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August 23, 2010
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GI JOE Origins cover 20 by gatchatom GI JOE Origins cover 20 by gatchatom
I think this is going to be one people either fucking love or fucking hate.

This cover is for a storyline takes place in Bangladesh. It covers how Cobra recruits it's soldiers from impoverished nations. My editor asked me to do something along the lines of a propaganda poster. The WW2 type of posters have been done to death so I wanted to find something different. I remembered seeing a book on Propaganda art of China and I did some research. What struck me was the creepy happiness of the art. It's all designed to show how wonderful life in China is. There's a variety of styles to the art, but it all shares a bright color palette. I thought that might be a interesting take on Cobra, and how they recruit soldiers, followers. I really have to thank my editor, Carlos Guzman for trusting me to do this. When you have an editor that gives you room to try things out of your wheelhouse you really have to appreciate that level of confidence and faith.

So, about this image. The flowers in the background are all native to Bangaladesh. The writing at the bottom translates loosely to "PRAISE TO COBRA" in Bengali. This was one of the more difficult covers I've done. I wanted it to look crudely painted, but not badly painted. I must have at least 20 different versions of the kid's faces.

By the way this cover is why I made this: [link]
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:iconmetalformer:
metalformer Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful work! It gives an otherwise "typical cartoon bad guy" depth and personality. I subscribe to the idea that COBRA started out as a revolutionary and may even once had good intentions but got corrupted by greed and hate along the way, just like real life dictators had.
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks! I would recommend checking out Mike Castro's COBRA series at IDW!
Reply
:iconko-corral:
KO-Corral Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
I maintain that this is possibly one of the most brilliant pieces of GI Joe art ever. EV ER .
Reply
:iconbafocomics:
bafocomics Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
everything about this one is great, the atmosphere, the theme, the way you showed so much with so little, because even before i read the description i already guessed what was the meaning behind it.
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm glad that all came across. Thanks for commenting!
Reply
:iconuber-fiend:
Uber-Fiend Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
This cover never fails to send a shiver up my spine! The happiness of the kids, the expressionless mask of the Commander... perfect!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much! Great comment!
Reply
:iconuber-fiend:
Uber-Fiend Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011
My pleasure good sir! Please keep making art as good as this!
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! Make sure you let the folks at IDW know you like what I'm doing!
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:iconuber-fiend:
Uber-Fiend Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011
Will do. My pleasure!
Reply
:iconthelearningcurv:
thelearningcurv Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2011
this is pretty fly, like you said, gotta love when they let you push the envelope!
Reply
:icontrishna87:
trishna87 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you did a good job :) Man I didn't know Cobra commander was hitting up the motherland :lol:
(the bengali spelling might be off though ... I mean I moved here when I was 16, but I can still read and write Bangla well enough ... I think. XD )
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks, I did my best to get it right.
Reply
:icongobflinger:
Gobflinger Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010
I'll go stand with the fucking love! I'd frame that and hang it. Would look amazing on my wall!
Reply
:iconscarecrow826:
scarecrow826 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010
I bought this comic purely on the appeal of your cover. That's something I've rarely ever done. I had to make a deviant account to let you know that this is one of my favorite covers of all time, it's beautiful and like many others have said, there are serious undertones here. You knocked it out of the park. Thanks!

-Michael
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks! That's incredibly flattering. I'm glad that the work connected with you so strongly. I hope you'll continue to follow my work.
Reply
:iconklausscherwinski:
KlausScherwinski Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010
Fu**ing LOVE it! For and with all its creepyness! It's "terrible" to look at - like any evil propaganda poster (it's just so/too close to reality). But it's not ridiculing the act. It's much rather commenting on it, putting this way of making propaganda out in the open. A comic book cover that makes you THINK. Very cool work Carlos and Tom!
Also: "PRAISE TO COBRA" in Bengali. Priceless. A tiny, tiny translation into English on the print version somewhere on the cover would not hurt actually. In any case:
Gotta get the book!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2010  Professional General Artist
Wow! Thanks, Klaus! I'm trying to do something that stands out from the crowd. Glad you liked it.

As for the translation, it's my experience that the readers are pretty damn smart. They'll figure out how to translate it without my help. When I did the cover to Origins #7 I told no one but Andy I hid a secret message in the code behind Mainframe. It took less than 2 hours for someone to figure out there was a hidden message, decode it, and then post it online. Never underestimate your readers.
Reply
:iconwaki2:
waki2 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010
i think you pulled it off perfect!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks, Waki!
Reply
:iconspicypeanut:
spicypeanut Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
This looked dope at the Con! Definitely getting myself a copy of this!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
Glad to hear it! Nice meeting you at the show!
Reply
:iconspicypeanut:
spicypeanut Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Definitely - and thanks for the critique! I'm pumped to put a lot of your guidance into action... once I get over this jet lag haha
Reply
:iconkatiekat94:
katiekat94 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Sweet!
Reply
:iconsobad-jee:
sobad-jee Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Too cool ! Love the helmet's design !
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Can't take credit for the redesign of the Cobra Commander. I'm not sure who did it.
Reply
:iconjohnstaton:
JohnStaton Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
In this context, I can better under stand the modern comic's omission of CC's classic blue stahlhelm.

The present design fits better with the "Man of the People" image communicated in this image. (The Cobra lapel pin is particularly inspired.)

I should probably take this opportunity to mention how much like IDW's handling of GI Joe. This publisher has done consistently the best work with its licensed properties I have seen to date.

As indicated by the excellent work on Joe, IDW strikes that fine balance between reverence to past incarnations and fresh energized story telling. Cringe-worthy elements of a license are expertly selected out and the essence that makes a licensed property endure is expertly sculpted in high relief.

It is a pleasure reading the GI Joe titles. It is a pleasure reading IDW books in general.

That all being said, I still miss the ol' stahlhelm, and I reserve my right as a fan boy, never ever to shut up about it. ;p
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
I'm glad to hear you like what IDW is doing with GI JOE. I'm a fan too, and I'm proud to be working on the series.
Reply
:iconninjha:
ninjha Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Wow? Are you bengali?
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
No. I did a ton of research.
Reply
:iconninjha:
ninjha Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Super nice! The characters actually look like drawings straight out of my elementary school reading books. Very distinctive bengali art. Well done on the research.
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that!
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:iconzjestr:
ZJestr Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Am I seriously looking at what I think I'm looking at? Amazing work.
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
I don't know. What do you think you're looking at?
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:iconzjestr:
ZJestr Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
I'm looking at Cobra Commander, friend of the people. And I am loving that.
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Cool. I'm really surprised this has been so well received.
Reply
:iconchristiandibari:
ChristianDiBari Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
thats fantastic, tom.
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks, Chris!
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:iconjt3fan:
jt3fan Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
Count me in for those that f'n love it...Cobra Commander as benevolent benefactor? Can't wait to pick the issue up!
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconmattkaufenberg:
MattKaufenberg Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
Brilliant!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks! I appreciate it.
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:icondevilpig:
Devilpig Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
Win
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:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks, Dave. It means a lot coming from you.
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:iconcomixmill:
comixmill Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
I fucking love it.
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks, Tim!
Reply
:iconjakeekiss:
JakeEkiss Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
Really dig this one. Well done, dude!
Reply
:icongatchatom:
gatchatom Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you, Jake!
Reply
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