G.I. JOE series to raise awareness of Veteran mental health issues

by Charles LePage

IDW Publishing is making a G.I. JOE story about PTSD and recovery available to read for free online during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

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The press release follows:

Media Release — To bring attention to the serious issues facing the heroes who have served our country, IDW and Hasbro have teamed up during September’s National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with promotions timed to coincide with The Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

At the center of IDW and Hasbro’s combined efforts is the G.I. JOE comic book series, based on the iconic military toy brand. The recent seventh issue in the series, entitled “A Soldier’s Heart”, focuses on Shana “Scarlett” O’Hara, a combat veteran struggling with the return to civilian life, who joins a support group and navigates both everyday challenges and tragic losses on a path toward recovery. The G.I. JOE creative team consulted with proud service members and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to craft the story and provided valuable real-world information on mental health and resources for support in the issue for the benefit of readers who might require it.

During the month of September, IDW and Hasbro have made G.I. JOE #7 available to read for free online, in an effort to spread awareness of suicide prevention and mental health. IDW also commissioned original artwork from fan-favorite artist Freddie Williams II as a public service announcement, featuring G.I. JOE characters and a banner proclaiming “Hope Lives Here”, a message of encouragement ubiquitous with suicide prevention initiatives.

Furthermore, IDW and Hasbro have hosted a virtual panel to raise awareness. Moderated by George Gustines of The New York Times, the panel brings comic book creators, licensors and publishers, combat veterans, and experts on mental health issues together to discuss this important topic. Participants include:

Paul Allor Writer, G.I. JOE
Michael Kelly VP Global Publishing, Hasbro
Patricia Watson PhD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and G.I. JOE #7 Consultant
Duane K.L. France U.S. Army SFC, LPC, and G.I. JOE #7 Consultant
Tom Waltz IDW Senior Editor, Writer, and Former U.S. Marine

The G.I. JOE panel addressing suicide prevention awareness can be viewed here.

“G.I. JOE is one of the great pop culture icons of the past century, and I think everyone involved recognizes how powerful this brand can be when used to shine a light on mental health among our veteran population,” says writer Paul Allor. “I hope this panel and making the issue available for free during the month of September helps spread that message even further.”

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In 1982, Hasbro debuted G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero, a reimagining of their classic toy line with a premise that pitted a special mission force, “G.I. JOE”, against a ruthless criminal organization, “Cobra”. One of the most successful toy lines in history, A Real American Hero has transformed over the decades into a valuable multimedia intellectual property, adapted and merchandised as feature films, video games, comic books, animated series, etc.

Since 2010, IDW Publishing has produced licensed G.I. JOE comic books showcasing the fan-favorite characters of A Real American Hero. Their latest interpretation of the series, entitled simply G.I. JOE, launched in 2019 and follows an insurgency of military operatives and civilian recruits struggling to resist a victorious Cobra takeover. The series, written by Paul Allor and illustrated by Chris Evenhuis, Niko Walter, and Emma Vieceli, is distinguished by moving, character-driven tales that explore (and sometimes challenge) concepts of patriotism, duty and sacrifice, courage and personal responsibility, loss, and trauma.

For information on the G.I. JOE comic book series, please visit IDWpublishing.com or follow IDW on social media.

About IDW Publishing
IDW Publishing (IDWP), a subsidiary of IDW Media Holdings Inc. (OTC PINK: IDWM), is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels, art books, trade paperbacks, and tabletop games. IDWP is one of the top four publishers of comic books and graphic novels in the U.S. with a library of world-renowned licensed content and original series. IDWP’s critically-acclaimed imprints include Top Shelf Productions, Artist’s Editions, EuroComics, The Library of American Comics, Sunday Press, and Yoe! Books.

About Hasbro
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play and Entertainment Experiences. From toys, games and consumer products to television, movies, digital gaming, live action, music, and virtual reality experiences, Hasbro connects to global audiences by bringing to life great innovations, stories and brands across established and inventive platforms. Hasbro’s iconic brands include NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, POWER RANGERS, PEPPA PIG and PJ MASKS, as well as premier partner brands. Through its global entertainment studio, eOne, Hasbro is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for all children and all families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Hasbro ranked among the 2020 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical CompaniesĀ® by Ethisphere Institute for the past nine years. We routinely share important business and brand updates on our Investor Relations website, Newsroom and social channels (@Hasbro on Twitter and Instagram.)

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