ToyLanta, the convention formerly known as “JoeLanta” begins this Friday, so we devote our Monday Morning Art to a piece that I created to be auctioned off for the benefit of the Cody Lane Memorial Toy and Diorama Museum. The auction will be held Saturday night, and it’s one of the highlights of the convention.

This particular painting is a new take on an old project that I did about almost twenty years ago, then abandoned. I wanted to created a custom box for a red-haired, beardless GI Joe Adventure Team member. The reason it had to be custom was that Hasbro never made a red headed guy without a beard back in the day. I discovered, in one of my loopier experiements, that if you got one of the dark brown-haired, beardless Adventurers that Hasbro was reproducing back then, and dipped his head in bleach for a couple of days, for some reason it turned red–the same shade as the red-headed Sea Adventurer back in the day.

After that discovery I decided to take my newly-reddened GI Joe, who only faintly smelled of chlorine, and make a box for him. I called him the “Stealth Adventurer,” because he had managed to make it through the 1970s Adventure Team era without having his own box.

fourboxesAs a base, I used a scan of the Air Adventurer’s box, then worked some digital magic on it, removing the beard, changing the color of the hair, the sky and his jumpsuit, and changing the typography to create a cool-looking box. Unfortunately,  I never got around to printing it. If you’re interested, you can see the progression of how I changed the original box to the right. That tiny .jpeg is all that I had left of the project.

But since I have a bright, shiny new PC with much faster art gears in it, and I have control of my fingers again, I decided to just do a digital painting based on the finished design. I didn’t try to hew too closely to the original style, and I didn’t want to mess with the logos since this was not intended for a custom box. I know lots of guys who can make fantastic custom boxes now without my art. I ended up using a color scheme like I used on my painting of my late pal, Johnny Rock– Sort of as a tribute, and sort of because I just liked the way it looked.

That’s the story of this week’s art, and it kicks off our countdown to ToyLanta. Stay tuned to PopCult for more ToyLanta coverage, and click the image to see it bigger.