the talent and ability to stand with the big boys.
Adam Hughes is just one of many pin up artists who has caused me to develop a fascination with perfect anatomy, composition, and how to tread the fine line between the beautiful and the perverted.
#3. Trigun is awesome. It's got one of the GOODEST guys ever and awesome visuals to go with it. Vash is just the sort of no compromises, compassionate hero that I love.
#4. This one's for Heavy Metal and Requeim. I've been buying the magazine since high school and, once you skim past all the hentai ads, there are some pretty bangin' comics in there. Requiem is one of them, gazing upon it will both inspire and depress you.
#5. Robert Kirkman, along with Geoff Johns, is a modern marvel among comic writers. His comics "Invincible" and "The Astounding Wolf-Man" have been my biggest influences in creating my own super hero comic.
#6. Anybody who knows me at all knows that
had to show up somewhere on this list. As one of the only modern anthro artists to sort-of-kind-of-not-quite-yet-but-maybe-soon accomplish something of note he gets a spot here. Also Valve. Valve is awesome in that they don't make bad games.
#7. On the same subject is Juanjo Guarnido, who illustrated Blacksad. It's a mature, dark, anthropomorphic comic that no one is ashamed of showing off to people. A true rarity.
#8. Kouta Hirano (Hellsing, Drifters) gets a nod for never settling for less in his comics. They're insanely well drawn and absolutely insane. Thus they are a blast to read.
#9. UHF is one of my favorite movies and stars my favorite musical artist: Weird Al Yankovic. Al has outlived and out-albumed most every musician within the last 30 years. The joke was on everybody else.
#10. My favorite picture of Rage frontman Zach de la Rocha. A man of talent, passion, and fighting spirit. I could only dream of being such a paragon of accomplishment.
There are many others but these are all near the tippy top in my brain. Hopefully we share some!