29 January 2014

A battle royal!

The original DC Masters of the Universe minicomics were very clever. Growing up I had just assumed they were random stories that never really built to anything, and were merely there to give a little backstory to the toys that they accompanied. However, the incredibly rare minicomic "The Tale of Teela!", which many of us did not own in our youth, is revealed to be the culmination of the previous minicomics. The heroes and villains, that have been introduced one by one over the course of the DC minicomics, all appear in one single story. And the result is pretty spectacular! Mark Texeira's artwork is beautiful throughout, and the story itself is simply sublime. This panel wonderfully sums up just how much happens in this one single minicomic...


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

28 January 2014

The original Crimson Scourge!

Just over a year ago I acquired the storyboards for the season one He-Man episode "Ordeal in the Darklands". For those of you that don't know, the original script had a vastly different ending, which I will attempt to cover on this Blog at another time. However, the storyboard itself followed the episode produced. Except for one notable difference. In this image, from the storyboard by Warren Greenwood, you can see that the Crimson Scourge was more humanoid in appearance, as opposed to his overgrown panther-like form in the episode. This creature actually looks more like the Spirit of Evil from the episode "Wizard of Stone Mountain"!


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

27 January 2014

She-Ra Viewmaster #5

For your entertainment, over the course of the next month or so, I will present the rarely seen She-Ra Viewmaster reels. You will notice that even though this story attempts to tell a new story, there are numerous elements borrowed from the season one episode "Beast Island".

Text accompanying this image: "We'll follow Angella."


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

26 January 2014

"Exploding Worlds"

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!

"Exploding Worlds"
Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms are vacationing in the wilderness of a remote asteroid. Suddenly the lake begins to boil. No sooner do they escape the asteroid than the whole thing explodes in space. Returning to Eternia, they receive word that the Eternian ocean is beginning to boil! Speeding under the sea, they discover that Skeletor has found the legendary Energy Stone which he had tested on the asteroid. Now he plans to explode all planets that oppose him, starting with Eternia!


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

25 January 2014

At the mercy 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! In this piece we see that Catra and Clawdeen have suffered yet another loss. Frosta appears to be smiling, but knowing how her mind works we know that she will not be as merciful as Catra and Clawdeen hope her to be...


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

22 January 2014

She-Ra Viewmaster #4

For your entertainment, over the course of the next month or so, I will present the rarely seen She-Ra Viewmaster reels. You will notice that even though this story attempts to tell a new story, there are numerous elements borrowed from the season one episode "Beast Island".

Text accompanying this image: Glimmer gets an alarming message.


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

21 January 2014

FILMATION ART: Mountainous region.

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 "Orko's Favorite Uncle". Sadly, this location was never given a name in the episode; the script merely referring to it as a "mountainous region". One of things I always liked about the backgrounds for this location is that the sky was painted a lot darker than the typical Eternian daytime sky. My theory for this is that the director wanted to create a somewhat stormy environment for this foreboding place that operated as Tauron's base of operations. I love the way in which the mountains themselves compliment the sky with their green hued color schemes, which can be seen clearly with this piece. Note that the ground is painted in a way so that it matches the mountains around it, but imbued with a blue hue to give it some distinction. The depth of this piece of artwork is pretty awesome, too. Surprisingly, this beautiful background was not used in the actual episode!


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

20 January 2014

Shoot the asteroid!

Here is an action-packed and pretty powerful illustration from the Masters of the Universe Ladybird book "He-Man and the Asteroid of Doom" by Robin Davies. I love the level of detail on the toy accurate Wind Raider in this piece; especially the bird-like design that swoops down the cockpit. There is an incredible sense of speed in this illustration, largely in part thanks to the chalk-based speed lines that zip across the Wind Raider!


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

19 January 2014

She-Ra Viewmaster #3

For your entertainment, over the course of the next month or so, I will present the rarely seen She-Ra Viewmaster reels. You will notice that even though this story attempts to tell a new story, there are numerous elements borrowed from the season one episode "Beast Island".

Text accompanying this image: She rides Swiftwind to the Camp.


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

18 January 2014

Relaxed Rattlor.

Never have we seen Rattlor, or any member of the Snake Men for that matter, this relaxed. This illustration by Bruce Timm from the rarely see Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Ultimate Battleground!" really shows a unique side to this particular character. Here, Rattlor, incredibly bored with having to guard one of the Three Towers of Eternia, complains within his own head. The dialogue, combined with this pose, results in a highly-memorable panel!


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

17 January 2014

A brief review #046 - "Eternal Darkness"

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 "Eternal Darkness"...

Whether it be the inclusion of Darkdream, one of the series' greatest villains, or the dramatic threat of the moon on a collision course with Eternia, there is nothing predictable or boring about this story. We get a real sense that the heroes are actually worried about the events unfolding during the course of the episode. The story is paced to perfection, effortlessly intercutting between the heroes and villains. The fact that the climax of the episode takes place at Castle Grayskull is a wonderful surprise, and only helps emphasize the strength of writing. From the story, to the cast, even to the dimmed light during the second act, everything about this episode feels fresh. 7/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

15 January 2014

She-Ra Viewmaster #2

For your entertainment, over the course of the next month or so, I will present the rarely seen She-Ra Viewmaster reels. You will notice that even though this story attempts to tell a new story, there are numerous elements borrowed from the season one episode "Beast Island".

Text accompanying this image: Adora changes to She-Ra.


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

14 January 2014

Adam trips!

One of my favorite pieces of animation from the season one He-Man episode "Temple of The Sun" occurs when Prince Adam attempts to leap over some hurdles, only to trip on the first and crash into the rest! Here is the panel from the storyboard by Michael Swanigan, which reveals that he originally envisioned the shot from a slightly different angle. As always with Michael's boards the thick black outline he gives to the characters is very striking!


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

12 January 2014

Alternative mode of transport...

This illustration by Fred Fredericks from the Princess of Power Golden Book "The Sword of She-Ra" shows Prince Adam, Cringer, Bow, and Glimmer astride flying goats on route to Beast Island! This book was illustrated away from the first few episodes of the She-Ra cartoon, upon which this story is based; so even though they had the same basic premise, there were many notable differences. In the actual episode "Beast Island" we see Madame Razz create a flying ship with which she and her allies can travel to Beast Island to rescue He-Man from The Evil Horde. However, in this story there is no need to rescue He-Man, but there is still a need to journey to Beast Island. In this story Madame Razz creates goats instead of boats...


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

11 January 2014

She-Ra Viewmaster #1

For your entertainment, over the course of the next month or so, I will present the rarely seen She-Ra Viewmaster reels. You will notice that even though this piece of merchandise attempts to tell a new story, there are numerous elements borrowed from the season one episode "Beast Island".

Text accompanying this image: "I must return to the Camp of the Great Rebellion."


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

10 January 2014

"To Teach A Prince"

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!

"To Teach A Prince"
Worried about their son's continued irresponsibility, the King and Queen send Prince Adam to a special sorcerer who is said to work wonders with such problems. Along with other errant heirs from the universe, the Sorcerer tries to make Adam more "kingly". Skeletor seizes this opportunity to try and kidnap the heirs to use as pawns against their powerful parents.


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

09 January 2014

"Trapped by Hordak!" #2

For your entertainment I present the story "Trapped by Hordak!" as featured in issue two of the UK Princess of Power comic. In this story Hordak unveils the Nuller Device, a machine that nulls the gravity at anyone or anything that the beam is directed at! Once he has captured She-Ra, Hordak plans to overthrown the kingdom of Bright Moon by levitating the entire castle into the Etherian skies. Interestingly, it is not She-Ra's strength that saves the day in this story, but rather an accessory! Here are the remaining three pages of this story...


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

08 January 2014

Greenwood's Evil-Lyn...

Warren Greenwood illustrated more than a few storyboards during his time at Filmation. His storyboards for "Ordeal in the Darklands" are unique in that the panels were never inked. Here we see a fantastically dramatic depiction of Evil-Lyn raising her staff into shot...


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

06 January 2014

"Trapped by Hordak!" #1

For your entertainment I present the story "Trapped by Hordak!" as featured in issue two of the UK Princess of Power comic. In this story Hordak unveils the Nuller Device, a machine that nulls the gravity at anyone or anything that the beam is directed at! Once he has captured She-Ra, Hordak plans to overthrown the kingdom of Bright Moon by levitating the entire castle into the Etherian skies. Interestingly, it is not She-Ra's strength that saves the day in this story, but rather an accessory! Here are the first three pages of this story...


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

05 January 2014

She-Ra script: "Of Shadows and Skulls" #7

For your entertainment I present to you the script for the season one She-Ra episode "Of Shadows and Skulls" written by Michael Chase Walker and Larry DiTillio. This episode is one of the best-remembered of the entire series with Skeletor making an appearance on Etheria and dominating all that oppose him! Here are the last four pages of the script.


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

03 January 2014

Timm's Ancients.

Here I present yet another Bruce Timm illustration. However, this time it is an illustration from the rarely see Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Ultimate Battleground!" Not only is the detail and coloring of this image quite striking, but the character designs of the three ancient beings is very interesting. It is clear that the artist was attempting to bring different cultures into the history of Eternia, and at the same time give the ancients a wonderful degree of diversity.


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

02 January 2014

She-Ra script: "Of Shadows and Skulls" #6

For your entertainment I present to you the script for the season one She-Ra episode "Of Shadows and Skulls" written by Michael Chase Walker and Larry DiTillio. This episode is one of the best-remembered of the entire series with Skeletor making an appearance on Etheria and dominating all that oppose him! Here are pages twenty-nine to thirty-four of the script.



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

01 January 2014

YEAR NINE BEGINS! :)

Happy New Year! On this, the first day of 2014, we enter the NINTH year of The He-Man and She-Ra Blog! And once again, there is a great deal to look forward to. Comic images, concept art, scripts, storyboards, animation art, minicomic artwork, viewmaster slides, and much, much more!

Many of you will be aware that for the last few months I've been working on the Masters of the Universe brand in an official capacity once again. This time I am contributing (heavily) to the official He-Man and the Masters of the Universe YouTube channel for Classic Media, owners of the Filmation library!

With this in mind, 2014 looks like it's going to be an unbelievably busy year! The Blog will continue as always, with hundreds of posts already written in advance!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...