119: “Gung-Ho” (v2). G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 6, 1987.

Let’s be honest here. As a KID, a 10 year old KID, this figure was fairly underwhelming. However, one bizarre/interesting thing is that he was one of the few (if only) figures that came with DECALS. For his arms and chest, for his decorations. Needless to say those did not last long on my copy of this figure. :(  As an ADULT (sorta) I appreciate this figure on a different level of course.

101: “A.V.A.C.”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

I was really looking forward to drawing this guy. He was always one of my favourites as a kid. I was lucky enough to have gotten the Cobra Terrordrome as a present, and this guy came with that giant beast of a play set. He piloted the Firebat plane that had folding wings and was concealed inside the dome. You could push a lever to raise it up and the dome on top opened it’s pie-piece-shaped flaps as it rose up. Pretty cool.

I was prompted to do a big art piece as the supplemental art for this guy actually (11x17 poster) which I will make available soon. I’ll also post the full view larger so you can see it all.  

Part of the inspiration that went into the Terrordrome / Firebat art is on A.V.A.C.’s file card where it says:  “Piloting a firebrat is somewhat akin to strapping yourself onto a cannonball.” Ha!!

117: “Lt. Falcon”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 6, 1987.

Back to basics on this guy. One of my most favourite figures. As a kid I loved the camouflage figures. I would specifically group them into teams to go on missions together. Technically on his file card he is just “Falcon” but he is indeed a 1st Lieutenant , and somewhere along the way I ended up always referring to him as Lt. Falcon.

Several of the friends I’ve made this year in the Joe world are con-goers and cosplayers and often take their costumes to the next level. One of those people is Carson Mataxis who is the man behind which is an amazing site and constant resource for this project of mine. Carson totally embodies Lt. Falcon, so this one’s going out to him.

109: “Thrasher.” G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

My best friend Paul and I used to have this on-going thought/joke that the green streaks in Thrasher’s hair were from him taking his hand and wiping his nose up his face and the slicking the snot back through his hair, hahaha. Ahh the minds of kids!

Thrasher came with another of my all-time favourite vehicle ever in the entire A.R.A.H. line: The THUNDER MACHINE. Talk about being dialed into the entire idea and aesthetic of everything the Dreadnoks are about! It looks like it was cobbled together with bits and pieces from a junkyard and then had a stolen jet engine welded onto the back. Hop in everyone!

What made this toy so awesome was the points of articulation (wing-style armored side doors, front wheels turned), the shape and lines of the design - it’s overall “look”, AND the fact that it had rubber wheels! Seems like maybe not a big deal, but I remember AS A KID EVEN just really appreciating those rubber wheels. It felt like it “upped the quality” for some reason.

104: “Motor Viper”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

This is one of my personal favourites too. The Motor Viper himself more so than the STUN vehicle. Regardless, both are amazing examples of how the design team was knocking it out of the park during 1986. Not just in design, I should say, but also the engineering of these vehicles.

The wheels on the STUN were actually rubber, which was totally awesome. In my opinion the best figures to put in the front split-seaters was the Crimson Guard Commander twins: Tomax and Xamot. It’s like they were meant to sit in those seats, I tell ya!

Anyways, I loved the design of the Motor Viper. Something about the simplicity and minimal colour palette and his strange and mysterious helmet all appealed to me. Also, as a strange sidetone, this guy reminds me of my Grama. I’m pretty sure it’s because she gave me the vehicle and figure when I was a kid. But maybe it’s because she drove a super bad-ass three-wheel split-seat gun on wheels.

You can see a closer look of the Cobra STUN side panel art on the “extra art” page on the GIJOE365 site:

118: “Fast Draw”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 6, 1987.

This guy was another one of my favourites. As you’ll discover (if you haven’t already), I am a sucker for cool masks and helmets. I liked Fast Draw’s visor design, a lot. Also this guy was seriously padded up. Likely because he had a freakin double rocket backpack strapped to him on hair triggers.

114: “Crazylegs”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 6, 1987.

Crazylegs’ filmcard is amazing and hilarious. This is the genius of Larry Hama, I guess, in that key details help us form the personality of the character and thusly influence our imaginations when we are playing with the figures as kids. For Crazylegs BACH was his jam. Johann Sebastian, that is. Crazylegs is a master organist, and drops into a hot LZ running into battle humming his favourite Bach jam.

As for the figure itself, he came with a pretty neat rubber parachute-style backpack that you could sort of “harness” him into, where it would wrap around his legs, etc. Only drag was it didn’t deploy anything, like a shoot, for example. However, under the backpack was sort of recessed, so I often hid a little weapon in there, or accessory or something.

107: “Slip-Stream”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

Slip-Stream came with he totally awesome Conquest X-30 jet. Such a cool design and colour palette! I plan on doing a full art poster version of the Conquest annnnnd a new animation! But I don’t have time right at the moment, but stay tuned!


New process video this time ANNOTATED. This is an annotated time lapse for my drawing of figure 079: the B.A.T.! This is sort of the “condensed” version, and I have an extended cut with more tidbits in it that I’ll release later.  See others on the VIDEOS PAGE of the website.

106: “Sgt. Slaughter (v2)”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

Sgt. Slaughter is modeled after the WWF Wrestler from back in the 80s. I am not exactly sure how this match-up came to be, but regardless, in the cartoon show he was brought in to “whip the Joes into shape” (he has a whistle around his neck, you see). Basically the Joe’s drill sergeant!

102: “Cross Country”. G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 5, 1986.

Cross Country drove the H.A.V.O.C. (Heavy Articulated Vehicle Ordnance Carrier) which was one of my favourite vehicles. It was definitely DIFFERENT, but I loved that. It had this single-seater scouting craft that was stowed in the back, and man I loved that thing. I have many many fond memories playing with this vehicle set.

Also, I created an “extra art” page on the website where you can see a closer look at the H.A.V.O.C. action art and other “side panel” pieces too.

027: “Cover Girl.” G.I. Joe “Real American Hero” Series 2, 1983.

I always figured I would end up marrying Cover Girl. As a 6-10yr old all I could think was “Any lady who drives a bad-ass vehicle like The Wolverine must ALSO be bad-ass.”

Anyways we aren’t married. Yet.

EDIT: I recently was informed by Kirk Bozigian that Cover Girl’s real name, Courtney, was chosen after his newborn daughter at the time they were creating the character!