Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who was that masked man?

Storm Shadow a.k.a. Awesomesauce.  

Many GI Joe fans don't know that originally Tommy Arashikage's ninja name was supposed to be Awesomesauce.  But at the last minute Hasbro and Larry Hama decided it didn't strike much fear as the resident Cobra ninja. Thus Storm Shadow was born and has since become legendary within the realm of anything GI Joe.

There was so many cool things about this guy I'm not going to bore you with a list.

Long story short...he's cool.

When I started my career 6-7 years ago, my first solo book was Snake Eyes: Declassified for Devil's Due publishing. That story was about Snake Eyes' origin, and we got to see Storm Shadow when they were still friends and brothers in the Arashikage clan of ninja's. Since then I've had the chance to draw him a few times in the regular GI Joe book for IDW publishing. It wasnt until issue 23, and he appeared on the last page. Then 2 more pages in issue #25. That's it. Even though he was barely gracing the pages, I took the time to work out a new design for the character.

I wanted to keep some elements of his classic costume. The mask, the belt across his chest, and general ninja garb. But with Larry doing his current run on GI Joe: A real American Hero for IDW, they were using Storm Shadow in his classic outfit, and I thought I shouldn't draw him exactly the same as that book. So I made a few changes, adding a belt that could hold a number of weapons and be an added bit of armored protection. Bottom line, I put a lot of thought into a design I haven't had the chance to draw much. We'll see if I'll finally get the chance to show that classic showdown....

.......And by classic I mean Snake Eyes vs. AwesomeSauce


  1. I love Storm Shadow. I had a 12" one back in the 90s and I loved it!

    Do you do concept sketches/design and turnarounds for every major character when you are doing a book, or do you just do some "primer" sketches to get a feel for them?

  2. I usually only do a model sheet or turn around when its a new character that will used a lot, or a complicated design that I want to have down before I start drawing pages. It isn't as necessary for comics as it is for toys, animation or video games. Still it comes in handy. I did a turn around for Snake Eyes before my run on GI JOE, so I did this one on top for Storm Shadow to have one for each. Mostly for the fun of it.

  3. Love your "updated" look on Storm Shadow. Fantastic work.

  4. This is so awesome .. SS is probably one of my favorite characters from cobra..ONe of many but def never get tired of seeing ss line work.

  5. He has certainly been fun to draw. And luckily through commissions and convention sketches, I've had the chance to do quite a few. Just not too much story-wise....yet.

  6. Storm Shadow is my favorite character from G.I. Joe. His life is tragic and heroic at the same time (in the Marvel Verse) he is always there in time to save Snake Eyes butt.

  7. The Storm Shadow character as Hama wrote it was always fascinating to me, too. He was the Yin to the Yang of Snake Eyes, that is for sure.