I discovered the comic book writing of Alan Moore when he was penning for Swamp Thing in the late 80s. I had no idea that comics could be an intelligent, thoughtful, emotional medium for adults, and I was floored.
Prior to that, I had only been bored by trashy kids comics, Archie and Spider Man. No one introduced me to the alternative comics spawned in the 70s until years later.
Now I have a comics library that spans a wall, heavily focused on longer stories, graphic novels, and illustrated histories. I was most inspired by the work of Ben Katchor and Craig Thompson, and inevitably my work owes these two very different artists a huge debt.