Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Larry Hama ...and my 80's.

Up ...wayyyy up, in the pop stratosphere of my goofy existence...
Wayyy back, in the early 1980's, and even up above George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is Larry Hama.

Is that Chris Farley as BAZOOKA???

"Who's he?" you ask..

Larry Hama wrote Marvel Comic's G.I.Joe from it's little old #1 issue right thru to the end, and a fair number of my childhood experiences in the process.
I picked up #2 at the United Cigar Store in the Spryfield Mall- gooood issue, well-drawn and wellll-written. Hooked. Instantly.
Then there's the Sierra Gordo stuff ...God, I love those issues..
& SILENT INTERLUDE ...'nuff said.
..but I digress..

Turns out LH was responsible for the "file cards" too, and this was a unique situation for us kids at the time: A monthly comic book to guide our hands - the best 33/4 figures ever built, and a smart, cool writer at the helm who, more than anything, knew how to have fun with the whole thing. Not only was he a clever storyteller, he was teaching us too - I learned a lot, reading a comic book about military behavior, vehicles, and teamwork. I apply a fair bit of it to life now.
I don't have memories that are better than those days ...just equal at best. Seriously, we were just plain happy all over North America were building bases, roads, stockades...
We were fighting Cobra ...all of us together ...innocent days(okay, some brushfires...)
that ended in our Moms calling us to dinner as dusk claimed our summers.
Beautiful memories they are.

G.I.Joe made us wanna be outside, play with others(well), and read ...not too bad for a "funny-book" eh?
We wrote our own side-stories ...made up histories ...all out of LH's world he was creating for us.

I remember calling my mother at work and asking if she'd pick up the new issue on the way home..
Mom'd had a bad day but agreed to pick it up for me/us(my bro too) anyway.
When it finally landed in my eager little mitts a few hours later I grinned and hugged her ...gave her a big "thanks". It was the issue from the month previous and I had it already, but it felt like a smile Larry Hama and I got to give to a pretty cool lady who always put her kids first. Always.
It felt like Larry Hama put us kids first too.

Now, one of the things we hoped(if we did think of such things) was that our heroes were actually cool. This didn't seem like a huge request - after all, we look up to people - they have to be cool, right?
I had occasion to interact just briefly with Mr. Hama recently, and not only did he take time for it, but ...well, he's exactly as cool as I'd hoped - he's a nice guy.
Moments like that can make your day  ..or link it to the 500 other sepia-toned days of an amazing youth...

Thanks to Mr. Larry Hama ...for the NOW and the THEN..
Thanks for "making" a lot of my days, man.


1 comment:

ArthurMacarthur said...

He did plenty more than write an awesome comic, not the least of which was being on M.A.S.H. too.