BROTHER COW (牛哥), Mad Magazine, Playboy, and others.
When I was a kid, resources for developing artistic pursuits were very limited. At that time all parents wanted their kids to go to the best schools to study medicine or engineering, so my parents did not encourage me to go to art school. Therefore, I had to pick up drawing on my own, and fortunately, there was a famous cartoonist and writer who called himself Brother Cow (牛哥) who published a tremendous number of cartoons. I loved his drawing style and most importantly, his ideas and thinking process even at a young age. I used to have all his published cartoons and tried to learn how he created them. Unfortunately, all his works are no longer available and the best I and many others can find are some of the covers of his cartoon books. Although he was my idol, I’d never met him until in the early 90s in San Francisco. He passed away in 1997.
In addition to cartoons made by Brother Cow, I was deeply influenced by some of the cartoons published in Mad Magazine and the colors used in Playboy.
I moved to the US in January 1971. I recall one day in March; I came to Chicago and crashed in my buddy’s dorm for one night. The next day I took a subway train to look for a job and the first place I went to was Playboy’s headquarters on Michigan Avenue. I did not get a job as a cartoonist but the assistant editor was nice enough to send me to one of his connections who offered me $70 a week as an apprentice which I declined. The experience of visiting Playboy’s headquarters was quite interesting rumors were that I met Hugh Hefner there which wasn’t true because I did not see anyone there wearing a bathrobe.
I met Sergio in San Francisco, he started his career as an architect just like I did.
Of course, paintings by the greatest, Picasso.