GI Joe Lucky 7

July 24, 2009

Well this weekend is San Diego Comic Con, although there are those among us who say it’s time for them to drop the “comic” bit since the show is almost anything but comics. That’s a whole other discussion.

For me though this is the week that the first issue of my run on the regular Joe series hits the stands. With issue 07 I take over the drawing chores from Robert Atkins, but don’t worry, he’ll be back with issue 13.

One thing some of the fans have been asking for, is a more realistic approach to military equipment and environments. So I decided that would be my focus, as opposed to other artists who’ve worked a more sci-fi angle on their art. I tried to keep the technology more recognizable, being no more than 10 years ahead of its time, when I can. A lot of what you’ll see my issues will have a look and/or feel similar to that of concept cars at an auto show, the neat gadget designs you might find in “Wired” magazine, or on the “Future Weapons” TV show. I wanted it to feel grounded in reality, but still hi-tech. I don’t want the equipment to be so fantastic to the reader that it feels it’s happening on a parallel world or something. I always want there to be a hint of “it could exist”,  so I tried to set that tone early on. At the start Cover Girl is in transport to the Joe base, I took the opportunity to really set in motion the idea that these guys are part of our current military, top secret, but still part of it. To do that, the basic stuff had to be more realistic, so this page shows equipment most people can recognize. It includes things we see on the news from our war zones, with Hummer trucks, and Black Hawk copters, to basic uniforms and huts.

Gi Joe 07 pg 04

With that set up, I have a platform to establish more advanced technology for the Joes, but I didn’t want to take it too far. As in this scene with a slightly redesigned Shipwreck, we see his small transport submarine. My design for it is really an amalgam of several concept subs I found while doing research, with a bit of artistic license taken to give it a “shark” like appearance. I was so happy to find it wasn’t colored in yellow when it came back.

GI Joe 07 pg 10

Lastly, I wanted the characters to be individuals, not just while in costume, but also in their posture, manners, and physical traits. One thing I always related to about Snake Eyes was the “outsider” feelings he seemed to have. Never fitting in with the group, and never to be loved because of how he looks under the mask. When Mr. Dixon wrote this scene I really wanted the audience to feel what Snake Eyes was, especially how the last line of text hurt more than any of the scars on his body. To him it shouldn’t just be a simple sign off, but a slap in the face, which we can see in his eyes reflected in the polished glass of his phone. In that, we see he knows, what we know – it’ll never happen.

GI Joe 07_pg16

Hope everyone enjoys my take on the Joes, some have already pointed out that it’s a different feel than normally found on the book. Don’t know if that’s good or bad, but if you don’t like it, hang in there. Robert will be bringing his wicked art back to the show with issue 13. If you do like it, then hot damn!

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