27 November 2011

Trap-Jaw explodes!

Here is a fantastic illustration from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Menace of Trap Jaw!" Mark Texeira's illustrative work on these minicomics was always of a high standard, and we can see here his expert use of blacks across the front of Trap Jaw to make the explosion stand out more against the figure in the foreground. The explosion itself is drawn with incredible fury, and the striking lines all around the image just add to the impact of this one panel!


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

26 November 2011

Who is Bow talking to?

In the She-Ra Ladybird book "She-Ra and the surprise party" Terry Gabbey's detailed illustration reveals an interesting collection of characters that we have never seen before! Although most are seen from the back it is always nice to see an artist's take on characters outside of the main cast. What I want to know though, is who Bow is talking to? "A white-haired female" is not a sufficient answer!


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

25 November 2011

A brief review #018 - "Creatures From The Tar Swamp"

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 "Creatures From The Tar Swamp"...

The plot for this episode is relatively simple, but the character writing throughout the script, whilst not spectacular, is above average. Orko is written in this episode more appropriately than many other appearances in the series. During the course of the story we see him learn a hard lesson, and we can almost feel his frustration and pain. Not only are we treated to Orko's origin story, but we also get a fantastic character in Lady Edwina. She steals each and every scene she is in thanks to her wonderful look and Linda Gary's great voice acting. The pacing of this story slows down during the middle of the episode, but it is not enough to spoil an entertaining episode. 7/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

23 November 2011

Imp's first appearance...

One of the things I tend to forget about the She-Ra series is the way in which the writers originally presented the character relationship between Hordak and Imp; specifically in the episodes "She-Ra Unchained", which was Imp's debut, and "The Red Knight". Both of these episodes feature Hordak clearly treating Imp as if he would any other Evil Horde character in the series. It is strange to watch Hordak admonish Imp and call him names. Thankfully this did not last! As I have expressed before, Don Heckman had the unique ability to write Imp perfectly, and was the one writer to really focus on the character relationship between he and Hordak. When Hordak expresses that Imp is the only one that he can trust in the episode "Friends Are Where You Find Them", Don Heckman proved that you can have a genuine friendship without possible betrayal between villains!


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

22 November 2011

Sad Skeletor...

Don Manuel was known for his incredibly detailed storyboards throughout his time at Filmation, most notably on He-Man and She-Ra. Very rarely would he put over expressive comedy into his boards. However, in this panel from "Horde Prime Takes A Holiday" we see Skeletor's despondent face illustrated with a great deal of comedic value!


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

20 November 2011

How tall is Ram Man?

In this storyboard panel from the season one He-Man episode "Colossor Awakes" we can see that the artist has paid little attention to the character model sheets. Ram Man is considerably shorter than Stratos in the show, but in this illustration Ram Man is as tall, if not taller, than Stratos! If you look at Orko in the panel, even he looks a little confused as to the size of Ram Man!


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

19 November 2011

Trap Jaw the sailor!

As you should all know by now, Trap Jaw is by far my favorite villain from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The character was made all the more cooler when Robert Lamb had the character disguise himself as a sailor in "The Ancient Mirror of Avathar". Now, we all know that its a terrible disguise, and yet it fools Prince Adam; I guess in the same way that no one can notice the similarities between Prince Adam and He-Man! What I love about Trap Jaw's disguise is the design and color scheme. In some bizarre twist the disguise suits Trap Jaw incredibly well; the villain could genuinely sport this look throughout the series!


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

18 November 2011

"Hide and Sneak"

Here is an amusing one page story from issue thirty-seven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Here we see Grizzlor and Mantenna playing a friendly game of hide and seek. If this were an episode of the Filmation series the moral of the story would be, "Never play hide and seek with Grizzlor."


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

17 November 2011

Furious Skeletor!

I have often championed the work of storyboard artist Tom Sito. Amusingly he had the task of storyboarding "The Greatest Show on Eternia"; the episode that many consider to be the worst! Unsurprisingly, due to his talents, the storyboards for this episode are nothing short of spectacular! If you go back and check out my Blog posts for Tom's storyboards for the season one episode "Castle of Heroes" you can see how much fun he had drawing Skeletor; and it appears he had an equal amount of fun drawing the villain in this episode, if this drawing is anything to go by!


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

16 November 2011

Hordak activates the freeze ray...

Don Manuel is one of my favorite storyboard artists from the days of He-Man and She-Ra. His boards are always incredibly detailed, yet easy to understand. In this storyboard panel from the She-Ra episode "Horde Prime Takes A Holiday" we see his design for the giant freeze cannon that adorns Horde Prime's flagship, the Velvet Glove. I love the fact that he sets up the camera pan to reveal just how large this cannon is in comparison to the tiny characters of Hordak, Mantenna and Multi-Bot who stand to the left of the panel. Fortunately, the freeze cannon in the final episode, having gone through the layout department and background design, retains its awesomeness!


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

15 November 2011

Caught by Dragoon!

Here is a dramatic and striking storyboard panel by Steve Hickner from season one He-Man episode "Dawn of Dragoon". I love the fact that both Orko and Dree Elle are dwarfed by Dragoon who looms over them from the edge of the rock face! When this episode was translated to screen, even though Dragoon was redesigned, the director managed to make this shot look equally as dramatic...


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

14 November 2011

"The Secret of The Sword" adaptation #10

Riding high on the success of their numerous Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power books, Ladybird decided to turn the animated He-Man and She-Ra feature, "The Secret of The Sword", into a book! The book was filled with actual stills from the movie and is very nicely presented throughout. Here are the remaining four pages of the adaptation...


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

11 November 2011

Throwing the blade.

Here is a great action-packed shot from "The Iron Master" illustrated by Robin Davies. As a kid I always liked this illustration; especially the way in which the Sword of Power is about to be caught by He-Man. Also note the beautiful star-filled sky covered by the harsh storm clouds; this is foreshadowing for a forthcoming plot device...


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

10 November 2011

Strongarm was Chopper?! #2

Here is yet another storyboard panel showcasing how artist Don Manuel illustrated Strongarm in place of Jitsu for the season one He-Man episode "The Dragon Invasion". It is amusing to see dialogue and scenes that would end up as Jitsu's given to Strongarm. I personally would have liked to have seen Strongarm make at least one more appearance in the series...


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

09 November 2011

"The Secret of The Sword" adaptation #9

Riding high on the success of their numerous Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power books, Ladybird decided to turn the animated He-Man and She-Ra feature, "The Secret of The Sword", into a book! The book was filled with actual stills from the movie and is very nicely presented throughout. Here are pages forty-one to forty-five of the adaptation...


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

06 November 2011

Action-packed panels!

The Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Battle of Roboto" featured an amazing amount of panels on each and every page. Even more astounding was the fact that these panels were often highly-detailed and full of action! This brief action sequence featuring He-Man, Skeletor, and Two-Bad shows just how action-packed they were. And believe it or not, there are more panels to be found on this page of action! I just removed them to focus on these ones.


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

05 November 2011

Queen Marlena cries out!

This dramatic Queen Marlena illustration by Robin Davies appeared in "The Curse of Crystal Mountain" from the one-off Masters of the Universe Ladybird annual. Queen Marlena did not have that many illustrations in the Ladybird books so it is nice to see her appear so prominently; even if it is in such bad circumstances.


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

04 November 2011

"The Secret of The Sword" adaptation #8

Riding high on the success of their numerous Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power books, Ladybird decided to turn the animated He-Man and She-Ra feature, "The Secret of The Sword", into a book! The book was filled with actual stills from the movie and is very nicely presented throughout. Here are pages thirty-six to forty of the adaptation...


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

03 November 2011

Adam's shield?

A while back in a post I showcased some image captures from the season one He-Man episode "She-Demon of Phantos" in which we see Prince Adam with the toy shield that came with the He-Man action figure. Here in all its glory is the actual model sheet for the shield. It is interesting to see the shield appear in the Filmation show, as it was never given any screen time outside of that one scene! At some point I really should put this next to the He-Man model sheet and create a somewhat "toy accurate" model sheet...


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

02 November 2011

A brief review #017 - "Daimar the Demon"

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 "Daimar the Demon"...

This episode, for all its promise, fails to deliver. One of the biggest problems is the pacing. There is an urgency felt when Daimar is released from the Dark Dimension, but as the episode progresses it becomes a series of random scenes tied together by the Sorceress' Book of Magic. The incidents where the heroes encounter the effects of the eerie mist almost seem pointless, and when Daimar finally appears, the urgency has all but gone. This episode also fails to convince us that Daimar and Orko formed a friendship strong enough for the demon to renounce his destiny of evil. When the sickly-sweet rainbow appears over Castle Grayskull at the end of the episode we are less than surprised. 4/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

01 November 2011

"The Secret of The Sword" adaptation #7

Riding high on the success of their numerous Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power books, Ladybird decided to turn the animated He-Man and She-Ra feature, "The Secret of The Sword", into a book! The book was filled with actual stills from the movie and is very nicely presented throughout. Here are pages thirty-one to thirty-five of the adaptation...


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