Thursday, November 26, 2015


If it weren't for G.I.JOE, I wouldn't be working in comics…and possibly not even reading them. Such a profound impact it had on my youthful life growing up!

Marvel's Joe comics were the first comics I ever bought and read on a regular basis. It was the '80s and I was in grade school. I'd rush home every day to catch the cartoon, and those beautiful 5-part episodic mini-series events. I was captivated by the toys. And they even ran animated commercials back in the day advertising reading the comic. I'd buy those comics from drugstore spinner racks and magazine shops, back when those were a thing. The monthly wait for each issue was excruciating, stopping by each week to see if the new issue came in. And through a friend, I was introduced to a local shop that sold nothing but comics. A way to dig through the back issue bins and get caught up on issues I had missed. Comics nirvana!

I remember proclaiming quite profoundly that G.I.JOE (and Transformers) were the only comics I'd need. They seemed "realistic" enough for my tastes. No need bothering with any of those spandex superheroes in tights and capes. Of course, that would change, and I'd get hooked on plenty of Marvel, DC, and Image books throughout the years. But those Joes were my first.

It was Larry Hama's writing, those beautiful Mike Zeck covers, and the multiple artists that had runs on the book. The backstories for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. The Silent Issue. The characters that died, some that came back and others that didn't. Heroes and villains and patriotism and freedom. And eventually, the title ended at Marvel and that would be it.

After high school, college, and art school, I'd find myself working in the industry that meant so much as I was growing up. And the Joes came back, published by a few companies. But it was Hama's Joes that would always be my version. So it was a pleasant surprise when IDW got the license and picked back up again with Larry writing his Joes.

I was happy it was back. And even more enthused to drop them a line, checking in from time to time, if they ever had an opening to work on it. And with the multi-part "Cobra World Order", I'd get my shot.

In the back of my mind, I always thought it would be one of those full circle moments if I ever got to work on a Joe comic…and it totally is!  But I never would've thought it would be on a Hama Joe comic. The comic that at one time was cancelled. The writer and staff having moved on.

But now my 30 year journey has arrived with my name credited on the cover underneath the writer whose stories gave me so much entertainment, inspiration, and now a career. I've gotten the chance to ink four issues for this story. And hope to do more in the future.



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