I recently went back and reread the first comics I remember owning and reading. To see how they held up and to see how they may have guided my early love for the medium.
I always remember loving this Mignola cover but the story didn't make much since inside. Looking back at it through a near 30 year old lens and I really can appreciate what Bill Mantlo was doing having the Hulk fight his way forward to retrieving his humanity. The Triad, mental projections guiding the Hulk back to a state of wellness, were a bit high concept for my pre 5 year old mind. But now I like what he was doing. Sal Buscema on interiors killed it. The Hulk is an emotive monster and a force of nature.
Transformers was a huge part of my childhood. This book takes place after a lot of mess has hit the fan, and now I really want to go get some reprints of all these Marvel Transformers books. This book stars Ratchet, as he tries to free the rest of the Autobots. Most all my favorite Decepticons are here with Megatron, Soundwave, and Shockwave taking center stage. This also leads right into Ratchet searching for the Dinobots which is the comic I remember most fondly of these early books.
The Dinobots. Could there be anything cooler to a little kid? Robots turning into dinosaurs to fight Megatron. I still love this issue today. Ratchet saves the day and his friends, we get squabbling between the higher ups of the Decepticons, and tons of robot on robot fight scenes. I think I'm going to go put some of the old cartoons on.
So how has this influenced my reading and arting habits today? I do still have an affinity for big robots, from Evangelion to Voltron. I guess the biggest influence I can see from the Transformers would come from Sartr's clicker box in MAPS. It is a transforming machine that solves his many woes. The Hulk influence is harder to see. For one I never understood it as a kid. The introspective, surreal tone of the book does carry throughout my work, but I don't know how conscious of that I would be without the recent reread. It was a good book, and that Mignola cover has always popped. I don't read a lot of Mignola, but I have always appreciated the more indy styles in the superhero books.