The life of Thomas Arashikage has taken him down paths that have allied him with both G.I. Joe AND Cobra. Now he’s away from both sides of the war, and getting into trouble all his own! Storm Shadow returns in his own monthly title written by his creator Larry Hama!
As the release of G.I. Joe: Storm Shadow #1 quickly approaches, I have been lucky enough to interview the creative team behind it. After a brief interview with Larry Hama, the creator and writer, I had a chance to speak with Mark A. Robinson. Mark is a very talented penciller whose works include Codename Knockout, from Vertigo (DC comics), New Mutants (marvel comics) and most recently BloodRayne (Digital Webbing).
Comic Addiction: How did you get the opportunity to pencil the upcoming Storm Shadow series?
Mark Robinson: I was just finishing up some work for TopCow when I was contacted by Susan Bishop from Devil’s Due via a message board account. It was pretty sudden.
We chatted. She asked if I wanted to draw ninjas. I said “hell yeah.” Case
CA: Did you know anything about Storm Shadow before this?
MR: Sure. I watched GI Joe as a kid every day. I’m a fan of the Cold Slither
CA: Did you change your drawing style at all for this series?
MR: No. I got a lot tighter than I’ve done before. I think I actually went back
to a “style” that I was tinkering with before TopCow- That I was putting
down on a creator owned project called COCKFIGHT. (Shameless self plug)
CA: Along with pencils, did you do the inking for this book?
MR: Nope. I couldn’t ink my way out of a paper bag. This is all going to digital
colors…Hence the need for tighter pencils.
CA: What was it like penciling Larry Hama’s script?
MR: Larry’s old school with his scripts…There’s not a lot of direct panel to
panel description which gives me a lot of visual freedom of movement. I love
that. I would suspect most artists would these days- I have seen scripts
that basically gives a panel to panel description of the art taking place on
the page. Panel placement, character descriptions, the whole nine…Not a lot
of creative freedom at all. Takes the fun out of it at times, so Larry keeps it loose. Loose is good.
CA: Did he give you a lot of direction or where you free to layout the issue as you wanted too?
MR: There was give and take. Everyone pitched in. Sometimes Larry would be very
specific on the action on the page. Sometimes I would put forth some things that I felt worked for the scene. It’s a collaborative effort all around.
CA: How many issues will you be penciling?
MR: Every one…Until I’m dead or they find someone better…no seriously. We have a
6 issue run planned as of now. This is my longest streak on a book to date. It should
be a challenge…Commitments are nice.
CA: What did you enjoy most about working on this issue?
MR: The ethnic diversity of the cast and the locales are nice changes. I’m real
big on bringing more ethnically diverse books into the mix, main stream…whatever. It’s nice to have a main character embody that. Thomas is an interesting character brewing with a lot of internal conflict. Larry is doing a great job of showing everyone that.
CA: Along with Storm Shadow, what else do you have coming out in 2007?
MR: I have some BloodRayne coming out this year (BLOODRAYNE PLAGUE OF
DREAMS from Digital Webbing Presents). Actually next week! Go get it!
Besides that- I’m all about Devil’s Due and you’ll be seeing a lot of Storm
CA: One final question Mark, What title would you most like to pencil for? (Favorite character or title)
MR: Nightwing. Hands down. I have an obligation to my peeps at my local comic
shop to make that happen. I also love to take a run at John Constantine.