Once more we travel through the vast underground catacombs that reside under the gothic castle that is the offices and home to the Root Beer Party. Little do people realize the vast underground network that lies under the rolling green hills of the palatial estate. To the world it is merely the home to an eccentric clan of comic creators with an affinity for root beer, but lurking just beneath lies the most complete collection of comics in the world. Countless volumes thought to be lost to the ages, including artifacts such as Trajan’s Column, Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Bayeux Tapestry and the Ark of the Covenant .
Since time immortal, the select guardians of the Root Beer Party have kept the history of comics alive, carefully cataloging and collecting every scrap of comic art in the history of the world.
Now I travel down those same corridors, where once the Great Root Beer monks of old traveled to deposit their latest discovery. The walls lined with ancient cave paintings and dimly lit torches create an atmosphere of mythical awe until you turn on the lights and then it just a really, really big room.
Today we will look at a recent publication from Dark Horse. He Man and the Masters of the Universe minicomic collection. There is a lot that goes along with this collection of minicomics. Interviews with the artists, the writers and even the executives in charge of the toy and cartoon lines.
He-Man became a cultural phenomenon beyond the expectations of Mattel. This is why there is some serious continuity issues between the original mini comics and the later released ones. The first issue, He Man and the Power Sword, considering all of the copies sold along with the action figure means that the mini comic has the largest print run of any comic book in history.
We can see the difference in the minicomics and in the action figures which would later be packaged with them. In order to have the comic ready it was done well in advance of the action figures debut and changes were made to the action figures that were not reflected in the minicomic. The minicomic: The Tale of Teela, is a perfect example of this. Teela was supposed to be the Sorceress, but the Sorceress was later introduced as a separate character, and then when the cartoon came along, all the continuity was sort of thrown into disarray.
This book walks us through all of that, how the plots and designs were dictated to the writers and artists and it became more of being just a sales pitch. So why would a cheap sales gimmick turn out to have such a nostalgic value to people today? I guess it is because for many of us, these minicomics were the jumping off point of every action figure we collected. It introduced us to the character and their place in the world of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. While some of the stories are downright silly and in the later releases when the writing was on the wall about the end of the toy line, they still kept us invested and those same late issue minicomics are some of the most expensive to collect today, fetching hundreds of dollars for unopened packages in mint condition.
The book also gives us the complete comics from the several failed re-launches of He-Man. some feature artwork by people such as Neil Adams and writing from people like Tim Seeley and Robert Kirkman. The collection also contains some unreleased minicomics and scripts from minicomics that were never used as the toy line was cancelled. So if you are a fan of the old He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and want to take a stroll down memory lane, this collection may be for you. It brought back fond memories and the interviews and overarch of the history of the minicomics weaves a wonderful spell to keep you interested with all the behind the scenes facts.
You can get this book at Amazon Here: https://www.amazon.com/He-Man-Masters-Universe-Minicomic-Collection/dp/1616558776/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
So now we return this volume to it’s place shelf in the archival room, sealed once again in airtight vellum to protect it’s precious pages from the ravages of time. I hope you enjoy this collection and check it out. And as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.