Heads up, Joe Fans! Mr. James Kavanaugh Jr. has shared word on his next guide book, the highly anticipated Rank & File 5! Here’s the scoop –
R.A.H.C. Guidebooks had an amazing 2018! Volumes 2 and 3 were reprinted, Volume 4 sold well and it’s exclusive Yearbook counterpart was a big hit. Even the original R.A.H.C. Guide sales have picked up, making it very close to sold out. And while all these accomplishments have been great, fans routinely ask about Volume 5. You people can’t get enough, can you!? That’s great!! I also look forward to Volumes 5 and 6 hitting the presses and in your eager hands. Getting Volume 5 ready is a game of “one day at a time.”
The immediate thought is the fandom doesn’t even have the remaining club product for it to be photographed and archived in Volume 5. Don’t let the lavish playboy lifestyle of a Noted Author fool you into thinking I get special privileges, I get my G.I. Joe action figures at the same time as everyone else. So the day I receive the last action figure is the first day I can begin archiving it. I’ve stayed up on current product as best I can meaning, if I had it to photograph while I was shooting, I did. The last time I photographed a massive session was in the middle of receiving FSS6.
I’ve taken stock of what’s needed for Volume 5 and I was inadvertently reminded of some R.A.H.C. Guidebook trivia. The Rank & File volume series wasn’t the original plan. I know, right!??! The fandom is probably in chaos reading this but let me explain. Things evolve. Duh. The original R.A.H.C. Guide was well received and any routine criticism was it didn’t include 4″ G.I. Joes. This was enough for me to begin working on the followup guidebook. This second book would’ve included everything from the 25th Anniversary to Retaliation while also including the convention and club exclusives. At the time, I made the hard decision to end the second guidebook’s content at anything before 2014.
So 2014 came and I had a very large book that was 80% finished and 4″ G.I. Joes were turning eight years old. With encouragement from my peer review group, I cut bait on a large second volume and “chopped” it up into five volumes. And, here we are, the Rank & File guidebook series that has now expanded into at least six guidebooks (all the convention and club executives were originally intended to be in one guidebook). Sure this is all fun behind the scenes reflecting but the real meat of this history lesson is Volumes 1 through 4 were mostly finished when it was time to produce Volume 1. I don’t want to say I’m in uncharted territory, the club aesthetic was developed in the R.A.H.C. Guide and convention product falls in line previous series, it’s just a lot more “unfinished” compared to the previous volumes.
So, here we are, one day at a time. It took me a while to write this because my postman should be here any minute with my fifth installment of FSS8 thus I have been looking out the window like a distracted cat waiting for my toys. The next two months should be fun months for collectors and then we’ll see what happens. In the mean time, I looked at my in-progress PDF and generated a composite for everyone to see the progression as of this moment. Of course I removed the cover and splash page mock-ups, can you guess what they are based on the gradients? Post below, I’d love to read guesses!!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to add this book to my library! I’ll be sure to bring you more details as they’re received!