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by Aubrey Sitterson, Giannis Milonogiannis & Lovern Kidzerski
There’s very little that’s exciting about IDW’s Revolution crossover, the companies latest attempt to expand their Hasbro licensed comics past their core audience. There is no shortage of books from main series writer Cullen Bunn across the comics landscape leaving very little reason for casual readers to check out the event’s primary title while the majority of the tie-in series are being helmed by the same creative teams that have been working on these comics for years. And while I get a kick out of reading Transformers More Then Meet’s The Eye via Comixology unlimited as much as the next man (well maybe not as much as this man but you know, sliding scales and all that), crossing it over with a bunch of titles whose only real common trait is that they’re owned by a toy company isn’t really enough to get me running to grab the single issues off the shelf. But for those in the know, there was one book that had an elevated level of intrigue and that was for one reason; artist Giannis Milnogiannis for Revolutions GI Joe crossover series. The first issue debuted last Wednesday and true to form for the illustrator, it’s pretty fucking rad.
Giannis Milonogiannis is a Greek artist with a particular aesthetic of a rough line with insanely precise detail and geometry. He’s primarily known for being an integral part of Brandon Graham’s Prophet revival band and his Akira meet’s post EU Greece Old City Blues with a brief stop filling in on Michel Fiffe’s Ultimates experiment. He’s been comics most underrated artist of the past five years as his style’s singularity has proved adaptable to almost any setting his books are placed in. GI Joe Revolution is no different as it follow’s a small team of Joe’s fighting some type of strange alien/zombie hybrid with Milonogiannis expert craftsmanship in fluidity of movement. In GI Joe Revolution; Milonogiannis constructs a thrilling visual narrative that is on par with some of the best moments we’ve seen from Declan Shalvey or Greg Capullo in action driven comics. He has a unique gift for translating the intensity of movement in combat that is remarkably exciting and engrossing. That’s because Milonogiannis has an innate ability in suggesting motion on a page that is static while his panel composition is able to dictate a pace from each individual part, in effect making a series of singular pictures feel as if they’re moving naturally from one panel to the next in succession. In addition, Milonogiannis excels at perspective, he’s as close as you’ll get to three dimensional in a traditional comics style and it’s even more interesting in contrast to his actual design which eschews realism for an aesthetic that fall’s somewhere in between classic Manga and 1980’s small press black & white books that were designed to upend the comics code. In almost measurable sense, Giannis Milonogiannis excels as a illustrator.
This review is not meant to negate the other elements that make GI Joe Revolution #1 work so well in spite of questionable background. Writer Aubrey Sitterson’s dialogue is incredibly strong in it’s casual realism and instantly endearing. Colorist Lovern Kidzerski provides an extraordinary pallet for the comic and has a way of sharpening Milonogiannis line just enough to make it more palpable without taking anything away from it. Still, the heart of this book is in it’s dynamic artwork from Giannis and if you’re one of the many indifferent comics readers to Hasbro and IDW’s Revolution event crossover, GI Joe Revolution #1 is as good a showcase as any for one of the mediums best and least recognized illustrators and while I wouldn’t call this comic the best one he’s worked on by a long shot, it barrier to entry is pretty low in comparison to the artists past books with a premise that’s easy to enjoy and understand. In that sense, GI Joe Revolution #1 is one of the best introductions yet for casual readers to discover Milonogiannis and that is worth the effort in and of itself.
We all know the type. They stand in the background and don’t say much, if anything at all, but if they speak, everyone listens. What is is about these characters that make them fan-favorites? It’s obviously not their love of witty banter, or their constant quips. Sure, they might get a funny line or two here and there, but a lot of the humor comes from how unexpected it is that they spoke at all. We know very little about them, their hobbies, their inner thoughts, or their history. Occasionally, we’ll get hints at their backstory, but the revelations are slow and even when we do learn their past, they remain mysteries.
Yes, the popularity of these characters as just as enigmatic as they are. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that their mysterious natures is exactly why they’re so popular. Character like Lying Cat, Snake-Eyes, Garnet, Samurai Jack, and Ice Bear don’t say much, if anything, but their quiet natures make you want to watch them even more. They riddles wrapped inside mysteries, wrapped inside enigmas and it’s the audience or reader’s job to figure them out. By keeping their thoughts to themselves, the readers have to watch them closely, and put themselves in the character’s shoes.
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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Tyler’s Recommendations: Paper Girls #1
Though I’ve only started reading them recently, there is something very nostalgic about the classic Marvel G.I. Joe. I spent my formative years as a military brat, so it holds a special place in my heart for reminding me of the culture I grew up in. After reading just a few issues, I couldn’t stop. They are just that good.
Though there were other creators, Larry Hama is considered the quintessential writer for G.I.Joe. Hama’s original concept was a spinoff of S.H.E.I.L.D. called Fury Force. While this idea was rejected by the editor Jim Shooter, it later became the basis for G.I.Joe. In the series, Hama incorporated philosophy, military jargon, and his own personal experiences in the military and life to create a unique blend of action and heart. The rest is one hundred and fifty-five issues of history.
TOP ELEVEN VETERANS IN COMICS
special thanks to Streekhawkjm for contributing to this weeks list!
IDW’s Transformers vs GI Joe continues to be a fun romp extending the wild space cowboy by way of Jack Kirby narrative established by past issue’s while exponentially expanding on the scope of laws of it’s universe. Issue #2 is extra fun as it switched up the narrative of both what we’ve seen in the book past as well as these properties where the Joe’s end up on Cybertron while sticking to the script where all hell breaks lose. It’s an interesting three way conflict being created where the Joe’s, Autobots and Decepticon’s are all fighting each other with varying motivations. Scioli’s art rocks as it continues to bring all of that to vibrant life in his own style which is part hyper detailed, part super cartoony and part super goofy in all the right ways. His Kirbyesqye visual narrative is as fun and dynamic here as his best past work like Godland & American Barbarian while you can just feel the fun he’s having in drawing all these larger then life characters and worlds. It’s kind of unbelievable that this is what we are getting out of comic about two properties from toy companies fighting each other but I seriously wish that it could go on forever. When so much of corporate comics is this very cynical sell you anything to get money or this stock post Watchmen edgy/brooding nonsense to have a series like this feels so refreshing and exciting. Transformers vs GI Joe didn’t have to be anything as it’s title pretty sells it to it’s highest potential but they went and made it as cool as possible anyway and that is beautiful thing.