Saturday

G.I.Joe - Arctic Cobra: part 5


I've been wanting to do this story for a while. I wanted to do a nostalgic photo story with some of the G.I.Joe from the eighties that I collected, read the comics and watched the cartoons for many years back then. I remember when they first came out in 1982 and I was thrilled and hooked from the get go. The small articulated figures with the character files printed on the back, the vehicles you had to put together, almost like a model kit, that included blueprints of each vehicle (I kept a file of all of those for years), the special mail-in offers using the points printed on the toys' packaging, through which I got the exclusive Cobra Commander figure that was unavailable in stores that first year, and the comics that came out from Marvel, as well as the commercials, that included a cartoon segment back in 1982, foreshadowing the cartoon mini-series that would air in 1983 (The MASS device), followed by two more and a regular cartoon series afterward, that I watched with a passion. I remember rushing back home from school to watch the first mini-series with all five episodes being aired in one week, one episode a day. There wasn't any way to record anything on TV back then, you either watched it when it aired or never (unless there were reruns down the road, but that could take more than a year). As for a winter story, well, I had missed the first issue of the comic, back in 1982, so the first G.I.Joe comic I got was Number 2: The Panic at the North Pole, starring Snake Eyes, Scarlet, Stalker and Breaker. The other G.I.Joe comic I remember fondly was issue Number 11: The Pipeline Ploy! that introduced the characters, toys and action figures of the second year, featuring Snow Job, Doc, Airborne, Wild Bill, Gung-Ho, the Battle Bear snowmobile and a sneak peak introduction of Destro, with his face hidden, before we knew who he was, until the figure came out in stores. I remember that time with a bit of nostalgia and can almost feel the excitement that I felt back then when the new toys and comics came out that year back in 1983, with the first cartoon mini-series that aired in September just after back-to-school. There was even a G.I.Joe club you could subscribe to and I did for the first two years, that included a military canvas belt, with the G.I.Joe logo engraved on the buckle, a newsletter with color pictures of figures demonstrating basic boot camp exercises, illustrations of basic military tactics, Morse code alphabet, stickers, special offers and the like. I even wrote in with a question or two and was answered back by someone at Hasbro, who signed as Colonel Clayton Abernathy (General Hawk, before the character was made a General) and wrote as though he was Hawk, which was cool, I have to admit. I kept collecting, reading, watching, playing and making slide shows, with miniature sets, using a 35mm old fashion camera (no digital cameras back then, not for another couple of decades, but my interest faded after the fifth year, I think, and it was never as strong as it had been that second year back in 1983.

I had 1:6 scale figures of Snake Eyes, Destro and Cobra Commander, that I customized, and I had to kit-bash Snow Job, Alpine and the Cobra troopers. Sea Adventurer was ideal for Snow Job, since both characters have red hair and beard. I picked Alpine instead of Stalker, mostly because the word "stalker", even as a call-name, grew a very, almost exclusively, pejorative connotation in later years, that wasn't present when they created the character back in 1982, that and Alpine, being a Mountain Trooper, would be an appropriate choice in the arctic, even if there weren't large mountains, per say, in my story. I created some dialogue, especially at the end, that were in line with Snow Job's character, as he had pulled a con job on Rock-n-Roll in issue 11 of the old comics of 1983. I wanted a fun nostalgic little action story that would be reminiscent of the tone, the cartoons had back in the eighties. I'm happy with it and this was a lot of fun to do and nostalgic. I miss that time in some way, so this is as close as I can get to relive some of the excitement I experienced then with those toys, comics and cartoons (which inspired some of the comic book projects I created during that time and afterwards), even if I was getting a bit old for that then, being in early adolescence, my earlier childhood having been filled with the Adventure Team, after all. I intend to do a couple more of those types of photo stories this summer. I'm working on figuring out which figures I can customize to match some of the eighties G.I.Joe characters. So far, I think I might make one story with Snake Eyes (my all time favorite), Clutch, Lady-Jaye and Recondo.

Thanks for looking,
Backyard Adventurer

No comments: