I had a major revelation on Thanksgiving. While rooting through an old closet at my parents’ house, I dug up my old HE-MAN toys. And I realized, “Wow, these are everything.”
It’s fair to say that HE-MAN has had a major impact on my artistic inclinations throughout my career.
The original line of HE-MAN figures all shared the same ridiculously muscular torso and weirdly small, bow-legged feet. The heroes all had absurd, homoerotic harnesses and skimpy armor, but I was obsessed with the villains. They’re the beastly ones with freakish tongues and appendages, but with that same delicious torso.
(I have no idea what this guy’s actual name is, but I call him Randy Reacharound.)
I loved the bizarre variations on the same basic template, the bold colors, and the utter weirdness of them all. Other toy lines, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, had their share of fun characters, but HE-MAN always had the greatest hold on me.
I wanted to create my own character designs, inspired by the original spirit of HE-MAN, but playing more with gender and sexuality. Thus was born HE-RA: Masters of the Everything!
Here’s the hero HE-RA, who clearly isn’t based on any pre-existing characters at all.
And here’s SKELLETRA, the wickedest bitch in the land.
This is KLOR, HE-RA’s greatest rival.
BOLTT, one of my favorites.
This is COBRELLA, lookin’ pretty in pink.
ZIEFGANG is not intended to bear any resemblance to any sexy bear characters from any videogames whatsoever.
He is fast, he is deadly, he is… WHISKRZ.
Obviously, I played around with the same basic pose and ridiculous musculature throughout all these, but with GLORZOK, I wanted to show a gloopy, formless character who literally molds himself into shape with his armor.
As you might guess, I have prints of all these lovely creatures available on Etsy! Just in case you want to add some hunks to your wall.