INKtober day twenty three and Larry Hama doc

INKtober_23

I was one of those kids that never carried an umbrella. That practice continues to this day. I just don’t like carrying them around and I know I’ll leave it where ever I needed it to get not-so-drenched.

That was a terrible sentence, but I’ll just leave that there like a literary litterbug.

Such is life.

Last night I got a chance to go to a screening of “Making it Up as I Go Along” a 35 minute documentary on Larry Hama. Its a great doc and well worth the view so click the link above. He’s a raconteur and has lived a wildly colorful life to back that up. I’ve been lucky enough to share some page space with Larry by working on the Secret Identities: Shattered book and have gotten to meet him a bunch at various functions and he’s very much the guy on the screen. Unassuming, thoughtful, deliberate and has that thing that either comes with age or with a keen sense of stage craft. That ability to be quiet and still to draw people in to what you’re saying or about to do and then pay it off with great stories. Unlike myself who’ll be loud then silent then start a story that goes nowhere until something shiny catches my eye and I wander off thankful for a graceless exit.

Don’t be jealous. That can’t be taught.

But I digress.

The screening was followed up by a quick Q&A with Keith Chow, an editor on the Secret Identities books and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Nerds of Colors site. Go check that out for some insightful reviews and really well thought out perspectives on the role of people of color in pop culture. There’s far too much talent and intelligence at that site to not share.

Watch the doc and ask yourself what’s your heroin?

Please don’t let it be heroin!

Marvels and Monsters part 2

so THAT happened. the MARVELS AND MONSTERS show debuted at MOCA last Thursday and it was a great turnout. the space is gorgeous and the people in attendance were excited and genuinely interested. i got to see SVA pals, Jerry Ma and Ken Knudtsen, and say thanks in person to Jeff Yang for giving me a shot at not one, but two stories in the new anthology. that book will be coming out in early November, but if you’re at NYCC then swing by the Epic Props booth and pick up a copy there.  from what i understand it’s 216 pages of funny book goodness.

but back to the show.

i got a chance to walk around with the fam and see some great artwork and brush up on the less glossy side of comics. we kinda live in a geek world with a very shiny, happy and safe face to comics, but like a lot of things that reaches back in to american history there’s a sad, twisted and mean through line. it’s just what it is, and despite the sometimes regretful underpinnings to the medium i’m quite happy with this little warts-and-all celebration.

specifically, the spotlight on Larry Hama. while all the artists and writers showcased are worth their weight in gold, Larry has had a profound geeky influence in my life. this is the guy who created the GI Joe line up from the 80’s. storm shadow, snake eyes, the baroness, the little bio cards that you’d cut out of the toy packaging, all Larry. as a child of the 80’s that cartoon had carved out a niche in my after school schedule. small fallen branches were laser rifles and nobody could vault over the neighbors’ shrubs into a tight tuck and roll better than me and my friends because we spent hours storming COBRA strongholds. we begged our folks for the five bucks for a new figure and we’d display them carefully when not burying them in some perilous scene in my mom’s garden.

jeez, shows like that created by people like him are responsible for nerds like me and the other contributors in SHATTERED and MARVELS AND MONSTERS. i’m gonna let that sink in for a bit. meanwhile, get to the show if you can. it’s up until February 24th.

after 20-something years it must be gratifying to know your characters are cool as hell to new generations.