View Poll Results: Would you buy a MOTU novel?

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  • Yes

    20 68.97%
  • No

    3 10.34%
  • Maybe

    5 17.24%
  • Only if it had pictures

    1 3.45%
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Thread: Would you BUY a MOTU novel?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior InThe80s's Avatar
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    Would you BUY a MOTU novel?

    This subject was brought up in a recent (Oct 3rd, 2019) episode of Roast Gooble Dinner. Would MOTU fans support the novelization of He-Man? The limited time poll they did a few years back split the community 55%(yes) to 45%(no).

    An argument had been made that MOTU is purely a visual medium consisting of toys, cartoons, and comic books. I doubt this is an accurate representation of the opinion of fans. There has been support for a He-Man novel going back to 2005. Let's try this again with a proper long term poll on the forums.

    Would you personally BUY a MOTU or He-Man themed novel:

    - Yes

    - No

    - Maybe

    - Only if it had pictures

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior DC_WARLORD's Avatar
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    I would absolutely buy MOTU novels, but I would prefer that they had about 5 spot illustrations.
    Odd Man Out

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Razzerian's Avatar
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    If they’d get an audio publication I’d 100% buy them with my credits on Audible! (Assuming they’d be at least 7-11 hours per book)

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior OwenMorton's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I don't really see the argument that it's just a visual medium; we MOTU fans already seem to be a pretty broad church, no reason we couldn't expand to text...

    That being said, what kind of novels are we talking? My guess is that it would come out rather like the Star Trek pocket books novels that I used to spend all my money on in the 90s. There were some great authors in there, but an awful lot of it felt like phoned-in trashy stuff, and I don't feel I'd be likely to get into that sort of thing for MOTU.

    Oddly - given my usual insistence that MOTU is best served with a tongue-in-cheek style, embracing its inherent silliness - I actually think that the best approach for a MOTU novel series might be a darker, heavier interpretation.

    Answer to the question - a qualified yes, I might.
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  5. #5
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenMorton View Post
    There were some great authors in there, but an awful lot of it felt like phoned-in trashy stuff, and I don't feel I'd be likely to get into that sort of thing for MOTU.
    This is the crux of why people do not want novels; they do not want bad fan fiction becoming canon.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Prime Nova's Avatar
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    Yes I would. If it was well done and had a audiobook version.
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior InThe80s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    This is the crux of why people do not want novels; they do not want bad fan fiction becoming canon.
    Ideally it would be a professionally written novel of high quality based on existing canon in the same vein as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Perhaps the author would be given access to notes left by the writers of the comic books and the TV show. A lot of ideas end up having to be cut or left out due to time and budget. Novels generally don't have that restriction and can go into character development and sub plots.

    Part of why MOTU is not taken seriously is because it lacks any type literally background. People think it is only about selling toys. A good story has value in its own right.

  8. #8
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InThe80s View Post
    Ideally it would be a professionally written novel of high quality based on existing canon in the same vein as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Perhaps the author would be given access to notes left by the writers of the comic books and the TV show. A lot of ideas end up having to be cut or left out due to time and budget. Novels generally don't have that restriction and can go into character development and sub plots.

    Part of why MOTU is not taken seriously is because it lacks any type literally background. People think it is only about selling toys. A good story has value in its own right.
    The problem is that many of the modern comic books have not been all that good, and even the 2002 animated series that is generally highly-regarded by fans took liberties that many fans do not like.

    We were told, despite protestations, that the Classics biographies written by Toyguru would not be considered canon. Yet, his concepts have crept their way into the Dark Horse hard cover books and the DC comic books and other media, which is precisely what people were concerned about.

    So, no, I will not be supporting novels with my money, so people can turn their fan fiction into official canon. Too many people get involved with this property not to act as stewards of it, but to try to leave their mark on it. They do not treat it as caring for something that is beloved by many people, but as an opportunity to transform it into something that is completely pleasing to them.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior DC_WARLORD's Avatar
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    You guys make some very good points.

    The main problem is that MOTU has no specific canon. We have 80s mini-comics, the Filmation cartoon, the '87 live action movie, the 200X cartoon, the Classics bios, the NA cartoon, various DC comics....it's just all over the place. It's like cats on cocaine and speed.

    But then again, maybe whoever puts out the novels could make that work for them: Writers could write MOTU novels based on any of the versions I mentioned above. You simply pick whichever version that interests you.
    Last edited by DC_WARLORD; October 12, 2019 at 01:04am.
    Odd Man Out

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior InThe80s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    The problem is that many of the modern comic books have not been all that good, and even the 2002 animated series that is generally highly-regarded by fans took liberties that many fans do not like.

    We were told, despite protestations, that the Classics biographies written by Toyguru would not be considered canon. Yet, his concepts have crept their way into the Dark Horse hard cover books and the DC comic books and other media, which is precisely what people were concerned about.

    So, no, I will not be supporting novels with my money, so people can turn their fan fiction into official canon. Too many people get involved with this property not to act as stewards of it, but to try to leave their mark on it. They do not treat it as caring for something that is beloved by many people, but as an opportunity to transform it into something that is completely pleasing to them.
    The reason fan fiction is turning into canon is precisely because there has not been a novelization. There has been a distinct lack of written material so fans fill in the gaps and those become the canon. Official biographies should have been created 30 years ago but it never happened.

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior OwenMorton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_WARLORD View Post
    You guys make some very good points.

    The main problem is that MOTU has no specific canon. We have 80s mini-comics, the Filmation cartoon, the '87 live action movie, the 200X cartoon, the Classics bios, the NA cartoon, various DC comics....it's just all over the place. It's like cats on cocaine and speed.

    But then again, maybe whoever puts out the novels could make that work for them: Writers could write MOTU novels based on any of the versions I mentioned above. You simply pick whichever version that interests you.
    I agree with your second point - I don't think the lack of specific canon is a problem; there's so many interpretations of MOTU that a novelisation (whether it's a serious GoTesque fantasy epic or a more tongue-in-cheek Pocket Books effort) should be able to fit in nicely wherever its author wants it to be.

    Still don't know if I'd buy it, of course, but I wouldn't rule it out.
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Asher Tye's Avatar
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    Yes, so long as they're well written.
    I am Imp's number one fan.

  13. #13
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    Would you BUY a MOTU novel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    This is the crux of why people do not want novels; they do not want bad fan fiction becoming canon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    The problem is that many of the modern comic books have not been all that good, and even the 2002 animated series that is generally highly-regarded by fans took liberties that many fans do not like.
    I definitely respect your opinion and value your friendship, Brian, but I wanted to respond to this and offer some counterpoints.

    If we go with the idea that fans don't want novels because they might be trashy or bad, should we also say "no" to new comics, cartoons, movies, audio stories, etc. because they might not be good, or because the creators might take some liberties? Should we fear that those stories will also come across like "bad fanfic"? Incidentally, I've read some excellent fanfic on this very message board. Check out some of the archived stories. There are some really good ones.

    One's enjoyment of literature is subjective. I'm okay with things not being exactly like Filmation, MYP, Alcala/Glut, etc. There have always been multiple iterations of the story.

    It's kind of like Batman, for example. Golden Age Batman is different from Silver Age Batman, which is very different from Modern Age Batman... but they're all still Batman, you know? If there's a bad run on Batman stories, you know there will be some good ones down the road, and we'll still have our old favorites too. In my mind, He-Man and She-Ra have attained that sort of status.

    Novels can deeply explore MOTU like never before. If they lined up some good fantasy or sci-fi authors who understood the mythology, we could end up with iconic tales that we'd be discussing for years to come. Honestly, that 45% "no" poll result kind of broke my heart. What a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    We were told, despite protestations, that the Classics biographies written by Toyguru would not be considered canon. Yet, his concepts have crept their way into the Dark Horse hard cover books and the DC comic books and other media, which is precisely what people were concerned about.
    Of course those Classics Bios were official canon. Mattel approved and published them, which automatically made them canon. Thus, they were included in the Dark Horse 'Character Guide & World Compendium' along with all of the other canons represented therein. That is just ONE canon iteration, however. It does not replace the Filmation canon, various Minicomics canons, MYP canon, '87 movie canon, Golden Books canon, UK Comics canon, etc. Like David S. Pumpkins, it is “its own thing."

    As for the Bios material showing up elsewhere, it was always a possibility (probability) that story elements or characters from the Bios would be used by other creators. Thinking back, I actually "cautioned" folks about this on RGD. Haha. That stuff is 100% owned by Mattel, so it was almost inevitable that they were going to pull from it at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    Too many people get involved with this property not to act as stewards of it, but to try to leave their mark on it. They do not treat it as caring for something that is beloved by many people, but as an opportunity to transform it into something that is completely pleasing to them.
    That might be true in a few cases (coughGiffencough), but I don't think it's true in most instances.

    I mean, new writers and artists should be allowed at least a little artistic license. Even from the start, MOTU creators were taking liberties and adding new ideas, or presenting stories with different tones and imagery. MYP added some cool new characters like the Faceless One, for example (thanks Larry DiTillio). They also presented some parts of the Keldor backstory. I know some fans disliked that, but other fans really liked it.

    That said, I absolutely agree that a novelist should respect the core story elements and ideas beloved by most fans, but they should also be allowed to explore and expand upon these worlds with their own imaginations.

    Maybe a one-shot collection of short stories would be more palatable?

    Anyway, I fully support the idea of MOTU novels. If they suck, well, at least they gave it a try. If they're awesome, it could open up a whole new "chapter" (yuk yuk) in the legacy of MOTU/POP.

    PS - Last thing - I want to put this out there in case anybody has any suspicions of self-serving interests with regard to my championing of MOTU fiction. Even though my background is in creative writing and literature, and even though I co-wrote the new official MOTUC Bios with Eric, I absolutely do NOT want to write a MOTU novel. In fact, if they ever asked me (which they won't), I'd most likely say "no" and suggest someone else. That's just way too much pressure, and I don't think I have the patience for inevitable crankiness and/or outrage from the fanbase. lol.

    That said, I'd be down to write an official short story or minicomic. I think that'd be more fun, and a lot less stressful from a "fan-fury" perspective.
    Last edited by Penny Dreadful; October 15, 2019 at 11:00am.
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  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior melkor23's Avatar
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    I read and have read many Star Wars and Star Trek novels and would really like to see MotU novels. I fully support the points in the post of Penny Dreadful.
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  15. #15
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    I definitely respect your opinion and value your friendship, Brian, but I wanted to respond to this and offer some counterpoints.

    If we go with the idea that fans don't want novels because they might be trashy or bad, should we also say "no" to new comics, cartoons, movies, audio stories, etc. because they might not be good, or because the creators might take some liberties? Should we fear that those stories will also come across like "bad fanfic"? Incidentally, I've read some excellent fanfic on this very message board. Check out some of the archived stories. There are some really good ones.

    One's enjoyment of literature is subjective. I'm okay with things not being exactly like Filmation, MYP, Alcala/Glut, etc. There have always been multiple iterations of the story.

    It's kind of like Batman, for example. Golden Age Batman is different from Silver Age Batman, which is very different from Modern Age Batman... but they're all still Batman, you know? If there's a bad run on Batman stories, you know there will be some good ones down the road, and we'll still have our old favorites too. In my mind, He-Man and She-Ra have attained that sort of status.

    Novels can deeply explore MOTU like never before. If they lined up some good fantasy or sci-fi authors who understood the mythology, we could end up with iconic tales that we'd be discussing for years to come. Honestly, that 45% "no" poll result kind of broke my heart. What a shame.
    Or we could end up with the infamous Greyskull Tales, only official.




    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    Of course those Classics Bios were official canon. Mattel approved and published them, which automatically made them canon. Thus, they were included in the Dark Horse 'Character Guide & World Compendium' along with all of the other canons represented therein. That is just ONE canon iteration, however. It does not replace the Filmation canon, various Minicomics canons, MYP canon, '87 movie canon, Golden Books canon, UK Comics canon, etc. Like David S. Pumpkins, it is “its own thing."

    As for the Bios material showing up elsewhere, it was always a possibility (probability) that story elements or characters from the Bios would be used by other creators. Thinking back, I actually "cautioned" folks about this on RGD. Haha. That stuff is 100% owned by Mattel, so it was almost inevitable that they were going to pull from it at some point.
    That supports my point. There were those of us, you and I included, that recognized that no matter how much Scott tried to assure us that his poor ideas would never be considered official canon, and would never find their way into any official brand media, that once they were fixed in a tangible medium, that would not be the case. And here we are.




    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    That might be true in a few cases (coughGiffencough), but I don't think it's true in most instances.

    I mean, new writers and artists should be allowed at least a little artistic license. Even from the start, MOTU creators were taking liberties and adding new ideas, or presenting stories with different tones and imagery. MYP added some cool new characters like the Faceless One, for example (thanks Larry DiTillio). They also presented some parts of the Keldor backstory. I know some fans disliked that, but other fans really liked it.

    That said, I absolutely agree that a novelist should respect the core story elements and ideas beloved by most fans, but they should also be allowed to explore and expand upon these worlds with their own imaginations.

    Maybe a one-shot collection of short stories would be more palatable?

    Anyway, I fully support the idea of MOTU novels. If they suck, well, at least they gave it a try. If they're awesome, it could open up a whole new "chapter" (yuk yuk) in the legacy of MOTU/POP.

    PS - Last thing - I want to put this out there in case anybody has any suspicions of self-serving interests with regard to my championing of MOTU fiction. Even though my background is in creative writing and literature, and even though I co-wrote the new official MOTUC Bios with Eric, I absolutely do NOT want to write a MOTU novel. In fact, if they ever asked me (which they won't), I'd most likely say "no" and suggest someone else. That's just way too much pressure, and I don't think I have the patience for inevitable crankiness and/or outrage from the fanbase. lol.

    That said, I'd be down to write an official short story or minicomic. I think that'd be more fun, and a lot less stressful from a "fan-fury" perspective.
    If Mattel had approached Larry DiTillio to write a series of novels, it might be a different conversation. But I do not have confidence that is the caliber of writer with a Masters of the Universe/Princess of Power pedigree that people have in mind when they want novels.

  16. #16
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    As someone who has written over 1,200 episodes of television and published seven novels, I can tell you that there are huge benefits to a novel over TV and film -- namely being able to get into the heads of characters in a way that a television show or a film never can. It's one of the reasons why Stephen King's brilliant novels often don't translate well to film -- i.e., he gets so much into the heads of characters in his novels that, with notable exceptions, many of his works fall flat when studios or broadcasters try to adapt them as film or for TV. Salem's Lot is a good example.

    As for a MOTU novel, Gawd how I'd love to really get into He-man and Skeletor's heads! I'll bet we'd find out things about them that we never knew.

    Quote Originally Posted by InThe80s View Post
    This subject was brought up in a recent (Oct 3rd, 2019) episode of Roast Gooble Dinner. Would MOTU fans support the novelization of He-Man? The limited time poll they did a few years back split the community 55%(yes) to 45%(no).

    An argument had been made that MOTU is purely a visual medium consisting of toys, cartoons, and comic books. I doubt this is an accurate representation of the opinion of fans. There has been support for a He-Man novel going back to 2005. Let's try this again with a proper long term poll on the forums.

    Would you personally BUY a MOTU or He-Man themed novel:

    - Yes

    - No

    - Maybe

    - Only if it had pictures

  17. #17
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    Only id it isn't campy

  18. #18
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    This subject was raised in a recent episode of He-Man.org's Roast Gooble Dinner, and one of the points they discussed that I wanted to address is concerns with regard to quality.

    The difference between a novel and animated series, for example, is that a novel is often a sole or joint work of authorship, whereas an animated series is a collaborative work. With a sole or joint work of authorship, if the vision or direction is bad, there are few or no dissenting voices. And considering Mattel approved every single Classics biography Scott wrote, I do not trust them to be good gatekeepers of the brand.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    I voted "Maybe".

    I wouldn't mind a MOTU novel, or even a duology or trilogy, especially if it's written by a decent author - an R.A. Salvatore or Paul S. Kemp, for example. My worry is that we'll end up getting an open-ended series like Dragonlance, Ravenloft or Forgotten Realms. Now, I used to love some of those novels, but there's a lot of dross mixed in with the gold. I'd hate to see MOTU debased in any way, and there's a good chance that could happen.

    Of course, there's also the other side of the coin with a series like the Deep Space Nine relaunch novels. The ones I've read have been phenomenal, and many people consider them to be season 8 of DS9 because they're so good. So, there's a chance that a series could work.

    I know I'm all over the place with this, and that's why I voted 'Maybe'. There's potential for some great work, but there's also the potential for fanfic-y nonsense. I'd hate to see the latter find its way into MOTU.

  20. #20
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    I'm of the same mindset as Penny Dreadful. I think it would just be another "elseworld" for us to read. It wouldn't hurt existing properties, but it would give the fanbase something other than looking at the same stuff all the time. It doesn't have to represent official "canon". At this point, I don't think it's possible to have one official canon that defines everything. There's been too many different variations already and this would just be another one. I'd purchase one and if I didn't like it, then a small amount of money was wasted. But, if I liked it, we all win.

    I do understand there's been fanfic that was bad, which is what a lot of it is, but there's been some good ones, too. I write as a hobby and occasionally do fanfics, but have seen more bad ones than good ones. I hate many of them, especially the ones who write themselves into the character and change the entire character's personalities while focusing on 'ships and stuff like that. We don't need that, but something focused on the world of Eternia and the lore behind it would be good. I've been tempted several times to write something MOTU-based, but it takes a lot of research for the characters, for which I don't always have the time. But, they would just have to choose a good writer. New ideas and perspectives isn't always a bad thing, even if it fails. They can learn from a misfire. But, you've already failed if you don't try.

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