Interview: Paul Allor on IDW’s G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe #1

G.I. Joe #1


Paul Allor is the popular writer of comics including Clue, G.I. Joe, Monstro Mechanica, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. Now, he’s part of a team taking G.I. Joe in a direction you’ve never seen before. Allor tells Westfield’s Roger Ash what’s in store for this exciting new series.

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 1

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 1


Westfield: This is a pretty major change in the world of G.I. Joe. What can you tell us about its origins?

Paul Allor: Yes, this is definitely a big change and an exciting new chapter for G.I. Joe! Hasbro and IDW were looking for a fresh take on the G.I. Joe comics, focused on ordinary people pushed into extraordinary circumstances. From that core concept, editor Bobby Curnow, artist Chris Evenhuis, colorist Brittany Peer and I ran with it, creating a world where Cobra has conquered most of the planet and G.I. Joe is doing all it can to strike back and restore some sense of sanity to an increasingly broken world.

G.I. Joe is still run by the best the military and espionage forces have to offer, but now they’re recruiting everyday people living behind enemy lines, and training them to be spies, assassins, and saboteurs who will strike back against Cobra in any way they can.

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 2

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 2


Westfield: How much world-building did you do for the series?

Allor: I would say that we did exactly the right amount of world-building, haha. I’m not a big fan of world-building for its own sake, and I feel like writers often focus on it to the detriment of their characters, leading to comics that are front-loaded with exposition. So, yes, there’s obviously a lot of world-building in this story — we know how everything fits together, and how the world of G.I. Joe came to be where it is. We know what brought this world one minute closer to midnight, and how G.I. Joe ended up on the unfamiliar side of an asymmetrical war against a far more powerful opponent. But that’s all in service of a great story, with compelling characters and thrilling action.

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 3

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 3


Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the series?

Allor: Practically speaking, our first couple of arcs are going to focus on one-shot missions, with each issue serving as its own exciting and exquisitely well-crafted story, focused on the men and women on the frontlines of the battle against Cobra (or, in a few cases, focused on the Cobra operatives on the frontlines of the battle against G.I. Joe).

Like all the best G.I. Joe stories, this book is also going to be deeply character-centered, with something to say about heroism, about duty, about camaraderie and about the high cost of fighting back against tyranny. But if that sounds heavy or preachy, don’t worry: we’re more interested in asking questions than answering them. We’re more interested in making readers think and feel than in telling them what to think and feel. And above all, we’re more interested in delivering fantastic, compelling stories, month after month.

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 4

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 4


Westfield: Can you tell us anything about the new recruits?

Allor: Not a lot, just yet! Some of them (like Roadblock, Jinx, and Cover Girl) have familiar names from past iterations of G.I. Joe, while others (like Tiger and Fadeaway) are brand new. But they’re all just ordinary people who are new to the espionage game. That means they’re going to make mistakes — sometimes very big, sometimes very relatable mistakes. It also means they’re going to show extraordinary bravery and incredible resilience. I think readers will see a lot of themselves in these characters.

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 5

G.I. Joe #1 preview page 5


Westfield: You’re working with artist Chris Evenhuis on the series. What can you say about your collaboration?

Allor: I could talk for hours about working with Chris, and it still wouldn’t be enough. Chris is both a real-deal superstar in the making, and an extraordinary collaborator. His action storytelling is impeccable, his designs are delightful, and his character work is sublime. We’ve worked incredibly closely on this book, building the look and feel of the world from the ground up. And I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention colorist Brittany Peer, who is raising Chris’ storytelling to a whole new level, with gorgeous palettes and storytelling-driven coloring choices that complement Chris’ clean-line art style just perfectly.

Because of them, and because of editor Bobby Curnow’s always-incisive feedback and unflagging support, working on G.I. Joe often feels like working on a bespoke creator-owned book, despite being one of the biggest and most enduring properties of the last thirty-seven years.

G.I. Joe #1 back cover

G.I. Joe #1 back cover


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Allor: Yes: this book is going to be so much fun! I truly believe that the entire creative team is doing some of the best work of their career, and it shows on every page.

I know that over-the-top, hyperbolic marketing is really common in comics, but I tend to be a lot more low-key when discussing my own work. But with that in mind: I truly believe that G.I. Joe will be one of the best books on the stands this Fall. We’re making something special, here, and if you like action, if you like great character work, if you like books that make you think and make you feel and make you smile with every turn of the page, then I absolutely urge you to check it out. You will be so glad you did.

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