Archive for he-man

thrift store finds – st. susanna’s rummage sale finds

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

St. Susanna’s Catholic Church here in Mason is had its’ yearly rummage sale this month. In past years, this has been a good thrifting experience for both Ellen and myself. Here’s a couple of our collective finds from last weekend:

Masters of the Universe Battle Tank (Mattel)

I picked this toy up for $1.50. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe have been pretty popular in our house over the past few months and I thought this toy would be a fun addition to the boys’ play room. It comes from Mattel’s unsuccessful attempt to reintroduce the Masters franchise in the early 2000’s.

Although Mattel seemingly pulled out all the stops to get boys interested in the property (lots of toys, a new animated series), the company was unable to capture lightning in a bottle twice. By and large, kids did not go for this new update of He-Man. The endless variations of He-Man and Skeletor warmed the shelves of toy aisles, unpurchased, while the much harder-to-find ancillary heroes and villains were scalped for big bucks.

Collectors are still pretty into the line today, which is the other reasons why I thought a dollar and two quarters was a fine deal for this thing. This Battle Tank is missing the gun mount on the back and two projectile missiles, but otherwise it’s in perfect shape. Ditto the He-Man toy included, which still has his power sword.

At any rate, this will live in our “big boy toys” bin and Elliot and Henry will enjoy it.

Hunchback of Notre Dame trading cards (Skybox)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame always seemed like a boneheaded idea for Disney. Nothing about the Victor Hugo novel screamed “turn me into a 90 minute cartoon with anthropomorphic gargoyles!” While the flick does have gorgeous animation as well as some fine songs (The Bells of Notre Dame is a favorite of mine), this was a miss for Disney. I’ll always think of Hunchback as the movie which ended Disney’s glorious hot streak at the box office and their reemergence as a force in animation, stretching all the way back to 1989’s The Little Mermaid.

Anyhow, I paid $1 dollar for this very nice collection of trading cards. It looks to be a complete set

…with all the fun chase cards included. Here are some iron-ons.

I guess Skybox expected people to iron them all onto a white shirt? There’s also puzzle cards, cards that can be used to build a real Notre Dame cathedral, game cards, cards you can change into puppets…

This wasn’t exactly a collector’s set; these were trading cards meant for kids. To find them in such pristine condition was a surprise. The former owner of this set really took good care of the thing. I figured that was worth a dollar.

Old Cookbooks (for Ellen)

Ellen collects old cookbooks and she found these for fifty cents each, so $2 dollars for the lot. I thought I’d let her tell you why she picked these up herself:

Maybe it was the setting (in a church hall) or that the boys were actually behaving themselves, but I knew the vintage-cookbook-collecting gods were on my side when Chris held up The James Beard Cookbook. This is a book so thorough, but also so basic it actually gives instructions for how to boil water, a lesson I could have really used a few years ago. Beyond this gem, I found three other treasures; Another James Beard goodie, How to Eat Better for Less Money, which surely will never go out of style, a Larousse Gastronomique from 1961, and the book I’m most curious about is The Graham Kerr Cookbook by The Galloping Gourmet, “he cracks jokes as he cracks eggs”!

I think we paid fifty cents apiece for each book, $2 dollars for the lot!

summer journal comics: henry’s heroes

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I’ve talked about this before here, but I wanted to make sure I had it in a comic. Henry loves Masters of the Universe, the Fleischer Brothers/Famous Studios Superman cartoons, and recently he’s been watching a lot of old Spider-Man cartoons. Funnily enough, we don’t watch the Spidey cartoons form 1967; I find them to be pretty unwatchable. No, Henry (and Elliot) go in big for Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the cartoon series that aired on NBC in the Eighties.

I was too young for that one when it was originally on, but I’ve watched a couple of episodes with the boys and it’s not horrible. As a superhero comic book fan, I would have appreciated how many guest starts the show accommodated if I had seen it then. Via Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the boys are now fans of Thor, Captain America, and The X-Men. In particular, the show seems to be X-Men crazy, with a bunch of episodes focusing on them. I know Marvel had been trying like crazy to get an X-Men cartoon series off the ground at the time… perhaps this was their sneaky, backdoor way of getting the characters into cartoons.

(I should also point out, theme-wise, we’re only four comics into the summer and this is the SECOND strip about my kids watching old superhero cartoons. THEMES!)

chalkboard pictures: the “heroes of the eighties” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Obviously inspired by my sons’ recent infatuation with Masters of the Universe, after Monday I decided to catalog some of my OTHER favorite heroes from the decade when I grew up.

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thrift store finds: masters of the universe- time trouble

Posted in thrift store finds, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

The second Masters of the Universe book in this set is Time Trouble. Written by Roger McKenzie with art from Eduardo Barreto, this was published by Golden Books in 1983, a year after last week’s TSF, Caverns of Fear.

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thrift store finds: masters of the universe- caverns of fear

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

For the next two weeks, we’re looking at a collection of children’s books featuring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, published by Golden Books in the early 1980’s.

MotU was an early obsession of mine, hitting toy shelves and television screens just around the time I was old enough to appreciate such things. He-Man looms large in my mind as a show full of magic and adventure, but as with most things beloved in childhood, his televised adventures are best left to memory. Revisiting them as I did in this comic, a few years ago leads to diminishing returns.

Far more fun and interesting to me were the toys, which I collected and played with for years. These books recapture some of those memories for me.

I’ll look at one this week, and one next week. If you have no interest in Masters of the Universe, you may want to skip TSF for the next half-month.

The first book we’ll be looking at is Caverns of Fear, published in 1983, was written by Mary Carey with illustrations from Al McWilliams.

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thrift store finds: another round of rejects!

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Let’s end the year with some rejected Thrift Store Finds. These are things I picked up at our local St. Vincent de Paul store which, for whatever reason, I couldn’t figure out a way to dedicate a whole entry to ’em.

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chalkboard photo post #24

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , on March 13, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Although this is emphatically just a hobby for me, I have to admit… I get a little uptight about taking any self-imposed hiatus from posting. I’m not sure why this is, except that I’ve always prided myself a little on my ability to keep a schedule. “You may not like the comic,” I’ll think to myself, “but you can’t argue that I’m consistent.”

…but it was a good thing I took the week off, because damn. Stressful week. Next week my 10th grade students are taking the Ohio Graduation Test, which is stressful for them but sort of an easy five days for me. I spend the morning proctoring and the school runs on a two-hour delay schedule for the rest of the week. Meaning I see most of my classes for about 20 minutes before the bell rings and sends them off to their next 20 minute class.

All that’s just the long way around saying I’m back to posting comics and stuff… and thanks for being patient with me. This week’s chalkboard drawings (last week’s, now that I think about it) are behind the cut.

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thrift store finds: he-man and the masters of the universe magazine

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

In this day and age, I imagine very few children’s toy properties rate their own magazines.

A cursory look over the magazine racks at our local supermarket bears me out on this- although there are a couple of kid-friendly properties like Star Wars and Star Trek, those are not specific enough to make me think those magazines are intended solely for children. When I was a kid, I subscribed to a few periodicals tailored specifically to my toyetic interests; offhand, I remember there being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine that I got in the mail, as well as a Tiny Toons Magazine.

Often repositories for bad jokes, fan art, and the occasional nugget of news and information about your favorite toys, they were fun and I remember loving to get ’em in the mail… which is why I was pretty pleased to find this He-Man and the Masters of the Universe magazine in a stack of books our neighbor gave to Elliot a few days ago. You may remember Elliot enjoying our neighbor’s last gift, a paint-by-water She-Ra: Princess of Power book that I scanned a couple of pages of around this time last year.

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odds & ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

It’s Friday! I haven’t done an Odds & Ends update in awhile!

Ellen and I are powering through the first season of Veronica Mars on Netflix. I’ve already seen these episodes but Ellen never has. It’s been a lot of fun. On watching VM for the second time, I’m even more impressed with the show than I was on the first go-around. It’s aged remarkably well for being a teen drama taking place in high school.

It’s also clear that the writers put a LOT of work into the mystery which, unlike a lot of television shows, plays entirely fair with the audience. It’s been fun to watch Ellen react as the season-long “Who killed Lily Kane?” story arc unspools, considering I know who, in fact, killed Lily Kane… and as for me, I’ve enjoyed picking up on stuff that I completely missed on my first viewing.

If you’ve never seen Veronica Mars, it’s worth watching. If you have seen it, it’s worth revisiting.


Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour came out a few weeks ago, but I only found a copy this past Saturday. Seriously, I looked ALL over New York and I couldn’t find one lousy copy! I really wanted to get one for my classroom, as these books were HUGELY read among my students last year… and I’m expecting a rush on them in September thanks to the upcoming movie.

While I enjoy the books, the Scott Pilgrim series hits a lot of sweet spots for people that aren’t necessarily my sweet spots. I’ve never been a big fan of Japanese manga, the style on which most of the series is based… and I stopped following video games sometime in the early 1990’s, so some of the references that cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley makes fly right over my head. That being said, I really enjoyed the last book in the series. Although there’s still a lot of laugh-out-loud moments and some REALLY well designed action sequences, I most appreciated the maturity with which O’Malley approached the relationships in this book, and I’m shocked that I’m saying “mature” and “Scott Pilgrim” in the same paragraph. I’m looking forward to seeing what some of my students from last year who devoured 1 through 5 think of this one.


Some of you might remember last year when I asked readers to vote for me in a contest for Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation, wherein I had to take Poe and draw him as a character from the 1980’s toy line He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You can see my take on Poe here.

I was thrilled when I won second prize in that contest- a Mer-Man action figure from Mattel’s new Masters of the Universe Classics line. If you’ve never heard of MOTUC, it’s a toy line created exclusively for collectors where the toys from the Eighties are retooled and reimagined for the 21st century. As regular readers of the blog know, I’m something of a… well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a fan of He-Man these days (the cartoon, when revisited, is pretty horrible) but I have a soft spot for Masters of the Universe.

I finally got around to taking ol’ Mer-Man out of the box and DAMN it is a nice toy! He’s super-posable and comes with a lot of cool accessories including his trident, weird looking coral/corn sword, and a differently designed head that you can swap onto the neck.

The going rate on these toys is something like $30 dollars, and fans of He-Man pay for these once a month on Mattel’s MattycCollector website. I don’t know that I’m ready to dive in regularly collecting these at that crazy price point, but this is a pretty sweet toy. I can imagine Elliot and Henry enjoying him when they’re ready to play with action figures.


And now, for your enjoyment… Henry faces.

Thank you and goodnight.

…and the masters of the universe

Posted in commentary with tags , , , on October 16, 2009 by Christopher Pearce

Thanks to all who voted for my drawing in Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation He-Man contest. It looks like I won second place; a Masters of the Universe Classics Mer-Man action figure! Mer-Man was always my favorite of the He-Man villains because of his distinctive “gargling a big glass of water” voice the character had on the animated series.

Although it was my favorite cartoon when I was a kid, I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to inflict He-Man on Elliot and the soon-to-be-arriving Baby #2. I rewatched some of the cartoon a few years ago and found it to be unbelievably bland… but the toys were neat, and I’m sure Elliot will appreciate this one.

Although it’s nothing to do with either teaching or journal comics, I thought I’d post my drawing for fun. All the entries to the contest were really terrific.