G.I. Joe “Fan Art” Exploding in Popularity

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In regards to this exciting rendering of Bulletman, talented GIjOE artist RM73 stated, “I did most of this on the train today and colored it at home. It’s a quick drawing of my favorite toy as a child. I carried Bulletman with me everywhere I went!” (Artwork by RM73)

A lack of leadership creates a vacuum. And apparently, a LOT of great artwork!

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This stunning illustration of the Baroness is QUITE eye-catching. Schwing! (Artwork by Doberdog) Click to enlarge.

We’ve discussed the work of GIjOE’s commercial artists many times before here on The Joe Report. Surprisingly however, famous artist/illustrators such as 1960s vintage packaging artist Sam Petrucci, 1970s Adventure Team illustrator Don Stivers, and 1990s Classic Collection artist Larry Selman are but a few of the many talents behind GIjOE’s ongoing visual legacy.

We’ve also covered the high-end market of GIjOE “fine art” (see article HERE) where GIjOE action figures are regularly depicted as the subject matter in oil paintings and other such works in museums.

But now there’s a third category: The artwork of FANS. For years, fans have been producing superb paintings, fiction stories, photo comics, 3D dioramas, etc., all noncommissioned and uncompensated, simply for the “LOVE OF GIjOE.” Despite being largely unheralded, fan art continues to grow in popularity, producing more and more astounding work—without ANY supervision or recognition from Hasbro!

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Clearly a labor of love by uber-talented artist and fan, Dusty Abell,”Action Figures of the Classic Seventies” features many Adventure Team members and vehicles. SUPERB! (Artwork: Dusty Abell)

Since all of this new GIjOE artwork is being created by fans, other fans are the first to see and admire it. For example, “eagle-eyed” Field Reporter, Barry Vedros, first spotted the outstanding work of artist and fan, Dusty Abell, and excitedly exclaimed:

“I’ve been checking out this guy Dusty Abell’s artwork over on DeviantArt. Holy crap! He has our generation nailed with his tributes. Check out the one above called ‘Action Figures of the Classic Seventies.’ GIjOE gets his fair credit in this one for sure!”

Joe's nemesis gets his own "15 minutes of fame" in "GIjOE: Pygmy Gorilla: Warhol. (Artwork by Sean Eley)

Joe’s nemesis gets his own “15 minutes of fame” in “GIjOE: Pygmy Gorilla: Warhol. (Artwork by Sean Eley)

All of this new GIjOE-inspired artwork can also be viewed as an attempt by frustrated fans at “brand resuscitation.” As the old adage states, “A lack of leadership creates a vacuum,” and that’s clearly what’s been happening at Hasbro for years. Without new “official” product output or guidance from GIjOE’s creators, many fans are asking themselves, “What do we do NOW?”

Well, in ever greater numbers, Joeheads are turning to their own creativity for answers. Some choose to sketch. Maybe just for ideas of new custom figures or vehicles. Some make videos, websites or club newsletters. Others go even further and paint or sculpt original works. Still more are writing short stories, expounding on the vast, untapped universe of Adventure Team, RAHs, and other well-known Joe-characters. A few artistic fans, such as Sean Eley, go so far as to combine original artwork or photographs with original storylines; creating their own comic books, slide-show photo stories or other genres of GIjOE-centric fan fiction.

Taken as a whole, the resulting variety and amount of new creative works inspired by and featuring GIjOE (and his foes) is literally staggering. In future articles, we’ll be discussing the rise in popularity of photo stories (both electronic and on paper), books, newsletters and other paper ephemera. But for now, here are some more great examples of GIjOE “fan artwork”…

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Full-blown comic art featuring the Adventure Team in “GIjOE and the Peril at the Temple of Dreams.” (Story and artwork by Sean Eley)

This closeup of Eley's work may remind fans of the old Peter Pan story book and record sets from the 1960s. It has that same sort of "retro" appeal. (Artwork by Sean Eley)

This closeup of Eley’s work may remind fans of the old Peter Pan story book and record sets from the 1960s. It has that same sort of “retro” appeal. And you can tell Sean’s a real Joe fan. Note his use of authentic props such as the backpack field radio w/handset and the venerable .50 cal machine-gun.
Great attention to detail. (Artwork by Sean Eley)

Closeup panel from one of Sean Eley's Adventure Team-inspired comics. (Artwork by Sean Eley(

Closeup panel from one of Sean Eley’s Adventure Team-inspired comics. (Artwork by Sean Eley)

This fine piece combines the feel the Adventure Team and Jonny Quests robot spider. COOL!

This fine piece combines characters and scenes from both the Adventure Team and Jonny Quest. Now we’re talking! (Artwork by Thomas Boatwright)

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We’d love to see more work from this fan-artist. His depiction of a grimacing, pith-helmeted Adventurer perfectly captures that exciting moment when a 6-wheel ATV hits the water. GRRR! Go JOE!
This is a great illustration. (Artwork by Frohickey)

This intriguing 3D Legos sculpture of a futuristic AT tank is as good as it gets. (Legos sculpt by Frohickey)

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The simple, cartoon-style of this fan’s work would be great for Adventure Team stories. (Artwork by Cal Slayton)

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This superb pencil sketch betrays the work of a die-hard fan and professional artist. How cool is this? (Drawing by Benito Gallego)

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The Adventure Team meets the Roswell Aliens. YES! (Artwork by Thomas Boatwright)

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Gallego’s work clearly deserves to be commissioned for an AT comic book. Hello? Hasbro? Are you seeing this? (Artwork by Benito Gallego)

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Joe meets the Giant Head. What next? (Artwork by Frohickey)

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The painstaking linear drawing style of this piece reveals the love and dedication of a true fan. (Drawing by ChrisgraphicsNow)

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Amazing character studies of Adventure Team members in a fan sketch called “GIjOE is a Manly Man.” Notice the tiny AT buckle on the hat band? Great detail! (Artwork by Johnny Turbo)

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The Adventure Team has their hands full fighting off a Hindu Goddess statue that’s come to life. (Artwork by Thomas Boatwright.)

Clearly the work of a professional AND a fan. Miss Scarlet never looked more deadly or beautiful. (Drawing by Adam Hughes)

This sketch of Miss Scarlet is clearly the work of a professional artist and huge GIjOE fan. Look at all the superb detail in that ammo belt, knife sheath, etc. (Drawing by Adam Hughes)

Bottom Line: This is only the tip of the iceberg. The work of “fan artists” can range from childhood scribbles to the astounding work of adult professionals. You could spend days and weeks searching the internet and never see all the amazing amateur work being done “in the name of Joe” around the world. However, if you’d like to try, we suggest you start by visiting art-posting sites such as Deviantart found HERE. Good luck and GO JOE!

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3 thoughts on “G.I. Joe “Fan Art” Exploding in Popularity

  1. marcos mendez says:

    Perfect soo cool

  2. Matt Pak says:

    I have a couple of old fan pics on my own web site here:

    and here:

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