Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover – 14 Apr 2015
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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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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 2:22 Mins|
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title of being a an absolute must have can be given rather freely but in this instance it is well deserved.
The book is a piece of stunning beauty. Read more
A fantastic insight in to the iconic toy line and cartoon series. This book is so well put together and is highly recommended for fans of Masters of the Universe.Published 4 months ago by RWC
The book is really stunning! Every fan of the series will be thrilled to get it. Very good edition and lots of stuff (paintings, screenplays, interviews etc) to explore. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Antonios
Very good quality MotU encyclopedia. Hard-cover, good quality paper and printing. It even has a animation cel! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sandro
I got this as a christmas present for my brother, Good book for he-man fans or fans of 80s stuff, came quick to and well packedPublished 8 months ago by martin davies