Designer-Illustrator, David Howard, wants to “Give Something Back” to G.I. jOE Community

Graphic Designer and Illustrator extraordinaire, David Howard, poses with a few of his reproduction and custom boxes, posters and other GIjOE-related artwork at the Joelanta 2012 show. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

David’s in-store poster perfectly captures that vintage GIjOE look. Click on all photos for closeups.  (Photo: David Howard)

Exclusive to The Joe Report…

GIjOE fan and collector, David Howard, is one of the nicest “Joeheads” you’ll ever meet. As a graphic designer and illustrator in Wimberley Texas, David keeps quite busy providing advertising and promotional materials to a variety of clients. When he’s not working to pay the bills, he starts working to, as he says, “give something back to the Joe-collecting community.”

For years now, David has been recreating some of GIjOE’s rarest old boxes. Not for mass production, but in very limited quantities for sale to a handful of lucky friends and fellow collectors. It’s been his unique way of “giving back” to those who’ve shared his love for Joes and the rest of the 1/6th scale universe. I caught up with David at this years Joelanta show, and as we chatted, David explained why he does what he does…

David’s reproduction Sears Exclusive boxes were quickly snatched up by collectors at this year’s Joelanta. (Photo: David Howard)

“Creating this stuff gives me a chance to give something back to the GIjOE-collecting community by using my artistic skill set of being a commercial artist and painter by trade. These projects are all done as a labor of love.

Look at the great painting on David’s “Infiltration” exclusive box made for the DFW Joe club. WOW! (Photo: David Howard)

For what original, vintage boxes cost (if you can find them in decent shape and for sale), most collectors can’t afford to buy them. So I recreated these Sears boxes to give collectors (like myself) a chance to enjoy their old packaging art once again. Even though my boxes are not exact reproductions, they’re close enough that we’re once again able to enjoy the look and feel of the originals. I create my work in very small runs and limited editions (25 to 50) because I hand-make them all by myself. They’re not for mass market.”

David doesn’t know this (until now), but there’s a poster on the wall right next to my computer, where I sit and work everyday. It features a closeup of a yelling AT Commander saying “Obey the Commander—Because Everyday is an Adventure.” I love that poster! As it turns out, it’s one of David’s creations as well. Turns out, in addition to his reproduction boxes, David has also produced graphics and illustrations for many other Joe-related projects. Here’s what he told me…

David’s stunning “High Rescue” helicopter pilot box was also created as an exclusive for the DFW Joe club. (Photo: David Howard)

“I have also created a lot of custom packaging, logos and artwork for The National GIjOE club, local Joe clubs, Adventurer Tours and individual collectors. Last year, in addition to the Sears exclusive boxes, I created a custom box design and painting for Adventurer Tours’ exclusive Navy Talker and the DFW GIjOE Club’s exclusive Infiltration set. That was my third custom box for the DFW club.

David’s “International Espionage” box for the DFW club. (Photo: David Howard)

My goal on most boxes is to simulate the style of the original artwork, be it the Adventure Team era or the military era; but with new subject matter. I also created the “Obey The Commander” poster which was originally introduced in the GIjOE club newsletter as a smaller fold-out poster featuring the Adventure Team Commander on one side and Cobra Commander on the other.

David’s stunning reproduction of the Bulletman card. (Photo: David Howard)

Most recently, for Joelanta 2012, I created the exclusive Bulletman Bubble Card Packaging for DOB (Defenders of Bulletman). I’ve been collecting Joes seriously since 1983 and really enjoy the hobby, so creating the artwork is simply an extension of that enjoyment. I love to see collectors embrace the work I’ve done.”

Bottom Line: David continues to “give back to the GIjOE community” on a regular basis. And for that, his fellow collectors are eternally grateful. Thanks for all you do, David. Keep up the great work. We can’t wait to see what’s coming next! If you’d like to reach David, he’d be happy to hear from you and requests that you contact him via email at


2 thoughts on “Designer-Illustrator, David Howard, wants to “Give Something Back” to G.I. jOE Community

  1. marcos mendez says:

    Im glad to read this article i hope you come and visit puerto rico.

  2. gordonmayfield says:

    David’s a very talented artist and a super nice guy! He does great work. Thank you David, and thank you Mark for these wonderful articles.

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