There were more than 5 that changed my life, of course, but these are the ones I remember best.
The Green Hornet
He had it all. Biomimicry, gas gun that made a wierd sound, a big, fast car, called the Black Beauty, an Asian sidekick and The Flight Of The Bumblebee. I listened to The Hornet on the radio; read the comic book; watched the movie serial on Saturdays. Van Williams played the Hornet and Bruce Lee played Kato on TV. There's a great scene of Lee taking a Green Hornet set apart in the Bruce Lee bio-pic: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Looks like a Green Hornet feature film is on the way.
One of the EC comics I read religiously. It was published during the Korean War. I was waiting at the Interurban Queen news stand in Galveston, Texas, when it came in every other month. I had to have the first copy. I elaborated on the stories and tried to draw like Jack Davis. By today's standards, it was politically incorrect. But it, and its companion comic, Two-Fisted Tales, often showed the futility of war. They provided some balance to the rantings of my father, who was convinced we should drop the atom bomb on China. The guy on the cover is "bugging out."
The Devil Girl is my favorite Crumb character. She has a fantastic body. The Crumb movie is a terrific film, especially if you like to get creeped out and can get into kinky sex with big women.
Gilbert Shelton's Hog of Steel. 800 pounds of pissed off hog. In the 60's, when things got dicey, we asked each other what Wonder Wart-Hog would do. Usually, it was beat the hell out of somebody. Pound somebody's face into strawberry jam. Twenty years ago, I found a couple of mint-condition Wonder Wart-Hog comic books at a shop in Haight Ashbury.
Comic Book noir. In my mind, I consign my enemies to an issue of The Punisher instead of to hell. The movie was a letdown.
No telling who I might have been if I hadn't read these comic books.
Tomorrow: 5 Blondes Who Changed My Life