27 December 2014

Panini sticker album art #13

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 the opening panel for "Teela's Quest"...


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

21 December 2014

"The Moon Jewel" #2

For your entertainment I present the story "The Moon Jewel" as featured in issue thirteen of the UK Princess of Power comic. In this story we find Queen Angella's life being threatened by an unknown force. She-Ra deduces that there is something wrong with the current eclipse of their moons. With the help of Mermista's magical abilities She-Ra and Castaspella journey to the moon and discover what the problem is. Interestingly, in this story one of Etheria's moons is revealed to be called Elidor. Here are the remaining three pages of this story...


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

20 December 2014

Panini sticker album art #12

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 Prince Adam and Cringer having saved Eternia...


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

12 December 2014

The warrior woman captured.

Here is yet another beautiful Mark Texeira illustration from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Tale of Teela!" Every panel in this minicomic is a work of art. Skeletor's pose is incredibly natural, and Tri-Klops looks incredibly cool, resting upon his sword. Also, the panel is rather beautifully framed with a heavily shaded Trap Jaw in the foreground.


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

10 December 2014

"The Moon Jewel" #1

For your entertainment I present the story "The Moon Jewel" as featured in issue thirteen of the UK Princess of Power comic. In this story we find Queen Angella's life being threatened by an unknown force. She-Ra deduces that there is something wrong with the current eclipse of their moons. With the help of Mermista's magical abilities She-Ra and Castaspella journey to the moon and discover what the problem is. Interestingly, in this story one of Etheria's moons is revealed to be called Elidor. Here are the first three pages of this story...


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

09 December 2014

Panini sticker album art #11

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 illustration we see He-Man victoriously holding the Diamond Ray of Disappearance...


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

03 December 2014

"The Dragon Invasion" He-Man layout.

Here are two absolutely gorgeous Filmation layout illustrations of He-Man from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "The Dragon Invasion". In this scene He-Man is shielding his eyes from the near-blinding glow of Skeletor's transformation into a giant! Interestingly, in the layout artwork, we see that the artist requests that shadows be placed on top of the cel in order to make the sequence more striking. However, in the final episode no shadows were used.

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

01 December 2014

"The Dragon Invasion" Skeletor layout.

Here are two absolutely gorgeous Filmation layout illustrations of Skeletor from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "The Dragon Invasion". In this scene Skeletor is using the Dragonpearl to increase his size, as he prepares to battle He-Man! The layout artwork informs the animator to refer to the stock scene of Skeletor raising his arms, but to create a new sequence in which he holds the magical artifact aloft.

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

28 November 2014

Panini sticker album art #10

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 a beautifully illustrated piece featuring Castle Grayskull, with an insert panel of He-Man and Battle Cat awaiting Skeletor...


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

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)

24 October 2014

Skeletor strikes He-Man!

Here is an absolutely gorgeous panel illustrated by Bruce Timm as seen in "The Revenge of Skeletor!", a minicomic from The New Adventures of He-Man toyline! Once more Timm shows his Marvel comic book influence, with a wonderfully dynamic action-packed panel that is greatly influenced by the works of Jack Kirby and John Buscema. I love the way in which Skeletor is running into his attack. And pay particular note to the use of blacks on He-Man's figure, creating the notion that Skeletor's blow is a powerful strike!


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

19 October 2014

Panini sticker album art #6

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 one of the most memorable and comical confrontations from the series...


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

14 October 2014

Red Spikor!

In one of the more bizarre illustrations from the US Masters of the Universe magazine (and trust me, there were more than a few) we see Skeletor, Two Bad, and a unique-looking Spikor! In this piece we can see that Spikor sports red skin and purple armor, as opposed to his normal purple skin and dark blue armor! Although this is a very jarring change, I must say that I actually quite like it! The illustration itself is very nice with a slightly heavier use of blacks for the character outlines to make them pop from the page.


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

11 October 2014

"Alkaya, City in Glass"

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!

"Alkaya, City in Glass"
While testing one of Man-At-Arms new sea vessels on the Eternian ocean, our heroes receive a distress note in a bottle. It's from the legendary lost city of Alkaya. Traveling underwater they come upon the undersea city, surrounded by a glass dome. They find it under siege by the Masters of the Universe. In a fierce battle, Skeletor attempts to collapse the dome, drowning Alkaya. It takes all of He-Man's strength to hold up the dome while it is repaired, and to banish the evil Masters from Alkaya.


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

09 October 2014

Panini sticker album art #5

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 one of my favorite illustrations in the album featuring He-Man from the transformation sequence...


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

08 October 2014

Baby Gryphon.

As I mentioned before, Steve Hickner's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe storyboards could be considered "cute" at times. And this panel, from the season one episode "Return of the Gryphon", highlights that aspect of his art style better than most. In this illustration we see the Baby Gryphon, recently hatched out of its egg, looking incredibly cute! Fortunately, the Baby Gryphon retained its cuteness in the episode produced.


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

05 October 2014

Orko leaves...

I believe this is the first time I am featuring content from the US Masters of the Universe magazine. I only managed to get my hands on a complete run of the magazine a couple of years ago! In this illustration we see Orko leaving home; a plot that was used numerous times across the many different Masters of the Universe canons. And on this occasion "home" would appear to be Castle Grayskull! With regards to the illustration I love the way in which Orko is illustrated, the castle itself is well rendered. However, the fact that the castle appears to sit atop a mountain leaves me less than impressed...


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

03 October 2014

Panini sticker album art #4

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 the moment Teela looks out of the window and sees Trap Jaw on the attack...


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

01 October 2014

Made you blink!

Bruce Timm clearly enjoyed illustrating action-packed panels. And this incredibly dynamic panel featuring Kayo and Optikk from "The Revenge of Skeletor!" minicomic is no exception! Once more Timm's Jack Kirby influences are there for all to see, with Kayo illustrated with a large square fist, as well as the predominant use of blacks across Optikk's armor.


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

30 September 2014

A brief review #052 - "Teela's Trial"

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 "Teela's Trial"...

This episode should be shown as an example of how not to make an episode of He-Man. At times this episode is incredibly hard to watch, not only because of the questionable animation throughout, but also the incredibly bad character writing. He-Man and Teela are written so far out of character it becomes almost funny. Sadly, the character writing on Teela borders on the ludicrous. Gone is the headstrong, brave and determined warrior woman; replaced by a whimpering wreck of a character. The best thing to do is pretend that this atrocious episode never existed. During the series David Wise proved that he knows how to write a strong Teela. So what went wrong here? 2/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

25 September 2014

Panini sticker album art #3

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 the moment Orko casts the spell during the infamous "eggs over easy" trick, alongside an illustration of the Royal Palace...


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

20 September 2014

Time Demons!

The Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Temple of Darkness!" is interesting with regards to its close ties to the season one episode "Temple of The Sun". However, I was always a fan of the action-packed story within, which saw the Heroic Warriors face Skeletor's defenses time and time again. And speaking of time, as a kid, I was never the biggest fan of the Time Demons; Skeletor's time-centric creations that used the hands of a clock as weapons! I always thought that their design was a little goofy to be honest.


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

15 September 2014

"Broom Takes A Break!"

Broom was one of my favorite characters from the She-Ra series, mainly due to the way in which the character was portrayed in the Filmation cartoon; so I always enjoyed stories that focused on him outside of the cartoon. Here we see a short story, originally published in issue eight of the UK Princess of Power comic, which was colored and republished for the UK Princess of Power special, titled "Broom Takes A Break!" In this story we see that there are a few disadvantages to being a living broom!


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

14 September 2014

Panini sticker album art #2

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 the opening panel for "Diamond Ray of Disappearance"...


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

09 September 2014

"Evil-Lyn in Waiting"

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!

"Evil-Lyn in Waiting"
A mysterious, but beautiful woman arrives in the Royal Court, asking only to be the Queen's chambermaid. Everyone in the Royal Court is charmed by the sweetness and poise of this maiden. Only Teela is suspicious, but Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms attribute her doubts to jealousy. It is up to Teela to unmask this stranger as none other than Evil-Lyn who intends to help Skeletor gain access to the Royal Palace. Teela is able to thwart this invasion with an assist by He-Man!


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

01 September 2014

Panini sticker album art #1

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 the beautifully illustrated (and written) opening page...


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

29 August 2014

Origin of the warrior woman.

I mentioned recently that the more I examine each and every panel from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Tale of Teela!" the more I seem to consider it as my favorite minicomic of all time! The story is a beautiful culmination of the DC-produced minicomics that came before it. As a kid I had no idea that the comics were building to this moment, as for the longest time I had no idea that this minicomic even existed! It was not until a few years ago that I finally managed to buy a quality copy, and subsequently feature scans on this very Blog. Aside from the culmination aspect, there is the fantastic cast of both Heroic Warriors and Evil Warriors, as well as story which wonderfully details the origin of Teela and her strange and unique connection to the Goddess. Finally, and by no means least, Mark Texeira's artwork, as evidenced by this opening splash page is simply superb throughout!


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

24 August 2014

The power of Frosta!

The rarely-seen four story She-Ra Ladybird compilation book was interesting in that aside from including two new stories, it included two previously published stories in "Catra's Ice Palace" and "She-Ra and the Golden Goose", renamed "The Golden Goose" for this publication. The most striking thing about "Catra's Ice Palace" is that due to the size of this compilation book being a different format, the illustrations that accompanied the story were completely redrawn. Previously the story had been illustrated by Geoff Senior, but this time Glenn Steward illustrated it, to tie into the fact that the other three stories in the compilation were illustrated by him! Here is a pretty striking illustration showcasing the power Frosta can channel through her magical wand. I really like the way that only the lower halve line art of Adora and Frosta is visible, as their upper halves are hard to see through the sheer onslaught of freezing cold temperatures sent in the direction of Catra and Clawdeen.


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

17 August 2014

Feel my magic!

Lodar, from the Masters of the Universe minicomic "Slave City!" is one of my favorite guest villains from series. As a kid, and even to this day, I always wanted an action figure of this purple-armored and purple-skinned warrior. One of the most amusing things about the character is that his mistake was a happy accident. The writer of the minicomic Lee Nordling had been asked to write a story centered around the character of Zodac. However, Nordling and the artist Larry Houston had no idea that Zodac was an action figure. In short Lodar was their idea of what Zodac looked like. Thus when Mattel saw the completed minicomic they questioned why Zodac bore no resemblance to his action figure, surprising both Nordling and Houston that an action figure even existed! Nordling hurriedly went through the entire minicomic, and every time the name "Zodak" was referenced, the letters were altered to resemble "Lodar". Even his name was a happy accident!


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

15 August 2014

Slushhead flees!

Here are three action-packed illustrations by Bruce Timm from "The Revenge of Skeletor!", a minicomic from The New Adventures of He-Man toyline! The third panel of Slushhead swimming towards the reader, with Hydron in the Astrosub in pursuit, is wonderfully structured, and looks like something out of the Marvel comic books of the sixties. There are two things this minicomic does which we never really saw featured in the animated series. Firstly, we see the Astrosub go underwater, a feature rarely used in the cartoon. And secondly, we see Slushhead swim away at great speed, again something rarely seen in the cartoon!


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

11 August 2014

FILMATION ART: The Hive interior.

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 She-Ra episode "Assault On The Hive". As soon as I saw this background for sale I immediately recognized it from the ridiculously memorable scene in which He-Man orders Comet Cat to "fetch" Skeletor. This artwork was actually the background that both Filmation's He-Man and Skeletor appeared on for the last time! For some reason I just had to own this piece, even though I do not currently own the cels. I guess it is only a matter of time...


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

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

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