Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Joy of G.I. Joe

The 80s had the best toys and the best cartoons. And more often than not, the two were connected. A few meddling people saw these cartoons as nothing more than 30-minute commercials. As a youngster I asked myself what we wrong with that? I still don't see the problem. Ironically many of those same people champion and applaud certain shows that are nothing more than 30-minute or 60-minute commercials for their political and subversive propagandas, but that's a subject for another post.

One of my favorites was G.I. Joe. I've never been a fan of military anything (unless it's World War I) so it's funny I liked G.I. Joe so much. Rewatching those shows now as an adult, I realize they weren't military at all but science fiction. Cobra always had some outlandish base in an exotic corner of the world and used some science fiction McGuffen to blackmail the world, and G.I. Joe would use their scientifically advanced vehicles and weapons to stop them. This was good science fiction filled with interesting characters and exotic locals. I love shows that travel to exotic locations.

The 80s were also the era of the ninja, and G.I. Joe had their ninja, Storm Shadow. Most of the time he worked for the bad guys, but from time to time his honor would require him to assist G.I. Joe. He was always left mysterious and in the shadows with little exploration of his background, and that just made him cooler. I know a lot of people want a full back story on all characters with "character development" (a term people use without really understanding what it means), but that really limits your story options and turns a tale into a factory churned out yawnfest.

I've been wanting to have Storm Shadow meet the Wandering Koala for a while and finally got around to it. The figures were drawn with a Staedlter pencil and then inked with my Japanese Brush Pen. I created the dojo in Adobe Photoshop and colored the characters in Corel Painter.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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