July 13, 2011, 09:11am
Creation of MOTU and He-Man
There are some threads in the past where people have discussed origins of MOTU and He-Man. Some are from story-point and others are from creator-views.
I'd like to try and get some clarity on the issue, since there is a lot of information that has been surfaced in past years.
Personally I'm also sick of different sources always claiming the origin in all too simple sentences, that don't hold water.
I'm just spitballing here.
And if anyone would like to add any information or theories of how things evolved for He-Man and MOTU, it would be greatly appreciated.
Suggests 3 different versions of He-Men. Also I recall in MOTU-Chronicles interview, he mentioned that he had also written something about a She-Woman. But his idea was like a family around He-Man. Can someone correct me on this?
Very broad strokes about a action figure idea of a muscle man
Mark Taylor & Ted Mayer
Have had fantasy on their minds and they helped make the visual look for the characters, adding their influences in there.
Visual style from Vikor to the He-Man we recognize?
Donald F. Glut
Receives some action figures from Mattel and is asked to create stories and world for them. First four minicomics tell a story of their own about a barbarian warrior leaving his tribe.
Is the first one to write down a story with barbaric land of Eternia, where He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor and other first wave characters exist.
Mini-Comics done by DC Comics for Mattel?
Wave 2 of Mini-comics, continue with stories about these few characters that have been made into toys, giving larger concepts for storylines that can be expanded, like Goddess/Teela and Man-E-Faces.
Expanding from the First mini-comics the story for He-Man and characters in Eternia?
Lou Scheimer and Filmation Studios
Filmation Studios focuses on few individual main characters and through their stories create their own world, not like the one seen in mini-comics.
Gave Orko to the mix, bringing He-Man to a more light-hearted fantasy/scifi setting. Is widely recognizes as what "He-Man" is to children of 80s.
July 13, 2011, 02:20pm
For the story part to of it, we mustn't forget Michael Halperin who was hired by Mattel and worked with Filmation to develop much of the post-Glut story material we're all familiar with.
There's also Paul Kupperberg from the DC comics who says he was presented with some bare bones story material and fleshed it out. He and his editor went in for a brainstorming session with Mark Ellis at Mattel. I'm not sure if Halperin was already involved at this point or not.
From Sallah's interview at motucfigures.com:
Q: The Filmation series bible written by Michael Halperin seems to include many of the concepts from your comics... but omits others. Many fans attribute a lot of the He-Man mythos to that bible, thinking it came first... but the dates for the comic work seem to point the other direction. Were the ideas of He-Man having a secret identity, the character of Prince Adam, He-Man's mother being from earth, and other story elements all yours or did those come from Mattel?
A: I don’t remember the specifics, sorry to say. But there was no bible around when I was working and, to tell you the truth, I never watched the cartoons to see how much of what I came up with is in them. I’m pretty sure the Prince Adam secret identity was a Mattel concept (two action figures for one character, a la Clark Kent and Superman). His mother coming from Earth might have been mine, but I wasn’t that invested in the character for a lot of the assignment to stick in my memory. It’s only in retrospect that it became a case of me having been involved in the creation, however tangentially, of a major pop cultural icon.
It'll be interesting to meet Michael Halperin at Power-Con to ask what he remembers about writing the story bible. I suspect there were earlier Halperin drafts and outlines prior to the Filmation story bible we all know.
As for the figures, it was a combination of factors but Mark Taylor had his barbarian concept in place well before Roger Sweet made the pitch. I don't think any one person can claim they created He-Man, but it seems Mark Taylor deserves the lion's share of the credit for those first 8 figures. Ted Mayer created the iconic first vehicles. Roger Sweet created loads of characters as well so I don't want to take away from his contributions.
From what I understand, former Mattel exec Paul Cleveland is also claiming to have been instrumental in the creation of He-Man. I'm not sure exactly what his claims are but it will be interesting to find out where he's coming from.
July 13, 2011, 03:47pm
Dave Manak and Mark Ellis should be listed as well:
July 16, 2011, 04:43am
Good idea for a thread. Unfortunately I don't have any new info to offer.
I am kinda curious why DC didn't continue past their initial 3 issue MOTU mini-series. The next time we saw full sized MOTU comics in America it was by Marvel.
July 16, 2011, 07:17am
Perhaps Mattel wanted it that way? So kids would buy the toys so they'd get more MOTU comics?
Originally Posted by Mr. Shokoti