Rob Liefeld took over Comic-Con@Home this afternoon to express his love for G.I. Joe and, in particular, Snake Eyes. Liefeld defined an entire generation of comics and has managed to keep one of the most dedicated audiences with his energetic personality, in-your-face art, and a social media presence that makes him essentially the embodiment of the 😈 purple devil emoji in the comics industry. The renegade creator, famous for creating Deadpool, is currently working on G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes for IDW Publishing, which the publisher, in true Liefeld fashion, called the comic the biggest Snake Eyes story "maybe ever." Liefeld, clearly, agrees.
Rob Liefeld is the walking embodiment of his art, packed with explosive energy and speaking in extremes. He seems self-aware and comfortable with his place in comics, starting the panel with a warm smile and a devilish gleam in his eye, saying, "We can watch panels all day long, and none of them are gonna be as good as ours." Liefeld kept the energy up throughout the entire presentation, as he spoke about his past with G.I. Joe and his hopes for a future on Snake Eyes.
"My love of G.I, Joe goes back to I'm a child. It is my first toy that I remember. Before Star Wars or before some of these other popular toys, G.I. Joe was the thing that I saw in TV, I saw the commercials, I saw on the shelves of the toy store, and I had to have it. […] G.I. Joe had a kung-fu grip and he had an eagle eye that you could look through that had a periscope. And he had all sorts of kind of superhero friends and villains. Like, he battled aliens! So this was my cup of tea. I have had a love for this my whole life going back to my mom and dad saying 'So you're playing with dolls now?'"
The passion for Snake Eyes is evident, and Rob Liefeld, when asked if he would continue on the series after the current story, compared it to his time working on Captain America. Liefeld said:
"I'd love to do more beyond this. Because there's a great example is when I did Captain America for Marvel, I was I was drawing Captain America and getting it ready for its new launch at the same time that Dan Jurgens of Superman fame had been finishing [DC vs. Marvel.] I was on the phone with him one afternoon while I was like on the first ten pages of Captain America, he said, 'Rob how's it feel how's it feel drawn Captain America?' He goes, 'Isn't it great? When you're drawing him don't you just feel something special?" And the reason I'm telling you that is drawing Snake Eyes, every page, when I'm done, I'm like, "This is the coolest looking character."
Rob Liefeld's panel is worth watching even for those who don't share the same love for G.I. Joe. His focus is Snake Eyes, but Liefeld is, no matter your opinion about his art, a living legend, and an encyclopedia of comics history, anecdotes, and experience. The man may speak in extremes, but he also lives in them: when he loves a story, he loves it hard and open-heartedly.
Rob Liefeld's panel can, and should, be seen here.