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Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover – 14 Apr 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: DARK HORSE; 01 edition (14 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616555920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616555924
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 3.2 x 31.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Tim Seeley is one of those "slash" people...a writer-slash-artist. He has drawn a number of different comic book series including "G.I Joe, Halloween, WildC.A.T.s" and "Ex Sanguine." His writing work includes the "New York Times" best-selling "Hack/Slash, Witchblade, Batman Eternal" and the critically acclaimed "Revival." He resides in Chicago, Illinois with his wife, Gina. He works at our Star Studios where he is never far from his 80s action figure collection. The author lives in Chicago, IL..


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By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 May 2015
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:22 Mins
As a kid, I watched and followed He-Man with enthusiam. That was many years ago and the only characters I could remember today are He-Man and Skeletor. Going through this book is therefore a nostalgic experience. Not just that, it also introduces me to a world of MOTU that I never knew.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an artbook that looks at the art and design for the animation, comics and toys. Instead of photos of toys and their packaging boxes, you'll be looking at the character designs and packaging art.

There are interviews with many of the creators, such as with Emiliano Santalucia, Joshua Van Pelt and James Eatock, founders of the Power and the Honor Foundation, writer of many MOTU minicomics Steven Grant, illustrator and animator Larry Houston, writer Paul Dini, illustrator Earl Norem, concept artist William Stout, designer David Wolfram and many more. It's interesting to find out how the toys, comics and animation are made, the conceptualisation that went behind, and the creative process used to maintain the series.

The first chapter starts with the business side of making toys to appeal to young boys. It's enlightening to read about the methodology and thinking that goes into toy design, or creating a character that boys can look up to, and eventually buy. There are several notes and internal memos from the Mattel Male Action Team that outlines how they should develop this particular toy market. The book covers not just the creative side but also the business side.
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By S P Mead TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 May 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book! It's 320 pages of information and art work on 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe'. For fans of the toys and / or the animated shows, this is real treat.

It's a hardback book, full of glossy prints. It explains the conception of the main characters - which were originally designed to be nothing more than toy figures for boys - and how, as ideas progressed, the franchise evolved first into a comic book series and then a cartoon show. This show, which aired for the first time in the mid-1980's, was a phenomenal success - and the toy-line was a $billion industry. Unfortunately, the MOTU died away in the late 1980's ... only really being resurrected with some degree of success in 2002 - with a re-made animated show and a new toy-line. Later, the 'Classics' line of figures was released, as well as a new comic book series by DC Comics.

This book explores the 'art' of MOTU. And much of it is fantastic ... some of the drawings - e.g. of He-Man defending Castle Grayskull from Skeletor - are awesome, providing iconic fantasy imagery.

For fans of the show, this is a great item. I was especially fascinated by the early concept art (it's amazing to see how both He-Man and Skeletor were first envisaged). This is a high-quality book, providing detailed information. Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Such a fantastic book, researched and written with care and enthusiasm. Even the most hardened MOTU fan will find something here that he or she has never seen before, as the writers had access to archival material and also the personal collections of various fans. The first section about the initial idea and designs for the toy range was particularly fascinating, seeing He-Man and the other characters develop and change.

As an illustration nerd, I loved the artwork chosen in the book, from packaging designs to promotional posters. The book also covers the later attempts to reboot the series, as well as some eye-opening material on the live-action feature film and how the initial concepts - which were closer in look to the toys and cartoon - were darkened down and reimagined for the grittier look of the film. It was also an unexpected joy to receive a mini animation cell hidden inside the book! This, along with the fold-out pages and the high quality of the reproductions and the paper stock, make this a lovely gift for any big kid.

I would have preferred fewer, longer interviews with the creators; the interviews that are in the book are short so you only get an overview of the work an individual writer or artist did, rather than anything in depth; perhaps that is something for a follow-up volume! She-Ra features a few times in the book too, of course, and it would be lovely to see that range of toys get a similar art book... although perhaps there isn't the interest, or the variety of material available, to make that a reality. The publishers Dark Horse are planning to reprint all the mini-comics that appeared with He-Man and She-Ra toys in a book scheduled for release in autumn 2015 at over 1000 pages(!) so there is certainly a market for He-Man nostalgia!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book starts off with an introduction from Alan Oppenheimer, the actor behind the voices of Skeletor, Cringer, Battle Cat, Man-at-Arms, Mer-Man, and other characters from the 1980s cartoon. And it just gets better from there.

THE TEXT: Besides the mandatory explanation about the history and development of the property, you also get interviews with the people who realised it in terms of conceptual character designs, cartoons, comic books, story books, magazines, the 1987 live-action film, the new tablet game, and, of course, the toys at every stage of the development from rough sketches to final products from the 1980s, the 1990s, and the New Millennium.

THE ART: Character development, marketing images, lush packaging artwork, posters, blueprints, documentation, cartoon model sheets, a couple of larger fold-out sections, and your very own "animation cell." The book features all kinds of artwork from all the eras and incarnations listed above. While they couldn’t possibly include everything in this book, they’ve included more than any other book I’ve ever seen on the subject before, and enough to give you plenty of insight on the 35-year history of the brand (early work and designs can be traced back to 1980), with a look at possible future diversions. I’ve got to admit, though, I’m not entirely keen on many of those newest re-imaginings, which would look pretty cool on their own, but are too wild a departure from what has gone before to look truly “MOTU,” in my eyes.

OVERALL: This is an excellent book, and a must-have for any fan of Masters of the Universe. It’s absolutely packed with the kind of art that thrilled many of us as kids, and can elicit some strong nostalgia now we’re (ostensibly) adults.
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