21 November 2014

He-Man strikes Skeletor!

Here is a fantastic illustration from "The Revenge of Skeletor!", a minicomic from The New Adventures of He-Man toyline! In one of Bruce Timm's last ever illustrations on the He-Man brand he made sure he went out with a bang, by having He-Man race towards Skeletor and strike the villain with a great sense of ferocity and power! Also, I've mentioned time and time again Jack Kirby's influence on Timm's work. Nowhere can it be seen better than in the smaller panel with He-Man holding the Sword of Power. We can see the "Kirby Crackle", an artistic trademark indicated by black dots of varying sizes, emanating from the blade.


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

17 November 2014

"Sun Fires"

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!

"Sun Fires"
The Masters have thrown Eternia out of orbit, and headed toward its sun. This causes fires and other catastrophes on the planet which He-Man must deal with. Finally, using Archimedes' principle of levers ("Give me a place to stand, and I could move the Earth!"), He-Man sets up a giant lever in space to correct Eternia's orbit.


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

13 November 2014

Panini sticker album art #9

When I was a kid, one of my most prized possessions was the Masters of the Universe sticker album by Panini. I still remember the day my mother purchased the album for me. Aside from the fun of collecting the stickers themselves I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the Filmation-accurate illustrations that could be found on each and every page. I thought it would be a good idea to showcase those illustrations on this very Blog!

Here we see Skeletor and Panthor preparing to storm Castle Grayskull...


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

11 November 2014

Bizarre action!

In quite possibly one of the most bizarre illustrations ever to grace the Masters of the Universe brand, in this illustration from the US Masters of the Universe magazine we see He-Man flipping Skeletor upside down! The way in which Skeletor is posed, makes it appear as if he is acrobatically preparing himself to land in the tree stump. Normally you would expect a character that has been flipped over to be desperately flailing their arms and legs. But here, Skeletor looks more than prepared for the inevitable. It was worth picking up the entire run of US-produced Masters of the Universe magazines just for this one image alone!


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

10 November 2014

A brief review #053 - "Dree Elle's Return"

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 "Dree Elle's Return"...

Robby London's second Trollan episode of the series does not even come close to his first. The writing throughout is average at best; though it should be noted that Orko is written better than in many of his other appearances. At times there are some spectacular visuals in this episode, which make it all the more surprising that when the Horn of Evil's power is unleashed, everything presented to us is underwhelming. The Horn of Evil itself is a fantastic story device, but in this episode its true potential is wasted. The fact that the episode's entire plot is written around the idea that that a song will be sung at some point during the episode, is not very good at all. 3/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

06 November 2014

Panini sticker album art #8

When I was a kid, one of my most prized possessions was the Masters of the Universe sticker album by Panini. I still remember the day my mother purchased the album for me. Aside from the fun of collecting the stickers themselves I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the Filmation-accurate illustrations that could be found on each and every page. I thought it would be a good idea to showcase those illustrations on this very Blog!

In these two panels we see Orko being saved by a falling vase from the Diamond Ray of Disappearance, and subsequently warning He-Man of Skeletor's attack...


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

03 November 2014

Fishing for Orko...

Here is another illustration from the US Masters of the Universe magazine. Admittedly, the artwork throughout many of the US-produced magazines was not all that impressive; at least in my opinion. That said, this particular story featured some very nice artwork, utilizing a slightly heavier use of blacks for the character outlines to make them pop from the page. I particularly like the way in which the dejected and drenched Orko is illustrated. And the red version of Spikor continues to confuse me...


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

01 November 2014

"The Ghost Blossoms" #2

"The Ghost Blossoms" from the rarely-seen preview issue of the UK She-Ra comic tells the rather straightforward tale of She-Ra and Bow having to obtain the Ghost Blossoms in order to save the babies of a village from illness. As one can predict the Evil Horde show up and make life difficult for She-Ra. Here are the final three pages of this story...


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

27 October 2014

Panini sticker album art #7

When I was a kid, one of my most prized possessions was the Masters of the Universe sticker album by Panini. I still remember the day my mother purchased the album for me. Aside from the fun of collecting the stickers themselves I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the Filmation-accurate illustrations that could be found on each and every page. I thought it would be a good idea to showcase those illustrations on this very Blog!

In this piece the Robot Knights make an appearance...


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

26 October 2014

"The Ghost Blossoms" #1

"The Ghost Blossoms" from the rarely-seen preview issue of the UK She-Ra comic tells the rather straightforward tale of She-Ra and Bow having to obtain the Ghost Blossoms in order to save the babies of a village from illness. As one can predict the Evil Horde show up and make life difficult for She-Ra. Here are the first three pages of this story...


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