As previously mentioned here, in the mid-’80s freelance artist Dave Dorman painted fully rendered presentation pieces of characters already sketched out by figure designer Ron Rudat. These were internal-only to Hasbro, and not intended as package art or for public consumption. Even at this stage, a Joe or Cobra could still get nixed. From 1986, here is an idea for a Dreadnok that didn’t make it further. Note the misspelled name. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Dave Dorman
Today’s art post is the complete sculpt input (i.e. “turnaround”) for the 1988 Hydro-Viper. Again for casual or non-fans, let’s start with a photo (by me, not my fancy book photographer) of the production figure for a baseline comparison.
Here’s George Woodbridge’s turnaround. Such a crisp and clean line, and a deft spotting of blacks.
Note that the figure is referred to as “Cobra Frogman,” so “Hydro-Viper” hadn’t yet cleared Legal.
Woodbridge’s association with G.I. Joe is limited. He drew most of the ’88 inputs, and did many of the Hasbro-internal figure presentation paintings that Dave Dorman and Bart Sears didn’t around 1988. Writer Mark Evanier wrote a short biography of Woodbridge in 2004 when the artist passed away. You can find it here, but if you want a shorter version, I’ll just throw out the terms “Mad Magazine” and “military and historical illustration.” In the near future I’ll show a few more pieces like this here, and in the not-near future I’ll have Woodbridge’s Crazylegs (a Joe paratrooper) color piece in my book.
Here are three sheets of the Hydro-Viper’s accessories, drawn by Bart Sears. In toys, Sears is known for designing Hasbro’s C.O.P.S. In comics, Sears drew Justice League Europe and has recently penciled some Conan and Indiana Jones for Dark Horse. Of note here is the ray, the most bizarre of all animals that any G.I. Joe figure came packaged with.
Today’s post reveals some development artwork for the 1990 Cobra Rock-Viper. First, a not-great photo by me of the production toy to serve as a baseline for all you casual fans.
Interesting to note this Cobra soldier, of which there were many (rather than a specific individual like Destro or Gristle) has a moustache. So I guess graduates from training school had a facial hair requirement?
First up is Dave Hasle’s sculpt input drawing for the Rock-Viper’s backpack:
A black and white photocopy (probably of a color photocopy and not a chrome) of Dave Dorman’s internal presentation painting:
Note above and below there’s no moustache. Here’s the pencil sketch of what will become the final package painting. I’m attributing this to Hector Garrido:
Here’s the almost complete layout of the cart front and back, in b+w photocopy form, with Garrido’s drawing now a finished painting:
I don’t have a color copy of the painting or a full blister card (any readers want to help?) so this cropped close-up from my dossier and the tiny back-of-package thumbnail of Garrido’s final painting will have to do for comparison.
If you didn’t read this above, check it out here. Dossier writer Larry Hama’s sense of humor on display.
My book can’t contain all the sketches, drawings, paintings, designs, photos, and layouts that went into making even a single G.I. Joe toy product. But what it aims to do is present a juicy slice of that material, much of it never seen publicly, and to put it in context. Today’s image has been seen publicly, posted at HissTank two years back, but as a slightly fuzzy, cropped photo rather than a crisp scan. So today I present to you Dave Dorman’s stunning 1986 presentation painting for the 1987 Cobra Ice Viper figure.
Dorman is best known for his Star Wars book and comic book cover art, but was freelancing for Hasbro in the mid-1980s. In addition to these internal presentation paintings — a different category than the painted art seen on the final G.I. Joe toy packaging — Dorman also did covers for the Lorimar-published G.I. Joe Magazine that ran from ’87 to ’88. A recent coffee table book published by Desperado through IDW, Rolling Thunder: The Art of Dave Dorman, features a few pages of G.I. Joe art.