Tag Archives: G.I. Joe issue #1

Behind the scenes of G.I. Joe – Marvel Issue #1, 1982

Sorry for the missing weeks.  Things have been crazy, but I’m back on schedule with more art, memories, and anecdotes.

Today’s post is a photocopy of Herb Trimpe’s pencils to Marvel Comics’ G.I. Joe issue #1, cover dated March 1982.  Click to enlarge.

Original pencil art by Herb Trimpe for "G.I. Joe" issue #1, March 1982

Trimpe clearly put a lot of effort into this, as evidenced by the distinct facial types, lush backgrounds, and dense spotting of blacks.

Here’s the page as printed, now with inks by Bob McLeod and colors by Glynis Oliver.  Notice how much McLeod has redrawn and softened the organic stuff.

"G.I. Joe" issue 1 pg06, as printed, March 1982, Trimpe/McLeod/Wein.

When Marvel issued its G.I. Joe Volume 1 graphic novel in 2002 (reprinted more recently by IDW Publishing as Classic G.I. Joe Volume 1), a friend re-read the issues contained therein — #s 1-10, and made an observation.  He remarked that early G.I. Joe was very much a weird Marvel ’70s-post Silver Age comic book, what with Trimpe’s Kirby faces and invented Kirby technology.  That it didn’t become the familar ’80s G.I. Joe we know until late in or after the first year.  (Issue 6 is another good example, with the Joes building a weird desert dune buggy.)  Just look at the tech framing on the top and bottom of panel 1, and the computer in panels 4 and 5.  And not that it carries through to the inks, but look at Austin’s cheekbone in panel 3 — a Kirby line! — and his eyes as well.

What other artistic influences do you see?

-Tim

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