In the 1980s Sunbow Productions, based in New York but with an office in Los Angeles, oversaw production of the animated G.I. Joe cartoon. Because the show was so intensive — dozens of characters, props, vehicles, and locations, the show bible and “briefing books” were by necessity large three-ring binders filled with photocopies of model sheets, sample dialogue, photos of toys, and lists of names. All in an effort to properly and correctly feature and advertise Hasbro’s product. Today’s post is two photocopies of memos to the west coast producers and story editors, likely from Terri Gruskin in NY.
You may find posts like this — without artwork, or imagery of characters or people — to be dry. But I find such documents fascinating. In this case because it’s a reminder that the whole process was a series of revisions and rolling changes. And even though the memo is unsigned, it’s a concrete document showing a decision being made, and representing the dissemination of that decision.
Also, mid ’84 appears to be when Tomax and Xamot’s names were finalized. (Without Hasbro documents it would be unfair to call this definitive, but presumably there wasn’t a lag between the decision in Pawtucket and the directive in Los Angeles.) It’s notable that the TV ad for Marvel Comics’ G.I. Joe issue #37 (printed in spring 1985, but the ad was in the works 6 to 12 months prior) refers to them only as “evil twin brothers,” so their names were in flux while (presumably) Legal cleared them.