19 January 2011

G-Man to Become a Middle Child

It’s no surprise that Chris Giarrusso based his G-Man and Great Man characters on his own childhood (a) superhero dreams and (b) relationship with his older brother. The interaction of those brothers is one of the details that grounds his G-Man comics in reality, and makes them delightful.

For Dave (Great Man), his little brother Mikey always needs to be told what to do, never has any good ideas, and says nothing worth listening to, even if occasionally what he says might keep the universe from falling apart. It makes perfect sense to Dave to build an aircraft with a comfy chair for himself and a milk crate for Mikey because he, after all, will be the pilot. (You don’t think Mikey would be pilot, do you? Ha!) On the other hand, if any other kids or creatures go after Mikey, Dave will be there in an instant to protect his little brother.

As for Mikey (G-Man), his doggedness is best summarized by Dan Savage in The Kid:

Younger brothers are less powerful than older brothers, so persistence and stamina are our survival/revenge strategies. Older siblings may hit harder, but younger brothers move faster, and we are relentless. . . . younger brothers everywhere [never] knew when to stop. We took jokes, wrestling matches, and “playful fights” past the point where they were fun...
Now? asks Mikey. Now? Now?

This interview with Giarrusso at Sketch Maven shows just how much his real older-brother-Dave shaped his career as a comics artist, in unmistakable older-brother way:
When I was in college, my brother Dave called me one day to inform me that I was going to be working for Marvel Comics. He explained that Marvel offered internships for college students, and that all I had to do was apply and then I'd get an internship and then get hired on staff shortly after. Realistically speaking, this was not a likely scenario, but he had this strange confidence that it would play out that way. And that ended up being exactly the way it happened.
And as for the video games on Giarrusso’s ChrisGComics.com website:
My brother Dave put those games together. He runs my whole website. One day he just calls me up and says, "I made a video game for you." And then he kept making more.
However, there will soon be a new variable in the comics’ fraternal equation. Mikey is going to have someone to lord over, too:
The next volume of G-Man will feature the arrival/introduction of G-Man's little brother. A lot of people know Great Man is based on my big brother, but there are actually three of us, and it's time to introduce the third G brother into the books.
(Thanks to Brigid Alverson for the link to this interview.)

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