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Chapter Six: Slaves and Nomads

[Fantasy adventure and slapstick cartoon humor. Martin runs from dragons and bandits, while Marco tries to break out of a desert camp. The River Fox, volume two of The Dragon Lord Saga is now premiering one episode a week at Webtoons (also check out volume one, Martin & Marco).]

I’d like to give you a quick biography of my childhood. It goes like this:

Several time a week, I would beg for a trip to the public library or the bookstore. I’d come home with a book containing Peanuts comics by Charles Schultz. I would read and re-read the book until bedtime; then, after lights-out, I would sneak a flashlight under my blanket and read it some more.

That covers most of my childhood. The only other thing you need to know is that when I was a few years older, I gained an appreciation for Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson and added that to my endless re-reading. While Peanuts founded my love of comics and drawing, Calvin and Hobbes was the inspiration that drove me to pursue building comics of my own.

The Dragon Lord Saga is inspired by those two masterpieces of comic storytelling, but here are a few other inspirations that factor heavily into the adventures of Martin and Marco Millar:

– The Duck stories of Carl Barks are whirlwind adventures that invented Scrooge McDuck, inspired the Indiana Jones films and embody my mantra for Martin and Marco: “Fun meets fantasy!”

Pogo by Walt Kelly is a wonderfully idiosyncratic comic strip that ran from the 1950s-1970s. The illustrated linework and the humor-filled expressiveness of the characters are the ideal I’m trying to achieve in my own comics.

Bone is a graphic novel series by Jeff Smith, who drew his inspiration from both Carl Barks and Walt Kelly, but threw a new element into the mix: an epic, Tolkienesque fantasy world.

– Ben Hatke’s Zita the Space Girl stories opened my eyes to how a wild adventure like Bone could be tempered with a light, whimsical touch and quirky flights of imagination.

Roger Langridge has astounding visual shorthand and illustrated precision, along with a love of old cartoons and comics that feels nostalgic in every new project that he draws.

Oh, and of course Looney Tunes humor keeps creeping into the Dragon Lord Saga. Because let’s face it, the work you produce can’t help but reflect your deepest obsessions.


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