Well, fair reader, you may be wondering just how big of a geek your humble author is. I'll tell you. Yesterday I went to Joe Con '08. That's right, it's a GI Joe convention. And I loved it.
(click on the pics below to see them EVENNNN BIGGGERRR!)
Joe Con has been around for ten years, and, as an avid reader of YoJoe.com, I had always looked at the pictures of it and marvelled, never knowing exactly what the hell it was. This past weekend, for the first time ever, Joe Con came to Dallas (well, Frisco, if you want to get technical). It was super exciting.
Basically, Joe Con is a flea market. You pay ten bucks and they let you in the door to buy stuff. All of these vendors have booths set up, chock full of Joe gear (and, often, other random toys). And you can bet your ass I did my fair share of frivelous spending. They had most of the figures and vehicles that I hand when I was a kid, and all the ones that I always wanted when I was kid. My haul ended up looking like this: a complete H.A.V.O.C., a bare bones Rattler, a re-release two pack of Ripper and Torch, the 25th Anniversary GI Joe Battle Pack, the official convention tee shirt, and these figures (loose and incomplete): Ripper, Wild Bill, Alpine, and Blowtorch.
In what was probably the coolest part of the convention, they did have on display both fan-made custom Joes and an assortment of new Joes from Hasbro that will be out later this year. For my money, the fan customs were the best part of the whole convention. These nerdy (and I use that term lovingly) created Joes to look like Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, or just off the wall weird stuff. Some created entire diorama's with their creations. Over to the left of this text is a picture of a custom made Nemesis Enforcer, that I found particularly captivating.
Over to the right, we have the grand prize diorama of The Arashikage dining. I talked with the guy who made this, and he seemed very passionate
about his work. I'll tell ya, that sounds really geeky, but it's pretty darn cool. I'm not really sure what you win if you get first place, but that blue ribbon is a first place ribbon. CLICK HERE to see another of creation from the same guy.
Of course, one of the main points of the entire convention was to promote the upcoming Gi Joe movie (Summer - 2009). While I cannot vouch for the movie, I will say that Snake Eyes (Ray Park) looks absolutely, positively badass. The cast is certain an odd bunch, with, what would seem like a lot of miscastings. Brendan Frasier as Gung Ho, Marlon Wayons as Ripcord, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the kid from Third Rock) as COBRA COMMANDER!!! But, what good is it going to do to complain?
At one point, I had heard they had Larry Hama on board to at least develop the story. If that doesn't mean much to you, let me just say that Hama is godlike amongst Joe fanboys. Sadly though, I don't see his name anywhere on the IMDb page, so I guess it was either a rumor or "they" didn't like his story.
The film is directed by Stephen Sommers, director or such classics as The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing. Yeah. Anyway, that kind of gives a hint at how they want to play it. I'm sure it will be played fairly straight, but with a few nice in-jokes and a couple of winks at the camera. That's not bad at all...but Stephen Sommers? Really? Is this the best we could do? Eghhh.
Anyway, Joe Con was a fun experience, and hopefully it'll be back in Texas next year.
- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX
PS. BTW go watch WALL-E, you'll be gladjoodid.