29 October 2010

"My Friend No More" #2

Here are pages six to eight from the memorable story "My Friend No More", as seen in issue thirty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. We get to see Hordak perform a double-take!


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26 October 2010

Memories #20 - Drawing He-Man at school.

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

As I said previously, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, both the toys and the cartoon, were huge at our school. Every morning of every day of the week we had to write a story and illustrate what we had done the evening before, or at the weekend. I remember drawing numerous He-Man-related illustrations on Tuesday mornings having seen an episode of He-Man on the Monday evening before. I remember I drew a scene from "The Shaping Staff" with Prince Adam reaching for the Sword of Power as he prepares to transform into He-Man in his bedroom. I also vaguely recall drawing a scene looking through Tri-Klops' rotating visor as seen in "The Royal Cousin". The funny thing is I remember I had issues with drawing hands at the time and I illustrated Prince Adam with a lot of fingers! I also remember one kid in the class was always drawing Zoar, because he had recently purchased the toy...


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25 October 2010

1989/1990?

One of the first questions I was asked when I began producing cereal:geek magazine was why I included the nineties cartoon The New Adventures of He-Man. Fortunately I was well prepared for that answer. Even though much of the series was dated 1990, the first few episodes of the series were actually produced in 1989, and as you can see below actually carry that date. That was enough of a reason to include this cartoon in cereal:geek. After all, how could I not include a He-Man cartoon in a magazine I produce?!


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24 October 2010

Memories #19 - "James Eatock, you are not He-Man!"

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, both the toys and the cartoon, were huge at our school. We were all running around back then shouting out "I have the power!" I remember though at one point the teacher actually saying to me "James Eatock, you are not He-Man!" This became an infamous joke-quote in the Eatock household for a good few years. I would like to visit that teacher and show her how creatively fulfilling and financially profitable my life has been thanks to my love for all things He-Man and She-Ra! Heck, my association with both series earned me a place on Wikipedia! Take that, teacher! :)

23 October 2010

"My Friend No More" #1

Here is a very memorable story from issue thirty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic titled "My Friend No More". Many consider this to be one of the best of the entire UK run; a story which focuses heavily on two characters that we would not really think twice about. The writer not only tells an entertaining story, but also makes us care for these two characters! Here are pages one to five...



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22 October 2010

Memories #18 - See him fall!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

It is amazing what memories the brain will hold in place for a number of years. As I have explained before, in the UK the He-Man series only aired twice on terrestrial television; so if you missed an episode the first time around and did not have the opportunity to catch the rerun, chances are you would not see it at all. I managed to record about seventy-something episodes from terrestrial television, so all I had of other episodes were brief memories of certain scenes from watching them the first time around! For years I had the memory of a villain falling out of a building and towards the camera. Twelve years later during my tape trading with Scott White I watched the episode "The Defection" and there was the sequence I so distinctly remembered!


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21 October 2010

Come to their senses...

In this panel from issue twenty-two of the UK He-Man Adventure comic we see Skeletor and his Mutants looking a little the worse for wear. One thing that always puzzled me is that the artist who illustrated this comic had previously worked on the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Now, this may be due to Skeletor's new costume, but I always found his illustrations of Skeletor during this latter series to be quite comical. It may be the way the helmet accentuates his skull, or his tiny beady eyes; but something was amiss...


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20 October 2010

Memories #17 - To be cotinued!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

For those that know me personally, they have probably heard this story before. I remember watching "House of Shokoti" Part 1 as a kid and not realizing that it was going to be a two-part story; even though the title card at the beginning of the episode was a bit of a giveaway. The image of Shokoti's face at the end of the episode accompanied by Lou Scheimer's booming voice declaring "To be continued" took me by surprise. During the years that followed I was haunted by the image of Shokoti, and as I never caught the one rerun of the episode, it would last a lot longer than it should have. Into my teens and early adult life I still thought about the evil glowing face and questioned what episode of the series it was from. Back in early 1996, a few months after getting on-line, I struck up a friendship with a fellow named Scott White. He had a bulk of the He-Man series recorded from when it aired on the USA Network. The first thing he did was kindly put fifteen episodes of He-Man that I had not seen in years, and in some cases never seen, on a video cassette! The first episode on the tape was "House of Shokoti" Part 1. Imagine my joy upon seeing the end of that episode for the first time in over ten years!


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19 October 2010

Falling groundward!

Here is an action-packed sequence of three panels from issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I love the second panel which simply shows the action of He-Man throwing the tree in the direction of the escaping Trap Jaw. Interestingly in the first panel it appears that He-Man has torn the tree down, as we see a nearby matching stump, and yet the text in the second panel specifically states that the tree was already "dead". My theory is that the artist intended for He-Man to be tearing the tree down, whereas the writer possibly looked at He-Man's attitude in the animated series in which he would never harm a tree. Either way, Trap Jaw ends up in a world of pain, but has time to utter the phrase, "Falling groundward!"


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18 October 2010

Memories #16 - My parents illustrated, too!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Some say I can draw, and to a degree I would agree with that. Looking back I would attribute all of my creativity to my parents. When I bought the Masters of the Universe action figures I would always keep the card backs. For some reason I used to ask my parents to illustrate the poses of the small character illustrations. And they would! My mother is an amazing artist, she had that talent passed down to her from her mother; my father was not an artist, but could still copy the character illustrations. They did this for a while, and I would trace the pose and re-draw it with a different character in place. Without a doubt tracing those characters at a very early age taught me the basic fundamentals of how to draw; or at least how to hold a pencil! I seem to remember that the illustration of Tri-Klops was the one I traced the most...


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16 October 2010

The only woman for me!

Here is an interesting panel from issue sixty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Here we see Man-At-Arms announcing that Evil-Lyn is the only woman for him! This is of course due to a spell that Evil-Lyn has placed on Duncan, which results in him fighting He-Man at one point in the story. This panel is powerful in the sense that it really conveys Man-At-Arms' feelings to his former friends; Prince Adam's reaction is amusing, as is Orko's very confused look.


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14 October 2010

Memories #15 - Technical difficulties...

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Because the UK terrestrial channel ITV aired the He-Man series in batches, this meant that sometimes we would have to wait months for a new batch of episodes to air. When the series came back after a three month absence on the 1st September 1986, "Journey to Stone City" was the premiere episode. I remember being very excited that a new run of He-Man episodes was about to begin and so I prepared my VHS for this, the first new episode of the series. However, about five minutes into the broadcast something went wrong at ITV and all we saw for the remainder of the episode was a test card that stated "technical difficulties". I remember being very annoyed by this as a kid, because we had to wait roughly three years until the episode was shown as a rerun in order to see it in its entirety!


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13 October 2010

For the next few hours...

In this awesome panel from issue fifty-three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic we see Skeletor now in control of all the villains across the planet Eternia, including the Evil Horde and the Snake Men. The angle of this illustration makes Skeletor look impressive. Once again notice that the artist ensures that his illustrations are highly accurate to the action figures. On this occasion though it appears that the colorist has made Skeletor's skin look a little too blue...


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12 October 2010

Memories #14 - A new cast!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

I remember walking into my local toy store as a kid preparing to buy a new Masters of the Universe action figure only to be startled by the arrival of a wealth of new action figures. I was really very confused. To this day I always recall looking at the card back for Whiplash and seeing this collection of new characters, Battle Armor He-Man, Fisto, Buzz-Off, Battle Armor Skeletor, Clawful, Webstor, Kobra Khan, etc. The first thing I thought was that they had turned Masters of the Universe into a sci-fi toyline, because I did not understand what He-Man and Skeletor were supposed to be wearing! I also briefly remember thinking that Mekaneck was a new version of He-Man himself! I was baffled by all the new arrivals, but at the same time overjoyed. I distinctly remember purchasing Whiplash as the first new figure from that wave of toys. It is funny to think that I thought the toyline was taking a more sci-fi orientated stance, when a few years later that would be the focus of Mattel's relaunch of the brand...


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11 October 2010

Skeletor's staff blast!

Here is an action-packed panel featuring Skeletor from issue sixty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I always loved this artist's work on the UK comic, and how his line art brought these characters to life in a unique way. In this illustration I especially like Skeletor's pose; the way in which he is almost leaning back, but has his Havoc Staff pointed outward towards his foe!


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10 October 2010

Memories #13 - Stinkor in She-Ra's movie?!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

I remember when my mother took me to see "The Secret of the Sword" at the cinema upon its release; there was actually an act break of sorts. As She-Ra, having just revealed herself to be He-Man's sister, flies towards the Whispering Woods on Swift Wind the curtains actually drew across the screen. Of course this was a suggestion that all we kids go for a bathroom break! During the break I remember one kid saying that Stinkor was going to be in the movie. Even back then I professed to be a know-it-all about Masters of the Universe and declared that Stinkor would not appear in this movie because he will never appear in the cartoon. Not entirely sure why I believed that to be the case, but it turned out I was right...


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09 October 2010

Angry Man-At-Arms!

Here is a dramatic panel from issue sixty-eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Over the years I have shown numerous panels from this story in which Evil-Lyn casts a spell to make Man-At-Arms fall in love with her. Upon seeing the love of his life chained up, Man-At-Arms reacts with a great deal of anger, as you can clearly see in the image below. Check out all those teeth!


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07 October 2010

Memories #12 - On the big screen!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

I have to say that one of my fondest memories of He-Man and She-Ra as a kid was going to see "The Secret of The Sword" on the big screen. I remember looking up at this huge screen and seeing the transformation sequence; it looked incredible! I also remember my mother saying that she really liked the music throughout the film; Haim Saban and Shuki Levy would be happy! I hope one day, through the magic of nostalgia or something, that I am able to see the movie on the big screen again...


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06 October 2010

A change in the transformation #3

I am always fascinated by the fact that the Adora to She-Ra transformation sequence was altered after the first five episodes. Surprisingly, it is something that not too many people have noticed over the years. In these two images below you can see that the first image from "She-Ra Unchained" features She-Ra stood at the Crystal Castle pretty much covered by the powerful explosion from the sword. In the second image from "Duel at Devlan" you can see that the positioning of the powerful explosion from the sword is different. And yes, every single time you see the She-Ra transformation the bottom part of that explosion is cut off. Again, I am amazed at the fact that by deciding to insert the jaw-bridge into the Adora part of the transformation they would have had to re-animate this entire complicated sequence of special effects-laded animation!


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04 October 2010

Memories #11 - I'm looking for...

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

If you were to search the Internet, after a while you may eventually find one of the old Masters of the Universe newsletters that Adam Tyner used to send out. When the fan community was small back in late 1995 Adam asked we fans to contribute to the newsletter. The first thing I ever contributed was a question to the other fans with regards to an episode of the Filmation series. At that point none of us knew how many episodes comprised the series. I had an audio tape in my possession on which I had recorded the last few minutes of "Into the Abyss". And so, my question to the community was to ask if anyone had an episode called "The Abyss" on VHS; I went on to mention the dramatic transformation of which I could still recall the visuals. Obviously I could only remember part of the episode title though...


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03 October 2010

Andros?

In the first episode of The New Adventures of He-Man, "A New Beginning", we see Skeletor served by a very tall warrior called Andros. This villain appeared to fit the role of generic evil henchman. The reason for this character's appearance is more than likely because those working on the show were unable to use existing Filmation villains, or were deterred from using characters like Beast Man who were based on old action figures. Many years ago I compared Andros to the one-shot villain Goat Man. But that is another post for another time...


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02 October 2010

Memories #10 - Whiplash!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Even though we in the UK were the first country in the world to see He-Man air, due to the way in which cartoons aired on terrestrial television it would take roughly six years for the channel to air all one-hundred and thirty episodes! It would become somewhat confusing for we fans in the UK when video releases came out featuring episodes that would not air for another couple of years! One evening I went to my friend Wayne Mullen's house, and he had just been bought the first of the UK Video Collection He-Man video cassette releases. On this tape were the episodes "Search for a Son" and "The Toy Maker". As kids we were all surprised to see Mekaneck have an entire episode revolve around him, and even more shocked to see Whiplash make a silent cameo in the latter episode. The funniest thing is that these appearances were actually their last in the series!


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01 October 2010

A change in the transformation #2

I am always fascinated by the fact that the Adora to She-Ra transformation sequence was altered after the first five episodes. Surprisingly, it is something that not too many people have noticed over the years. In these two images below you can see that the first image from "She-Ra Unchained" features She-Ra stood at Castle Grayskull without the jaw-bridge. In the second image from "Duel at Devlan" you can see that the jaw-bridge is now firmly in place. What amazes me is that by deciding to insert the jaw-bridge into the transformation they would have had to re-animate this entire complicated sequence of special effects-laded animation!


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