G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA mini dio-story by yours truly

Warning – This is gonna get long.  If you just want to check out the latest project, click here.

Without a shadow of a doubt the most asked question I get is “when are you going to do more dio-stories?”.  And well, at least, for the moment, I’ve got an answer, though it might be one that ticks off some folks.

Ever since I began my Dio-Story adventures way back in 2002, it was because I was inspired.  The new Real American Hero Collection figures did it for me back then, sparking me into my massive review archive and monstrous dio-story universe that has spanned 7 years, hundreds of characters, and lots of obnoxious special effects (not to mention many an oversized blade of grass representing mysterious “jungles” in different parts of the world…  :shifty: ).  But, as the years roll on and real life takes its place amongst my hobbies, time grew shorter, and for me to tell the types of stories I wanted to tell, well…it was going to take a lot more time and a LOT more effort than I was putting in.

But I stand before you, still determined to finish what I started.  However, this little project is NOT a continuation of what I started.  Confused yet?  Check out the “Read the Full Story” link to…well…read the full story.

It all comes back to inspiration.  The vintage style of figures has inspired me through the past several years, but it always meant something new and something exciting to mix in with the old stand bys.  I had the Stall Brothers from the new sculpt days…I had the Black Dragons, the Venom project, Agent Faces and many more facets that I drew from the ongoing G.I. Joe mythos of the time.  Then, as time moved on Sigma 6 came about, and then my main inspiration came from the great figures we were getting from the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club.  So, in a move that made perfect sense to me, I began working with the Collectors’ Club on the newsletter dio-story adventures that I am still working on to this day.  So, really, I never stopped doing the dio-stories, you just gotta know where to look. 

But, again…  “inspiration”.  I’ll admit it.  As toys, as nostaliga, and as display pieces, the 25th Anniversary toys were great.  As an inspiration to dive back into the dio-story world, they sucked.  It was all “been there, done that” with nothing new, no real storylines or plots to pull from or anything.  Sure, they were great toys, but they began and ended in one singular point in time and didn’t really exist in any sort of ongoing story.  Does that make any sense?  Probably not.

Enter, The Rise (and Pursuit) of COBRA.  Sure, the Rise of COBRA began as a Hollywood feature with a clear beginning and end, and the toys reflected that at first.  Most of them, like the 25th Anniversary, were pulled from a specific point in time.  But then we got the video game (as well as Helix and Flash).  Then we got some non-movie characters that seemed to be telling a specific story…and then, the culmination of it all.  Then, at JoeCon 2009, we got The Pursuit of COBRA.  A new era in G.I. Joe had officially begun (in my own mind).  Like Spy Troops, Valor Vs, Venom, and even Sigma 6, the Pursuit of COBRA once again has it’s own identity beyond just the plastic figures.  These toys have life.  They have character.  They have inspiration.

So, while on maternity leave with my wife, I spent way too many hours being inspired.  During baby naptime, I was up, setting up figures and taking pictures.  Quickly writing dialog, Photoshopping effects, and again, being inspired.  This mini dio-story will probably take only ten minutes to read, but it took many, many hours to produce over the past week, but it was, once again, a labor of love.  I enjoyed every second, and find myself longing to do it some more.

Now, I understand this will upset some folks who probably won’t understand why I spent so many hours doing a separate story rather than just continue on with my old adventures.  Well, as I said, it’s about inspiration.  Currently, it’s the Rise of COBRA universe that is inspiring me, so that’s the canvas I chose in this particular case.  However, don’t think for a second that I’m abandoning the story I’ve told and have been telling, nothing could be further from the truth.  If anything, doing this Rise of COBRA dio-story has provided increased motivation for me to finish what I was working on so I can branch out and move on.  My next official installment of the dio-story universe was always planned to be my last anyway, so rest assured I continue to press forward towards that goal.  I have lots of stories I want to tell still, it’s just a matter of time, energy, and effort.  The good news for all of the dio-story fans is this latest little project has ignited the love for dio-story production in me again, and hopefully I can take that and do some stuff that ties back in with the old universe.  The script has been written for two years.  It’s about time I start telling the story.

Sorry for that long, rambling explanation.  Click here to check out the new project.

21 thoughts on “G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA mini dio-story by yours truly

  1. Wow. Where’s the “I want more” button? I’m not even remotely kidding when I say you should be writing a Joe comic for a living. Great, great stuff.

  2. I wish I had your budget. All those Neo-Vipers and Elite-Vipers… all I can afford at the time is one of each army builder.

  3. Great to see these figures kicking your imagination center as well! Started reading your dios way back during JvC when I was reading your reviews. It’s great to see your work using the new figures!

  4. Awesome stuff Justin!

    Cool to see the new figs in action. Some of those action shots you have are incredible.

    But at the end of these things I’m always shaking my head and wondering “Ah, Cobra, when will you learn? You never win, so why bother?”…lol

    Oh! And you didn’t fall back on Snake Eyes to save the day, so major points for that ;)

  5. Bloody great. That was the best Dio I have seen in a long time. Only one question, how did you get the pulse effect to work?

  6. Nice dio. I’m not a HUGE fan of the ROC-verse but this was a nice little story. Its even satisfied me until you get the time and inspiration to finish off your massive Dio-Verse.

  7. Change…is inevitable. The really talented people in this world know that you can’t just do what works or has worked in the past. I love the direction “The Rise (and Pursuit) of Cobra” has taken the Joe brand. There are lots of great things to come…including more of your dio stories.

  8. “My next official installment of the dio-story universe was always planned to be my last anyway”

    that confuses me. i know the story is close to over (feels like it anyway), but will the next update be a big update with many parts or just one huge one?

    no harm in wanting to move on to other stuff. more power to ya! ill still read whatever you put out so long as i find it interesting (and you finish the other one first lol)

  9. Although I consider Tim Elf to be the father of the GI Joe diostory, your work over the years makes me consider you the master. When I consider your past work, there are two things which I think made your diostories so popular and well-read: the depth and detail of your character building, and the frequency of your updates. You did a great job giving underwritten characters amazing backstories, as well as weaving in new characters to the story. And because a new chapter was usually fourthcoming every week or so, the story stayed fresh and current in our minds. While a lot of others (including myself) tried our hands at creating our own diostories, inevitably the majority of us fell short in the storytelling and/or frequency department.

    These days I would imagine with your family growing you will need to dedicate more time to your kids and less to your hobbies. So I appreciate being able to read a new diostory from you, even if it has to be shorter and more self-contained.

  10. Thanks very much, everyone!

    The Pulse Effect was a bit tricky. I have a custom Photoshop brush that’s actually meant to be shaped like a tornado, so I paint that in a layer, then empty the fill to make it transparent. I then added some filter effects, ripples, and other stuff. It was all pretty experimental, I don’t think I did it the same way twice!

    Teletran – The final installment will definitely be a massive multi-part story that encompasses a lot of time.

    Thanks again for the feed back!


  11. Pingback: GeneralsJoes Dio-Stories: A Peek Behind the Curtain, Part 1 | Generals Joes - A blog about the importance (or unimportance) of little plastic men

Leave a Comment