#21 RAW B&W

If you’re wondering what the numbers and letters in the title are all about, keep on reading because I’ve found something really cool a while back.

See, there’s this French company called Original Comics and – aside from the regular imported (and translated stuff) – they have a series of hardcover books, European Comic Book size, of famous comics, but just in Black & White, the RAW series. The book is has a limited print run of only 250 copies.

The Front Cover

On the front, we get Snake Eyes climbing down the large Cobra statue. Not a lot of detail on this drawing, but still a very powerful cover.

The back cover

On the back, the series red banner with all the necessary information. The retail price for one of these is €29, so quite pricey, but the quality is there to warrant this pricepoint.

The introduction of Storm Shadow and the Arashikage I Ching.

The inside of the comic book, is the #21 story as we all know it, just in Black & White. The art really pops out. Below is one of my favorite pieces, the look on Scarlett’s face when she’s dumped in the pit by Storm Shadow.

Badass Scarlett

Upon re-reading (well, there’s not a lot of text in this comic, can you call it reading?), I realized that while it’s all good for the story, Scarlett escaped on her own. She even had to come back to save Snake Eyes from being hit by Storm Shadow’s sword. Although, Snake Eyes does end up saving her then. It goes to show that Larry wrote the female Joes as strong and independent women who could fight their own battles. This was back in the 80’s! This comic book – and the whole series – is truly evolutionary in more than one way.

That’s it for now. Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Holiday in Hastings

It could have been a title for one of Action Force’s stories. But it was in fact last week for me 🙂

We spent the week in an AirBnB just outside of Hastings, in St.Leonards-on-sea. The house itself wasn’t very big, but it was very nicely decorated and furnished. We had everything we needed to spend some good quality time here.

I didn’t have much hope of finding some Joes, and I browsed a few secondhand shops, but found no toys whatsoever. I did find a Battle Action Force Annual from 1986 though in very good condition at a secondhand bookstore that had way too much inventory for the size of the shop. Books were stacked on top of the shelves, in front of the racks, in the middle of the floor… basically just about everywhere. Charming, but not very practical when you’re looking for something. I was almost giving up when I noticed this bright yellow book on one of the shelves hidden behind a stack of Doctor Who Annuals. Lucky me I guess.


So the book collection is growing. Even more so since I decided to start collecting the IDW G.I. Joe Complete Collection in hardcover as well, they look great and should even get a spot on the living room bookshelf 🙂 I already got #1 through #5. Thanks to @JoeonJoepod for drawing my attention to these. I’ll try and get one each month from now on until I have all 9 released (#9 should be released by the end of this month). Check them out for yourselves, they are presenting the full run of ARAH and the Special Missions. In proper reading order and collected in hardcover volumes. I get mine from The Book Depository, they are cheaper (most of the time) than e.g. Amazon and offer free shipping (shipping usually is a bit on the slow side, best to order sooner rather than later). I recently found out that even Bol.com is selling them – sometimes with next day delivery – though they consistently keep saying it’s written by Mr. HaMMa…


Anyway, back to the trip. In the local toy store, I scored 3 new The Corps figures. They have a new set out. They’re figures that come with dinosaurs straight from the year 25xx… Stranger things could happen, so I just decided to go with it.


The story isn’t that strong, but I can’t explain how good it feels to see some action figures in stores. As for the figures themselves, they are repaints of previous The Corps figures. Not quite Joe quality, but nice looking.IMG_20180828_105519

On the way back to Dover, we stopped in Ashford and went into the Smyths Toy Store there. I didn’t take any pictures inside, there were a lot of kids inside and frankly I was too busy looking left, right and center. I can honestly say I never saw a bigger toy store in real life. We had some stores here before and I have been to Hamley’s in London which is larger, but since it’s on multiple floors, it doesn’t look that big. Here everything was on one floor and had shelves of about 6m high, stocked from bottom to top with every possible toy. From Barbie to Hatchimals and Lego to Sylvanian families. We bought some toys for the girls and I got one of my all time favorites (even tough it was just released this year). The 3 3/4″ Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler.


Did I mention before that JP is one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid. I must have seen that movie (and the sequels) about a hundred times if not more. The Jeep in the Classic JP livery looks absolutely gorgeous and it should fit Joe figures. Since my Joes are all still boxed up, I haven’t tried it yet, but when I get the new Nerd Attic set up, this will get a prominent place in my display.

In the store they had a lot of WWW figures. I didn’t think that was popular outside of the US, but good to see that it’s a success in the UK as well. Maybe this can lead to getting G.I. Joe back on the shelves. Further down the row, they had The Corps stuff as well. I was tempted to buy a lot more, but well, it was the last day of our holiday so the money was running out and I managed to keep my credit card in my wallet, after all, first and foremost I am a G.I. Joe collector and these cheap placebos can work as a temporary painkiller, but they aren’t the cure. I did get The Gryphon – Aerial Assault Craft. That thing looks like it could have been a Joe design and it really does look good and a not-to-distant future like vehicle the Joes could use. See for yourself.


It comes with light & sound machine guns, a cockpit that opens, adjustable wings that can rotate freely, spinning rotors and a non-descript action figure. When I get Wild Bill out of storage, he can take it for a spin. Or better yet, Windmill or Lift-Ticket. Or Dogfight, Ace or Slipstream. Or Zap (he’s a pilot, look it up).

Well that’s it. I have expanded my collection just a bit again. Can’t wait to start opening up those moving boxes and setting up my Joes again. I’ll keep you posted on any more updates, and the Impel Trading Cards will keep on coming.

YoJoe and Happy Collecting!

Moving on

Hi all —

It has been a while since the previous post, but a lot has happened since. My youngest daughter has been hospitalized, I’ve been caught by some virus myself and in the meantime, our house has been sold. Somewhere in between, Sinterklaas has come and brought a lot of pink toys to our house 🙂

With the sale of our house finalized, we can start planning the actual moving. We’ll have to paint a lot and do some electrical work first. Then we need to put in stairs to the attic so that we can use that space as well. Although the new house will be bigger, I don’t have a dedicated Joe room available. The attic is just that, so it will be a while before I can get my Joes settled into their new environment. For now, they are being boxed up and they will remain boxed for a while… 🙁

All the toys aside, I feel most sad that all my comics are in boxes. I don’t just see them as comic books, but most of the cover art is really ART. To see those white longboxes with all my beloved comics and TPB’s makes me feel sad.

Maybe it’s just the season as well. Dark times are here. It’s a time to celebrate with your family, but at moments like these, you do miss the people that aren’t around anymore.

2017 hasn’t been the greatest of years for me personally, for the blog, the year has been better… More on that in a future post where we look back on 2017 and make some plans for next year.


Till then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Comic Book Update

The first G.I.Joe comic I ever read, was the Dutch Special Missions TPB #5. I was about 12 years and found the book in a bargain bin on the local Comic Con. Now when I say Comic Con, I mean more of a pop-up fair and shop in a giant tent where Belgian Comic Book artists came to sign their art once a year. My hometown – Middelkerke – is sort of famous for that Comic Fair. I´ll leave a link to their site here (Dutch only). Belgian (and by extension the European) Comic Books are different from the North America comics. Not just in size, but also the themes and drawing styles. Most famous is probably Tintin, but other series like Lucky Luke and Asterix are also known all over the world.

Back to G.I. Joe comics. After I bought that TPB #5, I went looking for the other ones. I soon found #6, and then a few years later, I found #3 in another bargain bin when a local Comic Book Shop closed and they sold of their entire stock. A few years later and thanks to eBay, I found issues 1 and 4 in the Netherlands. But TPB #2 was the elusive one. The white raven, the unattainable one.

Last week, I finally was able to track down the TPB #2 on a Dutch auction site. It was in great condition and only $7. Naturally, I didn´t have to think about it long and bought it on the spot. Fast Forward to today and enter the mailman. It´s here and my Speciale Opdrachten Omnibus collection is now complete. I haven´t read it yet (I have all the Special Missions in singles and in trades in English), but here´s some great art I want to share.

Maybe I´ll start looking for the single comics in Dutch now (there should be 19 of them)… Gotta keep collecting 😉

See you around again!

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Comic book update

I’m very pleased to tell you all that I have received the Marvel #144 and #152 comic book today. I was able to buy these for a reasonable price from smalljoes.com.

With these last 2 comics, I now have the entire Marvel A Real American Hero run complete.


Ever since FCB back in 2010, I’ve started seriously collecting the Joe comics. First the IDW run that started (including all the new runs they introduced), but I soon discovered the original Marvel run. I had a few TPB’s of Special Missions that were translated in Dutch from the nineties, but I never would have believed it was possible to collect the entire Marvel run here in Belgium.

Six years down the road, my comics collection has expanded well beyond the ARAH run, with also the Image and DDP comics, as well as most of the convention exclusives.

I think that on the next leg of my comics journey, I’ll try and find all the Dutch comics I can find. I already have 4 TPB’s as mentioned above, but I’m still missing one. So that will be the first one I need to find.

Next to the comics, I’ve also gotten my hands on several of the Find your fate books. It will be nice to have the complete set of those as well.

Plenty more to collect I guess. Better get to it 🙂

Happy collecting and YOJOE!

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