Friday, 24 February 2017

Review: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic Strips

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic Strips


Writer: James Shull, Chris Weber, Karen Willson
Artist: Gerald Forton
Colorist: Connie Schurr
Cover Artist: Gerald Forton
Released: 14 February 2017

For over four years, Masters of the Universe had its own newspaper comic strip! This story continued the tales from the Filmation cartoon bridged the saga to the space-themed New Adventures of He-Man cartoon relaunch. The comic strip only ran in selected newspapers and was never reprinted, so most fans have never read it... until now! For the first time ever Dark Horse brings you a collection of these strips, restored and ready for you to unleash the Power!

A quick page through the book and the intro suggests just how much work went into the creation of this book.

Lots of scanning of old comics and talking to the strip's creators, lots of phone calls and emails to people and places around the world, tons of internet searching/research, lots of interlibrary loans and countless hours spent at libraries, and a couple of trips to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. made this book possible.

Unfortunately, despite the vast amount of work put into tracking down scannable copies, the collection is 35 strips short of complete. With those 35 missing I really hope that an artist can draw them up or that the original strips will turn up sometime in the future.

The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe newspaper strips ran every day for four and a half years (1986-1991) in newspapers and comics collections all around the world. In the US, where it was created and distributed, the strip ran in only a few newspapers - about 10 of them from what could be find. But it was also published in Brazil, India, Greece, Serbia, Australia and other countries, and translated into a variety of languages.

The majority of the Sunday strips where in color. It really depended where it was printed, and what content was discovered, but the daily strips were black and white.

Full-length scripts were written for each and every newspaper strip storyline. 14 of the 15 stories were written by Chris Weber, and the first one was written by Jim Shull.

Gérald Forton, Filmation alumnus and the artist who illustrated the entire run of the strip, still has a few original pieces. 

Here’s a comparison shot to help illustrate what the amazing restoration team did to clean up these strips. The original strip below, from the story “Attack on Snake Mountain,” comes from one of Chris Weber & Karen Willson’s photo albums. Over the years, the lines on the album pages “seeped through” onto the newspaper strips. About a third of the weekday strips that was used came from these albums.

Just look at the difference:

This project owes so much to the amazing talents and hard work to the restoration team, which consisted of Dušan Mitrović‎, Leanne Hannah, Eric Marshall, Justin Huehn, Val Staples, Brett King-Ruley, Joey Cacciatore, and James Eatock (who restored the last week of strips a few years back).

Many cool stories await you. You'll see familiar friends such as He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, Teela, Man-At-Arms, the Sorceress, Hordak, Ninjor, Orko, Clamp Champ, and many, many more. You'll also see all new characters, places, and beasts such as Duke Tiberon, Lady Miranda, the Faultmaster, Queen Iandir, the mysterious tomb of Kartan, the ancient Thamalia Tower, the frigid Northern Isles, fierce Stiganors, ravenous Snow Sharks, and more!

YouTube Preview by Penny Dreadful:

YouTube Preview by MOTU Newspaper Strip Creators, Weber & Willson:


He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic is an awesome book that fans of the MOTU franchise will love. It’s strips are a great read and it includes tons of exclusive content available nowhere else.

This collection features four and a half years of comics strips, the majority of which have never been seen by most fans! The newspaper strip comic continues the Filmation MOTU & POP cartoon adventures and bridges the story to the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon.

This is a must-have for He-Man and She-Ra fans.

Click here to preorder today!

Just a big thanks to Penny Dreadful. A lot of the above information I got from her YouTube review and from the He-Man.Org Forum!!!!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Super7 Reveals Club Grayskull MOTU Classics at NYTF 2017

So as you know by now, the big news from NYTF 2017 was that Super7 revealed their take on the Masters of the Universe Club Grayskull Filmation MOTU Classics and also the 2017 Power-Con Exclusives.

The following figures were revealed:

Club Grayskull Hordak
Club Grayskull Teela
Club Grayskull Man-At-Arms
Club Grayskull Tri-Klops

Power-Con 2017 set 1
• Stratos (minicomic)
• Trap Jaw (minicomic)
• Prince Adam (minicomic)

Power-Con 2017 set 2
• Horroar
• Hot-Shot
• Lord Gr'Asp

Let's take a look at each Figure:

Club Grayskull Hordak:

Club Grayskull Teela:

Club Grayskull Man-At-Arms:

Club Grayskull Tri-Klops:

Power-Con 2017 set 1:

• Stratos (minicomic)
• Trap Jaw (minicomic)
• Prince Adam (minicomic)

Power-Con 2017 set 2:

• Horroar
• Hot-Shot
• Lord Gr'Asp

These are the MOTU Figures from the unreleased 1988 Line. Its also known as the Error McCarthy Line.

The other news from Super7 at NYTF 2017 was that Super7 be will releasing a Eldor and He-Ro in the Vintage MOTU look. These figures was never released in their Vintage look.

Super7 also revealed some of their lineup for their vintage style 5-inch Filmation MOTU figures. These will be $25 each and available this year. Super 7 plans on potentially offering additional characters down the road.

Filmation style sculpts for She-Ra, Hordak, He-Man and Skeletor.

Super7 also revealed the prototyps for Fangor, Quakke, Hawke and Lodar.

Pixel Dan takes a look at all the MOTU Reveals from Super7:

Final Thoughts:

This was a fantastic NYTF 2017 for Super7 and Masters of the Universe. Great reveals!!!  Every single figure is a winner and just love them all!!!

Super7 - Take my money!!!!

No pricing was mentioned as yet, but I think we will find out soon what the pricing will be. The figures will be on pre-order as a set of four for both the MOTU Classics and the MOTU Filmation Classics. There will also be a payment system available. I hope that the International MOTU Collectors wil be able to order the Power-Con Exclusives again this year. Information on the Power-Con Exclusives will be available very soon.

Well done to Super7 for a job well done!!!

Pics from He-Man.Org and Toyark

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Artist: Matthew Humble

Interview with Artist: Matthew Humble

Today I am very honored to be talking with a guy who goes by the name of Matthew Humble.

Matthew Humble is an American artist and one of the best around when it comes to MOTU paintings.

MOTU!: Hi Matthew and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with me. Over the last couple of years, you have been doing some amazing MOTU paintings and your work just becomes better and better every time you paint something. The paintings you did to raise funds for the MOTU Fan Movie, Fall of Grayskull were top class. I think Daniel Benedict is a very proud man to have you in his corner when it came to raise funds for his MOTU Fan Movie!

Matthew: Thank YOU for reaching out. I’m honored that you wanted to speak. And yes, it was more than a pleasure to help Daniel with his amazing project- he’s such a great guy!

MOTU!: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Matthew: I was born, and now currently live in Louisville, Kentucky, USA- home of Bluegrass music, horse racing, and bourbon whiskey. Not a bad place to be. I’m raising two young boys on a steady diet of MOTU, LOTR, comics and cartoons. It’s amazing that a five and an eight year old can share the same love of pop culture at their (almost) forty year old goofy papa.

MOTU!: So Matthew, how did you get started doing MOTU Paintings?

Matthew: One day i just started painting three or four years ago. I love color and I love MOTU, so it was an obvious thing to arrive at this subject. The colors of the MOTU/POP characters is what drew me to them as a child. Faker blue, Moss Man green, Skeletor blue, Prince Adam lavender. We all know those colors immediately. They’re totally iconic. Maybe I will create a series of color field paintings using only the color schemes of MOTU/POP guys. Only color… there’s an idea...

MOTU!: How long have you been doing MOTU Paintings?

Matthew: Well i guess, now that you mention it, since 1986 or so. I have a water color activity page of Trap-Jaw framed and hanging in my kitchen. This may very well be my first MOTU work!

MOTU!: What inspires your works?

Matthew: Other artists. Contemporaries. Alessandra Fucarino for example. She’s the best customizer around in my opinion. Hands down. And although we work in different mediums, she inspires me. And I’m so happy to announce that she and I have many exciting joint projects planned. Stay tuned!

MOTU!: Which of your artwork pieces is your favourite?

Matthew: I love them all, but I guess the Grayskull Dungeon Grate. It’s huge and it’s one of the only MOTU paintings I’ve kept for myself.

MOTU!: Is there an artist you relate to?

Matthew: Many, many. I identify with Andy Warhol’s philosophy of art. I love classical Roman sculpture. Norem is my favorite MOTU guy. He’s unreal. In comics, Mike Allred. He’s amazing. And Frazetta. Wow. To have that guy’s talent and vision...

MOTU!: What would you call your style?

Matthew: Colorful Pop Art. Hopefully ‘quickly sold’ as well!

MOTU!: What is your preferred medium and why?

Matthew: Acrylics. They’re bright and they dry fast. I work fast, so they’re perfect for me.

MOTU!: How did your work develop throughout the years?

Matthew: I’m becoming more patient. I’m trying not to rush so much. But I always fear I’m overworking something if I take too long… And I’ve been using progressively smaller brushes as the years pass.

MOTU!: What is the most fun in creating MOTU Art?

Matthew: The love received from the fans of the property. When my work is complimented by a fellow MOTU collector, it just makes my day!

MOTU!: Do you use real people as a reference for your art?

Matthew: I use photographs. I really would love to paint from a live model, but the opportunity has yet to present itself.

MOTU!: Did you ever feel like giving up?

Matthew: Nope. I would paint even if nobody was watching. But it’s definitely more fun with an audience.

MOTU!: What's the worst thing about being an artist?

Matthew: Not creating. If I don’t paint for a couple of nights, I go absolutely insane.

MOTU!: Is there a purpose to your artwork?

Matthew: I sell my work relatively cheap. Intentionally. I call it ‘gateway art.’ Everyone should be able to afford, collect and display original art in their homes. Not only the very wealthy.

MOTU!: How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?

Matthew: I love it when people read into my work. It’s flattering that they take the time. They usually find some unintentional detail that was previously unknown to me. They make me see my own work with new eyes. It’s a gift.

MOTU!: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Matthew: The term ‘gateway art’ is copyrighted. You can’t use it. Haha- kidding! Advice? Well, just do it. Don’t talk about doing it. Just put the brush to canvas. All will be well.

MOTU!: Do you have any upcoming MOTU paintings that you are planning or currently working on?

Matthew: I painted an image of a boxed vintage He-Man. I think that particular one’s in Daniel Benedict’s collection now. I’d love to do the whole vintage run of these guys!

MOTU!: Where can people view all your awesome work that you have done so far?

Matthew: My gallery is: I’m up to nearly 500 pieces at the moment. That’s a lot of paint! I also post work in progress photos on my personal Facebook page.

MOTU!: Thanks Matthew, great talking with you! We look forward to seeing more awesome MOTU paintings from you!!

Matthew: Thank YOU again, pal. Keep in touch...

Check out more of the amazing art of Matthew Humble!!!