Chuck Dixon Interview (2008)

 height=(WoW NOV 08)

In his career in comics, Chuck Dixon has written such books as DC's Batman and Robin, Marvel's Punisher and The 'Nam, and Bongo's The Simpsons. Now, he comes to IDW for a series featuring the classic military crew, G.I. JOE. Westfield's Roger Ash recently got in touch with Dixon to learn more.

Westfield: G.I. JOE has been around for quite a while. Is this series new reader friendly?

Chuck Dixon: Absolutely! We're basically starting the whole thing over again. It's a perfect starting point for new readers. The whole Joe-verse is so dense at this point that it was the only way that made sense for a lot of reasons.

When G.I. JOE was introduced, Larry Hama had to present the good guys and bad guys simultaneously because the comics were tied to toy releases. He did it brilliantly and it's the classic template for that kind of comic and has never been equaled. Thanks to his work, millions of readers are familiar with Duke, Scarlett, Destro, and the rest of the cast. With this new launch, we can play the story out more deliberately and pace our reveals where they make the most dramatic impact.

Westfield: What is the appeal of G.I JOE for you?

Dixon: It's toy soldiers! It's fun, military adventure populated with great characters and endless possibilities for crazy, crazy action. The ultimate shoot 'em up.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the series? Who are some of the characters they'll be meeting?

 height=Dixon: In my series, the readers will meet the Joes just before they become aware of the existence of a globe-spanning cabal called COBRA. Our first arc is loaded with action in The Pit (the Joe's secret home base) as well as around the world.

In addition to a cast of core Joes, there's DOZENS of cameos in the first six issue arc. If you already love the Joes, then your favorite is probably here. If you're unfamiliar with them, then you'll meet them here for the first time. As the Joes lift rocks to find COBRA hiding under them we'll meet other COBRA members and operatives. In the first arc, we find Destro up to creating a frightening super weapon. Baroness is also here in a surprising role.

Westfield: You're working with artist Robert Atkins on the series. Are you enjoying your collaboration with him?

 height=Dixon: Robert is absolutely the answer to my every prayer on this book. Joe's a tough franchise to get your hands around for an artist. You need to know a large cast. You need to draw exotic locales convincingly. You need to draw realistic weapons and gear in addition to the made-up stuff. And the made-up stuff needs to look just as believable. Robert knocks it out the park on all counts. He's a Joe fan, which is a huge help. And he has this bravura drawing style that brings weight to his images. And he just LOVES drawing the gear and vehicles and packs the pages with detail. And his storytelling is top drawer. Robert has command of an element of storytelling that seems lost these days: clarity. His pages don't really need my words to put across what's going on. Writing is so much easier when I have a guy this committed and talented to partner with.

Westfield: Are there other projects you're working on that you'd like to mention?

Dixon: Doing a whole bunch of The Simpsons for Bongo. I think I'm up to about five issues a year for them. I'm also working on two adaptations for Dabel Brothers; Dean Koontz' Frankenstein and The Wheel of Time cycle by Robert Jordan. And I'm writing a five issue arc of The Man with No Name for Dynamite. There's also an Airboy special upcoming from Moonstone that I wrote a while back. And Storming Paradise for WildStorm is wrapping up over the coming months.

Westfield: Any closing comments you'd like to make?

Dixon: Just that I'm glad to have a chance to write more G.I. JOE and especially this incarnation. IDW and Hasbro are serious about returning Joe to his place in comics.

And with Larry on board as mentor and guide we're going to make some fun, action-wracked epics.

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