Larry Hama @ Hal Con 2012

So I’m kicking myself now for not getting a picture, but I did meet famed comic author/artist Larry Hama at Hal Con 2012. He was actually stationed right across from Jay Paulin and Ink’d Well Comics.

My interaction with him was two-fold. As much as I’m not usually a drooling fanboy, I did get a bit flustered around Hama, mostly because I wanted to introduce myself but really didn’t know what to say. I was talking with Jay at his booth about Fearsome Fables with Nick Orme when I noticed there was nobody at Hama’s table. I went over, extended my hand and said: “Mr. Hama?”

He looked up.

I said, “You’re a credit to the industry.”

He shook my hand.

Thus endith the interaction.

See part of the problem is that while I am familiar with his work, I don’t think I have ever owned a single issue of his work. GI Joe, like Transformers, were an 80s property I just wasn’t in the right age-group for. I never got into it so I’m not familiar with what Hama is most famous for. So even though I want to talk to the guy, I have no way of starting the conversation. And he always looked so busy.

Anyway, the next day I walked up to him and did the same pitch that had worked for all the other authors up until this point, explaining that I was collecting sketches of my character that I’d written several novels about to post up on my blog along with a little writeup or anecdote about the artist (ie: this).

His response: “No.”

I think I was visibly confused, because he took the time to explain: “I don’t draw characters I didn’t create, for copyright and legal reasons.”

Which I guess kind of makes sense. I mean, what if he did some amazing take on the Womb and then I build a comic around that design? In the comic-book world writer and artist kind of split the credit for the creation, so if Black Womb took off then it could be an issue. It kind of stops holding weight when you factor in that Black Womb has been around for several years, but he had no way of knowing that. For all he knew the novel wasn’t even done yet and I was just another potential sci-fi fan / writer with a pen and a dream. So I get it.

Still, I’m glad I didn’t ask him first. I may not have asked anyone else if I had.

Hama’s a great guy. I meant wheat I said when I said he’s a credit to the industry. I should have bought one of his GI Joe sketches just to have something by him. Oh well, live and learn.

Never Look Back
Matthew LeDrew

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