30 July 2012

Coloring book #17 - Battle Dog?!

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration we see Battle Cat and Panthor confront one another. Amusingly, and this appears to be the case throughout this batch of illustrations, the artist illustrates Battle Cat's helmet with ears, giving him a dog-like shaped head, especially in this illustration! Battle Dog, anyone?!


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

29 July 2012

Skeletor revealed!

As The New Adventures of He-Man series geared up to its big finale, one of the notable things that occurred was that the true face of Skeletor was revealed in the episode "The Tornadoes of Zil". In a battle with He-Man, Skeletor comically gets his helmet caught in the large gears of Zil. Upon freeing himself we see that Skeletor no longer has his helmet, revealing that he has hair! He-Man says something to the effect that he knew Skeletor always looked like this. I distinctly remember watching this episode as a kid for the first time and nearly shouting at the television, "Well, you must've been the only one!" I mean, who could have foreseen Skeletor with hair? Over the years the look has kind of grown on me, just because it is hard to dislike Skeletor in this series. And for those wondering why this change happened, one has only to look at the last Skeletor variant from the He-Man toyline to see that the figure had hair. The cartoon was obviously paying some attention to the toyline...


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

28 July 2012

"Manners Maketh Moss Man"

Here is an amusing one page story from issue thirty-seven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I like the fact that the story starts off with a predictably moral message, only for Mer-Man to challenge Moss Man's own standards! The way in which Mer-Man is illustrated in this short story is rather amusing; especially his shocked expression!


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

27 July 2012

Prince Zed and Romeo...

One of the numerous examples of cost-cutting in She-Ra's season two appeared in the episode "Romeo and Glimmer". In the season one episode "The Peril of Whispering Woods" we see Horde Prime's son Prince Zed arrive on Etheria. The character was memorable, as was the story. In the season two episode "Romeo and Glimmer" the character of Glimmer was given a love interest, that of Horde Corporal Romeo. Sadly, for some reason, Filmation decided to reuse the design of the memorable Prince Zed, albeit making him slightly older. Even more baffling was the decision to stage some scenes that reflected Prince Zed's appearance, such as the character laying on a bed recovering from a battle with the rebels...



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

26 July 2012

Coloring book #16 - Battle of the birds.

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration we see Zoar and Screeech preparing to do battle high above the landscape Eternia. It would appear that the artist has based both falcons on the Mattel toys rather than the cartoon's depiction of both birds which never had them sporting their respective armory. However, we have to wonder, which bird is which bird? It is hard to figure out on a black and white illustration...


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

25 July 2012

Pop Teela!

Here are a collection of lovingly illustrated storyboards by Robert Lamb for the season two He-Man episode "Fisto's Forest". Robert Lamb would often go above and beyond the call of duty, illustrating more panels for once specific sequence than other storyboard artists would. This would often result in animation that was exactly what Robert was calling for in his storyboards!


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

23 July 2012

King Tamusk's design.

Yesterday I mentioned how King Barbo, who appeared in the season two He-Man episode "The Shadow of Skeletor", had has his character model reused seventeen episodes later in "The Time Wheel" as King Tamusk. I also expressed my continued surprise that it was King Barbo that was designed first, when King Tamusk's presence in "The Time Wheel" seems to fit the character perfectly. Here I present the model sheet for King Tamusk. I will also state that I think this character's color scheme works a great deal better than King Barbo's. Throughout the many episodes of He-Man and She-Ra there were many examples of blatant character reuse. However, on this one occasion, I honestly believe that the character reuse was better than the design's initial appearance!


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

22 July 2012

King Barbo's design.

Here I present a model sheet of King Barbo, a character that appeared very briefly in the season two He-Man episode "The Shadow of Skeletor". The design of this character would later show up seventeen episodes later as King Tamusk in "The Time Wheel". To this day I find it surprising that King Tamusk's design is based on King Barbo's. In other words, due to the dominant presence of King Tamusk in the later episode I would think that it was he that was designed first. Regardless, King Barbo's excellent character design was reused wisely, and there is no doubt that King Tamusk made more of an impact on the series than the former character!


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

20 July 2012

Coloring book #15 - Tiny Raider?

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration we see Man-At-Arms working feverishly in his laboratory. However, unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, careful inspection will reveal that he is working on what appears to be the Wind Raider. A very small Wind Raider!


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

19 July 2012

Skeletor card art.

When I was young, and even to do this day, I absolutely loved the miniscule pieces of artwork featured on the initial cardbacks of the Masters of the Universe figures. The illustrations of the characters looking somewhat different to their produced action figures used to fascinate me, even though they were no bigger than a postage stamp! As the line continued these illustrations would match the figures a great deal more in both design and pose. In this beautiful illustration of Skeletor we can see that he is posed a lot less like the figure, with details not found on the action figure produced.


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

18 July 2012

Bad titles...

One of my few problems with The New Adventures of He-Man series are the titles for each episode. Instead of the beautifully crafted title cards we had for the Filmation series, this series merely overlaid the text onto the first shot of the episode. Now at the time of production this was nothing new, as numerous shows were already utilizing the same title graphics. However, my problem is with the differing quality of title graphics! Some episode titles look bold and stand out well against the episode footage, but there are a few, like "You're in the army now" where the title looks horrible to say the least!


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

17 July 2012

Two panels of comedy!

As I have mentioned before, in his panels for the Masters of the Universe comic from MVCreations Emiliano Santalucia would often create little sight gags that could be easily overlooked. In these two panels from issue two (volume two) we see a good gag in which a weakened Beast Man collapses in front of Man-At-Arms, just as the hero is preparing to do battle with him. In the background we see Ram Man charging at He-Man, and in the following panel we see that He-Man has launched Ram Man headfirst into the giant stone creature! The structure of these two panels is fantastic, because most artists would dedicate an entire page to that action scene. By having it in the background I feel that it is even more striking, and a little amusing, too!


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

16 July 2012

Coloring book #14 - Just turn around...

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration we see Tri-Klops using one of his eyes to see around the corner, revealing that Zodac is nearby. The comically confusing thing about this illustration is that Tri-Klops is positioned so that if he were simply to turn around he would see Zodac! I also like the fact that Zodac's expression appears to be one of normality as he stands around the corner, and yet Tri-Klops' vision shows him with an angry expression upon his face!


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

15 July 2012

A brief review #028 - "The Defection"

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 "The Defection"...

This episode has a very original and unique story with a former villainess trying to atone for her past deeds. However, from that moment on, all the characters do throughout the episode is talk about how people can change. Orko's attitude in particular becomes tiresome, because it seems a little too out of character. One of the things that lets this episode down most of all is the visuals, which are at times incredibly questionable. One has only to look at the way Orko is drawn from shot to shot. By the time the second act has begun it feels as if this episode is talking down to the audience by constantly reaffirming the moral of the story. Like we could ever forget it. 4/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

14 July 2012

Snoozing at a picnic.

Bob Forward rarely put a lot of detail into his boards, but that did not mean they were less striking than the others. Every once in a while a panel in his storyboards would really jump from the page. This panel from the season two classic "Into the Abyss" shows the picnic scene featuring Prince Adam, Teela, and Cringer. It is a simple, but beautifully illustrated panel in which we see our heroes incredibly relaxed. Notice that Bob has not put every single detail into the character's costumes, which in this case results in Teela having a rather large bust!


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

12 July 2012

Breaking bars.

Rich Chidlaw's storyboards for the season one He-Man episode "The Region of Ice" are a lot of fun to look at. Fortunately a few years back I managed to obtain the original storyboards, which wonderfully showcase the original loose blue line art underneath the final line art. These two panels beautifully showcase to extremes of action as He-Man rips apart the bars that imprison Snowflake. I like the squareness of He-Man's fists in the second panel, emphasizing his power!


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

11 July 2012

Coloring book #13 - Ram Man arrives!

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration it would appear that Ram Man is charging headfirst into Skeletor's throne, upending the villain at the same time! I love the energy and impact of this illustration, with Skeletor thrown into the air by the force of the impact. I can just imagine that Skeletor was sitting in his throne minding his own business when Ram Man suddenly stormed in...


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

09 July 2012

Skeletor's new eyes!

I have not experimented with imagery on this Blog for a while, so I thought it was about time I change that! There are many that were not pleased with the design of Skeletor in The New Adventures of He-Man series. Many criticized the character's eyeballs, and how it was too far removed from the Skeletor that they knew and loved. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to see what the villain would have looked like without his infamous eyes. It is amazing to see how close to the original Filmation skull design he looks...



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

08 July 2012

She-Ra script: "The Sea Hawk" #7

For your entertainment I present to you the script for the season one She-Ra episode "The Sea Hawk" written by Larry DiTillio. This episode would mark the debut of the Sea Hawk, a character that would go on to become one of the most memorable guest stars in the series, as well as being more importantly the love interest of Adora! Here are the last three pages of the script.


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

06 July 2012

When geese attack!

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. Due to the size of this compilation book being a different format, some the illustrations that accompanied "She-Ra and the Golden Goose" were completely redrawn. Here I present one of the illustrations that was not redrawn for the book by Glenn Steward. In this comical illustration we see Catra, Castaspella, and Entrapta fleeing for their lives as they are attacked by a flock of geese! One has to question how hard it must be for Castaspella to run with their large dial on her back!


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

04 July 2012

Coloring book #12 - Trap Jaw attacks!

During the eighties there were many Masters of the Universe coloring books, all of which featured a variety of artwork, with varying degrees of quality. Some artists put in a great level of detail, other artists simply copied model sheets, and some artists were just plain questionable. There were a batch of illustrations by one particular unnamed artist that I have a great affection for, mainly because the style is close to the cartoon, but bold enough to be identifiable as the artist's own! These images also showcased some pretty impressive scenes that I personally wish could have been seen in the Filmation series. In this illustration we see Trap Jaw leaping towards a retreating Man-E-Faces. One could presume this scene either takes place at the Royal Palace, or more likely Castle Grayskull, with Skeletor erecting his villainous flag! Or it could be that Man-E-Faces attempted to infiltrate Skeletor's base of operations; though it does not resemble Snake Mountain in the slightest! Also, be sure to look at the way in which Man-E-Faces has been illustrated here, because he shows up again in a few illustrations time sporting a somewhat different look...


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

03 July 2012

Staring at the impossible!

Here I present a great panel from issue seven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. After a skirmish with Skeletor and his Evil Warriors He-Man begins his transformation back into Prince Adam. However, upon summoning the power something strange happens resulting in the appearance of two separate beings. As the animated series was incredibly slow to air all the episodes in the UK, this was one of the earliest times I can recall seeing He-Man transform back into Prince Adam. Even more interesting is the phrase he uses, which in later UK comic stories would be altered from "I Have The Power!" to "I am Adam!" I remember when I was a kid being absolutely awestruck when I turned the page and saw this image!


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

02 July 2012

She-Ra script: "The Sea Hawk" #6

For your entertainment I present to you the script for the season one She-Ra episode "The Sea Hawk" written by Larry DiTillio. This episode would mark the debut of the Sea Hawk, a character that would go on to become one of the most memorable guest stars in the series, as well as being more importantly the love interest of Adora! Here are pages thirty to thirty-five of the script.



(click on the images to see them at full-size)

01 July 2012

Let's go all out...

You should instantly recognize what episode these storyboards are from! With no indication from Robert Lamb's script, or director Steve Clark, Bob Forward took it upon himself to make the opening scene of the transformation sequence from "Into the Abyss" incredibly memorable. While Robert Lamb's script details the connection between the transformation sequence and Teela's experience in the abyss, it makes no mention of Prince Adam dramatically stood in front of the Eternian moons unsheathing the Sword of Power! As you can see Bob Forward indicates in these panels that everyone involved should "go all out on this one", implying he knew that if done right, this could be a very special scene indeed. Fortunately, everyone did go all out, and created one of the most memorable scenes in the history of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.


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