Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dumbass Things You Shouldn't Do in the Stephen J. Cannelloverse

In a multiverse which contains the tough-guy no-holds barred worlds of The Rockford Files, Baretta, Black Sheep Squadron, Hardcastle and McCormick, Wiseguy, The Commish, 21 Jump Street and, uh, The Greatest American Hero, you should beware of doing dumbass things that you know deep down are going to get your face bashed in by the stars of the show around whom that world revolves. But of all the shows from Silk Stalkings to Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, of all the characters in the Stephen J. Cannelloverse from Richie Brockelman to Rick Hunter, who is the one person you most don't wanna do dumbass stuff to?...

Here's a hint: if you do that dumbass stuff, you're a fool, and I pity you.

Pages from The A-Team (Marvel, March 1984), script by Jim Salicrup, pencils and colors by Marie Severin, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Brad Joyce

Yep. Do not bother Mr. T. while he's drinking his milk.

I like these pages a lot. They've got a cinematic vibe, doing something you can do easily on the TV screen but which isn't often seen on the comic page, certainly at that time. Eisner has done it, and Frank Miller was doing it in the mid-80s, but you wouldn't expect to see this technique used in an off-the-beaten-616-track miniseries like The A-Team, which holds the "camera" steady and lets its figures wreck havoc throughout, allowing us to precisely follow the action, the motion, and the ass-whupping therein. Bob and Ray have the right idea: get out of the way and let the chaos commence. Then, create a critically acclaimed comedy radio show about it. Anyway, my point, and I do have one: Marie Severin is wonderful. But we all knew that already, right? Right.

So, what have we learned?

To sum up: don't do dumbass things around Mr. T. 'Coz you know what happens.

Ah. I love it when a plan comes together.


DFS said...

I have a copy of this comic actually. It is better than an A-Team comic has any right to be at all.

Shamus said...

Marie Severin was amazing. The way she layed out the movement and action in that was stellar. And her colouring too!