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Tag Archive: fantasy art


He-Man print in limited edition of The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Review by C.J. Bunce

Next month Dark Horse Comics releases a must-read for fans of He-Man, She-Ra “Princess of Power,” and the Masters of the Universe world of toys, animated series, magazines, chapter books, posters, comic strips, and comic books.  The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition Hardcover includes more than 300 pages full-color art, a portfolio featuring an exclusive print by Gerald Parel, a foil-embossed cover, and a die-cut two-piece Castle Greyskull slipcase.  A standard edition of the book will also be available.  Many well-known creators worked with these characters since its inception in the early 1980s, including Ralph McQuarrie, Drew Struzan, Dick Giordano, J. Michael Straczynski, George Tuska, Klaus Janson, Boris Vallejo, Tony Moore, Darwyn Cooke, Geoff Johns, and Tommy Lee Edwards.

Designers from every stage of the creation of He-Man, She-Ra, Skeletor, and the large cast of sword and sorcery heroes and villains, offer insight into character development, decision-making, and the impact on 1980s kids.  The best feature is the inclusion of hundred of pieces of full-color art, concept artwork, page layouts, sketches, storyboards, packaging art, prototypes, never before seen and unused imagery, advertising art, original comic art, and final comic book pages, covers, and animation cels.  It features restored art from master illustrator Earl Norem, as well as interviews with Dolph Lundgren, who played He-Man in the 1987 movie, director Gary Goddard, well-known TV producer/comic book writer Paul Dini, and voice actress Erika Scheimer, among many others.  Captions for photos were written by comic book creators Tim Seeley and Steve Seeley.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition Hardcover slipcase edition

Particularly of interest to toy collectors are the original notes from the development stage of the toy line at Mattel.  Mattel, which had passed on the ground-breaking Star Wars action figure line, developed He-Man as a direct competitor to that toy line.  Mattel drove the look of the characters–this was first and foremost a toy line, inspired in part by the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta.  But it grew beyond that.  Artists and writers and other creators remark with pride about the focus on the stories that went beyond the toy line.

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The producers of the Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art series of books will be holding a three-day convention in Kansas City in May, featuring some of the top American and international fantasy artists.

“Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” will showcase 200 exhibitor booths featuring leading painters, sculptors, and digital illustrators, ongoing live art demonstrations, educational panels, guest interviews, a documentary film program, and portfolio reviews by art directors for Tor Books, DC Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, and other firms who will be scouting for new talent.

The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess

The five headliners for the show are Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy), Andrew Jones (Industrial Light and Magic, Nintendo), Ian McCaig (designer for Star Wars: Episode 1, Terminator 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Brom (World of Warcraft, Van Helsing, Galaxy Quest), and Phil Hale (world-renowned fine artist).

This is a rare opportunity for burgeoning artists and fans of fantasy art to interract with successful artists, illustrators and creators, including some of the people who have brought Batman, Harry Potter, Darth Maul, Conan the Barbarian, Alien, and John Carter of Mars to life on book covers, in comics, video games, and on TV and film.

Obi-Wan Kenobi by Dave Dorman

By advance sign-up, artists will be having portfolio reviews by talent scouts from various publishers, including Mark Chiarello (DC Comics), Irene Gallo (Tor Books), Jeremy Cranford (Blizzard Entertainment), Jon Schindehette (Wizards of the Coast), Lauren Panepinto (Orbit Books), Daren Bader (Rockstar Games), Zoë Robinson (Fantasy Flight Games), Sarah Robinson (Paizo Publishing), and Dawn Rivera-Ernster (Walt Disney Animation Studio).

Joan of Arc by Donato Giancola

The list of artists selected to appear in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Volume 19 will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri on May 19th, 2012 as part of the show, the first time.

Memberships are $20 for one day and $40 for all three days.  The event is focused on adult audiences, including artists and art retailers and distributors, however, anyone may attend the show, including panel discussions by the featured artists listed above, as well as Charles Vess, Gregory Manchess, and James Gurney.  Several films will screen during the event, including including Doctor Rossum’s Prodigal Son, the directorial debut of artist Frank Cho, who has work featured in the new Spectrum 19 book.  Artists selling works at the show include Donato Giancola (myriad works), Dave Dorman (Dark Empire), Julie Bell (Conan), and Craig Elliott (Hercules, Mulan) (all featured in the new Spectrum 19 book), as well as Boris Vallejo (myriad works), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales), Gary Gianni (Batman: Black and White), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jason Palmer (Star Trek, Lost in Space), and hundreds more.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

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