Imitating creators rather than following their influences is a part of what has been causing the downward spiral of doom in comics. I recall discussions (in which Grant was one of the key voices) about it happening in comics writing. Stan Lee, for example, used what he learned in advertising, soap operas, and classic literature to make the MARVEL AGE OF COMICS. Far too many later writers used, well, Stan Lee (and his successors). The result is comics written by fans, for fans, with hurtles big enough to new readers to keep them from being able to replace the readers who stop buying.
Stan Lee made fun of Martin Goodman's style of publishing whatever was selling well for other companies, but he turned around and did the same thing; he just did it better. He went to other media, examined what actually made things SELL (rather than just what the top sellers contained), and put it into his own work. I wish more comics creators tried doing THAT, rather than just trying to take from other writers.
I recall a time that I made a twist on a Sir Isaac Newton quote in a comics group to make an ironic statement, and Grant was the only person there who recognized the quote (not to mention the source, as well). It did not make me feel good about the future of comics (but made me appreciate Grant more).