As of right now one of my main influences is Corey Lewis.(nicknamed Rey) He's done work for UDON doing Street Fighter covers to Transformers toy boxes, basically any geeky commercial properties. What really drew me to him is his original work: Sharknife. Most of his artwork is based around super stylized characters, which is something I really want to do with illustration. He has a couple comics planned for publishing, but thus far Sharknife has been the only one 100% completed and on shelves. Sharknife's design alone is awesome, but on top of that the ridiculous action scenes and video game references thrown in for good measure make for a pretty fun comic. Only the first volume is out right now, with number 2 hopefully out soon.(it'll be out sometime in 2009)
I actually really want to see some of his observational stuff and I hope he posts it online at some point.
Oh yeah, did I mention he's only about 5 years older than us?