Posted 18/03/2013 by Axel in Columns

G.I. Joe Special #1: “Knowing Is Half The Battle”

In a moment of uncontrollable enthusiasm I proposed my Brainfreeze editors to make a G.I. Joe Special. The ideas are there: I would write a piece about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (a film which I genuinely appreciate), would babble a bit about the comics, write a thing or two about the animated series, add some pictures of the toys…
I even planned an interview with Mark Bellomo, writer of the Illustrated Guide To Vintage G.I. Joe (the “Joe-Bible”). 2278_61626596317_883_nAs a child I was a big fan of Action Force, the European variant of the Joes. I would thus also like to tell a personal story about how I sold the most of those toys to a toy dealer in Ghent (who told me they had lost their value) for the proverbial dime. Making these specials really isn’t that hard.

Ideas are strange things for me, they come afloat constantly without a clear structure. What is worse, they keep haunting me until I make them a reality. Because I have to admit, now I kind of realize I knew too little about the series.

Sometimes my ideas are odd little monsters, they pop up without any structure and they remain popping up until I do something with them.

Well, suffice to say, I got a “go for it” from my editor, and I started my “Search For G.I. Joe” (a working title at that time).

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero, is a big license with side roads in comics, movies, cartoons, toys… But there is even more, much more. It was mega collector Gary Head’s email that changed everything. In his answers to my questions he tells me why he is a fan, but with so much emotion, so much passion…
After a few readings it comes to me I will have to step it up. I want to honor the G.I. Joe community. And like that, something that started out as a simple special changed into something of colossal proportions.

Will you know everything about G.I. Joe after this series of specials? No, of course not, but if I succeed in making you want get into the Real American Heroes and their ongoing war against Cobra, The Enemy, I will be a very happy man.

We will not approach the series from their content, Wikipedia and tens of other specialized Joe-sites will help you with that. No, we are going to take a look at everyone and everything keeping this franchise alive. We talk with the all knowing superfan, the salesman, the toy fanboy, the action figure reviewer, the toy expert, the archivists and – if the stars are aligned right – the author himself. Together, we are going to search for the success of G.I. Joe and the passion it incites in people.

trimpe1Knowing is half the battle…

But I am rushing things. I don’t email Gary Head because we are intimate friends; after all, first I have to do a bit of research. I have to start somewhere, and “somewhere” always means Google. After a bit of looking around I get to the Dutch speaking G.I. Joe fansite, here I place an add: can somebody help me? Nope, apparently not.

Let’s go international then. I have a friend on Facebook called Kokomo Toys, they focus on, amongst others, G.I. Joe. What do I have to lose? I send them a message.

In the second episode we talk with Kokomo Toys, and start our quest for real. YO JOE!!!!

But let’s start with the still classic intro to G.I. Joe: The Movie. The special continues on Wednesday...

I would also like to give a special thank you to my editor Arno for helping me with this massive undertaking.




Et alors?