Larry Hama Comic Book Collection (MSS 337)

Larry Hama (b. 1949-) is an influential comic book writer and artist behind such titles as G.I. Joe, The ‘Nam, and Bucky O’Hare. Born in Manhattan and raised in Queens, New York, Hama is a third generation Japanese American. He attended Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design, and from 1969 to 1971, served in the US Army in Vietnam. His experiences in Vietnam influenced much of his creative work. After his discharge, Hama worked as an assistant to comic writer and artist Wally Wood at Entertaining Comics (EC), and became a member of Basement Workshop, a grassroots arts activist organization in Manhattan’s Chinatown. After leaving EC, Hama joined comic book and commercial artist Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates studio. It was during this time at Neal Adams’ studio that Hama created Bucky O’ Hare, a comic character that later went on to have a television cartoon series, a video game and toy line.  In 1977, Hama became an editor at DC Comics, and in 1980, joined Marvel Comics. There, he edited acclaimed titles such as Conan and The ‘Nam and began writing stories for G.I. Joe.

While G.I. Joe was originally meant as a short-term marketing vehicle for the Hasbro line of military action figures, Hama’s engaging storylines, complex characters, and attention to detail helped G.I. Joe become an unexpected hit. In addition to creating an enormous catalog of toys, the title has inspired a number of comic book series, television shows, and movies. Hama has also made significant contributions as a writer and artist to The Nth Man: the Ultimate Ninja, Wolverine, Daredevil, The Punisher War Zone, Moon Knight, Before the Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm and Logan, Savage Tales, Generation X, and Batman. In addition to his work in comics, Hama is also an actor and musician.

The Larry Hama Comic Book Collection contains comic books, clippings, unpublished drawings for comics, draft materials for television show productions, designs for advertising, magazine illustrations, storyboards for television commercials, production drawings, and storyboards for television shows.

To learn more about the contents of the Larry Hama Comic Book Collection, located at the NYU Fales Library & Special Collection, view the collection’s finding aid.