Monday, January 26, 2009

Q & Ages 25 & Up #2

Previous Q&ANext Q&A
Once again, member and longtime reader Monkeywrench took some time to ask me a few questions about the comic. Here are the questions and answers. Hope you enjoy this Q & Ages session!

Out of the first 22 files that you have put out, which single file is your personal favorite and why?

I like the ones where I tried something different, like PGS-100, where I tried to keep things relatively serious. Plus, I like that last panel: the first clear shot of "Solid Snake-Eyes," and I think the "Plastic Gear Solid: Tactical Espionage Action Figures" line is kinda funny.

My favourite comic so far is Silent Auction. I'm a very big fan of the Joes' silent comics, and even geeked out on silence one night, reading Silent Prelude, Silent Interlude, Silence Between Borders, and Hush Job in one sitting. So I decided to make my 21st issue a silent one, just like the initial Marvel Comics G.I. Joe run's 21st issue.

The premise is silly (at least after the stealthy intro), but it made for some sweet cameos and humour. I like the atmosphere and the ending is just fun. (It's also the second comic the close with a Raiders of the Lost Ark reference, the first being #15, Breaker's Big Score.)

Plus, I love that shot I took of Snake-Eyes hanging from my longbox of Joe comics. If it wasn't clear that I was making a homage to Silent Interlude, that image really drove the point home!

Out of the first 22 files that you have put out, which single file was the hardest for you to complete and why?

When I first started the comic, it wasn't something serious. I'd just take a few pictures, mess around in Photoshop, and post it on the Mandalorian Guilds for my friends to see. I would take months between comics, and it wasn't until #4 - In the Clutches of Death, that I decided to get serious and try to make the comic a weekly thing. In that sense, File #4 was the hardest to make. It's the one where I decided to make a regular, weekly comic. I guess that's why I filled it with big panels and lots of action!

In terms of actual work, the Plastic Gear Solid comics took the most time. The shoot for PGS-103 lasted about 5 hours. Setting up the sets, building things like the prison bar support unit, and making sure the photos came out right, etc. It wasn't easy! Take a look at the comic and you'll see how the lighting drastically changes. The first and last panels look very different! I try to keep my photoshoots in the late-morning-to-early-afternoon period, now.

Is there a figure that you really want to write a story for, or use in one of your comics, that you either don't currently own or just haven't gotten around to use yet?

Up until recently, I hadn't featured Cobra much because I didn't have very many Cobra figures. (Cobra first appeared in PGS-101.) During that story arc, I had to use the Comic Pack Destro as he was the only Destro I had. At least his colours aren't too bad.

Don't despair, Cobra fans. Cobra will take the spotlight very shortly!

In terms of specific characters, I would say Beachhead and Dusty. They're just so damn badass, and I don't know how to showcase that badassness properly. When I featured them in File #22 - Seeing Double, they weren't exactly the tough-as-nails characters I know them as. I mean, Beachhead had to leave early to change his pants, unable to handle Willow's hawtness.

I'd like to write a story with Dusty and Beachhead together on a mission. Maybe their chopper goes down inside of Cobra territory, or something. I don't know, it might be too serious. I'll have to figure it out.

So far, most of the focus has been on the Joes with some great cameos like Indy, Batman and Transformers. Do you plan on having any more cameos, maybe some more Transformers?

You bet! I'm an action figure collector, not just a Joe fan, so I'll try to squeeze in some of my other figures here and there, where appropriate. Or where not, for humour.

There will be more cameos, that's for sure! Just hang in there.

If anyone's interested, here's a list of all of the cameos from the first 22 issues:
- File #4: Microman Sakura [Street Fighter]
- File #5: Microman Batman [DC Comics]; 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime [Transformers]
- PGS-101: Microman Sakura as Bei Jing, again in [LINK] PGS-106
- PGS-103: Captain Jean-Luc Picard [Star Trek: The Next Generation] as the M.A.R.S. Director
- PGS-106: Masterpiece Starscream [Transformers] as Plastic Gear Rex; movie Starscream [Transformers] as Plastic Gear Ray
- File #15: Microman Batgirl [DC Comics], Microman Sakura [Street Fighter], and Cortana [Halo] as strippers
- File #17: Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Leonardo [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]; some '70s Fisher-Price figure as April O'Neil
- File #18: movie Arcee [Transformers]
- File #21: First row: my custom Duke Nukem, Indiana Jones. Second row: Faye Valentine, Spike Spiegel [Cowboy Bebop], Revoltech Megatron [Transformers]. Third row: Ulala [Space Channel 5].
- File #22: 25th Anniversary Comic Pack #1 Scarlett as Willow from Dreadstar & Co.

I think it's pretty obvious and well known that Clutch is your favorite Joe. Who would be second and why?

It's probably going to sound clich├ęd, but my second-favourite Joe is Snake-Eyes. Despite being whored-out excessively (he is, after all, easily the most iconic character in Joe history), he's a very deep and interesting character. Hell, I owe my being a Joe fan entirely to him.

When I was younger, all of my Joe toys were second-hand and I never got a read a filecard, so I had no idea who the characters were (hell, I thought my loose, vehicleless Tan Clutch was some kind of Middle-Eastern soldier, and this is coming from probably the biggest Clutch fan on The Tank!). Intrigued, I started reading the comic book, starting with the Snake-Eyes origin story in issues #26 and 27 of the Marvel run. To me, Snake-Eyes embodied the soldier in terms of honour, of personal sacrifice, and in just plain badassness.

Anyway, shortly thereafter, I began reading the Marvel Joe run in order and became the huge fan I am now. Also, that's how I fell in love with Clutch: his appearances in those early issues still make my laugh. But that's another story.

A huge thank-you to member Monkeywrench for taking the time to ask these terrific questions!

If you want to know more, feel free to ask some questions of your own. You can use the Comments section, the Official Ages 25 & Up Thread at, or email me. Let me know what you think!

Here's what member Gungho-joe had this to say about Ages 25 & Up:

"There is some comfort in knowing that when NBC cancels Days of Our Lives next year I will still get my fix of humor, sex, drama, and plot lines right here."

You got that right, Gungho-joe!

Have a good week, gang. New comic goes up this weekend.
Previous Q&ANext Q&A

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