SpartanNerd Project…Earl Norem Poses

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I had this crazy idea.  Really more of a dream.  I could get each person who is interviewed in the Masters of the Universe Art Book  to sign their article.  Or maybe a piece of art.  I know it never would happen…I am not a well traveled person.  But it was a fine thought.

But not soon after the book was published, one of the greatest artists of Masters of the Universe passed away.  Earl Norem.  I wrote my thoughts right here on the SpartanNerd Blog.  (Link)

To help illustrate my love for Norem’s work, I thought I would attempt to emulate it with the incredible Masters of the Universe Classics figures.  So here is my attempt at “The Sunbird Legacy.”

A few Caveats have to apply.

  • The figures have one expression.  Some have alternate heads.  But you still have a limitation.
  • The hair can be wrong.
  • Norem didn’t always paint the weapons the same way.
  • I don’t have the diorama piece.  As this stuff becomes more available to me, I will see about photographing some of it.

I chose this picture because I thought it was one of the most do-able.  My favorite is the one with He-Man on a lion and Skeletor leading an elephant army, with the space battle among the meteors a close second.  But you’ll see.

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I tried the Snake Armor He-Man head.  But it doesn’t look as good as the original.  In the picture, Skeletor’s sword is more of a scimitar.  The closest I had available is Draego Man’s sword.  The Havoc Staff is bigger than the one in the painting.  This proves to be the biggest problem.  I felt like the pose above was too…boring.  Not capturing the motion of Norem’s work.

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This photo is closer to Earl Norem.  Still not perfect.  It is really hard to get Skeletor to balance like this.  If you look at the Norem at length…(as I have,) you can see that He-Man and Skeletor have very parallel hips.  He-Man’s figure can’t quite stress his head back or hold his shield at quite the same angle, and still keep balance.  (He-Man has weak ankles.)

The colors are pretty good.  The white background is about as good as I could do.  I applied a filter to mute it a little.

So, Hub City Geeks.  What do you think about my new venture?  Can you do better?  Send me your pics, and let me know in the comments!

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The Grieving SpartanNerd

Today, (June 22) I just learned that Earl Norem passed away.  (He died on June 19, 2015, at the age of 91.)

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Earl Norem was the incredible artist who did posters and covers for the Masters of the Universe magazine back in the 1980’s.  My mother subscribed to this for me, and I never knew why I stopped getting it.  (Later as an adult I would learn that it was discontinued.)

Norem leaves a legacy of Masters of the Universe work, not only including magazines, but all kinds of books.  Think “Little Golden Books” type.  Also the paperback kind you could get at Book Fairs in elementary school.

I reconnected with Norem’s work back in the late 1990’s, when I was just learning to explore the internet.  I was a part of Adam Tyner’s page, which eventually evolved into He-Man.org.  (I am only a member of the forums there now.  Oh.  And one of my songs was published on the Roast Gooble Dinner soundtrack.)  Back then, I scoured the internet for images of He-Man, and kept a folder on my computer so I could look at them anytime and reminisce.  This folder would follow me to today, where I have it on my mac to circulate desktop pictures.  Norem’s work is the most classically spectacular of all of Masters of the Universe paintings.

Eventually, I would listen to Roast Gooble Dinner, and Val Staples, Emiliano Santalucia, Eamon O’Donahue, and Pixel Dan Eardly would interview Norem.  I listened to this interview at least three times!  Just to hear him talk about his work…and the guy was almost completely clueless that he was revered as a great artist!

To hear his story, he was a painter for advertisements.  It was cheaper for magazines to print artistic work than photographs. Eventually he landed the gig to do some Marvel comics, and then pick up with Conan the Barbarian, eventually leading to He-Man.

He worked in paints.  I recently visited Bob Jones’ University’s Classical Art Gallery, and I dare say Earl Norem’s painting is on par with the great classical masters.  A person might argue that his subject matter didn’t lend to the best examples of classical art, with exaggerated muscles or femininity.  But he always made He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Gwildor, or whoever look tasteful.  His work emphasised action…his painting always give a sense of energy.

I came up with the idea to try and emulate some of Earl Norem’s paintings with the incredibly posable Masters of the Universe Classics figures.  I will be featuring some of my results here on SpartanNerd.com in the future.

Until then, please go by Earl Norem’s fan page.  (You can see some of his art.  I believe Eamon O’Donahue runs this site.)  Also swing by He-Man.org.

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book

This product is AMAZING!!!  I can’t recommend it enough!  I never purchased an art book before for myself, but the SpartanKid has Mega Man Star Force Official Complete Works.   I think that is fine…but the He-Man book blows that away!

(Many thanks to Daniel at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg South Carolina for giving me a discount!  What a great store!)

Obviously, I can’t just take a bunch of photos of each page.  (I wonder how long it would be until Dark Horse/Mattel sent me an order to take them down?)  Instead, I will summarize why I think this book is great, and include just a few pics.

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The front and the back cover are the least spectacular parts of the book.  Why does DreamWorks have a credit?  Barely mentioned here is the Power and Honor Foundation, who owns/houses/curates the art!  (I believe Emiliano Santalucia and James Eatock have a lot to do with this organization.)

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There are several document scans as well as scans of early work.  This book serves as a great visual documentary.  Most everyone has seen this image, that “Vikor” was eventually modeled after.  The original He-Man!

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You get a piece of reproduction cell art!  And you can put the image over different Filiation backgrounds!

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No one will ever deny that Earl Norem was the GREATEST MOTU ARTIST!  This book has several prints of Norem’s work.  This one is my LEAST favorite, and it is amazing!  The more I look at Norem;s work, the more details I notice!

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Here is another Norem.  There are several pieces of movie art.  And that is surprising to me.  Rights to stuff that deals with that movie always seems to be a point of contention.

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Unsurprising, there is lots of 200x art.  Here is Eternos Palace from the show.

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I have this art card.  I really like it!  I think it came with a DVD or something.  I have had it taped to my office wall before. The art book lets you see it extra large!

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The MOTUC Castle Grayskull Box art by Rudy Obrero is preserved here.  It folds out to reveal the entire MOTUC classics card back cross-sell art.  (Up to the point of printing, of course!)

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Something I never thought I would own…the MOTUC maps!  Only Masters of the Universe Classics subscribers received these, or people who purchased certain products.  (Castle Grayskull comes to mind.)  Every map is presented in this book!

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The book takes you all the way from Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet to the modern age of comics!  SpartanNerd readers know I love the new comics!  Here is one of the covers they presented in the book.  There are several other pieces of modern DC comics art as well!

The last part of the book was looking ahead, concept art, etc.  I wonder how much of this is DreamWorks.  (That is who is working on the current movie project, right?)  At least we already know that the gold plated Battle Cat armor is being used in He-Man and the Eternity War storyline.  But what about Skeletor at the bottom?

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The book takes you on a grand trip through the history, present, and future of Masters of the Universe.  I neglected to show you…

New Adventures art

Pre-Ternia art

Princess of Power art

An early Beast Man (too similar to Chewbacca)!

MV Creations work (Looks like Emiliano and Val put there differences aside for this project)

Sculptures

And oh so much more.  If you like Masters of the Universe, this is the book for you!

Can I say anything negative about the book?  I wish it had the full art of Norem’s He-Man and Skeletor’s epic fight, where Skeletor commands elephants and He-Man is riding a lion!  This is the first piece of art you see when you get past the gift-wrap print that is found on the hard-cover backing.  But it is partial.  (That is one of my favorite Earl Norem paintings!)

The other thing is…and maybe I’m wrong.  But the book is 400+ pages.  And the pages are HEAVY WEIGHT.  I am concerned that the book may fall apart over time with lots of use.

I give the Mattel/Dark Horse/Dreamworks He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book a solid 5/5!  Hopefully the Power and Honor Foundation will be able to continue putting out books like this in the future!

SpartanKid Review…MEGA MAN STAR FORCE OFFICIAL COMPLETE WORKS (art book)

This is my 2nd review. It is about the IMG_5444!
This is a great art book!!!!!!!
It has exclusive art, prototypes, etc.
It also has how the artist think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the cover it has exclusive black ace art that looks awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the inside it has 2 chapters. 1 is the3rd game, the other 1 is the other2.
It has ANY THING U CAN IMAGINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That ends my 2nd review. BYE!!!

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