Interviews
Errol McCarthy art archive

Errol McCarthy and Mattel have provided He-Man.Org with a gallery of incredible He-Man and MOTU artwork illustrated by Mr. McCarthy during the 80s. This artwork was orginally shown by Mattel at the 2016 Power-Con. Check out the gallery at the bottom of this article* and enjoy the interview below with Errol McCarthy.

Errol McCarthy epitomizes the idea of a “behind-the-scenes” artist. While he is, by far, the most prolific Masters of the Universe artist of all time, his name was virtually unknown to the MOTU & POP fanbase until he was found online by former The Power and the Honor Foundation member James “Busta Toons” Eatock. James passed news of his discovery along to the other foundation members, who then brought Mr. McCarthy to the attention of fans in November of 2012. While his name wasn’t known to the majority of MOTU enthusiasts up to that point, his work most certainly was. Mr. McCarthy produced hundreds of iconic MOTU illustrations. His artwork for the Masters of the Universe and He-Man brands ran the gamut from licensing art, to cardback artwork, to minicomics, and more.

Mr. McCarthy came to Mattel with a solid background in illustration. “I was always a comic book/cartoon fan & discovered I could draw in the 4th grade. I was lucky to grow up during the Golden Age of comics with Captain Marvel, Batman, Blackhawk and the then notorious E.C. line of comics. After that, it was Underground Comix! I went to Art Center School intending to become a magazine illustrator & met Mark Taylor who was later to become my boss and one of the creators of MOTU. I went on to graduate from Cal State LA with a Masters degree in art. My Masters thesis was a paper and my own underground comic. It is still fairly shocking that they awarded me a degree for this project! At the same time, I was doing comic book work for the Petersen hot rod themed books such as CARtoons and Cycletoons. It was great fun! In 1978 I started doing freelance work for toy companies, particularly Mattel, thanks to Mark Taylor. It was the beginning of the MOTU toy line.”

And because he worked on so many aspects of the brand, Masters of the Universe kept Mr. McCarthy very busy. “No one had any idea that it would become as big as it became. I enjoyed the great variety of the work. There were conceptual drawings of things that were not produced and many drawings of things that were produced.” During and after his time on MOTU, McCarthy worked on several other brands at Mattel. “I worked on Hot Wheels projects as well. My pride and joy was the Real Monsters Toilet Mobile! Who says that toy design is not suave and sophisticated? Hah!”

Even though his work appeared on a multitude of licensed MOTU items, Errol didn’t have much time to take notice. “It was gratifying, but the idea was to keep busy, busy. I didn't pay much attention to anything but work and making a living. Most freelancers will say the same thing.”

The Masters of the Universe cardback illustrations are well-known and beloved by many fans. McCarthy illustrated the vast majority of these cardbacks. Of special interest to many fans are the never-before-seen characters from the proposed 1988 wave of figures. While fans will recognize Strobo, who appeared in the final issue of the US He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine in 1988, the rest of these characters are a mystery. These cardback illustrations feature characters that are seemingly made up of 100% reused parts from pre-existing characters. Errol has little memory of these characters. “Honestly, I am not the guy to answer these questions; I was busy just drawing them and paid little attention to what happened or did not happen to them. The people to ask are probably Emiliano and Josh. One of the many enormously talented designers, Dave McElroy, said that the way to come up with a new character was to simply add"...OR"to almost any word you could think of; STINK-OR was a good example!”

McCarthy’s efforts did not end with Masters of the Universe. He went on to work on the He-Man sequel toyline, often referred to by fans under the umbrella term, “New Adventures,” or “NA” for short. Mr. McCarthy produced several conceptual drawings for the renewed brand, some of which featured designs for characters that never came to fruition. He also illustrated a scene entitled “Battle Babes,” which appears to feature designs for potential Mara and Crita figures. “I drew ‘Battle Babes’ as pretty sexy. It was no surprise that they were ‘blander-ized’ in production.”

Additionally, Errol illustrated two of the four He-Man (NA) minicomics. “I really enjoyed working on the mini-comic ‘He-Man,’ but was too busy to do more than 2 of them. I do wish they had been comic book sized. I really had no role in the concept of the ‘New He-Man,’ just did the work.”

A vast array of McCarthy’s MOTU artwork was to have appeared on shirts for Bates Nightwear. However, it seems most, if not all, of these designs didn’t make it to market. “I did about 54 of these for Bates Nightwear. I think Josh (Van Pelt) said that they were not produced! I was surprised.”

Errol has fond memories of working at Mattel. “I enjoyed freelancing & then working in house at Mattel starting in'89. I loved working at Mattel alongside the most talented people I'd ever seen this side of being a student at Art Center School in the '60's. It's hard to believe now that it was so long ago and that some of these talents are gone.”

Fortunately for fans everywhere, Errol McCarthy is indeed very much with us and is one of the greatest talents the Masters of the Universe franchise has ever known.

*Please note: the names of the images below are the names Mr. McCarthy gave the files. They are not necessarily the titles of the illustrations and/or the names of the characters. 


Other
Yoda man vs 2 bad guys
Yoda man vs 2 bad guys

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3 Eye_ spys on He Man3 fuselage _Spin Master_planeArena w_Monster MouthAttack TrackBattle Beard vs opponentBattle Cat w_ He Man frontBattle dent HeMan vs SkelBattle women finalBeastmanBlast AttakBlast-Attak vs MosqitorBolo HeMan vs 2 Head and SpikeheadBuzz OffBuzz-Off-BatesBuzz-Off-fabricCastle GrayskullChaos RamClamp ChampClaw arm Skel vs FistoClawster vs Teela in swampDragon Blaster Skel-BatesDragon Flyer vs He-Man and Man-at-ArmsDragon pak Skel vs FistoDragstorDragstor-transforming-vs Lizard MenEvil HordeEvil Lyn sees HeManEvil-LynExtendar and LittleExtendarExtendar2Fisto and Stridor BatesFisto and StridorFisto hits SkelFisto Vs JitsuFisto vs Jitsu-BatesFright ZoneGargoyle Castle playsetGiant bad guyGood Giant and Prince AdamGrayskull and Princess castlesGrizzlorHe Man Man at Arms Teela OrcoHe Man Man vs Skel Beastman w_ castleHe Man Skel others CastleHe Man Teela Man at Arms on plainHe Man Teela Man at Arms OrcoHe Man veh w-ball armHe Man vs fake He ManHe Man vs MermanHe Man w logoHe Man w_sword shieldHe Man-castle in B-GHelmet bad guy_ w- Ray gunHelmeted Snake Guy_ vsHe-Man and Attak Trak BatesHe-Man and Attak Trak-fabricHe-Man and Bashasaurus BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat marching fwd-fabricHe-Man and Battle Cat vs Skel BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat vs Skeletor-colorHe-Man and Dragon Walker BatesHe-Man and Laser Bolt-fabricHe-Man and Road Ripper-fabricHe-Man and Stonedar BatesHe-Man and Stonedar-fabricHe-Man and Trycer fabricHe-Man and Wind Raider BatesHe-Man Battle Armor w- friendsHe-Man battles SkelHeMan battles SkeletorHe-Man Bugle-Dave McElroyHe-Man Evilynn box artHe-Man in armor w-Battle cat walking fwrd BatesHe-Man new running fwrd-frnds castle in b_g BatesHe-Man on Battle CatHe-Man on Battle Cat-fabricHe-Man on Charging Battle Cat-no B_GHe-Man on Pter vs Skel BatesHe-Man on pterydactyl-fabricHe-man on Tryceratops BatesHe-Man running forward-castles in B-G-fabricHe-Man running fwd BatesHe-Man running fwrd w- sword and shield-BatesHe-Man running w_ ax and shieldHe-Man saves Stondar BatesHe-Man Spydor Grayskull box artHe-Man standingHe-Man Stonedar-Slimepit-fabricHe-Man street scene-BatesHe-Man vs Beast man BatesHe-Man vs Beast Man-fabricHe-Man vs Beastman BatesHe-Man vs BeastmanHe-Man vs Horde TroopersHe-Man vs King Hiss BatesHe-Man vs King Hiss-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan 1-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan 2-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan-BatesHe-Man vs MermanHe-man vs NinjorHe-Man vs Rattlor and Tung Lashor BatesHe-Man vs Rattlor and Tung Lashor-fabricHe-Man vs RattlorHe-man vs Skel atop bldg BatesHe-Man vs Skel atop bldg-fabricHe-Man Vs Skel Flying MachinesHe-man vs Skel in _tank_ things BatesHe-Man vs Skel in Battle Armor BatesHe-man vs Skel in Battle Armor-fabricHe-Man vs Skel in tank things-fabricHe-Man vs Skel-Wrist Lock thingHe-Man vs Tyran and Skel BatesHe-Man vs Tyranasaurus-fabricHe-Man w- ax and shield line-BatesHe-Man w- battle armor frnds in b-g BatesHe-Man w- logoHe-Man w- mini sub vs Squeeeze-fabricHe-Man w-Ax shield volcano-fabricHe-Man w-Bolo_ vs Skel BatesHe-Man-Old and New and Brontosaurus-scanned from fabricHe-Man-Old and NewHe-Man-Prince Adam w-capeHe-Man-standing w- ax and shield BatesHe-Man-street scene-fabricHordakHordak_vs Snake MenKarate Chop guy vs He Man on stepsKickor vs SluggorKobra KhanLeechLizard Man_vs He ManMan at Arms Teela hikingMan at Arms w_clubMan-at-Arms and Dragon WalkerMan-At-Arms and Stratos BateMan-at-Arms w- shoulder gun firing at bad guysMan-E-Faces BatesMan-E-FacesMantenna w-X bowMecha neck lurkingMekaneck BatesMekanek-fabricMer Man w_ swordMermanModulokMonster Mouth ArenaMonstroid in pit-4 panelsMonstroid vs Jet sled colorMonstroid vs Sy-Klone and RobotoMosquitor 1Mosquitor 2Mosquitor vs Snake guyMoss ManMOTU poster w-all figuresNew and old He-man and Brontosaurus BatesNinjor attacks Rio BlastNinjor vs new He-ManNinjor leapsNinjor vs ClawhandNinjor VsOrco in PalaceOrcoPower Punch He Man vs Trap JawPower Punch He Man vs WhiplashPrince Adam vs GiantPrince AdamRam ManRattlorRio Blast vs Snake MenRio BlastRoboto facing LRoboto vs King Hiss Tri-KlopsRoboto w- smoking gun BatesRokkon and StonedarRotor and TwistoidScare Glo leapingScare glo vs Spout snoutSkel and Land Shark 1 BatesSkel and Land Shark 2Skel and Roton-fabricSkel and Snake Mntn-fabricSkel on PanthorSkel w- Dragon Blaster vs Teela man-ESkel w_ rips in b_gSkel w_ staffSkel w_Dragon BlasterSkel w_moon and castle BatesSkeletor and Roton BatesSkeletor and Snake Mntn BatesSkeletor holding staff aloftSkeletor in front of gate BatesSkeletor on Bone ThroneSkeletor on Land SharkSkulking Skel w_ castle in b_gSledor vs Rocket LegsSlime Pit w-He ManSlimepit figs-He Man and StonedarSlimepit w_ figsSlimepit w_o figsSnake Face w_ staffSnake face_ turns guy to stoneSnake Men King HissSnake MtnSnout SpoutSorceress and ZoarSorceress vs Hordak w_castleSpikor BatesSqueeeze vs He-Man on sub BatesSssqeezeSssqueeze vs Rio Blast ExtendarStiltstalker and MegalaserStinkorStratos FlyingStratos vs Skel Beastman Evil-lynSy-Klone vs SkelSy-Klone vs Lizard ManSy-Klone facing LSy-Klone vs Snake guySy-Klone vs Snake MenSy-Klone vs Webstor BatesTeela stalking SkeletorTeela standing w- staff 2Teela w- staffTeela w_ Sword and shieldTerror Claws Skel vs Flying Fists HM-fabricThunder Punch He-Man BatesTrap jaw vs StratosTrapjaw w- gunTri-Klops vs HM BatesTung LashorTwo Bad 1Two Bad 2Two Bad vs He Man Teela Man at ArmsVenom Spitter vs He ManWebstor BW BatesWebstor on castleWebstorWebstor-scannedWhiplash vs He ManWhiplash Vs He-ManWizard w_ book Prince AdamWizardX-bow Man Vs ClawhandX-Bow man w_ cape vs
3 Eye_ spys on He Man3 fuselage _Spin Master_planeArena w_Monster MouthAttack TrackBattle Beard vs opponentBattle Cat w_ He Man frontBattle dent HeMan vs SkelBattle women finalBeastmanBlast AttakBlast-Attak vs MosqitorBolo HeMan vs 2 Head and SpikeheadBuzz OffBuzz-Off-BatesBuzz-Off-fabricCastle GrayskullChaos RamClamp ChampClaw arm Skel vs FistoClawster vs Teela in swampDragon Blaster Skel-BatesDragon Flyer vs He-Man and Man-at-ArmsDragon pak Skel vs FistoDragstorDragstor-transforming-vs Lizard MenEvil HordeEvil Lyn sees HeManEvil-LynExtendar and LittleExtendarExtendar2Fisto and Stridor BatesFisto and StridorFisto hits SkelFisto Vs JitsuFisto vs Jitsu-BatesFright ZoneGargoyle Castle playsetGiant bad guyGood Giant and Prince AdamGrayskull and Princess castlesGrizzlorHe Man Man at Arms Teela OrcoHe Man Man vs Skel Beastman w_ castleHe Man Skel others CastleHe Man Teela Man at Arms on plainHe Man Teela Man at Arms OrcoHe Man veh w-ball armHe Man vs fake He ManHe Man vs MermanHe Man w logoHe Man w_sword shieldHe Man-castle in B-GHelmet bad guy_ w- Ray gunHelmeted Snake Guy_ vsHe-Man and Attak Trak BatesHe-Man and Attak Trak-fabricHe-Man and Bashasaurus BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat marching fwd-fabricHe-Man and Battle Cat vs Skel BatesHe-Man and Battle Cat vs Skeletor-colorHe-Man and Dragon Walker BatesHe-Man and Laser Bolt-fabricHe-Man and Road Ripper-fabricHe-Man and Stonedar BatesHe-Man and Stonedar-fabricHe-Man and Trycer fabricHe-Man and Wind Raider BatesHe-Man Battle Armor w- friendsHe-Man battles SkelHeMan battles SkeletorHe-Man Bugle-Dave McElroyHe-Man Evilynn box artHe-Man in armor w-Battle cat walking fwrd BatesHe-Man new running fwrd-frnds castle in b_g BatesHe-Man on Battle CatHe-Man on Battle Cat-fabricHe-Man on Charging Battle Cat-no B_GHe-Man on Pter vs Skel BatesHe-Man on pterydactyl-fabricHe-man on Tryceratops BatesHe-Man running forward-castles in B-G-fabricHe-Man running fwd BatesHe-Man running fwrd w- sword and shield-BatesHe-Man running w_ ax and shieldHe-Man saves Stondar BatesHe-Man Spydor Grayskull box artHe-Man standingHe-Man Stonedar-Slimepit-fabricHe-Man street scene-BatesHe-Man vs Beast man BatesHe-Man vs Beast Man-fabricHe-Man vs Beastman BatesHe-Man vs BeastmanHe-Man vs Horde TroopersHe-Man vs King Hiss BatesHe-Man vs King Hiss-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan 1-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan 2-fabricHe-Man vs Kobra Khan-BatesHe-Man vs MermanHe-man vs NinjorHe-Man vs Rattlor and Tung Lashor BatesHe-Man vs Rattlor and Tung Lashor-fabricHe-Man vs RattlorHe-man vs Skel atop bldg BatesHe-Man vs Skel atop bldg-fabricHe-Man Vs Skel Flying MachinesHe-man vs Skel in _tank_ things BatesHe-Man vs Skel in Battle Armor BatesHe-man vs Skel in Battle Armor-fabricHe-Man vs Skel in tank things-fabricHe-Man vs Skel-Wrist Lock thingHe-Man vs Tyran and Skel BatesHe-Man vs Tyranasaurus-fabricHe-Man w- ax and shield line-BatesHe-Man w- battle armor frnds in b-g BatesHe-Man w- logoHe-Man w- mini sub vs Squeeeze-fabricHe-Man w-Ax shield volcano-fabricHe-Man w-Bolo_ vs Skel BatesHe-Man-Old and New and Brontosaurus-scanned from fabricHe-Man-Old and NewHe-Man-Prince Adam w-capeHe-Man-standing w- ax and shield BatesHe-Man-street scene-fabricHordakHordak_vs Snake MenKarate Chop guy vs He Man on stepsKickor vs SluggorKobra KhanLeechLizard Man_vs He ManMan at Arms Teela hikingMan at Arms w_clubMan-at-Arms and Dragon WalkerMan-At-Arms and Stratos BateMan-at-Arms w- shoulder gun firing at bad guysMan-E-Faces BatesMan-E-FacesMantenna w-X bowMecha neck lurkingMekaneck BatesMekanek-fabricMer Man w_ swordMermanModulokMonster Mouth ArenaMonstroid in pit-4 panelsMonstroid vs Jet sled colorMonstroid vs Sy-Klone and RobotoMosquitor 1Mosquitor 2Mosquitor vs Snake guyMoss ManMOTU poster w-all figuresNew and old He-man and Brontosaurus BatesNinjor attacks Rio BlastNinjor vs new He-ManNinjor leapsNinjor vs ClawhandNinjor VsOrco in PalaceOrcoPower Punch He Man vs Trap JawPower Punch He Man vs WhiplashPrince Adam vs GiantPrince AdamRam ManRattlorRio Blast vs Snake MenRio BlastRoboto facing LRoboto vs King Hiss Tri-KlopsRoboto w- smoking gun BatesRokkon and StonedarRotor and TwistoidScare Glo leapingScare glo vs Spout snoutSkel and Land Shark 1 BatesSkel and Land Shark 2Skel and Roton-fabricSkel and Snake Mntn-fabricSkel on PanthorSkel w- Dragon Blaster vs Teela man-ESkel w_ rips in b_gSkel w_ staffSkel w_Dragon BlasterSkel w_moon and castle BatesSkeletor and Roton BatesSkeletor and Snake Mntn BatesSkeletor holding staff aloftSkeletor in front of gate BatesSkeletor on Bone ThroneSkeletor on Land SharkSkulking Skel w_ castle in b_gSledor vs Rocket LegsSlime Pit w-He ManSlimepit figs-He Man and StonedarSlimepit w_ figsSlimepit w_o figsSnake Face w_ staffSnake face_ turns guy to stoneSnake Men King HissSnake MtnSnout SpoutSorceress and ZoarSorceress vs Hordak w_castleSpikor BatesSqueeeze vs He-Man on sub BatesSssqeezeSssqueeze vs Rio Blast ExtendarStiltstalker and MegalaserStinkorStratos FlyingStratos vs Skel Beastman Evil-lynSy-Klone vs SkelSy-Klone vs Lizard ManSy-Klone facing LSy-Klone vs Snake guySy-Klone vs Snake MenSy-Klone vs Webstor BatesTeela stalking SkeletorTeela standing w- staff 2Teela w- staffTeela w_ Sword and shieldTerror Claws Skel vs Flying Fists HM-fabricThunder Punch He-Man BatesTrap jaw vs StratosTrapjaw w- gunTri-Klops vs HM BatesTung LashorTwo Bad 1Two Bad 2Two Bad vs He Man Teela Man at ArmsVenom Spitter vs He ManWebstor BW BatesWebstor on castleWebstorWebstor-scannedWhiplash vs He ManWhiplash Vs He-ManWizard w_ book Prince AdamWizardX-bow Man Vs ClawhandX-Bow man w_ cape vs
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