Hi, fellow cyberpunks. It's Daniel Velez, co-creator of Red: A Cyberpunk Fairytale. It’s a been a while, and I wanted to give an update on Red. My creative partner Sean Stephens and I are redoubling our efforts to spread the word about the graphic novel (available here) as we prepare promos and fun other stuff. Now, we're moving into the blogosphere!
The comic book industry is a wild place so we’ve made a newfound commitment going forward to remind ourselves of our creative inspirations to energize us going forward. I happen to find inspiration from my creative influences. Here are a few that are personal to me.
80s & 90s action anime:
Japanese animation that's action packed, solidly written, and not for the faint of heart. Sounds pretty rad, right? Well, back in the early days getting your hands on anime as was an underground journey type deal.
You'd either have to know a guy from school willing dub two hours on a VHS tape or find some hip neighborhood video store in your area. Eventually Blockbuster, Suncoast and other video chains would get the hint and supply the goods, for the most part.
Many feature length anime imported at the time were from the companies Central Park Media, Pioneer and Manga Entertainment. Manga Entertainment in particular prided itself as being the anti-Disney in terms of adult language and violence. By the the mid-90s, the timing for such content was perfect as the US was all about the edginess, culture wise.
In the 90s, Pulp Fiction, Beavis and Butthead, Dr. Dre, Bart Simpson, Nine inch Nails, and Jim Lee X-Men comics were part of our collective DNA.
For those too young to remember the decade, I am here to confirm that all the things you've read are true. We were all jacked up on Mountain Dew, got our news from MTV's Kurt Loder, and were extreme 24/7, bro.
Anyway, the storytelling of these films were top notch, fun, had compelling characters, and the art strove to match the cinematic flavor of your favorite blockbuster movie. I recommend the films in the pic below to start if you are a newbie. It's an amazing chapter in animation history, so give them a watch and prepare to get edgy.
Eastman and Laird:
Creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and inspiration for every American indie comics creator trying to chase the dream. Two guys from Northhampton, Massachusetts who drew some Turtles on pieces of paper and created a global phenomenon that lasts to this day.
I must have drawn the turtles hundreds of times as a kid and I still keep up with whatever these guys are up to. Turtle power!
I, like many others, stumbled upon this particular music genre after listening to the soundtrack to the movie Drive. As a huge fan of 80s pop culture/new wave/alternative music, I was excited to discover that there was a new generation of musicians influenced by that era.
I was instantly hooked and enjoy listening to all the latest synthwave musicians to emerge from the scene.
The films of John Hughes:
Comedy, drama, Molly Ringwald, joyfulness, the courage to fight for your dreams, self respect, and personal freedom. Whenever things get tough, just watch one of his movies. You'll be transported to a more joyous place where the outcasts win and the soundtrack is 100% 80s glory.
Trust me, for 90 plus minutes you won't even dwell on the various apocalyptic scenarios expounded upon by today's corporate media who lull you into a feeling of learned helplessness, until the eventual seizing of your life and property by the Orwellian superstate.
Haha, just kidding! Never mind that stuff. Just Let the Breakfast Club and Ferris just wash those negative vibes away. You deserve it.
Author. Visionary. The father of cyberpunk. An obvious influence to be sure, but I couldn't leave him out. Now, I can try and con you and say that I've been reading Gibson since I was a baby and try to come across as some magical savant. However, I had a backwards introduction into the father of cyberpunk’s novels only after watching the film adaptation of his short story Johnny Mnemonic as a young lad in 1995.
If you grew up in the 90s during it's endless repeat airings on Showtime then you are already are familiar with the tale. It tells the story of a data courier named Johnny who must carry 360 gigs of memory via a brain implant before the Yakuza and/or brain damage kills him first.
With the movie ranking at 14% at rotten tomatoes, no discerning viewer will deny that the movie had quality issues. Nevertheless, it had enough cyberpunk concepts (megacorps, virtual reality, etc. ) that it made me curious about the genre as well as the man behind it all. That’s when I read his classic novel Neuromancer, and the rest was history.
"Gibson grew up in southwestern Virginia. After dropping out of high school in 1967, he traveled to Canada and eventually settled there, earning a B.A. (1977) from the University of British Columbia. Many of Gibson’s early stories, including Johnny Mnemonic (1981; film 1995) and Burning Chrome(1982), were published in Omni magazine. With the publication of his first novel, Neuromancer (1984), Gibson emerged as a leading exponent of cyberpunk, a new school of science-fiction writing. Cyberpunk combines a cynical, tough “punk” sensibility with futuristic cybernetic (i.e., having to do with communication and control theory) technology. Gibson’s creation of “cyberspace,” a computer-simulated reality that shows the nature of information, foreshadowed virtual reality technology and is considered the author’s major contribution to the genre." -https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Gibson-American-Canadian-author
The man is truly a genius, and his novels has influenced science fiction ever since.
So many books, artists, comics, and video games to list. However these are the first things that came to my mind. I'll eventually get to it all :)
Thanks for reading!!