Q: What '80s or '90s cartoon do you think has the single best Christmas episode? -- @UncannyJay
A: Given the things I tend to write about in this column, it pretty much goes without saying that I absolutely love cartoon Christmas specials. I even wrote about a few of my favorites last year for ComicsAlliance, including the truly bizarre Christmas Comes to Pac-Land, in which a visit from Santa Claus makes it abundantly clear that Pac-Man's living nightmare of eating dots and being menaced by the vengeful spirits of the damned occurs on some kind of demi-plane that exists outside of the sight of God. That one has to be in my top three.
But beyond those three, there's definitely one Christmas episode in particular that I absolutely love: G.I. Joe's "Cobra Claws Are Coming To Town!"
If you asked me to pick my favorite comics of the year, there's not even a question about it: Transformers vs. G.I. Joe would be at the top of the list. Even aside from my well-known love of America's daring, highly-trained special missions force, writer/artist Tom Scioli and co-writer John Barber have been doing something amazing with this book, creating an ongoing series combining two toy franchises that has the kind of raw, unstoppable energy that you almost never see from corporate comics.
Now, with the first volume of the series hitting shelves this week, I spoke to Scioli and Barber about how they created one of the most transgressive comics of the year, why they think of the Jose as "nasty, destructive creatures," and just how much more they want to push the book until it's as strange as they want it to be.
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.
October is finally upon is, and here at ComicsAlliance, and one of the best parts of the month is gearing up for Halloween with costumes! It’s the one time of year when even people like me who could never cut it in our Best Cosplay Ever feature can drop by the local department store and walk out with the ability to dress up as our favorite characters.
But is that really a good thing? I have my doubts, which is why I’m spending every day taking on the store-bought costumes inspired by our favorite things. Today, things get even creepier with the “Second Skin” costumes.
Most creators would probably consider a con to be successful if they had one big project announced. This weekend at NYCC, Fred Van Lente, who's already had a big year with G.I. Joe, Brain Boy and Archer &Armstrong, managed to land himself two. Not only will he be part of Dynamite's Gold Key relaunch as the writer of Magnus: Robot Fighter, he'll also be taking over Dark Horse's Conan the Barbarian at #26.
I sat down with Van Lente at NYCC's Artist's Alley to find out more about these projects, as well as why G.I. Joe #3 is the best single issue of the year -- and why he's leaving that book after #11.
Q: Outside of the opening credits to Batman: The Animated Series, what's the most effective opening to an 80s/90s "kids" show? --@chudleycannons
A: You know, Chudley, I like that you went as far as putting the quotation marks around "kids" as though being a 31-year-old who gets up every morning to watch an episode of Jem and the Holograms over a cup of coffee is something that is perfectly normal for my demographic. But there's no shame in my game, friend, so let's talk a little about cartoons and how they open.
There are, of course, more to kids' shows than just cartoons, but if we expanded out into live-action shows, it would just be me spending the next 1500 words trying to figure out why Zordon needed "teenagers with attitude" to fight against a moon-witch, and why that "attitude" mostly turned out to be "helpful and responsible." Besides, I like cartoons. Or at least, I used to. I saw five minutes of Johnny Test yesterday and now I don't know if I like anything.
Maybe I'm biased having spent the better part of sixth grade painting spare Spider-Man toys to look like Citizen V, but having seen USA Today's reveal of Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con 2013 exclusives all I can really think is, "It's about dadburn time we got some Thunderbolts action figures."
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was a resoundingly stupid movie, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't kind of love it. I'll readily admit that I'm a sucker for anything that could be classified as "Destro-related media," but every inexplicable, awful piece of that movie combined into something that was at least inoffensive. It was
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