30 August 2012

A unique angle.

"Leech - The Master of Power Suction Unleashed!" is one of the worst Masters of the Universe minicomics ever produced. The artwork, while unique, seems to change style from panel to panel, as does the look of characters. The story is also incredibly questionable with events making little to no sense. The only panels I can actually tolerate in this minicomic are the ones I present below which showcase the moment Prince Adam transforms into He-Man. I think the angle of the illustration is fantastic, showing Prince Adam from above with the Sword of Power raised. I also like the way in which the sword is illustrated in the stand-alone panel. Unfortunately, this is the only real piece of quality in this minicomic...


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

29 August 2012

Coloring book #23 - Trap door Tri-Klops!

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 Beast Man and Mer-Man attempting to figure out the malfunctioning controls of something, as Tri-Klops falls down a trap door! I love the expressions on the faces of both Beast Man and Mer-Man, and I especially love the awkward contorted pose of Tri-Klops as gravity claims him as a victim!


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

28 August 2012

Glimmer's big head #3

Here is an illustration by Fred Carrillo from the Princess of Power Golden Book "The Crooked Crown". In this story Queen Angella leaves Bright Moon in the hands of Glimmer, resulting in a sequence of ill-timed events. Tricked into donning the Crooked Crown by Catra Glimmer's head begins to grow. Here is the third of three comical illustrations in which this happens. I always laugh at this illustration at the way in which Glimmer is trying to raise her hands to her gigantic head!


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

27 August 2012

Adam and Cringer return...

Here is a nice calm illustration by Robin Davies from the Masters of the Universe Ladybird book "Wings of Doom". In this piece Prince Adam and Cringer have just transformed back from their other selves and are returning to the Royal Palace. I like the small attention to detail, such as Cringer's white eyebrows; something that is unique to this piece. I must say though, Cringer appears to have put on a little extra weight!


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

25 August 2012

He-Man's bad dream!

"Nightmares!" from issue sixteen of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine tells a unique story in which Prince Adam's dreams are plagued by nightmares so realistic that he seeks the help of the Sorceress! In this dramatic panel we see He-Man awaken from a nightmare in which he falls to his death, having been chased down by Skeletor, Hordak, and King Hiss!


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

24 August 2012

Coloring book #22 - Toy Attak Trak.

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 He-Man piloting a toy accurate depiction of the Attak Trak. It is always nice to see the Attak Trak illustrated in the style of the cartoon, as it only appeared once in the series. And even then it was not completely accurate to the design of the toy.


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

23 August 2012

Glimmer's big head #2

Here is an illustration by Fred Carrillo from the Princess of Power Golden Book "The Crooked Crown". In this story Queen Angella leaves Bright Moon in the hands of Glimmer, resulting in a sequence of ill-timed events. Tricked into donning the Crooked Crown by Catra Glimmer's head begins to grow. Here is the second of three comical illustrations in which this happens. Interestingly, if you look at the faces of both She-Ra and Frosta you can see that they have been xeroxed on. My guess is that the editor of the book did not like Fred's rendering of the character faces.


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

22 August 2012

Big efx fill screen!

These three panels illustrated by Michael Swanigan, as featured in the storyboards for the season one He-Man episode "Temple of The Sun", showcase the moment when Nepthu gains the power of the Sun Scarab. Fortunately for us all, Filmation would follow his boards perfectly, and the power of these illustrations would be perfectly translated to screen.


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

20 August 2012

The grandfather.

For some reason I was always a fan of the grandfather character that appeared in the season two He-Man episode "Hunt for He Man". Not only was he given a superbly fleshed-out personality, but the character design was unique. Normally, with an old character, Filmation would just reuse an existing character model to cut both time and costs. However, the character design department created a wonderfully-detailed elderly figure, somewhat hunched over. I always loved that you could really sense the frailty with the grandfather, but that he sported such a strong personality! Also, I think the color scheme of the character worked well.


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

19 August 2012

Coloring book #21 - A villainous Battle Ram?

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 driving the Battle Ram attacked by He-Man piloting the Wind Raider. This image brings up an interesting point that I have never really thought about. As we all know, the Heroic Warriors have Sky Sleds, which are the detachable parts of the Battle Ram vehicles. So where do the War Sleds used by the Evil Warriors originate from? If the War Sled is a near-perfect duplicate of the Sky Sled then where is the villains' version of the Battle Ram? This image would make sense that the villains have their own Battle Ram vehicles. On the other hand, Trap Jaw could have just stolen this vehicle!


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

18 August 2012

Glimmer's big head #1

Here is an illustration by Fred Carrillo from the Princess of Power Golden Book "The Crooked Crown". In this story Queen Angella leaves Bright Moon in the hands of Glimmer, resulting in a sequence of ill-timed events. Tricked into donning the Crooked Crown by Catra Glimmer's head begins to grow. Here is the first of three comical illustrations in which this happens. I think this illustration would be all the more amusing had Fred illustrated Enchanta turning to Glimmer in shock!


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

17 August 2012

Now the fun starts.

Here I present one of my favorite panels by Rich Chidlaw from the season one He-Man episode "The Region of Ice". The storyboard for this episode is a great deal of fun to look at, not only for the detail and style of artwork, but also because of the hilarious expressions Rich gave to the characters, many of which were sadly not carried through to the final production due to the limitations of the Filmation stock system. This panel is a case in point. In this image we see an incredibly pumped-up He-Man looking down at Orko, with Orko looking somewhat reluctantly back up at him. In the episode this shot looks a lot less striking...


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

15 August 2012

Emiliano's Grayskull.

Going into the Masters of the Universe from MVCreations Emiliano Santalucia was already a huge fan of Filmation's backgrounds and their design of Castle Grayskull. When the animated series from Mike Young Productions began we were all left disappointed by the way in which Castle Grayskull was so blandly illustrated, with a complete lack of detail. However, when Emiliano had the opportunity to illustrate Castle Grayskull in the comic he brought across as many of the Filmation design elements as he could. You can easily see in this illustration from issue two (volume one) what parts of the castle are influenced by the Filmation series...


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

14 August 2012

Coloring book #20 - The Talon Fighter strikes!

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 Skeletor and Beast Man attacked by the Talon Fighter, a situation that has occurred in almost every Masters of the Universe canon, except the animated series! As with so many of these pieces I love the boldness of Skeletor's pose.


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

13 August 2012

Rarely used cast members.

I always thought this image, as seen in the introduction sequence to The New Adventures of He-Man series, was interesting. Often with introduction sequences we are introduced to prominent characters from the show we are about to watch. However, that is not the case with this image. Obviously Hydron and Flipshot would appear in pretty much every episode of the series, but the same cannot be said for the other three men. Kayo, Vizar, and Nocturna would barely appear in the series. Nocturna was by far the least seen character of the entire series! It is strange that they chose this collection of characters for this shot...


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

12 August 2012

A brief review #029 - "Prince Adam No More"

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 "Prince Adam No More"...

In his all-too-brief time working on the series, Paul Dini proved that he knew these characters better than most. What he manages to do in this particular episode is give three characters, Beast Man, Prince Adam, and King Randor, an ample amount of screen time. We see the strained relationship between King Randor and Prince Adam beautifully scripted. By having the characters of Beast Man and Prince Adam at their lowest, he delves into what makes their characters work. Not only that, he seamlessly weaves an action-adventure story amongst all of this. In this single episode Paul Dini explores the characters more thoroughly than any other in the series, making it an instant classic. 9/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

11 August 2012

She-Ra emblem.

The first episode of She-Ra's season two "One To Count On" features an interesting visual during the opening scene. During a battle with some Horde Troopers the quick-thinking Adora grabs a nearby drape and throws it at them, creating confusion. What should be noted is that the emblem on the drape is actually the one on She-Ra's costume!


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

09 August 2012

Coloring book #19 - Climbing Point Dread...

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 Evil-Lyn and Faker climbing what one could only assume is Point Dread in order to reach the Talon Fighter. I like this piece on a number of levels. Aside form the illustration itself, it looks like an intriguing scene from an unseen episode of the animated series in which the villains attempt to gain control over the Talon Fighter! Also, I like the idea of Faker paired up with Evil-Lyn.


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

08 August 2012

How old is He-Man? #2

Scrollos has much to answer for in issue sixty-five of the UK Masters of the Universe comic!


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

07 August 2012

How old is He-Man? #1

A reader of the UK Masters of the Universe comic poses an interesting question to Scrollos in issue fifty-eight...


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

06 August 2012

Sitting by the river...

Here I present a lovely illustration featuring She-Ra and Mermista from the story "The Lost River", which was featured in the rarely-seen four story She-Ra Ladybird compilation book. I love the fact that Mermista is portrayed combing her hair in stereotypical mermaid style! Again, Glenn Steward creates a wonderful sense of depth by depicting the characters with an outline around them, leaving the background to be rendered in a more traditional style.


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

05 August 2012

Coloring book #18 - Man-At and Man-E.

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 and Man-E-Faces working together. Although the positioning of Man-E-Faces' hand indicates that he is about to ask his colleague a question. Interestingly, in this image Man-E-Faces is drawn much like his appearance in the animated series. However, if you go back a few posts and see the image of Trap Jaw attacking Man-E-Faces you will see that in that illustration his look is based upon the toy...


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

04 August 2012

How big is Leech supposed to be?!

"Leech - The Master of Power Suction Unleashed!" is one of the worst Masters of the Universe minicomics ever produced. The artwork, while unique, seems to change style from panel to panel, as does the look of characters. The story is also incredibly questionable with events making little to no sense. Even as a kid one of the things that annoyed me most about this story is that no explanation is given for why Leech is so ridiculously oversized. In these three panels you can see that he is a giant when compared to Skeletor, Mer-Man, and the Land Shark! An example of the ever-changing artwork can be seen in how different Leech's face looks when comparing the first panel to the third panel.


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

02 August 2012

Happy Hordak!

Here is an incredibly memorable panel from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "Enter: Buzz-Saw Hordak!" Illustrated by Bruce Timm this fantastic panel shows Hordak corrupted by the power located in the Central Tower, making him good! The way in which Hordak's smiling face is illustrated is great, but the tiny detail that makes all the difference is the Horde symbol on Hordak's chest, which is also smiling!


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

01 August 2012

FILMATION ART: Valley of Power.

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 He-Man episode "Valley of Power". The Valley of Power was a unique and sadly rarely used location in the Filmation cartoon. This background shows Cringer's point of view as he slips off the side of the mountain! Once again the artists at Filmation create an amazing sense of depth through use of detail and a wide spectrum of colors! I particularly like the purple highlights which seem to reflect the color of the mountain on the surrounding green areas. If memory serves me correctly this background was reused in the season two episode "Search for a Son" when Teela falls off of a mountain. But, for me, this background will always be a fantastic, if not scary, view of the Valley of Power.


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

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

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