Artwork

Creatures of William George

One of the defining characteristics of the packaging artwork of William George is the inclusion of small dinosaur or dragon-like creatures in the background and foreground of the illustration. They add a dimension to the illustration that goes beyond simply demonstrating the product – there is also some world-building going on. The Eternia of William George is a hostile, dangerous and often desolate place, where threats come in all sizes.

I’ll only be focusing on creatures that William George invented for his paintings, not creatures that were part of the products for sale.

Battle Armor He-Man and Road Ripper (1984)

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A pint-sized dinosaur and sea serpent.

Dragon Walker (1984)

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A miniature pterodactyl

Road Ripper (1984)

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Two lizards.

Roton (1984)

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A lizard.
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A tree-climbing demon.
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A flying bird, with encampment in background.

Bashasaurus (1985)

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A diminutive dragon.

Land Shark (1985)

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A wicked-looking little dragon.

Land Shark & Battle Armor Skeletor

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Part vulture, part pterodactyl.

Laser Bolt (1986)

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A tiny, beaked dinosaur.

Scubattack Power Gear (1987)

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A vicious-looking eel.

Megator (1988)

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An ordinary horse, frightened by the stampeding Megator.
Artwork

Battle Ram Box Art Scan

It’s no surprise to anyone who follows this blog that I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the Battle Ram – the 1982 Masters of the Universe vehicle designed by Ted Mayer.

I’m just as obsessed with the early MOTU box art by Rudy Obrero, and for a long time I’ve been wanting to get a nice scan of his original artwork for the Battle Ram. There hasn’t been a really good, single composite scan of the full Battle Ram packaging that I know of, at least that anyone has shared publicly. In scanning the example from my collection, I understand why – it’s challenging to get all of the surfaces to lie completely flat, resulting in some areas that are less crisp than others. Adding to the difficulty is that every example has breaks in the artwork where the box bends upward about two-thirds of the way up. I did my best to digitally fix those breaks, but it was challenging to do in the areas that intersect with painted physical objects.

The result isn’t perfect, but it’s still nice to have the complete, high-resolution picture as painted by Rudy Obrero. If you open the image in a new window you’ll find that you can zoom in quite close on the artwork. Allow some time for the image to load:

Artwork

Lost Golden Book story – featuring He-Ro and Eldor!

Recently an eBay seller was auctioning a number of pieces of original art, many of which came from Golden Book. Among them was this page spread for a story that at least I have not yet heard of, called Passage of Time. Apparently it was going to feature He-Ro and Eldor!

For those who aren’t familiar, He-Ro and Eldor were planned vintage figures by Mattel at the tail-end of the toy-line in a spinoff line called “Powers of Grayskull”. We saw the first part of the story in the final minicomic of the series, but sadly the concept didn’t go any further.

Here we have proof that He-Ro and Eldor were going to be featured in a Golden Book story!

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It looks like this was going to be published by the Golden Books division of Western Publishing Company. The writer is not credited or mentioned by the seller, although it could be Jack C. Harris, an active writer at the time for Masters of the Universe books, with titles like Secret of the Dragon’s Egg and Meteor Monsters.

The seller informed me that he thinks the art was done by Fred Carrillo, who worked on numerous Golden Books like The Sunbird Legacy, The Sword of Skeletor, Power From the Sky and more. To his credit, he was also a layout artist at Filmation Studios.

Hopefully more of this story can one day be found. We know Super7 will be making a vintage He-Ro and Eldor figures, so maybe there is hope!

Happy April Fools Day!

Story and image by Jukka Issakainen.