Tag Archives: G.I. Joe original art

G.I. Joe Animation Art – “The Wrong Stuff”

GI Joe "The Wrong Stuff" animation cel detail

As much as I love G.I. Joe toys and comics, I was a fan of the animation first.  I went to school for animation, and teach it, and the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe (along with Transformers) are my top shows.  Vivid color, strong animation, smart writing, superb sound design, stellar music, and top-notch voice acting bring me back to these two series again and again.  They’re charming.  And their strengths are such that I can blissfully ignore their many flaws, like the ease with which a squad of Joes flies into space in F-14 jets, or return via parachute.

But Flint Dille and Stanley Ralph Ross’ “The Wrong Stuff,” for all its silliness, is one of the series’ best episodes.  One day I’ll write a long post about it, but in a word, it’s funny.  So let’s celebrate that fun with an original production cel and background of Wild Bill in full astronaut regalia.  Click for larger: Continue reading

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Battle Force 2000 Blocker sketch

GI Joe Battle Force 2000 Blocker Color detailYikes, has it been a month since my apology?  Here’s another:  Sorry!  Movie review coming soon.  Honest.

Dipping my toe back in the blog pool, here’s Blocker as a just-about final design, before he was “Blocker” (one of Hasbro’s least inspired codenames), when Battle Force 2000 was still “Future Force.”  Continue reading

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Unproduced G.I. Joe Vehicle – Borer

G.I. Joe Unproduced Borer by Andrei Koribanics close-upAndrei Koribanics freelanced for Hasbro in the mid-1980s.  Besides today’s Borer art, I’ve also come across a figure concept by him (that may end up in Chapter 14 of my book) and the presentation painting of Sgt. Slaughter’s Renegades (in Chapter 6).  Leaky Suit Brigade has a tiny interview with Koribanics, and should have a longer one up at some point. Continue reading

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Unproduced: Towed Artillery Missile System

Unproduced G.I. Joe vehicle concept, TAMS, 1984

Sorry for the delay in posting.  School starts and trips accrue in September.  To get back into it and take a break from “The Rotten Egg” and my exciting internship today we’ve got Rich Rossi’s color rendering of a vehicle concept, the Towed Artillery Missile System, which I’ll call the TAMS for short.  In all honesty I don’t know anything about it, so we’ll play the reasonable assumption game.

Concept art for Unproduced G.I. Joe vehicle, TAMS, 1984

Drawn in ’84, it would have been pitched for ’86 or ’87.  But often concepts would get shot down, only to resurface later, or inspire a later idea.  In 1988 a different vehicle showed up, the similarly monikered RPV, or Remote Pilot Vehicle — boy did the names not flow for these two.

G.I. Joe RPV vehicle 1988 catalog scan

I don’t wish to draw a straight line between them, that one inspired the other, but it’s safe to say they both filled a specific price point, play pattern, and concept.  But notably the TAMS seats no driver and carries no figure, even by precarious foot peg.  And to further differentiate it from the RPV, by ’88 scale, detailing, and concepts were getting exaggerated and moving away from strict military realism.  The structure of the TAMS more resembles the detailing on earlier vehicles like the FLAK and the ASP, shown here.

G.I. Joe catalog scan details FLAK and ASP

There’s a stronger sense of parts and bolts and hardware, whereas the late ’80s styling smoothed out edges and surfaces.  Since these catalog scans aren’t too enlightening, here are links to much nicer photos of each, from the fine folks at yojoe: the FLAK, the ASP, and the RPV.

One thing’s for sure — Real American Hero had no shortage of small artillery accessories.  These were great for populating a small-scale battlefield with variety, even if they weren’t as much fun as “regular” vehicles like Jeeps and tanks, or as story-driving as a headquarters playset.

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Eco-Warriors Pirate Oil Baron

Unproduced Eco-Warriors Pirate Oil Baron detail by Kurt Groen

Before Cesspool became the lead villain for Cobra’s half of the 1991 Eco-Warriors subset, Kurt Groen pitched this unnamed character, a pirate oil baron.

Unproduced Eco-Warriors Pirate Oil Baron pencil art by Kurt Groen

I’m not sure what he’s dropping, something with a Joe logo — a pouch?  Spirit’s ponytail?  Later, when Groen colored this, he added a backpack with an oil-shooting weapon, looking ahead to the water-squirting weapons that each Eco-Warrior came packaged with.

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G.I. Joe Special Missions #21 cover art

G.I. Joe Special Missions 21 cover tease Wagner McCleod Not much to say about this, except that it hangs on my wall and is a wonderful piece by Ron Wagner and Bob McLeod.  It’s been great to see Wagner back on G.I. Joe at IDW, and there are twenty books from Marvel and DC I wish Bob McLeod were inking.  His talents are stellar, and it’s unfortunate he’s not active in the industry.  Click to enlarge:

G.I. Joe Special Missions 21 original cover art Ron Wagner and Bob McCleod

Part of the thrill of this image is that it pairs the obscure Spearhead (and his lynx, Max), who never showed up on the G.I. Joe cartoon and barely appeared in print, with the slightly higher profile Tunnel Rat and Airtight.  And it’s replete with mood, and just wonderful, wonderful spotted blacks.  Here’s a detail.

G.I. Joe Special Missions 21 original cover art detail Ron Wagner and Bob McCleod Here’s a great example (not from G.I. Joe) showing how much decision-making can go into inking.  McLeod’s website has numerous before and after examples, some where he maintains the style of the pencil artist, others where he’s given more leeway and adds much of himself.  And then another page of such examples.

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Russ Heath – Primord Chief

Russ Heath original art detail G.I. Joe "Satellite Down" Primord Lord

In this Ted Pedersen-written episode of G.I. Joe from 1985, “Satellite Down,” the Joes track a lost satellite to somewhere in an “unexplored region” of Africa.  There they meet a tribe of primitives called Primords, who worship the satellite as a god.  And Storm Shadow and Spirit fight!

Here’s Russ Heath’s original artwork (pencil on animation bond — I cropped out the punch holes) for one version, unused in the episode, for the Primord Chief.

Russ Heath original art G.I. Joe "Satellite Down" Primord Lord

The final design differs greatly from this drawing.  In the episode, the chief is covered in body hair, has no loincloth, hood, or cape, and less face paint.
G.I. Joe "Satellite Down" screencap Primord Lord

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