So I'm working on a project at the moment (for pay, no less) and I'm a bit busy. I don't want you to feel neglected though, so I thought I'd tell you about some of my influences, which is really just art that makes me want to make art. First, there's Calvin and Hobbes. Dismissing it as a newspaper comic strip is a huge mistake, and if you weren't a reader as a kid, I encourage you to go out and pick up a collection from the library for lazy Sunday reading. (Hell, one of the collections is even called The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book, for you incorrigible literalists out there.) Watterson has an exquisite sense of using panel shape (or lack of it) to convey mood, he has fun with the medium, and often he actually has something to say.
Then there's Brom. He became a major influence when I was fourteen or so, mostly because while I couldn't do what he was doing, I could see how to get there...mostly. He does things that stick in my brain, get churned around by my gears and pop out later looking like I drew them, but really it was him.
There were also lots of Magic: The Gathering cards around the house about that time (my brother played) and I would often paw through them to look at the pictures. Sometimes, I'd find one that I thought I could have done better, and that gave me ideas. Around then I also read most of the 20+ years of backissues of F&SF magazine my father has in the basement, and I can't pretend that the cover illustrations didn't lodge in my brain.
I'm still picking up influences, although it tends to be more a stand alone piece like this that catches my eye these days.