Monday, November 5, 2012

Marvel Productions Promotional Art (Part 1): They Live!

I, like many of you out there, am a big cartoon fan. Especially of 80s ear cartoons. Some of my favorites were the Marvel Productions (Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, etc).

I'm always on the prowl for info and art from this period and as happy to run acrosss an old issue of "Comic Features" magazine with a big full-color article on Marvel Productions. This is from January 1985 issue (#33) and the article features some great production art for shows that aired and shows that never got past the concept art phase. I've taken some high rez scans and made large JPEGS of the various images. Share as you like and please credit or link if you do.

Now, the fun! Part 1: Shows that aired

The main reason I bought this issue was this image. I'm a huge Transformers fan, especially the original cartoon series. I've never seen this image before. Optimus Prime fighting a trio of Laserbeak cassette bots.
The crazy thing is A) a kid piloting Optimus (or just riding along) and the Green VW Bug convertible with the girl driving. Is this an early version of Bumblebee and Carley? Is that Spike in Prime's chest? My mind is blown! 

Pandamondium! I have faint memories of watching this at my Aunt's house on Saturday mornings. She seems to think the show was funny and would watch it with me and my sister. It's one of those shows that have disappeared. I've never seen it air in reruns or dvds, or even copies online. 

Meatballs and Spaghetti. I only vaguely remember this one. Might have watched it once or twice as a kid. I think I used to mix it up with Wolf Rock...

Ahhh, Dungeons and Dragons! One of my favorites. Seems like this re-ran forever on Saturday Mornings. Love this show. The DVDs are dirt cheap. I've got the set that came in the faux AD&D game box. Great show. Of note: Presto's in red robes instead of green (maybe they changed it since Venger and Dungeon Master both wore red) Uni's got mint green hair too. I'd love to have posters of these images. 

Up next: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.


Michael Carvalho Silva said...

I watched Meatballs And Spaghetti when i was a child and i just loved it. The own Meatballs was one of my childhood crushes in the 80s with Charles Martin Smith in "Herbie Goes Bananas" and "Never Cry Wolf", Omar in "Rock And Rule", Mandy Patikin in "Yentl", The blond superheros Thor and Flash Gordon and the blond, tall, gorgeous and slender brazilian student Leonardo Carneiro who was my best school friend and also my first teenage platonic love.

Michael Carvalho Silva said...

If Hollywwod was made a movie of the cartoon Meatballs And Spaghetti in the 80s, the gorgeous dark-haired bear Gailard Sartain would be perfect as Meatballs and the beautiful blondie siren Daryl Hannah would be amazing as his wife Spaghetti.

Michael Carvalho Silva said...

The character Billy Joe from the New Shmoo Cartoon was my first cartoon crush, i forgot to tell.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

It's one of those shows that have disappeared. I've never seen it air in reruns or dvds, or even copies online.

You'd think someone would have the nerve to at least dig up this one VHS release and rip that to place someplace online.

Best so far is the intro we can see online.

In the case of Meatballs & Spaghetti, someone did upload an episode on YouTube, though sadly it's only in German, but at least it's something, the premise of the episode itself was taken from a Jetsons episode that came out 20 years earlier.

Both Meatballs & Spaghetti and Pandamonium tend to not really resemble or reflect the look I felt Marvel Productions was going for, many tend to suggest they wanted to do more than simply adapt their comic book properties at the time, and no doubt escape from the DePatie-Freleng roots that influenced the studio's early years given how many of it's staffers had been with the former studio since the 60's (some of DFE's last few projects had to be finished by Marvel too such as a few specials featuring Pink Panther and Dr. Seuss). I think 1983's Dungeons & Dragons the toy-based programs that followed helped to further distinguished Marvel Productions from the rest.