I've been meaning to put up a new post about this for a while now. I met Waysun Johnny Tsai years ago at a comic convention in Chicago. Right when I was first working on GI JOE. He was a great guy and supported my work very early on. I got to meet him and his family, and especially enjoyed talking with him and his son Noah. Johnny has owned and taught at a number of martial arts and combat training schools. He teaching combat and outdoor survival classes now in the Chicago area as well.
Right before I started on the Snake Eyes solo series from IDW, Johnny had developed a new tactical knife. Produced through Tops Knives, this new design was based on the martial arts Kukri fighting knife and merged that into a practical, modern combat knife. At another show in Chicago he showed me the prototype he had with him and asked if there would be a way to include it in the books. It was perfect timing as I was just starting that first story arc on Snake Eyes.
I was excited to use such a unique and practical looking knife, something that would look very natural on our combat ninja character. I included it on nearly every cover, and anytime in the books that Snake Eyes used a knife I'd have him pull out his Cuma Tak Ri.
Recently at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC I had someone with a great sketch request! They wanted me to draw Snake Eyes on their Cuma Tak Ri training knife!
It had a nice flat surface, I was only really able to use sharpie as I wanted it to be permanent and the ink wouldn't bubble up on the metal surface. So there was only so much detail I could put into it. But this was really a great culmination of my partnership with Johnny on this amazing knife. I still use it whenever possible in my work. If you get a chance to check out Johnny's site and Facebook page you can still purchase these knives and own the knife Snake Eyes uses in the books!
You can check out all the collected trades I've worked on
and some of my art/sketch books
here at AMAZING discounts!
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