G.I. Joe #200 Review

Detail, altered, Larry Hama sketch cover to G.I. Joe #200

I wanted two things out of this anniversary:  One, a big fight with lots of characters.  More like issue #50 than #100 and #150 — a large-scale choreography of people and vehicles over geography.  And issue #200 checked that box.  Two, I wanted guest artists and back-up stories.  I didn’t get this, but I’m still a happy reader.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Comics Reviews

Community, “G.I. Jeff” Review

Community Season 5 Episode 11, “G.I. Jeff” (airdate 04-03-2014)

Community "G.I. Jeff" screencap

If I hadn’t seen any of this series, this special episode would have bounced off me like a lot of G.I. Joe satires (the unfunny Fox ADHD “Cobra’s March Madness Bracket” skit, for one) — they get some things right, some things wrong, and don’t stay with me.  But I’ve seen season 1 of Community, and love it, which helped set the stage for the bigger concept (Jeff Winger is in denial about the parts of his life he doesn’t like) as well as a bunch of smaller jokes (Abed’s codename as “Fourth Wall.”)  In a sentence, this was both a good parody of G.I. Joe as well as a great episode of Community.  That’s a hard balance to strike. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under General Musings

Toy Trade News – Feb 1982

Toy Trade News, 17 Feb 1982

This industry publication is a fun time capsule because it was published after G.I. Joe debuted at Toy Fair 1982, but before the product really started hitting shelves.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art

G.I. Joe and Jem have something in common and his name is Jon M. Chu

The news broke late Thursday night that G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu is directing a film adaptation of Hasbro and Sunbow’s Jem doll and cartoon.

A Real American Book! editor Nick Nadel wonders if it might be an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.  I’m surprised and pleased.  With so much great talent on the Jem animated series — talent we know and love from the animated G.I. Joe — it’s hard not to like the show, even if has its silly moments.  And clearly, just as G.I. Joe spoke to a whole swath of kids, so too did Jem.  And it deserves a new lease on life as much as any ’80s property, and I would see a Jon M. Chu Jem movie even though I didn’t watch the show when I was 8.  Let’s remember that Chu also directed two Step Up films and two Justin Bieber documentaries, so he’s got range.  Chu tweeted “Joe script is getting REALLY fun just taking alittle longer.I need it 2b perfect so decided 2try &fit a crazylittle movie in”  So there’s Jem news and an update on the third G.I. Joe film.

Particularly of note is the novel way in which Chu and producers Jason Blum and Scooter Braun are using social media.  If I read a text press release, I’d frown, but seeing these three principles explaining the process themselves and doing so in an enthusiastic way has me convinced.  Thoughts from readers?

5 Comments

Filed under G.I. Joe live action films

Russ Heath “Cubby” model sheet

Cubby animation model detail by Russ Heath, GI Joe "Cold Shoulder"Ho boy.  It’s difficult to discuss the 1989-1991 G.I. Joe animated series without stirring up strong emotions.  Pop culture recognizes the fun of the 1983-1987 series, whether it be Cobra Commander’s voice, the Public Service Announcements, or all the property damage.  And dig a little deeper, and you get superb voice acting, smart writing, and strong characterization.  And of course, action!  But these are not as present in the later episodes.  Artist extraordinaire Russ Heath, who designed the animation character models for the Marvel/Sunbow episodes, did come back for most of that second round, but the change in tone and lower production budget didn’t treat his design work as well.  The DIC run is hard to watch.  Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Animation, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes

Merrill Hassenfeld Obituary, 1979

Merrill Hassenfeld obit detail

Here’s an item that’s a little different than the art artifacts I usually show…  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art

G.I. Joe Retaliation – A Real American Book! Podcast Episode #01

Tim Finn GI Joe Retaliation podcast

Today we’ve got something different and special if last week’s text review of the theatrical cut of G.I. Joe: Retaliation wasn’t enough to sate your critical appetite. Late last year my friend and editor Nick Nadel sat down with me to discuss the ups and downs of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Best Buy Exclusive Extended Action Cut.  We chatted for 2 hours, so this 37.5 minute cut represents (hopefully) me trimming the fat from the meat while still keeping the steak understandable.  Note: spoilers abound, and someone says the s-word at the very end.  We had a great time, and I Ioved putting on my editor’s cap, so when there’s time we’d like to record another.  Let me know what you think in the comments, and spoilers will probably pop up there, so there’s your light warning.  Download or stream.

Download 90.2MB mp3, 37 min 33 sec:

ARealAmericanBook_podcast_ep01

Stream:

Leave a comment

Filed under G.I. Joe live action films, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra