24 August 2014

The power of Frosta!

The rarely-seen four story She-Ra Ladybird compilation book was interesting in that aside from including two new stories, it included two previously published stories in "Catra's Ice Palace" and "She-Ra and the Golden Goose", renamed "The Golden Goose" for this publication. The most striking thing about "Catra's Ice Palace" is that due to the size of this compilation book being a different format, the illustrations that accompanied the story were completely redrawn. Previously the story had been illustrated by Geoff Senior, but this time Glenn Steward illustrated it, to tie into the fact that the other three stories in the compilation were illustrated by him! Here is a pretty striking illustration showcasing the power Frosta can channel through her magical wand. I really like the way that only the lower halve line art of Adora and Frosta is visible, as their upper halves are hard to see through the sheer onslaught of freezing cold temperatures sent in the direction of Catra and Clawdeen.


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

17 August 2014

Feel my magic!

Lodar, from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "Slave City!" is one of my favorite guest villains from series. As a kid, and even to this day, I always wanted an action figure of this purple-armored and purple-skinned warrior. One of the most amusing things about the character is that his mistake was a happy accident. The writer of the minicomic Lee Nordling had been asked to write a story centered around the character of Zodac. However, Nordling and the artist Larry Houston had no idea that Zodac was an action figure. In short Lodar was their idea of what Zodac looked like. Thus when Mattel saw the completed minicomic they questioned why Zodac bore no resemblance to his action figure, surprising both Nordling and Houston that an action figure even existed! Nordling hurriedly went through the entire minicomic, and every time the name "Zodak" was referenced, the letters were altered to resemble "Lodar". Even his name was a happy accident!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

15 August 2014

Slushhead flees!

Here are three action-packed illustrations by Bruce Timm from "The Revenge of Skeletor!", a minicomic from The New Adventures of He-Man toyline! The third panel of Slushhead swimming towards the reader, with Hydron in the Astrosub in pursuit, is wonderfully structured, and looks like something out of the Marvel comic books of the sixties. There are two things this minicomic does which we never really saw featured in the animated series. Firstly, we see the Astrosub go underwater, a feature rarely used in the cartoon. And secondly, we see Slushhead swim away at great speed, again something rarely seen in the cartoon!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

11 August 2014

FILMATION ART: The Hive interior.

For the last sixteen years I have collected He-Man and She-Ra animation artwork. As a result I have amassed a pretty large collection! Here I present a piece of original background artwork from the She-Ra episode "Assault On The Hive". As soon as I saw this background for sale I immediately recognized it from the ridiculously memorable scene in which He-Man orders Comet Cat to "fetch" Skeletor. This artwork was actually the background that both Filmation's He-Man and Skeletor appeared on for the last time! For some reason I just had to own this piece, even though I do not currently own the cels. I guess it is only a matter of time...


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

And here is how the background was used in the episode...

10 August 2014

A brief review #051 - "City Beneath the Sea"

As many of you will know, in 2010 I published The unofficial cartoon guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. At 300+ pages the book features 700+ pieces of trivia, 460+ deleted scenes, 360+ examples of animation reuse, 380+ quotes, 50+ abandoned episodes, and a LOT more! It is the book that NO fan of the Filmation series can live without! BUY IT NOW!

As an incentive, here is my brief review and rating (as they appear in the book) for "City Beneath the Sea"...

The episode starts off with a great deal of promise, as we see the strained relationship between King Randor and Prince Adam once more. But as soon as the heroes begin their voyage only disappointment follows. There are numerous interesting story elements in this episode, such as the Pearl of Power, which are touched upon, but never explored. The above average action sequences, of which there are many, are what drive this episode along. However, after a while, the action sequences cannot sustain this episode and it soon becomes reliant on old story formulas. What this episode proves is that great writers, like Larry DiTillio, do not always get it quite right. 4/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

08 August 2014

The heroes assemble...

As I have mentioned on this Blog before, the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Tale of Teela!" is the first time in the DC-produced stories in which we see all of the Evil Warriors assembled. Thankfully, that also applies to the heroes! In this glorious panel illustrated by Mark Texeira we see the Heroic Warriors preparing to save Teela from the clutches of Skeletor. This is also the first time we see Texeira illustrate Stratos as, like Mer-Man, he had failed to appear in the DC-produced minicomics before this point. A fantastic illustration from a fantastic minicomic!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

07 August 2014

I'm outta here!

Here is a somewhat comedic by illustrated by Bruce Timm from "The Revenge of Skeletor!", a minicomic from The New Adventures of He-Man toyline! We see Skeletor, having lost his most recent battle with He-Man, making his escape by leaping into a ship, pursued by the heroes. Skeletor's dialogue does not quite feel like something he would utter upon his departure. Again, Timm's illustration of Skeletor is fantastic, as are the poses of the heroes running in an attempt to catch the villain. What is interesting about this minicomic, is that more than any other, Bruce Timm uses a lot of black areas in his illustrations to suggest depth. It works incredibly well and makes his artwork look bolder than ever!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

03 August 2014

"Starburst" #2

"Starburst" from the UK Princess of Power special tells the interesting story of how She-Ra came to gain her Starburst powers. This story was of course created to tie in with the action figure of Starburst She-Ra. Often these stories in which a character would gain a new power would feel a little rushed. However, even though this is short story, it is paced incredibly well, and the origin of She-Ra's Starburst powers is entertaining. Here are the final three pages of this story...


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

27 July 2014

"Starburst" #1

"Starburst" from the UK Princess of Power special tells the interesting story of how She-Ra came to gain her Starburst powers. This story was of course created to tie in with the action figure of Starburst She-Ra. Often these stories in which a character would gain a new power would feel a little rushed. However, even though this is short story, it is paced incredibly well, and the origin of She-Ra's Starburst powers is entertaining. Here are the first three pages of this story...


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

25 July 2014

"Cave World of Zambor"

As He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was developed into a series, the staff writers at Filmation came up with a wealth of proposed story premises. Numerous episodes were never developed beyond the early stages. Showcased below is one of those abandoned episodes, alongside a title card that I have created to show what might have been. Please note that in some of these synopses Orko is still referred to as Gorpo, Evil-Lyn as Desira, and the Evil Warriors as the Masters of the Universe. The Sorceress does not appear to have been fully developed at this point either; with many references instead to the Spirit of Grayskull. Also, Stratos is a villain; much like he was in the early Mattel material. All of the original spellings (Tee-La, Beastman, etc.) are also retained for authenticity.

The unofficial cartoon guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe features many more abandoned episodes!

"Cave World of Zambor"
While on a routine mission in Eternia's swamplands, He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Gorpo are caught in quicksand and sucked into the underground world of the evil tyrant Zambor. His warlocks force the peace-loving Cave Dwellers to mine the deadly Power Rock for the Masters of the Universe. It is up to He-Man to put a stop to it.


* Legally I should say that Larry DiTillio did NOT write this episode. This is merely an example of how the episode title card might have looked.
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