Happy Birthday G.I. Joe

September 12, 2011

It was the day after the worst terrorist attack in American history; September 12, 2001. On that day, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero from Devil's Due Publishing and Image Comics hit comic stores across the country to the resounding cheers of  G.I. Joe fans. To give you a little back story, in the years leading up to its release, it was obvious that fans were hungry for new G.I. Joe comics. As a comic retailer, G.I. Joe comics were our top selling back issues and key issues from the Marvel run were constantly on our special order list. Whenever publishers asked our recommendation for what licenses we'd like to see in the future, we always mentioned two properties: G.I. Joe and Transformers. Although we knew a demand existed for these properties, none of the publishers ever took us seriously; that is until Josh Blaylock entered into the picture.

In mid-summer of 2001, comic book news site Newsarama featured an article announcing that Josh Blaylock and his new company, Devil's Due Publishing, had acquired the rights to publish a series of comics based on the new adventures of everyone's favorite daring, highly-trained, special missions force. The result of that announcement was unfathomable. Legions of people were coming into comic book stores--many of whom hadn't stepped into a comic store in nearly a decade--just to check out what the Joes where up to. The success of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero caught many by surprise. After all, who knew people still cared so much about a cartoon/comic/toy line from the '80s?

The success of G.I. Joe paved the way for a boom of comics from '80s properties including Transformers, Masters of the Universe and Thundercats, to name a few. Ten years later, we're still enjoying G.I. Joe comics, now from IDW Publishing, but we all owe a big thank you to Devil's Due Publishing for for having the vision to take a chance on what many considered a lifeless '80s property. Happy Birthday G.I. Joe and thank you, Josh!

No comments:

Post a Comment