David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

Larry Hama is a god (and comics guys can be scary Negroes, if they want)

Christopher J. Priest, on racism (in comics and elsewhere) and working with Larry Hama:

One of my favorite Hama stories was when Ed Davis, a top illustrator and top mercenary, blew into town. We went to lunch, but Hama stopped by the bank on the way. Denys Cowan, Ed and myself took up positions in the bank, near the available exits, and just stood around looking, well, Negro. Larry had no idea what we were doing.

The bank guard got a little antsy, and went behind the counter, presumably to make a phone call, as Larry finally approached a teller, and presented his pistol permit for identification. This is something Larry always did, to amuse himself more than anything else. Larry usually carried two briefcases. Depending on which one it was, he either had a .45 or an Uzi inside (he was licensed for both).

When the teller began nervously twitching, Hama turned to tell us he'd be a few minutes longer, and saw we had taken up positions around the bank, and also saw that the bank had, suddenly, become polarized by the three black men and the Japanese man with the very long hair, pistol permit, and briefcase.

Larry smiled and said, "Stop that." Ed exploded into laughter— scary laughter (Ed was a scary guy), and we three headed outside so Larry could finish up without somebody calling the cops.

I could write a book of Larry Hama stories, most of which I can't tell until one of us is dead. I do remember being at a party at his house and chatting with a guest about Don Johnson's cool .45 he used on the TV show Miami Vice. The party guest, who turned out to be retired CIA, told me it wasn't a .45 but it was an exotic ten millimeter automatic called a Beren 10. I asked him if he was sure, and he pulled his own Beren-10 out to show me. Yup. It was the same gun.

Larry Hama has always been one of my heroes. After reading this, he is my friggin' KING. (And I like Priest better, too.)

There is a certain goofy wonderfulness in using one's gun permit for ID purposes. My favorite SF writer, H. Beam Piper, actually used his pistol permit as ID to get his *marriage license.* (His fiancee's reaction was not recorded by history, but I imagine it was loud.)

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