The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is, at its core, a love letter to the best toy franchise in the history of the world. Yes, I am a HUGE He-Man fan, and yes, I’m biased. But, at the very least, you have to respect a toy line that didn’t come from another medium, took on a life of it’s own, and made literally BILLIONS of dollars for the Mattel toy company and has continued on, in one form or another, to this very day.
Writers Tim Seeley and Steve Seeley do an unbelievably outstanding job interviewing dozens of people who have worked on the Masters of the Universe property over the years, as well as people who are experts on the franchise. Everyone from Paul Dini to Steven Grant to Larry Houston to Erika Scheimer to legendary artist Earl Norem. We get behind the scenes facts, footnotes and knowledge on the toys, the comics and the cartoon series (thanks to He-Man cartoon guru James “Busta” Eatock). Even if this book included NO art, it would be a fantastic behind the scenes peek at this beloved toy line.
When it comes to art, this book is amazing. There are so many artists featured in this book that it would actually be impossible for me to list all of them. Again, we get art from everything that the Masters of the Universe franchise was featured in and on, and you’ll be suprised at some of the artists that worked on the property. For instance, we get a great splash page from one of the mini-comics done be then up-and-coming artist Bruce Timm. Also featured are TONS of art from the cartoon, everything from character designs to animation cells are shown, so we really get a great feel for how the series was made. The cherry on the cake of all this is the packaging art from the toys. We get shown work from creator of The Rocketeer, Dave Stevens, and some exceptionally gorgeous artwork by Earl Norem.
Even if you’re not a die-hard Masters of the Universe fan, this book is worth picking up. First, it’s a beautiful full-color hardcover book with a super affordable price tag. Secondly, this is a book that you can spend DAYS with and happily revisit time and time again. This book is truly worth every penny that it costs. It is essential.