The top ten influences for ‘Lone Justice: Crash!’
Lone Justice: Crash! is the new graphic novel from the Harvey award nominated team of Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley. This two-fisted pulp adventure began yesterday on ComicMix, but the roots of the creation of Lone Justice: Crash! started long ago.
Creating a new graphic novel doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And people like Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley are easily influenced. So readers would be well advised to take a look at what other creative efforts have had a hand in shaping the look and feel.
First – we start with what has warped the mind of Robert Tinnell, in his own words:
1.) MARTIN – First and foremost I have to acknowledge George Romero’s film, MARTIN. Much of what I write is inspired by this brilliant little deconstructionist vampire story and the way it so grounded fantasy in reality, in banality, actually. I often say, quite sincerely, I consider the film an American classic. So if you’re reading LONE JUSTICE: CRASH! and detect a deconstructionist approach to the superhero genre, bear in mind that in addition to the obvious comic book influences, Romero’s flick continues to linger in the background of my mind.
2.) HISTORY – My wife, Shannon, is finishing up her masters in Public History at WVU and a great deal of her research has revolved around labor issues involving coal miners in the first half of the 20th century. The real story of what these people went through, including at one point bombing by the US government, is difficult not to think about when writing a story set during the Depression.
3.) SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER – I was a big fan of Sandman Mystery Theater – I really loved the grittiness and, again, the way fantasy was grounded in a gritty reality.
4.) THE SHADOW – I love the radio shows. And even though we know The Shadow as a pulp hero now, he was actually born in the radio show.
5.) CITIZEN KANE – What if Charles Foster Kane had been a masked avenger? Okay – the young Charles Foster Kane. While writing LONE JUSTICE: CRASH! I was often channeling not only the visuals of CITIZEN KANE, but the way the characters shift their perceptions and behaviors as they age.
Next, we have Mark Wheatley’s five influences, again in his own words:
1.) THE SPIDER: THE FLAME MASTER – The pulps are the source for the basics of LONE JUSTICE. The pulps are where the heroes we recognize as superheroes got their start. The really popular ones most people can name; THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, THE AVENGER, THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE and THE SPIDER. THE SPIDER is my personal favorite pulp hero. And of all the stories written by the mad scribe, Norvell Page, THE FLAME MASTER is currently my favorite, from March 1935. Of course I still have 30 or more left to read! But THE SPIDER stories were exactly what you would expect to read in a pulp, based on the modern reputation they have for being lurid, tasteless, provocative and exotic adventures. I wrote a SPIDER graphic novel several years ago and LONE JUSTICE is somewhat indebted to that experience.
2.) BOUND FOR GLORY – the film about Woody Guthrie and his inspiring music from the days of the Great Depression is a one-stop visual introduction to the look and feel of the people and the times. Of course I’ve also been soaking up short films about hobos and tramps, Hoovervilles and the Crash.
3.) THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko issues of this comic book established for me the essentials of a super hero comic book. Styles and pacing may change – but everything is here. From the very human problems of the characters, to the colorful villians.
4.) THE MAX FLEISCHER SUPERMAN CARTOONS – I always try to take inspiration from similar material from the period. It helps me capture unique gestures, body language. People do act different now then they did in 1930.
5.) THE RAY and THE CONDOR BY LOU FINE – Okay – I’m cheating the list by including two titles, but Lou Fine did so few of these that they can count as one. And again, I’m looking for inspiration in the best super hero art of the early years of comics! Lou made heroes both gritty and godlike all in one image. Not easy to pull off – but exactly what I was looking for.
So there you have it. Of course Robert and Mark influenced each other. And who knows it they were under the influence when they came up with this crazy idea.