Being born in the ’90s, I was in the awkward “Post He-Man” era growing up. It was always that series that I would see and hear people talking about, but never actually see it myself. To this day, I am unsure if I have seen a full episode, just bits and pieces here and there. Being the youngest sibling of four other boys, I was acquainted with the He-Man toys growing up, and boy are they cool. However, that’s the extent of my interaction with the series, unless you count the “What’s Up He-Man Cover.”
Yeah, I don’t either.
Last year, Dark Horse Comics released The Art of He Man and the Masters of the Universe. Looking through this book made me even more upset that I missed out on this incredible piece of culture. The book takes you through a journey of He-Man, starting with the creation of the toys, to the mini comics, to the TV show, and beyond; what a journey. I feel like I experienced that missing piece of childhood that I missed out on. The book is broken into 10 chapters, each one focusing on a different aspect of the Universe. In each chapter, there are pieces of concept art, as well as interviews with multiple workers on the series. The book walks you through each era of He-Man, which includes characters that were used, characters that were never used, and characters that were altered.
One of the most memorable pieces of art in this book was in the television series section. In it, the book explains how animation cells were used to create the show that we all know and love. Included in the chapter is an actual animation cell replica of He Man and Skeletor that you can take out and place against backdrops they provide for examples. While it is simple, it was something that made me say “wow, this isn’t just a ‘look at the art’ book, but a ‘learning from the past’ art book.” If you are a fan of the series or even just know of it thanks to Four Non Blondes, this is a must pick up and check out. You can get your own copy from most online book retailers for around $30. (Amazon has it for $28.59.) I will leave you guys with a few pictures from the book, but there are many more where these came from!