"GI Joe is the codename for American's daring, highly trained
special mission force.
It's purpose, to defend human freedom against Cobra-
a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to rule the world."
-from the original animated series theme song
One of the worst mistakes I ever made was trying to interview Larry Hama, with what I knew then about the Joe mythology. It made me really reconsider if what I was doing with regards to cartoons was right. There was a part of me that started to suspect I was ripping the fun out of even the most genuine forms of art and entertainment, searching for some over-arching grand conspiracy, in things I even enjoy the most (and certainly always have). This is an approach I have tried to drop altogether, but especially with the Joe work. I am in no way saying I don't still think there is something up, with at least the cartoons and many aspects of the comics which I am yet to fully divine, but I am stating clearly that I never want to give off the kind of vibe that people like Vigilant Citizen or Alex Jones do. I no longer see this kind of work as related to a mega conspiracy but rather treasure it for what it is; comic book and cartoon gold, which should be respected as such.
Most children of the 80s and 90s just joke about the popular dubbed PSA's or the fact that many episodes of the cartoon seemed to involve endless red and blue laser fire with no one ever getting hurt; and there in lie another aspect of the cartoon which is absolute genius. That ideas about moral decisions, in life as well as in war, are taught through a medium with no blood and no death. Some might jump at the chance to argue that much like video games this was some kind of process of desensitization toward violence...Sure it may have served in some way as a vehicle to joining up for the armed services, on the other hand I don't think it's a show obsessed with violence at all.
In fact, much like the comic, I think there are larger issues being tackled about the military industrial complex, private armies, and Nazi like terrorists (Who comic fans may associate more regularly with Cobra influences of the day from Marvel: Hydra, A.I.M,etc...)
I want to bring as much attention as possible to an article written Dec.19th by the writer of the brand new G.I.Joe/ Transformers series, Tom Scioli. In the article Comics By Chance: Not So Random Edition-G.I.Joe, he outlines many of his favorite panels, and even includes a constant archetypal comparison for the many characters in the comics and cartoons alike. I had some guesses in my last installments as to who certain characters represented, and this article expands these notions in ways I could have never come up with.
"A great moment. Larry Hama has cited Steranko’s Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD run as an influence on G.I. Joe."In other parts of the article Tom digs up Joe interior that is impressive in it's Kirby tribute style...
I'm collecting the comics at whatever rate I can, and re-watching the DIC series, leaving me with quite a lot of material for the next blog. Stay Tuned and Remember "Knowing is Half the Battle" ; )