30 March 2012

CRA-THOOM!

This illustration from issue four of the MVCreations Masters of the Universe comic (volume one) is by far one of my favorites from the series. Emiliano Santalucia's detailed line art is incredible, as we see the tiny figure of He-Man being launched out of the mouth of Snake Mountain by the force of an explosion! The colors by Val Staples are equally as breathtaking. It may sound odd, but I think this would make for an amazing poster!


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

29 March 2012

"Battle of the Cats" #2

One of my favorite stories from the UK Masters of the universe comic has always been "Battle of the Cats" which appeared in issue thirty-four. The idea of Beast Man using his powers to control Cringer had been addressed in the episode "A Beastly Sideshow"; Beast Man stating that he was unable to gain control of the creature. However, the UK comic decided that Beast Man could control Cringer, leading to this unique story. One of the most interesting aspects of this story is the fact that Panthor has the ability to talk. Something I often muse over, as in the animated series Panthor witnessed Prince Adam transform into He-Man in "No Job too Small". For the time being, enjoy this exciting story. Here are pages six to eight...


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

27 March 2012

Catra's tower.

Here I present a marvelously atmospheric illustration from the story "Catra's Web of Mischief", which was featured in the rarely-seen four story She-Ra Ladybird compilation book. This piece by Glenn Steward shows She-Ra high above the skies of Etheria searching for Flutterina, as the Fright Zone can be seen in the distance. Everything about this illustration is beautiful to behold. From the fantastic rendering of the clouds, to the ominous shape of the Fright Zone, to the beams of light passing through the clouds, everything about this image makes me truly appreciate Glenn Stewards's artistic talents. Interestingly, even though it is clearly the Fright Zone, the Princess of Power Ladybird books rarely made mention of The Evil Horde or the Fright Zone by name!


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

26 March 2012

Webstor zapped!

Aside from putting a great amount of detail into his storyboards, Don Manuel, would also put a lot of action and expression into his characters. Here we see a scene featuring Webstor being electrocuted by Buzz-Off from the season two episode "Disappearing Dragons". Aside from Webstor's wonderfully shocked expression simply illustrated in the first panel, the second panel showing the villain being shocked is superb, as is the comedic final panel showing a pair of legs fly out of shot!


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

25 March 2012

Ecto goggles?

Here are a couple of interesting images from The New Adventures of He-Man episode "The Nemesis Within". For those that have ever watched an episode of The Real Ghostbusters it would appear that Skeletor is wearing a pair of Ecto goggles, as worn by the Ghostbusters themselves! This may have something to do with the fact that the animation company working on The New Adventures of He-Man were also working on The Real Ghostbusters! There is a strong chance that the model for the goggles was merely carried over from one series to another...


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

24 March 2012

Sword to the audience!

During production of He-Man and She-Ra Hal Sutherland storyboarded quite a few episodes. Even though he was often in charge of keeping production costs down, he would call for new animation in his boards. Two beautiful examples of this occur in the season one She-Ra episode "Unexpected Ally" in which we see She-Ra point her sword towards the audience, transforming her Sword of Protection to a shield. These two transformations were by far the best-looking in the series!



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

22 March 2012

Shadowy Bow.

Here is a beautifully illustrated piece of layout artwork featuring Bow and Kowl from the season one She-Ra episode "The Missing Ax". This piece of layout artwork shines due to the wonderful rough use of blue pencil in order to sketch out the basic shapes, prior to the final pencil being used. The shadow that Bow's cloak casts across his face looks fantastic, and was sadly not transferred into the final episode. In this illustration notice that instead of being perched by his feet on Bow's shoulder, Kowl is mistakenly drawn to be holding on with his arms!


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

21 March 2012

Webstor attacks!

Aside from putting a great amount of detail into his storyboards, Don Manuel, would also put a lot of action and expression into his characters. Here we see a scene featuring Webstor attacking the Heroic Warriors from the season two episode "Disappearing Dragons". Although it is not one of Don's most detailed illustrations I love the sense of action we get in the second panel, as Webstor bends over and fires his grappler!


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

20 March 2012

Two Fright Zones?!

In issue thirteen of the UK Masters of the Universe comic Scrollos answers a question as to why the Fright Zone in the She-Ra cartoon series is different to the Fright Zone that appears in comic, which it should be stated is based on the toy playset. On this occasion I think the answer provided is actually quite logical...


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

19 March 2012

"Battle of the Cats" #1

One of my favorite stories from the UK Masters of the universe comic has always been "Battle of the Cats" which appeared in issue thirty-four. The idea of Beast Man using his powers to control Cringer had been addressed in the episode "A Beastly Sideshow"; Beast Man stating that he was unable to gain control of the creature. However, the UK comic decided that Beast Man could control Cringer, leading to this unique story. One of the most interesting aspects of this story is the fact that Panthor has the ability to talk. Something I often muse over, as in the animated series Panthor witnessed Prince Adam transform into He-Man in "No Job too Small". For the time being, enjoy this exciting story. Here are the first five pages...


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

18 March 2012

Three stages of Sunder.

The front cover of the model pack for the season two She-Ra episode "Return Of The General" showcases the three individual stages of progression that the character of General Sunder undergoes in the episode. I like the way each model has been reduced so that it is a different size from the previous one. It is interesting to see General Sunder in the clothes that he wears under his costume; because he actually looks quite he could get away with appearing in an Earth-based animated series! General Sunder always had an interesting model sheet in that he was actually physically bigger and taller than most characters from the He-Man and She-Ra series, including He-Man himself!


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

17 March 2012

FILMATION ART: The Evergreen Forest.

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 "Like Father, Like Daughter" showing the Evergreen Forest. I always thought that the Evergreen Forest was one of the most beautifully illustrated parts of Eternia in the series. The wonderful thing about this piece is the use of colors; primarily the use of purples that seem to work seamlessly into this piece, and reflect the colors of the mountains in the distance.


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

And here is how the background was used in the episode...

15 March 2012

Skeletor on the throne #3

Albeit very briefly, many forget that every once in a while Skeletor actually won the day! Here are two images showcasing the moment that Skeletor conquered the Fright Zone and sat upon on the throne! These two images are from the season one She-Ra episode "Of Shadows and Skulls".


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

13 March 2012

Skeletor on the throne #2

Albeit very briefly, many forget that every once in a while Skeletor actually won the day! Here are two images showcasing the moment that Skeletor conquered Castle Grayskull and sat upon on the throne! The first image is from the season one episode "The Taking of Grayskull", and the second image is from the season two episode "Teela's Triumph".


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

12 March 2012

Skeletor on the throne #1

Albeit very briefly, many forget that every once in a while Skeletor actually won the day! Here are two images showcasing the moment that Skeletor conquered the Royal Palace and sat upon on the throne! The first image is from the season one episode "Creatures From The Tar Swamp", and the second image is from the season two episode "The Littlest Giant".


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

11 March 2012

A brief review #023 - "The Return of Orko's Uncle"

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 "The Return of Orko's Uncle"...

The return of Orko's uncle Montork is sadly nowhere near as good as his debut in "Orko's Favorite Uncle". This episode starts off with a lot of promise with new Trollan villains Azrog and Spydra, both of whom are striking in their design. Sadly, aside from an average script which tries to repeat the events of Montork's debut appearance by reversing the situation and having Orko evil, the animation and visuals in this episode border on the atrocious. The cartoony elements that are peppered throughout the episode fall flat because of the continued reliance on Filmation's stock system. While the script does get stronger during the climax of the episode, by this point, it is hard to remain interested. 5/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

09 March 2012

Studying the swords.

Here is a beautiful piece of layout artwork featuring Shadow Weaver from the season one She-Ra episode "She-Ra Unchained". The style of illustration on this piece is incredibly loose, but to me that is what makes it a fantastic piece of artwork. We see the red line artwork indicating the static stock animation, with the blue and black pencil indicating the character movement. I love the way in which we see the outline of the swords, as they would be represented with a cel overlay atop this Shadow Weaver sequence.


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

08 March 2012

Orko passes the Sword of Power.

Every once in a while I like to point out the more obvious pieces of animation reuse in He-Man and She-Ra. However, in this case I will point out that the only thing reused is the layout artwork, as the cels in each of these three images are exclusive to their respective episodes. The first image is from "Disappearing Act", the second image is from "Quest for He-man", and the third image is from "Island of Fear". You would think Orko might tire of having to hand the Sword of Power over! Also, what makes me chuckle is how in each of these images the sword is drawn slightly different.


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

07 March 2012

Unleashing the Sun Scarab!

Here is an interesting panel from the "Temple of The Sun" storyboards by Michael Swanigan. In this illustration we see Nepthu unleashing the power of the Sun Scarab. Now look at yesterday's post. Michael based Nepthu's pose and the camera pan to the Sun Scarab on Bob Kline's previous illustration of Skeletor unleashing the power of the Diamond Ray of Disappearance. During his time at Filmation, one of Michael's biggest influences was Bob Kline, so the opportunity to pay homage to his work was too good to pass up!


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

06 March 2012

Unleashing the Diamond Ray!

Bob Kline is one of my all-time favorite storyboard artists. His work on the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon has to be seen to be believed; and hopefully at some point I will showcase his amazing layout artwork for the season one He-Man episode "Colossor Awakes". Here I present a panel from his "Diamond Ray of Disappearance" storyboard in which we see Skeletor unleash the Diamond Ray of Disappearance on He-Man! Stay tuned tomorrow, because I will have an interesting comparison...


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

04 March 2012

Razz casts spell #2

As episodes of the She-Ra animated series began entering production, a vast amount of character specific stock animation had to be created in order to keep costs down across the series. Whereas He-Man had been a show on which the stock system had been utilized, and on occasion limited the show's visual appeal, on She-Ra creating a high volume of quality-looking stock was now the priority. Before the stock was created, layout artists created the key frame illustrations on certain character actions. Here are the second two pages which show Madame Razz casting a spell. Although the line art looks sharp and finalized, the character design has not been officially finalized at this point. I absolutely love the determination in the character's face in the first of these two illustrations. As for the second illustration, where do I start? The pose itself is illustrated to perfection. However, the true magic of this illustration is quite literally the magic! The sheer level of rendering across the sparkles, stars, and dots, is astounding! A truly breathtaking piece of artwork!


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

03 March 2012

The swordsman of Etheria!

The season one She-Ra episode "Treasure of the First Ones" features an impressive piece of animation in which we see Sea Hawk duel with Octavia. Now look back at yesterday's post. Notice any similarities? This is because storyboard artist Don Manuel decided that if Sea Hawk and Octavia were going to duel, it should be based on the swordfight sequence seen in the He-Man episode "Ordeal in the Darklands". Of course there is one slight problem that you may notice from looking at these images. As the shadow was a good few feet taller than He-Man, the artist of the latter scene ends up animating Octavia slightly taller than she should be! Regardless of that, it is a beautifully animated scene and a wonderful homage to the He-Man series.



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