30 August 2007

Great Profit!

Here are some more excellent panels from the classic minicomic "The Terror of Tri-Klops!" illustrated by Mark Texeira. The composition of these panels is fantastic with two close ups of each warrior as they speak followed by the single panel where the two Evil Warriors make a pact. One thing that sometimes confused me about Mark Texeira's Tri-Klops is that his three eyes did not appear to be spread out correctly on the visor, making it appear that he had four eyes...


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

29 August 2007

Skeletor's other throne!

This image from the season one He-Man episode "The Time Corridor" takes place in Eternia's past on Dragosaur Isle. The interesting thing about Skeletor's base of operations in this episode is that he has built himself a throne that is very different from his throne in Snake Mountain...


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

28 August 2007

Aroo is Hanuman?

In the script for the season one He-Man episode "Masks of Power", the guardian of the masks, Aroo, is described to look like Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god! A few quick searches on the Internet will show you how Hanuman slightly influenced the design of Aroo. Aroo would of course later appear as the character model for Braylok in the episode "The Return of Granamyr".


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27 August 2007

A party?

Here is an interesting looking panel from "The Treachery of Modulok!" minicomic that attempts to include a wealth of Heroic Warriors. It was rare for a minicomic to expand on the cast, or the toys it was written to sell, so it is interesting to see characters like Man-E-Faces and Stratos, as well as Mekaneck and Buzz-Off make a small cameo appearance...


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Stunned Glimmer!

Here is a silly little thing to point out, but it is one of my favorite images from She-Ra's season two. When Glimmer is stunned in the episode "Bow's Magical Gift" she is animated with this comical expression...

25 August 2007

Glimmer can turn invisible?!

The last new power that Glimmer demonstrated was the most impressive and easily the most ridiculous. In the season two episode "The Perils Of Peekablue" Glimmer demonstrates the ability to turn herself invisible! Not only that but she can also turn others invisible! Now in the previous seventy-nine episodes this ability would have gotten her and her friends out of a lot of scrapes. I would not have minded as much had the writer explained in a throwaway line that this was a new power, or a developing power...

24 August 2007

Glimmer can teleport?!

Glimmer is a character that had her personality clearly defined throughout the She-Ra series, but not her powers. In the season one episodes "Into Etheria", "Beast Island" and "Small Problems" Glimmer demonstrated the ability of teleportation. This would make her such a powerful character throughout the series, but a lack of continuity or a consciously forced decision meant that she did not use these powers to get her out of dangerous situations when it was obvious that she could have...

23 August 2007

Glimmer can fly?!

One of the most surprising powers that Glimmer demonstrated was her ability to fly as witnessed in the season two She-Ra episodes "Return Of The General" and "Portrait of Doom". Granted the second occurrence was due to the writer using the same scene and dialogue, but it was a surprising ability nonetheless! It was never explained how Glimmer whose ability to control light could fly. As with her rarely used teleportation powers her ability to fly would have gotten her out of many a dangerous situation...

22 August 2007

Bow minus mustache!

I was looking at all of my She-Ra model sheets the other day and wondered what Bow would look like without his mustache, paying homage to his toy incarnation. Obviously the toy was slightly different as he wore a headband, but I have to say I think Bow looks pretty cool without any facial hair!


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21 August 2007

Birthday Blog #1 - Orko's rabbits.

It's my birthday! That's right, today I turn thirty years old, and in honor of this slightly depressing event I have decided to feature TEN He-Man and She-Ra entries in one single session...

Are you ready?

Then let us begin...

Here is a really nice illustration from the beginning of the Masters of the Universe Ladybird book "He-Man meets the Beast". What I love about this illustration is the way that it looks like it could have come straight out of the animated series, especially with such a cartoon-centric cast laughing at Orko's antics! Be sure to look at the design of the box with Orko's own trademark letter "O" on it...


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

Birthday Blog #2 - That's not the abyss!

In the season one He-Man episode "The Shaping Staff" we watch He-Man and Faker fighting on the bridge at Castle Grayskull. During this scene we are treated to a shot of the abyss as Faker falls into it, which keen eyed viewers will realize is not the abyss! The background used is actually supposed to be used as Blood Falls outside of Snake Mountain, hence the protruding talon-like rock structures that you can see in the first image. The second image from "The Dragon Invasion" shows how this image should be used in the He-Man series. Fortunately, Filmation would eventually paint a background showing the never-ending abyss...


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

Birthday Blog #3 - But who is he?

Here is the last page of the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Powers of Grayskull: The Legend Begins!" The minicomic that promised so much to the point that we all thought we were about to embark on a new adventure, only for it all to vanish without a trace. This page is famous as we see He-Ro demonstrating his powers, though doing so in silhouette...


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Birthday Blog #4 - Ill Man-E-Faces...

The painted illustrations in the 1985 UK Masters of the Universe Annual were always impressive and extremely atmospheric in places. Take this image from the end of the story "The Tale of Man-E-Faces"; here we see He-Man and Teela at the bedside of Man-E-Faces, having just rescued him from Skeletor. The style of these paintings always reminded me of the earliest interpretations of Masters of the Universe. The mood of this piece is obvious, emphasized by the minimalist background...


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Birthday Blog #5 - This ain't Filmation!

A memorable phase during the Masters of the Universe minicomics had the artists look to the Filmation designs for inspiration. Subsequently we were treated to a lot of Filmation-like comic book artwork. The one thing that was odd about these minicomics is that they were extremely violent in places. "The Secret Liquid of Life", "Double-Edged Sword" and "Slave City" are three examples of minicomics that looked great, but had a very adult feel to them. In these two panels we can see He-Man and Battle Cat, clearly based on their Filmation models, killing the man-eating plants. Not something the moralistic Filmation He-Man would have done...


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Birthday Blog #6 - Volume twenty-two!

Often the covers to the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe video releases by Magic Window in the eighties were nothing to write home about! However with regards to the last five video releases Filmation illustrated some publicity stills that Magic Window sensibly used on their covers. I always thought that this cover to volume twenty-two was one of the strongest. Interestingly the cel of Webstor was actually used when he attacks Kittrina in "The Cat and the Spider".


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Birthday Blog #7 - Shriekers!

The Shriekers that first appeared in the season one He-Man episode "Creatures From The Tar Swamp" were written in the script with no confirmed name. Amusingly the script states, "...and for lack of a better term, we'll call them the Flying Shriekers," a name which actually stuck!

Birthday Blog #8 - Witch at work.

In this storyboard panel by Don Manuel from the She-Ra season one episode "The Wizard" we can see an amusing sight gag that never made it into the actual produced episode. Outside the home of Madame Razz is a sign that states "CAUTION: WITCH AT WORK", which is placed next to her washing line with all sorts of comical underwear!


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Birthday Blog #9 - Pretty Boy Bow.

"Shadow Weaver's Magic Mirror" features some fantastic artwork from Ladybird book artist Robin Davies. Amusingly his illustrations of Bow in certain parts of the book make the hero appear less than the macho Filmation character we were all familiar with, and more like a carefully groomed member of a boy band! Just check out those eyelashes!


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Birthday Blog #10 - Too much beef?

The season two He-Man episode marks the first and only appearance of the silent giant sumo warrior Michi. In the script to this episode the wrestling match between himself and Prince Adam goes on slightly longer. Also in the script Adam originally states that Michi's got "Too much beef," which was later altered before the recording session to "Too much muscle."

20 August 2007

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Look out for a BIG update tomorrow...

The final panel of the DC minicomic "The Menace of Trap Jaw!" shows the heroes walking away from Castle Grayskull victorious after their battle with Skeletor and Trap Jaw. What makes me smile about this panel is that it is very much like the end of a Filmation episode with the characters laughing. I have to ask though, aside from Santa Claus, who laughs like that?


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

19 August 2007

Bow's amazing shot #2

Here is the conclusion to Bow's amazing shot from the She-Ra minicomic "Adventure of the Blue Diamond". Bruce Timm demonstrates a great understanding of character interplay in this image, especially with Bow and his arm around Frosta celebrating. Also, is it just me or am I the only one to question the apostrophe in the word "Bull'seye!"? Of course it makes grammatical sense, but to this day this is the only instance where I recall seeing it written this way...


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That had to hurt...

I always thought that this panel from the DC minicomic "He-Man meets Ram Man" was one of the most painful looking illustrations featuring the Masters of the Universe cast. If you look carefully Ram Man is striking Skeletor on his lower back! Mark Texeira's style during these minicomics was perfect in that it was heavily rendered, but also had all the traditions of classic comic book art...


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16 August 2007

Attack on Snake Mountain!

Here is an absolutely action-packed illustration from the Masters of the Universe Ladybird book "He-Man and the Asteroid of Doom". It was extremely rare in the cartoon that we saw three Wind Raiders in flight. Thus seeing three Wind Raiders piloted by He-Man, Teela and Man-At-Arms destroying Skeletor's latest weapon atop Snake Mountain is always going to be a winner! Even the Snake looks slightly annoyed...


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15 August 2007

Accursed hero!

Not only did Bruce Timm insert many Jack Kirby-like squiggles into this illustration, but if you look carefully at this piece from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "Snake Attack!" the pose that He-Man is striking inside the globe is blatantly from the cartoon's transformation sequence...


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

09 August 2007

Bow's amazing shot #1

Bruce Timm strikes again! This time his artwork blesses the She-Ra minicomic "Adventure of the Blue Diamond". In this beautifully laid out page we get to see Bow demonstrating just how expert a marksman he really is! In this story Etheria's sun is blocked out by the power of the Blue Diamond and in the conclusion of the story Bow attaches the diamond to his arrow and fires it at the sun! The way the panels are illustrated presents one of the tensest moments of any He-Man or She-Ra minicomic. Not often would a page be paced like this, and even when the page ends the reader has no idea if the shot has succeeded until they turn the page!


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07 August 2007

Swings fist at cam...

Here are three fantastic storyboard panels from the season one She-Ra episode "The Unicorn King" featuring She-Ra punching the screen! This was the first time in the series that we would see She-Ra punching the screen, thus storyboard artist Keith Tucker indicates to the layout artists and animators to refer to the animation of He-Man punching the screen!


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Skeletor relaxed...

Here is an extremely relaxed Skeletor illustrated by Robin Davies as seen in the Ladybird book "He-Man and the Asteroid of Doom". It should be noted that he is relaxed because the Lord of Destruction is watching his radar screen waiting for the moment to strike! It should also be worth mentioning that Robin Davies' style is closer to the Filmation cartoon in these later books, when compared to his previous books...


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02 August 2007

Skeletor: Lord of the Air! #2

Here are pages four to six of a story titled "Skeletor: Lord of the Air!" from issue eleven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. This story features the rarely seen, yet very interesting team-up of the original winged warrior Stratos, and Buzz-Off. It is also interesting as it features the Grangers, the green winged creatures, trained at Skeletor's Air School no less! Notice that the Grangers sport Skeletor's face on their chests!


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Innocent Ram Man?

In the minicomic "The Terror of Tri-Klops!" Teela remarks that Ram Man is "so innocent". But we can see from this panel that Ram Man is not so innocent and knows that in the company of He-Man and Teela three is most definitely a crowd! Another strong illustration by comic book extraordinaire Mark Texeira...


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Hordak's debut!

"He-Man and the Asteroid of Doom" was the Ladybird book that first featured Hordak and the Evil Horde. At this point Robin Davies' style was closer to the Filmation show, so it comes as no surprise that his depiction of Hordak is spot on! This illustration is obviously based on a Filmation model, but once again the artist colors it in such a way to make it his own. It is interesting to see that he appears to have given Hordak to tiny white glowing pupils, amongst the redness of his eyes!


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