Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Larry Hama

Today is former Woodworker Larry Hama's birthday. Any readers on Facebook should look him up and wish him a good one! An actor, musician, writer, artist, editor and all around renaissance guy, Hama worked most famously for Wood during the CANNON and SALLY FORTH days. As the "father" of the version of GI JOE that's just about to hit the big screen, Larry has long-since carved out his own place in pop culture and comics history. For more information on his accomplishments, see:

1 comment:

  1. What I remember most about Larry Hama was his pencils on 4 early episodes of IRON FIST (all inked by Dick Giordano-- I loved Hama's work on the series much more than Gil Kane, who co-created the feature and then left after only 1 installment!). Years later, he wrote the SAMURAI series in EERIE magazine, illustrated by Val Mayerik. Beautiful, thoughtful, and shockingly violent all at once. It was a brief "rennaisance" period for Warren, Paul Gulacy also did his two 3-parters around the same time.

    SAMURAI was later ressurected as YOUNG MASTER at another publisher, but while Val Mayerik remained the artist, I don't believe Hama returned to it.

    Hama also wrote some issues of THE AVENGERS, which for reasons I've never understood did not find favor with fans, and I heard (but never saw) that years later he wrote a brief run of BATMAN which somehow deeply offended his editor and he was fired off the book before he'd hardly arrived. (My understanding is he was trying to do the "real" Batman, not the hateful imposter Denny O'Neil forced on the public ever since 1986.)

    I suppose as a young fan Roy Thomas' editorial style baffled me. How could someone create a series and then immediately dump it into the hands of others who, apart from a paycheck, did not have any personal interest in the mnaterial? IRON FIST started with an 8-issue storyline that slowly told his "origin", but those 8 issues had 4 different writers, 3 different pencillers and 4 different inkers!