The story of He-Man is well-known to children of the eighties, but author Brian C. Baer is able to dig even deeper into the beloved franchise in his recent book, How He-Man Mastered the Universe. Baer examines every aspect of the Masters of the Universe, from the toys to the cartoon to the movie to the reboots and more recent collectible action figure releases. The author looks at the groundwork laid for the success of He-Man by the marketing behind Star Wars, and the influence He-Man had on many subsequent pop culture franchises such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, and the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What impressed me most about Baer’s book is the attention paid to the big screen adaption of the Eternian hero in 1987. The toys and original cartoon have been widely covered over the years, with little more than a passing mention to the live-action film. A good bulk of Baer’s book, however, is devoted to how He-Man was brought to life by Dolph Lundgren. He breaks down the movie with an in-depth review, discusses the financial woes that hamstrung the ending, and even includes conceptual drawings for He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Skeletor, and She-Ra, who unfortunately was written out of the script.
Baer also discusses the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon that aired in the early 1990s, the 21st century reboot by Mike Young Productions, and the new line of toys that came with that. Baer wraps up How He-Man Mastered the Universe with a look at what many of the film’s actors are doing today, as well as others who were involved with He-Man through the years.
How He-Man Mastered the Universe is a highly enjoyable book; children of the eighties and He-Fans in particular will love it.
Purchase How He-Man Mastered the Universe by Brian C. Baer on Amazon or directly from the publisher at www.mcfarlandpub.com or via the order line at 800-253-2187.
April 23, 1924
Chuck Harmon became the first African American to appear in a game for the Reds when he pinch hit for Corky Valentine on April 17, 1954. In the same game, Nino Escalera also debuted for the Reds; Esccalera was also black, but was Puerto Rican, not African American. Harmon was an excellent athlete, and also tried out for the Boston Celtics when the NBA was integrated for the 1950-51 season. After failing to make the Celtics, Harmon finished the season as a player-coach for Utica of the American Basketball League. According to Wikipedia, that made him one of the first (and possibly the first) African Americans to coach an integrated professional basketball team.
April 23, 1967
Rheal Cormier wrapped up his 16-year career pitching for the Reds. In 2006 and 2007, Cormier pitched 27 games in relief with a 5.29 ERA.
(October 18, 1960 – April 22, 2017)
Erin Moran, who played Richie Cunningham’s little sister Joanie on Happy Days, was found dead today in Indiana. She was 56 years old. Happy Days was one of my favorite television shows growing up. Her TV brother and the Fonz have both posted brief thoughts on Twitter:
Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens. https://t.co/8HmdL0JKlf
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 23, 2017
OH Erin… now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth …Rest In It serenely now.. too soon
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) April 23, 2017
No word yet how Chachi is handling the news.
April 22, 1910
Lew Riggs was a member of the 1940 World Champion Cincinnati Reds, though his time was limited to only 41 games that season. In 1936, Riggs was a National League All-Star.
April 22, 1933
Bob Schmidt spent just a part of the 1961 season with the Reds; he was traded in December that year to the Senators, giving Topps plenty of time to reflect the change on his 1962 card. Schmidt is pictured with the Reds on a 1962 Salada coin and in the 1980 TCMA 1961 Reds set, neither of which I own.