2017 marked the 30th Anniversary of GI Joe the Movie! This animated feature followed on the heels of Transformers the Movie and featured the all-star talent of Don Johnson (as Lt. Falcon), Burgess Meredith (Golobulus) and Sgt. Slaughter! Being a pretty big Joe fan, I remember it well and enjoyed parts of it (The opening credits sequence) more than others (Cobra-La)!
Being the 30th Anniversary, I decided to focus any GI Joe sketches I collected in 2017, on the movie! There are a few I didn't get to but a few others that I lucked out on!
Cobra Commander's look has always stood out in the cartoon and there's a scene at the beginning of the movie, in Serpentor's throne room, where the Commander's wearing a cape. That look was great and that went to the top of my want list! I was able to get Brian Sheerer (of the IDW GI Joe run) to do this one for me and it came out great!
Next, I went to Sean Forney, who I've been lucky to get some killer art from, and gave him a challenge! I wanted a Trouble Bubble! basically a seat with engines, a canopy and weapons! Sean not only stepped up, he knocked it out of the park!
It dawned on me while I was working on this that I've never gotten a sketch of anyone in a GI Joe jet pack (or JUMP from the toy line)! Well, pretty much the entire team wore them in the opening credits of the movie, so I talked with Brian and Brendon Fraim who delivered Duke looking like a Real American Hero!
Next up was my excuse to get a real kick ass looking Beachhead! I wanted this one to really stand out because Beachhead is a favorite of mine and an A-list Joe! Although artist Joe Pekar is known for his good-girl style art, I've chatted with him enough to know that he doesn't mind drawing a little macho and since he's a fan of 1st person shooter video games, I knew he'd deck him out in cool gear! Joe Pekar did me one better and gave me a battle damaged Beachhead, ready to stay in the fight!
Moving on to Beachhead's "Rawhides" gave me great excuses to pick up some art of characters that I like but wouldn't normally go crazy over. Jinx was a free sketch by James Giar at a Free Comic Book Day event! They were supposed to be head sketches but he wasn't busy and wanted to know if I cared if he used some water colors! As you can see, he had a great time working on her!
My longest surviving friend, Eric, was excited about a sketch he was getting from local artist Lee Xopher so I thought I'd give him a try! As you can see I ended up with a cocky looking Chuckles, which fits the character perfectly!
When I was working on ideas for this little theme I tried to come up with ideas of who to have draw some of these characters. I've gotten a few pieces from Nate Lovett, who's a super guy and a heck of an artist! His style is somewhat animated and very colorful so I really wanted to include him but I wasn't happy with any of my ideas for him. Then I remembered that Nate has done a bunch of work for Paw Patrol and I couldn't pass up the chance to have him do Law and Order! He did them in his own style and the two couldn't look more ready to jump into battle!
In all honesty, in my years of collecting GI Joe art, I've never planned to get a sketch of Big Lob! He was great in the movie but never appeared again and never showed up in the comics, which I was more into. I got kind of excited about adding him to this collection and wanted his sketch to be dynamic and in color. It just so happens that Scoot McMahon fits those criteria and drew me Big Lob in the midst of battle!
I've had the chance to meet and chat some with Pat Quinn, who's done some work on GI Joe comics for IDW, any art I've gotten from him has always been dead on! I thought he might have fun working on Tunnel Rat but I had no idea! The detail on this piece is unreal! You'd think he went into some wet, creepy tunnel to reference it! Fun note, the Tunnel Rat action figure came with a huge M60 machine gun, which has always drove me nuts because he could never carry such a massive weapon into the small spaces he's known for crawling around. So after I contacted Pat Quinn about this sketch I asked him NOT to draw him with the M60, which he was already referencing for my sketch! The tactical shotgun he switched to makes me much happier!
Sgt Slaughter and his Renegades! I have always enjoyed these characters and wished they would have been used more often! This Sgt Slaughter I picked up at Free Comic Book Day from Robert Walland! Taurus is from FCBD by Rick Lozano! Red Dog is from a different FCBD event by Martin Egeland! I'm so glad I picked these up and added these characters to my ranks!
My favorite Renegade has always been ex-Cobra Viper, Mercer! I wanted to do something more for my Mercer sketch and hit up my long-time friends, Comfort Love and Adam Withers. Adam jumped on it and then ran even further with it! He turned Mercer into an Arnold Schwarzenegger stand in on Arnold's Commando movie poster! It's perfect in every way! Mercer was basically a bad 80's action hero and the job Adam did makes me wonder why he never got his own movie! The best!
This brings us to Cobra-La! As a kid I was never a fan of the fantasy based, bug themed group of Cobras. As an adult I never saw a reason to change my mind and was always quick to say I would never own any artwork of Cobra-La! I was wrong. I couldn't honestly think of getting sketches spotlighting characters from GI Joe the Movie and not include Cobra-La! It was actually fun to think outside of the box on this one!
Pythona is definitely my favorite part of Cobra-La. She was tough and cool and broke into a Terror Drome in like 10 seconds flat! This sketch I happened upon online by artist Matthew Campbell who was drawing cartoon characters for Ink-tober! Pythona hadn't been sold so I picked her up for my collection!
Golobulus was only cool because he was voiced by Burgess Meredith. My good friend, Popa pointed out artist Travis Hart's artwork and it was clear he had a thing for monsters! I asked him about drawing Golobulus and he knew him as soon as he saw my reference. Obviously, it was meant to be!
Nemesis Enforcer was kind of cool, big bat wings, blades on his arms and no one could stop him but he just grunted and killed people. When I asked local artists Landon and Brandon Franklin if they'd draw him for me they got excited! Then I got excited when I got this sketch of Nemesis Enforcer, complete with a dead soldier in his hand!
So, I went from wanting no Cobra-La art to owing this gem! I've known former Kenner/Hasbro toy designer, Aaron Archer, since way before he worked in the toy industry. I've gotten some art from him but he always complains that he wants to do something more for me than a "con sketch." When I was putting together these ideas, I asked Aaron if he would draw a Cobra-La character for me because I know he has a talent for drawing monsters and fantasy characters. I told him he could draw whoever, it was up to him. Aaron took this as his opportunity to draw me that "something more" piece we'd always discussed and I don't have the words to describe it! First of all, it's giant! Aaron claims it got away from him a little! It's ALL of Cobra-La, about to invade, and they're not friendly about it! The detail and depth are insane! The designs of the characters are fantastic! You really have to see it to believe it! Oh! And Aaron made prints of it! So, if you see him at a show or signing, you can grab a copy for yourself! But this one's mine!
YO JOE! Here's to the next 30 years of GI Joe!