'09 G.I.*Joe Figure Photography!!

As an active member & mod for HISSTANK.COM, I love to do in-depth reviews of current GI Joe product. And with reviews comes GI Joe figure photography, so here is some of my favorite GI Joe (& friends) merch I did shots of in 2009!! My brother Randy got a new light Box for figure photography for 2010, so I'll be back in full force w/reviews & figure pics over @ HISS TANK, & am looking forward to 2010!!


NA EVIL Man-At-Amrs "Rusty Copper" homage custom figure

Much to my surprise & delight, He-Man.Org member "Faceless One" made this custom from a MOTU 200X Zodak into my character design of the New Adventures inspired "Evil Man-At-Arms!!"

In his own words: "The first custom I made from a fanart, in this case Evil Man-At-Arms. I chose the rusty version, as it was in my opinion the best one. The base figure was a 200x Zodak."

I think he did an amazing job & I love seeing my character designs inspire other artists.
So a big thanks to "Faceless One" for alerting me to his custom & letting me post the images here!!

My Original Recolored Art:
NA MAN-AT-ARMS ~Rusty version:
The color scheme for this version is influenced by the Fewture Devilman alternate color fig of "ZANN" made years ago & a rusty tin-man...

Original custom thread link: Evil Man-At-Arms (JafariStew design)


CUSTOM DVD covers (layout design)

Something I enjoy doing is making custom covers for DVDs & CDs. I've shown CD design here on the blog in the past, but here's an example of my DVD work. Using existing images & picking out text, color, design elements, etc. to show my graphic design skills...
Here's some examples done for DVD animation complete collections.

GI Joe: Sigma 6 cover art by Jon Sommariva colors by Jamie Boylan, back images trademark of Gonzo/Hasbro

Galtar images trademark of Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network

Sky Commanders image trademark of Hanna-Barbera/Kenner-Hasbro

*None of these are official & are only done from a design/packaging standpoint, as the titles are not current or upcoming releases & are done for my own personal collective. None of these images are to be duplicated or distributed.


HELIX Avy Bust

It's no secret that my favorite figure from the new GI Joe ROC line is "Agent HELIX. " Wonderfully stylized, beautifully sculpted, & fully loaded, Helix is one of Hasbro's most dynamic & best ROC offerings of 2009... A debatable "Mary Sue", she was created for the EA ROC video game & amped up n the IDW comic from a martial arts/gymnast to an mysteriously autistic super soldier... When images popped up of the EMO-JOE I knew she was going to have a special place for me, & it seems many others, with her starting rep, unique flare, & good looks, she has truly made a name for herself early on among fandom. Either way I love her & wanted her as my new avatar when I was promoted to mod status (thank you) on the HISS TANK website (best GI Joe site on the web imho) . "You Don't pick the Hiss Tank, the Hiss Tank picks you!!" ...

So here is my "rock star" Helix head-shot in a FISH-EYE style view.


ROC Scarlett (covert ops) avatar

Go see GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA in theaters today!! ^_^



Created for the MOTU Redesign Challenge # 90 is my version of the Filmation "Princess Of Power" character "Hunt-Ara." Originally modeled after Grace Jones (of Conan the Destroyer fame) Hunt-Ara shows up in a 1st season latter episode of "She-Ra'. With an unusual voice & purple skin (originally supposed to be "African" according to the creators notes), Hunt-Ara is a outlander hero hired by Hordak to capture She-Ra after his minions have failed so many times. Hunt-Ara does not know of the evil Horde as she is from a far off planet, & agrees after seeing false images of She-Ra doing evil deeds.
My version of Hunt-Ara is more Asian in nature & is inpsired by a PV from the visual kei band "D'espairs Ray." She was also influenced by Supergirl's last appearance in the TV show "Smallville", & then tweeked with more Hunt-Ara like colors, & MOTU-style garb.
Here she is complete w/a bio based on the POP animated episode "Huntara", I hope you like her!!


SCARLETT (QUARREL) Avatar remake

This is my 4th remake of my infamous "Scarlett" avatar that I use on the GI Joe boards!! I keep updating the avatar's original image to reflect repaints/retools of Scarlett that are currently available in the modern GI Joe line. This time I not only had to change the uniform color, but also make new hair for her, & decided to also update her mouth to be an open smile. This current incarnation is actually based on an unreleased prototype that I got my hands on from a Ebay seller in China. Not knowing what her release status is, I just had to get her when she went up fpr auction!! Most likely this figure will show up as a '09 Joe-con exclusive. The colors are wicked & makes the "Pilot Scarlett" upgrade a little more real-world military... This deco homage represents her in the UK "Action Force" colors that were placed on her original '82 figure back in the 80's... she also had new blond hair, + a new personality/identity, & was given the codename "Quarrel."
I was one of the 1st to receive this figure in the US, so I also decided to take some photos of her, as well as write a full online review of the figure (for those interested)... It is available on the HISS Tank's website review section located here:
"QUARREL~SCARLETT in hand pics + review"
It's cool for me to have an actual "test-Shot" of one of my favorites, & if for any reas
on this figure does not get a domestic release, she could quickly become one of the highlights of my collection.
*The photos shown above & below are some of my shots of the actual figure from the review:


*BONUS* Brian's Cliff Jumper!!

I had the privilege of assisting my brother Brian with his submission for the new Shout Factory Transformers DVD set fan gallery!! Presenting Brian's Cliffjumper!!

Brian: Comp., Pencils, Inks, Scan, Colors, Line Work, Autobot Symbol
Chris: Digital Line Work, Autobot Symbol


Optimus Prime DVD gallery art!! (Updated 5.25.09)

*Filling in for the busy month of April is a brand new May entry...

This artwork of G1 Optimus Prime was created in May specifically for the new Shout Factory release of the classic Transformers GI DVD fanart gallery media section that is to be added as extra content to the discs.
Although it was a somewhat of a short notice opportunity, more designed for previously created artwork, I did my best to create a brand-new image, a simple, clean expression of a core character in the classic animation's representation.
I'm hoping it gets selected for the DVD, as it is a great way to have my art on officially licensed Transformers merchandise, as well as great exposure!!
I will update as it becomes official.

Special thanks to Shout Factory for the opportunity, & my brother(s) Randy (for pointing the submission op out) as both he & Brian gave me feedback on the piece.


GY-GOR: MOTU Redesign Challenge #87

This image was created for the Redesign Challenge #87 "GY-GOR" over on He-man.Org. Originally mentioned in Roger Sweet's book "Mastering The Universe," this was a character that was going to be made as a repaint/tool of a pre-existing gorilla mold from a earlier Mattel line "Big Jim." Alas he was never created before the line ended, but we did get a description of what the character would have looked like in the book by his creator Roger Sweet:
"I changed the ape's body color from black to bright yellow and gave him a dark olive-green face and chest. His face in contorted with white teeth snarling in an open mouth of blood red. I gave him a black body harness. From his shoulders I hung a dark maroon cape."
"When I showed "Gygor" to marketing Mark Ellis said that is ********** great!!!"
"Ted Mayer in my design group created a striking full-color illustration of the beast, with He-Man mounted on his back. Gygor was decked out with a panoply of harnesses and weapons."
This inspired a cool redesign contest to recreate the great ape & the result brought the Org artists together for some really superb entries. So this is my take, complete with bio & a new homemade additive female character for the fans...

GY-GOR single:

Being a HUGE King Kong fan, I couldn't resist drawing a big ape for Masters, so I took the elements from Sweet's description, & then added my own touches pulling from MOTU, Galaxy Fighters, DC, & of course real life... I made him more of a being than a steed... The Bio was developed & changed (originally they were going to live in the icey north) many times before I came up with a story I liked. My brother Randy also suggested his ideas to me, & I took the best of all we thought up & added more before I was thru.

FAW-SIL single:

I knew I wanted to make a cave-girl character for this challenge to add to the Gy-Gor bio. Hammer's 60-70's cave girl films were always a big influence on me... & I thought that type of a character would fit well here... So I came up with a female I was calling Ray-Chill, (in MOTU the simple "dash" names are standard), who was going to have some kind of ice magic. I decided that I would drop the magical ice princess motif & save that name for another character in the future... I took some more cues from the Hammer cave-girl films, & also a MOTU KO line called "The Forgotten Warriors of the Universe"... then after browsing some Fossil watches @ the mall I came up with the more prehistoric flavored name, & switched up my total cave motif to a tribal-girl with a bone warrior element. Incorporated her to fit in w/the new bio, & was inspired by some modern winter wear I saw on an emo-girl @ the DMV for the final touch... lol


NEW ADVENTURES OF TEELA Cast ~recolors part 2

Today's post features more repaint ideas I had for my "New Adventures of Teela" cast, & as you can see there is more extensive retooling/reworking of the art here (w/CHARI-VARI) than in most of my original recolored projects...

CHARI-VARI ~ Skeleton version:

This version, like the original design, was also inspired by the Cirque Du Soleil:Kooza show to be a true "undercover" disguise while in the Dark Hemisphere's skeletal legions. Based on the Cirque Du Soleil Kooza Skeleton King's army & a Ninja-girl type.

CHARI-VARI ~ Neko version:
AKA "Cat version"... When thinking of ways that I could retool the suit without busting up the original line work, I came up with a skin-tight subtractive outfit rather than an additive outfit. When I finished the piece, she reminded me of Bruce Timm's version of CAT WOMAN, & I decided to role with the fun, making the fur color the same as the original's hair color & adding a tail & ear motif.

CHARI-VARI ~ Orko version:
Another retool... This time, designed to look more like the character of "ORKO" from MOTU that she is meant to replace in my NA continuity with a new scarf & more "Trollan flavor" to her color scheme.
*This turned out to be the most popular version in a poll on He-Man.Org.

CHARI-VARI ~ Devil version:
An alternate idea from the "Neko" version with a new tail end, horns, & pitchfork... LOL!!

NA MAN-AT-ARMS ~Skeletor version:
My original idea for a recolor, as this is the character that my creation was meant to mimic/replace, thus replicating the colors of the original MOTU nemesis Skeletor!! And based on a mix of the MOTUC/200X version's color scheme.

NA MAN-AT-ARMS ~Grim Reaper version:
An amalgam of a grim reaper & other influences for this original color scheme...

NA TEELA ~ Sahari version:
Based on the oldskool anime "GENESIS SURVIVER GAIARTH" OVA series lead female character "Sahari" for this retooled color scheme...

NA TEELA ~ '90 version:
This color scheme is based on the original 1990 "New Adventures of He-man" animation's version of Teela...

Hope you enjoyed my alternnate colors & maybe saw a new favorite!!


The Dream Mistress: MOTU Redesign Challenge #86

This image was created for the Redesign Challenge #86 "The Dream Mistress" over on He-man.Org. An obscure Masters of the Universe character that was only featured in UK MOTU comic #67 "The Deadly Wishes."

The Dream Mistress is a magical woman that lures & seduces men with promises of fulfilling their inner most dreams, if only they can brave the dangers & traps of her fortress, located in the ancient ruins.
You can see more about her here...BUSTA TOONS BLOG
I came up with my own take on the character which proved to be a real challenge as she is nearly nude in her original interpretation, wearing a thong & armor w/nipples. What's the challenge there you say? Well to meet the boards standards on nudity without going overboard... lol. Many entries were placed & some had to be redone just for that reason. I made it through successfully. I also made it to the finals among a lot of amazing entries by the boards artists where I tied for 3rd. I made her bio a bit different than the original story where she actually ended up being Hordak in disguise, & made her a real entity instead. Her design is based on the original with some real life model inspiration for the pose, as well as her hair & face is based on Kahlan from the hit fantasy tv show now airing "Legend of The Seeker."


PILOT SCARLETT avatar remake

Pilot Scarlett avatar version 2.0:

Here is an updated version of my G.I.*Joe Scarlett avatar. It reflects Hasbro's Modern Era wave 11 '08 version of the character. Which is a tribute to "Glenda", an international repaint that was done in Argentina by the Plastirama toy company. I really like this version of Scarlett as she is loaded with gear, has a nice new head sculpt with the more formal pinned-up hair-du, & has a great color scheme.
One of my favorites in the '08 line-up!!

TOP 10 Favorites in 2008 (in no particular order):

1. J-ROCK: My favorite bands have been invading the US with a banner year in music!! (I saw a LOAD of awesome J-Rock bands LIVE this year, including Japan Nite '08 (Scandal/The Emeralds/Petty Booka/Ketchup Mania/Detroit7/The Beaches) in NY, Noodles/The Pillows (3rd time!) in NY, TM Revolution in NY, Renter En Soi in NJ, Jam Project in MD, DaizyStripper/Marbell/The Underneath in MD, Versailles in NY, & Dir En Grey in NY... best year for J-ROCK in the US ever!!
2. G.I.*Joe (Modern Era): '08 continued to impress with there best line since the 80's!!
3. Masters Of The Universe Classics: the new collectors brand launched this year with new fully-posable amazing figures online.
4. Transformers Universe: Classics 2.0 brought us some of the best reinvisoned staple TF's yet!!
5. Cirque Du Soliel ~Kooza: one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen, go see Cirque, between the performance & live music, it is a really unique & special... & I was lucky enough to have seen this with my friend Katrin from Germany. ^_^
6. Grindhouse Films: Cult classics & drive-in fare continued in '08 (despite some major industry hits) with some of the best guilty pleasure DVD releases yet.
7. Star Wars the Clone Wars: has made Star Wars all new again with a great new animated series that is bringing new life to the franchise!!
8. Avatar The Last Airbender: Possibly the best animated series ever made ended triumphantly this year with it's 3rd book having what is the best finale I have ever seen!! It was nice to share this show with the fandom @ NYCC.
9. Classic Cartoons: More favorites from the 80's dropped on DVD this year like Galaxy Rangers, Saber Rider, & Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors!!
10. Batman~ The Dark Knight: might be the best super hero movie EVER.