30 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #11

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the first of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Orko, resized for you to enjoy! The composition of this piece is great, with King Randor and Queen Marlena watching Orko's antics from afar.


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

29 May 2013

Unnecessary explanation.

In this nicely illustrated transformation panel as featured in issue eight of the UK Princess of Power comic we see She-Ra explain why she is able to transform in front of Madame Razz and Broom. Given that this is issue eight of the comic, and that she has transformed in front of them numerous times before, it seems a somewhat unnecessary point for her to make!


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

28 May 2013

Zap! Zap!

Here is another illustration from one of the many Masters of the Universe coloring and activity books, and another example of the artist paying close attention to the Filmation series. Yes, the pose of Evil-Lyn is pretty much lifted from her model sheet pose, but the Teela one is new. However, I have to question the size of Teela's legs. Yes, athletic females do have strong legs, but in this illustration it appears that she has borrowed He-Man's legs!


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

26 May 2013

Pow! Pow!

This illustration from one of the many Masters of the Universe coloring and activity books is not bad at all. Some of the books paid close attention to the Filmation series, and you can see that is the case with this piece. Whilst the execution of the illustration may not be perfect, I do like the poses and intent of the piece. But we all know He-Man would never punch Beast Man, right?


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

25 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #10

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the two pages focusing on Orko. In this illustration we can see that Orko looks a lot like his model sheet, and that King Randor and Queen Marlena look a lot more detailed and regal than their cartoon designs. It should also be mentioned that the throne room looks a lot less spectacular than it does in the animated series. I like the fact that the text refers to Orko being the "resident juggler", besides being the resident magician and resident general entertainer.


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

23 May 2013

FILMATION ART: Trollan stream.

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 "Dawn of Dragoon". This background is one of my favorite purchases, as it is one of the earliest images we see of Trolla. I love the color scheme on this piece of artwork featuring a wonderful use of oranges for the shrubbery, and the blues for the bridge and surrounding landscape. I even like the way the sides of the river are painted a slight shade of purple to distinguish them for the rest of the ground. In this episode there was a running stream during this shot, which I do not have. However, when we see this image again in the episode there is no stream running, but instead there is a beautiful overlay of the upside down rainbow that Prince Adam spots, indicating that things are backwards on this planet.


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

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



And how it was reused a few minutes later...

22 May 2013

Ugly heroes.

Here is an incredibly disturbing illustration of He-Man, Man-At-Arms, and Teela as seen in the 1986 Masters of the Universe annual. Oddly, this artist would often illustrate beautiful pieces featuring a wonderful use of water colors. However, on this occasion, the faces of all three characters look strange to say the least. They appear to be made of a rubbery substance that has warped dramatically. He-Man's face in particular appears as if it were constructed from the features of four different individuals. And is it me, or does Teela look like a man?


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

20 May 2013

Transformation by the river.

I always liked seeing how the many different artists interpreted the transformation sequences of both She-Ra and He-Man for print. In this panel as featured in issue two of the UK Princess of Power comic we see a fairly accurate depiction of the way in which the magic wraps itself around She-Ra. What I think makes this panel unique is that there are other characters stood directly beside her as she transforms. It appears that Madame Razz is overjoyed at the moment the transformation takes place, holding what appears to be an incredibly crudely-drawn Broom!


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

19 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #9

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the second of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Teela, resized for you to enjoy! Although I am not convinced by the technique of this flying kick, I do love the fact that Teela is kicking Trap Jaw square in the jaw!


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

18 May 2013

A brief review #038 - "Valley of Power"

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 "Valley of Power"...

This episode is unique in that the entirety of the first act takes place in one single location, and succeeds in keeping us entertained. Once Danavas becomes the villain of the episode the plot becomes fairly straightforward, and yet, somehow, this episode thrives on unique action sequences and thoroughly entertaining character dialogue. Of course Battle Cat is the surprising star of this episode, with He-Man a close second. Both seem have a good rapport with one another in this episode, and almost appear to delight in the fight against evil. This episode does not quite achieve monumental greatness due to the relatively straightforward story. 7/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

16 May 2013

He punched Beast Man?!

In this page of storyboards by Bob Kline from the season one He-Man episode "Diamond Ray of Disappearance", we can see that during the battle outside of Castle Grayskull He-Man was originally going to punch Beast Man! Now, for those that know the cartoon and the strict rules it placed upon itself, this scene could never take place. He-Man was never allowed to commit violent acts against the enemy. As such, these scenes have a large cross through them implying that they would not even make it to the layout stage!


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

15 May 2013

The wrong home?

Here is an illustration from issue fifty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. In this piece we see the Heroic Warriors preparing to head back home, having saved the day once again. You can see on the horizon that "home" is illustrated as the Three Towers. This would appear to be a mistake on the part of the artist. Even though the Three Towers were an important part of the comic by this point, the Heroic Warriors' primary base of operations was still the Royal Palace, as it was at the very beginning of this issue!


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

14 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #8

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the first of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Teela, resized for you to enjoy! The way in which Teela's body is positioned as she swings her sword, knocking Mer-Man's sword from his hand, is fantastic.


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

13 May 2013

Skeletor versus the Attak Trak!

The many Masters of the Universe coloring and activity books featured a plethora of unique and often questionable illustrations! Here is one such example featuring the Attak Trak attacking Skeletor. I can just about buy into the fact that the vehicle and Skeletor are dueling, but why Skeletor's hood is falling down revealing his skull for comical effect is beyond me! And maybe I have this wrong, but if you look at Skeletor's pose, he almost appears to be laying down. Maybe Skeletor was merely taking a nap when the Attak Trak attacked?


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

11 May 2013

Sorceress in the stars.

This image of the Sorceress, created by the joining of many stars, is featured in the incredibly memorable episode "Glastnost Schmaznost" from The New Adventures of He-Man series. In the episode He-Man is looking for a way to return to Primus, currently dominated by the Mutants, but is unable to penetrate the shield that surrounds the planet. He looks towards the stars only to see this image of the Sorceress form. He subsequently joins the stars using the power of his sword to create a large image of the Sword of Power; notifying those on Primus to lower the shield!


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

09 May 2013

FILMATION ART: Trollan landscape.

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 "Dawn of Dragoon". While this may look like a simple nondescript background, I immediately recognized it from the scene in which Prince Adam attempts to use his fire ray, which due to the backwards nature of Trolla turns into water. Filmation always had a talent for drawing otherworldly locations, and yet making them vastly different from all the strange oddities located on Eternia. Amazingly, weeks after purchasing this background I found the matching cel of Prince Adam!


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

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

08 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #7

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the two pages focusing on Teela. That said, much like the colored Man-At-Arms illustration seen previously in this book, this illustration appears to focus on the vehicle, in this case the Wind Raider, rather than the individual piloting it. I love that the text describes her as a "warrior-maiden"...


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

07 May 2013

Vibrant panels.

Here are some wonderfully colored and beautifully rendered panels from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "King of the Snake Men". This story features some of the best-looking artwork seen in the minicomics, with Bruce Timm illustrating for Mattel early in his artistic career. I love how the mood of the scene changes with each panel moving in closer to He-Man, with the vibrancy of color increasing as the Snake Men army begin to emerge! The third panel shows a fantastic use of colors, as well as some wonderful lighting that casts eerie shadows across He-Man's face!


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

06 May 2013

That's Imp?! #2

Imp was a character that rarely, if ever, appeared outside of the Filmation She-Ra series. Interestingly, a few other canons did attempt to bring him into existence, with vastly differing results. Here is the second of two images showing Imp outside of the cartoon. In this illustration from issue thirteen of the Masters of the Universe comic published by Star Comics we see another unique take on Filmation's character. While his proportions are closer to the cartoon, his lack of hair and fingers is quite striking. Once again the color scheme differs greatly from the Filmation design with this version of Imp being colored bright pink!


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

05 May 2013

That's Imp?! #1

Imp was a character that rarely, if ever, appeared outside of the Filmation She-Ra series. Interestingly, a few other canons did attempt to bring him into existence, with vastly differing results. Here is the first of two images showing Imp outside of the cartoon. In this illustration from issue eight of the UK Princess of Power comic we see a much taller Imp with his proportions vastly different when compared to his Filmation counterpart. Aside from the differing design the most notable difference is that he is red!


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

04 May 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #6

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the second of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Man-At-Arms, resized for you to enjoy! Here we see Man-At-Arms uses his rarely seen mace against what one would presume is another of Skeletor's skeletal-like warriors.


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

03 May 2013

Impressive, no?

Here is yet another beautiful-looking Bruce Timm illustration from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Terror Claws Strike!" Bruce Timm's Jack Kirby-inspired artwork was always worthy of splash page artwork, and the colors on this page compliment the artwork so perfectly. I always loved Bruce's ability to illustrate certain overly-dramatic poses, something he would go on to perfect for Batman: The Animated Series.


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

02 May 2013

Sad Hordak!

Throughout the She-Ra series Hordak was portrayed as such a strong character, that we rarely saw moments of weakness. Usually when these moments of weakness would occur, they would revolve around him having his leadership tested by his Horde peers. This comical piece of animation art from the season two episode "The Inspector" wonderfully showcases a moment in which Hordak's decision-making is questioned by a Horde Inspector, portrayed by a disguised Prince Adam. I love the fact that Hordak's sad-looking face is so dramatically striking, because we are so used to seeing the same aggressive expression upon his face!


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

01 May 2013

Tom Sito's Echo Valley.

When storyboarding "The Greatest Show on Eternia" Tom Sito decided that a specific scene in the episode needed explaining visually. Every once in a while the storyboard artists would create these expositional illustrations to create a better understanding of a scene, and aid those that referred to the storyboard during the production of the episode. In this particular illustration we see He-Man and Battle Cat on a ledge overlooking Crackers, who is deep in the valley.


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