Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snake Eyes Design Part 1...

I wanted to show a little bit about Snake Eyes' new designs Im using for this story arc.

 For those familiar with the animated GI JOE: Resolute and GI JOE: Renegades, you'll immediately see some appropriated details. Mostly the half toned sleeves, shoulder straps, knee pads and shin armor. I've also changed his boots to more closely resemble those interpretations.

From the Resolute design I used the chest harness, the gloves, knee pads and shin armor

From the 30th Anniversary figure I used the two toned arms and side panels on his midsection.
Snake Eyes Design - 261
I've also added canister grenades on his belt and a targeting system on his shoulder that would work wirelessly with the HUD in his visor. I haven't explored that as much, but it's where Im going with it. I thought it could pivot 360 degrees and give him a view of what's behind him.

I was a HUGE fan of GI JOE Resolute when it came out. I loved the version of SE in that. I tend to draw him with more mass, since i think of him more as a commando that's ninja trained. For me, that indicates a certain body type. But I wanted to incorporate a few details from Resolute. I liked him having his sword attached to the back of his waist belt and he'd draw it from the side instead of over his head. You can see on my cover I posted a couple of days ago that's how I originally had it. But I ran into a few design challenges. I couldn't have everything he carries sit on his belt, and other weapons needed that space.

Snake Eyes has 4 primary weapons that he uses on a regular basis in our story. His Katana (long sword), his Cuma Tak Ri (that wicked knife), an UZI submachine gun, and a 1911 Colt .45 hand gun as a side arm. So my challenge is how to equip him with these weapons that would be easiest to carry, draw the weapon (not artistically), and then wield the weapon. I've always assume SE was right handed. That would make it his sword arm, and I'd put his side arm on that leg.

On his left leg I have pouches to hold the magazines for his hand gun. I designed those to sit at an angle, just to look different, but also I'd think SE might be able to pull them faster at an angle.

This isn't exactly the design I use in the book, but it's from an illustration I did earlier in the year, and I liked how it looks. 

Already the changes I've made for the interior art makes the cover I drew inaccurate, and it drives me crazy. But most designs will evolve as you draw them through sequential art to find what makes the most sense or looks the best.

Part Two I'll describe the other weapons he's using...


  1. I love the design in Resolute. I actually have the figure on my work desk in front of me right now, where it sits all the time in various poses. In fact he sits right under the two art pieces I have of yours, which hang, framed, on the wall over my desk.

  2. I've got the Urban Commando Snake Eyes which has a similar design on his zip line that connects my drawing lamp on my desk to the window next to me. So he hangs right in front of me all day. I love toys.

  3. It's great to see the attention to detail in these designs. The thought put into something beyond "well because it looks cool" is really rad. Way to many artists fall into that trap. Thanks for taking the lesser road traveled for our beloved characters.

  4. ^^^^^^This. One of the greatest features of the G.I. Joe ARAH toys was the attention to detail and realism. From the weapons, gear, real-world based vehicles and the file-cards, as a kid you really believed in it (at least I did). Even the more far-fetched, sci-fi elements of Cobra, etc. were grounded in an element of realism. With these designs you're not only bringing the characters into the 21st century, you're also bringing them back to their roots. In other words, 30 years later and we can still believe in it. Well done.