Q: What makes a good silent issue? -- @XavierFiles
A: Listen: I don't know if you meant for me to interpret this question as, "Can you talk about GI Joe #21 for a couple thousand words," but I do think we all knew that was exactly what was going to happen.
Larry Hama's career in comics has spanned more than forty years, not just on the page but also behind the scenes, where he's mentored countless new writers and artists as they make their way through the industry. He continues to redefine the industry and the way people approach comics as a whole.
ComicsAlliance spoke to Hama about his artistic career by discussing five of his milestone works.
In its first year, Magnetic Press made quite a dent, earning two Eisner nominations for Tony Sandoval’s Doomboy and Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus. Magnetic is heading into its second year with some big followup plans. The publisher announced Wednesday that it will launch 10 new titles --- a mix of original graphic novels, reprint material and what looks to be monthly comics, though Magnetic hasn't made entirely clear what the formats for each book will be.
The thing about GI Joe is that it's weird. I mean, it's always been weird, for the simple fact that you can't really do a comic about a bunch of action figures fighting a megalomaniacal used car salesman bent on world domination without it getting at least a little bizarre, and the Joes, as a franchise, have never really done anything by half measures. That's actually the thing that I like most about the franchise, in that it has this grounding in realistic military action that manifests itself in a world that's about as far from realism as you get, a world full of ninjas, cyborgs, cyborg ninjas and all the other stuff that makes those toys so great.
So believe me when I say that what series creator Larry Hama and artist SL Gallant have been doing in the latest arc is completely off-the-charts bonkers, even by GI Joe standards --- and that's exactly why it's one of the most fun and rewarding comics on the stands.
June 7 marks the birthday of Larry Hama, unquestionably one of the comics industry's greatest creators. In a career that kicked off in 1969 working alongside the legendary Wally Wood and continues to this day, he's worked in virtually every aspect of comics as an editor, writer, artist --- and outside of comics, he's every bit as interesting as the stories he created.
The Tangent universe is a recurring feature in the third week of titles for DC's spring 2015 Convergence event, cropping up by name in the solcitations for the Flash, Justice League of America, and New Teen Titans two-part minis -- and "tangent" seems like an apt term to describe DC's impenetrable two-month event that offers all the confusion and frustration of a reboot with none of the narrative consequence.
Besides the Tangent universe, the other unifying theme of the third wave of books is that dig into DC's pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths past, with writer Marv Wolfman returning to the New Teen Titans, Len Wein taking another swing at his own creation, Swamp Thing, Diana Prince back in her modish 1968 white jumpsuit, and the return of the mid-80s Detroit Justice League.
So last weekend, I almost started crying while I was reading a G.I. Joe comic at the Waffle House.
Everyone I've told that to since it happened has reacted with the same complete and utter lack of surprise. I can see why, too, since it's quite possibly the single most cartoonishly on-brand thing that I've ever done, but I certainly wasn't expecting to get choked up over hash browns over the death of an extremely minor character. But when I was reading through G.I. Joe #204 over breakfast and Dr. Adele Burkhart was killed, ending a 32-year career of being rescued by the soldiers of America's most toyetic Special MIssions Force, it broke my heart in a way that hasn't happened through comics in a long, long time.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Ten Lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
Under normal circumstances, I don't think that even I could recommend a $20 hardcover collection of one (1) 22-page comic book. Fortunately for me -- and unfortunately for my wallet -- "Silent Interlude" is a comic that has nothing to do with normal circumstances.
Originally released back in 1984 as G.I. Joe #21, the story is pretty uncontested as one of the all-time classics of modern comics, a "silent" story told with no dialogue, where Snake-Eyes infiltrated Destro's castle on a deadly mission to rescue Scarlett, who was busy breaking out at the same time. It's a pivotal moment for the series, setting up connection between Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes that would become one of the driving forces of the franchise, but more than that, it's a really great comic, and this week's IDW's putting it out in a special hardcover, along with Larry Hama's original breakdowns.
Q: Hey Chris, what's the worst story from the best writer? -- @starr226
A: I've gotten this question a few times over the past few weeks, and it's one that's really interesting to me for a few reasons, the most important of which being that nobody in the history of comics has a perfect record. Once you put out more than, say, four comics, everyone from Jack Kirby on down has stunk up the room at least once in their career, and it can be really fun looking at something to try to figure out exactly why something doesn't work, when everything else from that particular creator works so well.
For me, though, as easy as it would be to hit a soft target like Alan Moore and Scott Clark's Spawn/WildC.A.T.S: Devil Day, the biggest and most surprising drop will always be Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel's surprisingly terrible run on Batman.
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