A TNI Interview: Brandon Jerwa, Writer Of The G.I. Joe Comic Book Series From Devil's Due

by Jay Cochran
August 12, 2004

Ryan Boutwell (aka Skarapz) brings us a TNI EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Brandon Jerwa, the current writer of the G.I. Joe comic book series published by Devil's Due.

Skarapz: Did you have a good time at the recent GI JOE convention?

Brandon: Very much so! It was my first Joe convention in any standing, so it was definitely a good way to start!

Skarapz: How do you feel about being the writer for GI JOE?

Brandon: Terrible. I hope they take it away soon.
(What the hell kind of question is that? Jeez…)

Skarapz: Are there any surprises coming up, well any that you can share with the public?

Brandon: If I could, they wouldn’t be surprises, now would they?

Skarapz: The new character Wraith, what hand did you have in bringing this character around. What sets this guy off from being just another bad guy? What makes Wraith stand out?

Brandon: Well, I created him. He was part of my original pitch to Devil’s Due, although we altered his original planned appearance to make it work with Talent Caldwell’s availability. I was SHOCKED when Josh told me we were going to be making such a big deal out of Wraith’s debut, but his introduction ended up being very natural in terms of the story going on around him.

I think the difference with Wraith is the fact that he doesn’t have any prior connections to the Joe/Cobra conflict. He doesn’t have a grudge against anyone…and he really doesn’t necessarily care to, either. He’ll soon find himself swept up in the whole mess…

Skarapz: Did you see this Wraith custom? if so what is your opinion?

Brandon: Yup, I’ve seen this one. Great work! Maybe soon we’ll see the Hasbro Devil’s Due collection, eh? I’d just about crap myself if I could pick up Wraith, Claymore, Mariner, Mayday, Firewall, etc….

Skarapz: What do you think about the current sales of G.I.Joe since the comic left Image to just being under Devils due? If you can’t comment I understand. IF you can, what are the pros and the cons.

Brandon: Well, I think you’re seeing a period of rebuilding for the Devil’s Due sales situation. You have to remember, the Due doesn’t yet have newsstand or brick-and-mortar bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Borders) completely in line. They’re getting that taken care of as you read this, and I believe you’ll see a pretty decent upswing in sales after those outlets fall in place. Still, we need to get those new readers in the Joe-verse, and we’ll be offering up some access points for new readers without alienating the core audience in the process.

I know Reloaded hasn’t performed as well as they would have hoped, but they’re making strides to offer up the real, serious changes that fans seem to want in a new continuity. I don’t read the book myself, to avoid influence, so I can’t speak on it otherwise.

Skarapz: If you could work with any writer (ie... Kevin Smith or Stan Lee) who would you choose to work with?

Brandon: Any WRITER? Hmmm…I’d have to say Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and The Bendis.

Skarapz: How is a new Character developed in the current series?

Brandon: It all depends on the character. This is GI JOE, and that means you’re going to have “x” amount of characters who get a few minutes face time, and that’s it. Others get more focus. We will be narrowing the cast back quite a bit for a while, and that’s going to let us hone in on the characters and let them really have some moments.

Skarapz: What is the status of Frontlines?

Brandon: *shrugs* Wish I could tell you, but there are no plans as far as I know.

Skarapz: What inspires you to use some of the new figures that have come out into the comic itself?

Brandon: I use what I like, and that’s it. THERE ARE NO MANDATES FROM HASBRO. I hear that a lot on certain boards (*ahem*), and it irritates me no end. I use what I think is cool from the toy line, and only if it suits the story.

Skarapz: Is there a chance that The new viper design or any of the newer designs will come into play in the comic?

Brandon: Man, I hope they repaint that Viper mold 10,000 times! I love it. Yes, we’ll be seeing the new Vipers. Patience!

Skarapz: With the success of Master and Apprentice, is there any other spin offs or sub series in the work?

Brandon: Master and Apprentice II is coming! In fact, I’ll probably start working on it soon. The story will be focused on Storm Shadow and is set primarily in the present day. Storm Shadow will come out of that book a different man…and I have a feeling the fans will be quite happy, regardless of how they feel about Tommy right now.

Skarapz: Is there any thought going to trying to get kids to buy the COMIC?

Brandon: There’s an ongoing discussion about a kid-centric Joe book, but it keeps getting hung up. I did some comics for Hasbro, with the card game and some upcoming figure pack-ins, and I’d LOVE to do a kid’s book.

Skarapz: Would you ever think of working with myself on writing anything? I'd love to put my 2 cents in lol.

Brandon: Yeah, your “2 cents” would consist of screaming “MORE SERPENTOR” while doing cookies on my front lawn on a tricycle in your Spider-Man Underoos. I’ve heard about you, pal.

Skarapz: Ha ha, but you are correct, more Serpentor sounds good.

Skarapz: What about creating a new Dreadnok called SKA?

Brandon: Fine, but what color should the Tricycle be? I’m thinking purple and green, with some big baby blue missiles…sound good?

Skarapz: Why yes, yes it does.

Skarapz: With the Coil rejoining Cobra, can they really be trusted, or are these soldiers waiting till Overlord and Serpentor come back?

Brandon: Have to wait and see!

Skarapz: Do you ever read any other boards to see what everyone says about the comic, good or bad?

Brandon: Why, yes I do. I find TNI to be especially…colorful.

Skarapz: Do you collect the toys?

Brandon: Like a madman. Only 3 ¾” though.

Skarapz: Who is your favorite character?

Brandon: Hawk, Chuckles, Claymore, Destro, Kamakura (now, especially)…the list goes on….

Skarapz: Is there anything you'd like to say to your public? Any thanks or shout outs or anything?

Brandon: Buy a friend a GI JOE comic today.

Skarapz: The End, and I’d personally love to thank Brandon Jerwa for his time. This has been a TNI exclusive interview. Thanks



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