Season 3 of G.I. Joe, or as the Shout! Factory DVDs call it, Series 2 Season 1, is a mixed bag. Lots of returning writers, characters, and voice actors, but the show is a different tone. It’s funny, or tries to be, and there’s not much sense of danger. I’m never worried for the Joes. But Russ Heath was on board again drawing model sheets, so that’s a bright spot. Today’s artwork comes from a ridiculous episode called “That’s Entertainment,” where Cobra Commander kidnaps actor/comedian Jackie Love and decides he wants to make movies. Really, the less said, the better. (If you want to see the animated G.I. Joe take on the film industry, just watch “Lights! Camera! Cobra!”)
Jackie Love’s co-star is Fiona Diamond, and we see her in costume while they’re making a film. Here she is, with a fourth screen cap of her in civilian clothes for good measure. (Not surprising spoiler alert! The Baroness impersonates her!)
And here’s Heath’s model sheet. That’s pencil on paper drawn next to a photocopy. It’s noteworthy how much of the crispness of Heath’s detail and sharpness gets reduced when this design runs through the animation ringer. But that’s somewhat true of Heath’s designs for the Sunbow episodes as well.
Heath’s control over his line is stunning. If you don’t know much about his work, check out Fantagraphics’ Blazing Combat. Tell ’em the Internet sent you.
9 responses to “Russ Heath G.I. Joe art – Fiona Diamond”
The great Russ Heath’s artwork shines through far better in comic form, specifically issues #24 and #65 (inks only) of the Marvel series. Still, it’s nice to know that he worked on designing both the Sunbow and DIC cartoons. They can only be richer for having a true legend like Russ onboard.
Fun fact: A few of Heath’s old war comic stories were reprinted among other war stories in two issues of DC Comics’ Showcase series in 1964/65 under the title “G.I. Joe.” The stories were actually part of licensing from Hasbro to promote their new toy line.
Did Heath work on second season of DIC’s G.I. Joe? Asking because Sunbow era characters had completely different faces than in season 1 (those that had visible faces, that is).
Heath did not. Show credits list Donn Greer, Jim Janes, Pat Agnasin, Louis Police, and Stephanie Pyren-Fortel as character designers.
That explains why the second DIC season didn’t look as good. The faces and anatomy were much weaker. Also I suspect the animation budget decreased, because there was no shading. On the plus side we got brief glimpses of some of the characters that had seen so much development in the comic, like Road Pig.
Y’know, Tim, you never did review Retaliation for us 🙂
True. Okay, I’ll start writing it tonight.
i just discovered heath-he drew a one shot for Mad way back when and i wondered who the dude was-he was trying to emulate Kurtzman and it looked nothing like his great realistic style!
No wonder the art in the first DIC season was still pretty good! It had Russ Heath model sheets!