The 2012 Joelanta Show is now officially over and by all accounts was a tremendous success. With its large crowds, dealers galore, amazing dioramas, cool custom figures, fun-for-all activities, contests and entertainment, this was clearly the “show of shows” for GIjOE fans.
Thankfully, throughout the 3-day event, everyone remembered that after all was said and done, this was a non-profit show held entirely for the benefit of the Cody Lane Foundation (CLF). Fortunately, if the Joelanta Show continues to be such a great success, the reality of a future Cody Lane Diorama Museum is becoming all the more possible.
Of course, there will be many other first-person accounts of this event on various forums and websites around the internet, so rather than repeat what you’ll read there, I’ll try to recount a few unique and varied stories of the specific collectors, customizers and other interesting “Joeheads” I encountered during my stay in Atlanta.
For example, one of the GIjOE hobby’s premier superfans, Ace Allgood. had come all the way from Minnesota for the show. When he appeared in the lobby for the first time, Ace’s many friends instantly flocked to his side. Vigorous handshakes and even some hugs followed. Strangers and casual acquaintances too, couldn’t resist being drawn over near his “circle.” There’s no denying the man’s outgoing, magnetic personality. Add to all that, Ace’s reputation of generosity and vast knowledge of GIjOE minutia have made him a veritable “pillar” of the GIjOE collecting community.
Later that evening, Ace continued to demonstrate his giving spirit as he placed the highest, winning bid of $400 for a series of four original GIjOE “pop art” paintings generously donated by artist Trevor Hopkins. Of course, all of the money raised went directly to the CLF and Ace received a rousing round of applause from the crowd for his kindness.
On Sunday, during the big show and sale, Ace manned his dealer’s booth while making generous sales and swaps, even giving away free samples of his new little GIjOE pins (thanks again!). Then, after the show, hours after all the others had left, he lingered behind, slowly loading up his Joes, clearly reluctant to leave.
In the end, Joelanta 2012 had dwindled down to just Ace, myself and a few other forlorn fans, sitting amongst all the debris and detritus of a vast, empty ballroom. Of course, as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” And Joelanta 2012 had clearly been one of those “GOOD” things. But sadly now, it too, had come to an end…