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[personal profile] geoffsebesta posting in [community profile] scans_daily
A liberal apologia for GI Joe, part two.



GI Joe issue #4. Domestic terrorism and the honor of a soldier.





In this issue we see a cutaway of the GI Joe headquarters and the Cobra mindset. This is all about where Cobra comes from. Although they never appear specifically in this issue, it's pretty obvious that this is an affiliated training camp. The implication is that Cobra finances, and recruits from, American militia groups.





Color problem sorta messed up the zoom. Hmm, as I gaze into Clutch's eyes there I sorta question my love of Trimpe's art. Well, this is the early stuff.





Gah. You really can't get away with those top two panels any more.

Trimpe uses "artistic composition" more than "photographic composition." He orders things where they make sense on the page (and there's an awful lot of awful one-point perspective backgrounds in this issue).

The bottom panel, for example, is a series of cartoons ordered so as to be read clearly:

Big Leaf Texture #22...
words...
big red truck...
planes and hangars...
more Big Leaf...
some girders and an airplane to pull your eye back over to...
the big red truck again!


The composition does not release the eye, but draws the eye further in, exactly as if you were searching a scene yourself. Brilliant! Great composition! Photographically impossible.

Trimpe doesn't have his technique together yet, either. I think it was great for these guys that they had actual models of for everything; the toys. It accounts for some of this book's crazy, wonderful relationship with perspective and space.

Snake-Eyes has nice handwriting.



Snake-Eyes. Yeah. He's cool. Right? It's not just me?

Anyway, stuff happens, there's story and stuff...



...perhaps Snake-Eyes would explain it to us if we only knew Morse Code...





Kirby Patrol! I'm entertained by that second page. That's what I'm talking about when I mean "artist perspective," or "storytelling perspective." Not one of those panel is photographically possible, in spite of the fact that all the objects are accurately placed and in perspective with themselves. They are arranged for storytelling.



Another big difference between this and the cartoon. Those cartoon ejector seats don't get used much.

The faces here remind me of Giffen. Maybe Trimpe and Giffen have a common artistic ancestor that I'm not aware of...

Now, Hawk doesn't live quite up to his name here and does his best to avoid killing Carruthers (who does indeed die, you never see him again). Part of it is respect to a fellow vet and unwillingness to fire on an American aircraft, but...it's almost like Hawk sees a little of himself in Carruthers. They do look similar, but it's hard to tell if that's the characters or the artist. There's some interesting stuff about identity in this issue, about what a soldier is and does.



See? A soldier's duty is to protect the weak. Carruthers was a soldier who went too far, who began to fight just to fight, and not to protect. Maybe that's the difference between him and Hawk; Carruther's only interested in his own survival while Team Joe (here exemplified by Hawk (leader, fighter, jet pilot, etc.) and his dark shadow Snake Eyes) cares only for the survival of others. Joe pledges allegiance to wider concepts, which Carruthers refutes, nuclearly.

It's amazing how well the story stands up to fragmenting like this. Hama wrote each individual page as a mini-story, and it really works.

Really, really, really works.

As in, if you write comic books, you should be doing this.





Larry Hama, layin' down the information. Knowing is half the battle, I guess. Anyway, I bet most of you didn't expect that the most realistic nuclear-bomb-defusing scene that you'd ever read would be in GI Joe Comics #4.

"Lighten up on the science lecture, Zap!" he says. "M'man Grunt 'bout to save the world from glowin' in the dark!" And he does! TEAM Joe saves the day!

But as he raises the trophy in victory, a shadow falls across his face.

Also, civilians are stupid and mean.

Here is a slightly more realistic version of the same story above:

http://unnecessaryg.com/gijoe/McSweeneys%20Field%20Recordings_McSweeneys_2_Part%202%20of%208.mp3
http://unnecessaryg.com/gijoe/McSweeneys%20Field%20Recordings_McSweeneys_4_Part%204%20of%208.mp3
http://unnecessaryg.com/gijoe/McSweeneys%20Field%20Recordings_McSweeneys_8_Part%208%20of%208.mp3

Can't remember exactly where I got those or how they ended up on my computer...


So. The UN. As soon as I get back to where my library card can do some good, I promise that I'm going to check out some books on the history of the UN. Real books, with covers on them and everything. But until I've got some more research in, I hope to leave that subject alone for a bit.

Date: 2009-12-07 10:09 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
Is the shadow foreshadowing?

The civilians expectations are probably accurate for towns close to bases.

'Tanks for the Memories.' Best joke ever or BEST JOKE EVER?

Date: 2009-12-07 08:23 pm (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
Para-military and militias are civilians. Private armies, distinct from the government, with an ideology. Unless some of them are also in the regular military, they aren't rogue. They're just civilians with guns. And certainly arguable about how 'well-regulated' they are.

Date: 2009-12-08 05:39 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
You argue like Bill O'Reilly, y'know? Too much "but this is what I REALLY want to talk about."

While I can't speak for every meandering point you've gone off on, post-Bush occupation analysis reveals that Iraq would've rolled over for us, if we'd approached the conquest differently. We as a culture are not at war with Iraqi culture. Our fascist leadership managed to create the post-invasion civil war with ourselves in the hot seat, with the bonus of the extremist Islam groups trying to start trouble. (When the Iraqi villagers realized that the Iranians were behind many of their insurrections, many of them began coalescing to attack back on their own. These days, when Iraqi authorities are attacked, they bring their own CSI along with the American troops to track down the criminals.) The various actual intelligent types were trying to come together from the beginning, and have made good progress. No, its still dangerous, but life is like that.

Its perfectly possible for people with former military history and familial military connections to exist without support from the military. Most people call it being an average citizen. But unless there are military members taking off with their weapons to participate in private ideological armies, they are not rogue military. I am no longer military. If I hie off to Greece to kill Turks with my cousins, I am not going 'rogue'. A more pertinent example might be American Jews joining the Israeli army.

I wouldn't say it doesn't happen...I know American soldiers took vacations to work as mercenaries enough that the military limited the amount of vacation time you could save up. Maybe thats the way it is in this comic, I don't know. You've read it, I haven't. But the impression is one of out of shape civilians volunteering and training, not military. (And that mustachio is COMPLETELY against regulation.)

Date: 2009-12-09 04:06 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
I can be glib about Afghanistan too: no. We're gonna be there a long time. But think how its lowering our costs on heroin..

I think Iraq can be made as safe as the south side of Chicago...Right tribe/color/country, you're fine. But there's a world of difference between the two countries. Right now, most troops stationed in Iraq have nothing to do, so they play video games all day long. They see the occasional insurgent murder as the result of someone being stupid.

Regarding the labels...if a man shoots another man, it might be because he hates him, because the other man was threatening him, or because the damn thing went off by accident. The same act happens, but the circumstances alter our views considerably. If we shoot insurgents for sabotaging power stations, we are conquerors protecting our assets. If the Iraqi shoot insurgents with our troops for backup, we are supporting civil order. Circumstances mean a great deal.

? I thought militias were the definition of civilians carrying weapons.

By the way, I was wrong.

Special Forces are a kind of diplomat soldier. As a requirement for graduation, they have to engage in practice training of native peoples for warfare. Its called the Robin Sage exercise, and they do it in the backwoods here. Everyone involved roleplays that they are in a fictional country (and locals play along). I know guys who enjoy 'getting into character' and harassing the SF guys by sneaking away and laying around or refusing to admit they speak English. It is, however, a seriously tough exercise, and its commonplace for people to come back starving, eat a regular meal, and get sick, because their system can't take it.

I was under the impression that only military could participate as fake native recruits, and Wiki thinks so too, but someone told me today that the military will pay civilians $3000 to go through it, though they prefer friends and relatives of military members. But understand that SF training is tougher than regular basic training, which involves a lot of stupid culture crap like shortsheeting your bed. In Robin Sage, you WILL kill your food.

However, the numbers of civilians trained this way pales before the number of foreign nationals trained this way by SF--which is their primary job. It got so a Senator realized that we were training armies of assassins, with little accountability. He made the Leahy Law, which requires vetting potential trainees. The entry notes the weaknesses when someone is determined to get around it, and the bit about private citizens hiring mercernaries and owning gunships might be interesting to you. I think personally that the law is a good idea, even if it doesn't cover every loophole.

Date: 2009-12-07 07:05 pm (UTC)
victory_or_death: (Default)
From: [personal profile] victory_or_death
Apparently R2D2 doubled as a nuclear bomb for Cobra...

Date: 2009-12-08 04:37 am (UTC)
lbd_nytetrayn: Star Force Dragonzord Power! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lbd_nytetrayn
You spoke a lot about how some shots were "photographically impossible," but I don't quite understand precisely why that is.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

Date: 2009-12-08 07:20 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
The audio files were very amusing.

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