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Back This: Collecting the Art of G.I. Joe Volume 3


While many of us G.I. Joe fans are standing around wondering just what the hell is going on with our beloved franchise, my friend Carson Mataxis has been hard at work putting his frustration to positive use!


Carson took on this labor of love starting with his site, 3Djoes.com, and since last year has worked toward putting out a good old paper-backed chronicle of the Real American Hero line. This has obviously been no small feat, but like many of us, Carson has some serious loyalty when it comes to Joes, plus he’s a damn good dude. So far, he has completed Volumes 1 and 2, which bring us up to 1986, another pivotal year in the line.  And like the expansiveness those years brought to the line, he ramped-up the size of this volume, cranking it from the already-big 96 pages of Vol 2, to 126 in Vol 3.


Now, page count isn’t really selling point for most books . . . but it is when we’re talking about full color imagery of G.I. Joe box art and illustrations.


Volume 3 is set to takes into the “movie” years of the line, documenting the figures that joined the likes of Lt. Falcon and Serpentor in expanding the ranks. This is also where the Battle Force 2000 subline begins and continued the trend toward ambitious vehicles and playsets, like the Conquest X-30 (personal favorite) and the infamous Terror Drome.


But one of the things I dig most about these books is not just the excellent packaging art, it’s the long-lost promotional and auxiliary artwork used for books, posters, and advertising. Some of this you may remember well (like some of the posters I know I owned), some in passing, and some you’ve likely never seen before.  And that’s one of the reasons this project is such a favorite of mine — it’s not just about recreating a line catalog, it’s about archiving this vital element that helped make G.I. Joe one of the most distinctive toy lines in history — the wonderful artwork that surrounded it.

So I highly recommend heading over and joining the charge (by May 1) to get Volume 3 printed on Kickstarter.  If you’re not sold completely yet, pop over to 3DJoes.com and take a look at the preview, or, even better, grab Volumes 1 and/or 2 if you missed out!