Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Marvel Productions Behind The Scenes

A documentary made in 1981 during the production of Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.  Spider-Man On The Move, presented by Stan Lee.  According to documentary producer Arthur Greenwald, Stan's star turn on this programme led to NBC requesting he record narration for seasons 2 and 3 of Amazing Friends, as well as narration retroactively added to repeats of season 1 and to The Incredible Hulk.


(Part 1)

(Part 2)



Sadly, the main production office (flat-topped, single story building) featured in this documentary burned down in March 1984.

8mm home video of Marvel Productions' head office, filmed in 1984 and uploaded by Bryce Malek, as he and Dick Robbins worked as story editors on The Transformers

 A floor plan of the head office from February 1986, from John Semper's files

1st floor

Ground floor

More of Bryce Malek's home video, this time of the office Christmas Party in 1986.  Putting faces to a lot of the names on the above floor plans.




Thursday, 30 July 2020

July 2020 update

This month has seen some housekeeping at the archive.  The "Productions" links have been moved to the top of the page for easier navigation between the various shows

MP 600 G.I Joe

Due to the official Hasbro YouTube channel releases reaching 50 out of 95 full episodes.  The GI Joe section of the archive has been split into two parts, in the same manner as Transformers.
For production material from season 2, as well as the full script and storyboard samples from GI Joe The Movie.  Update your bookmarks to: https://sunbowmarvelarchive.blogspot.com/2020/07/mp-600-gi-joe-real-american-hero-1983.html

MP 900 Defenders Of The Earth

To streamline the DoE page, only full episodes which are supported by available production material will be uploaded.


MP 5205 Jem

A trio of music video storyboards have been made available to the archive:

First up we have There's A Melody Playin' by future Shrek director Vicky Jenson, from the episode In Search Of The Stolen Album.  Jenson took visual ideas from Madonna's Papa Don't Preach video, the single for which was only released less than two months before these storyboards were finalized.


Next is the original version of Love's Not Easy, by comics legend Romeo Tanghal.  This music video was slated to be the third video for the episode Island Of Deception.  Due to the issues which affected many shows sent out to overseas animators by Marvel Productions in the summer of 1986.  This episode along with 6 others in season 1 were cut down to 19 minutes of original animation.  The time being made up with music video replays and Superstar PSAs.
The video below is of a fanmade animatic using colourised versions of the storyboards.  This was premiered at Jemcon 2018:


Finally, there is Gettin' Down To Business, version 2.  Drawn by Marvel Comics and Productions artist Mike Vosburg for the season 2 episode The Bands Break Up.  Unusually for the time, the storyboards were drawn on 3-panel pages (left over from GI Joe The Movie), versus the usual 6 panels.  Viewers are encouraged to compare the storyboards with the finished video as major changes are made to the first five pages:




Monday, 15 June 2020

One year anniversary

Better late than never!  The Sunbow Marvel script/storyboard archive celebrated its one year anniversary on June 10th. 

Since launching, the archive has expanded beyond anything I thought possible.  Covering 13 years worth of shows, movies, miniseries and pilots:

  • 91 full or partial scripts
  • 118 dialogue scripts
  • 73 full or partial storyboard sets
  • 43 model sheet/cel files
  • 7 show bibles or writer's guides
Not counting concept art, memos, outlines, voice actor call sheets and much more
Thank you to everyone who has contributed scanned material over the past year.


There is still a lot more out there to be preserved, so if any owners are willing to contribute, please message the archive.

Here's to the second year!



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

May 2020 update

Here is a roundup of additions and changes to the archive for May:

MP 100 The Incredible Hulk

Added sample pages from both the outline and the full script for Prisoner Of The Monster, written by Susan Misty Stewart (Misty Taggart).


MP 700 Transformers


  • Completed the 9th digital reconstruction of a Ron Friedman-revised script, back to first draft dialogue.: Doug Booth's Roll For It
  • Received a contribution by NeverDoubt of the first draft script for Fire In The Sky
  • Added low-resolution samples of storyboards for The Immobilizer
  • Separated the More Than Meets The Eye script into it's three parts, for ease of loading and reading.
MP 5204 Moondreamers

Added 6 pages of samples from the show bible, created by future Spider-Man TAS showrunner John Semper and Cynthia Friedlob.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Martin Pasko 1954-2020

It was announced on Mark Evanier's blog that writer and story editor Martin Pasko has passed away at the age of 65.  The Sunbow Marvel Archive wishes to express condolences to his friends and family.

A full list of his work that is covered by the archive is below, followed by the video of one of his finest works:  The GI Joe two-parter, Worlds Without End

Dr Strange And The Mystery Kids
In late 1981, Martin was commissioned by Marvel Productions to write the Preliminary Development document for a potential Dr Strange cartoon pitched to NBC, spinning off the Doctor's appearance in Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.
NBC balking at some elements of the property that could be interpreted as "satanic", along with Marvel's subsequent refusal to water down the concepts, led to the pitch being rejected.
Martin sold the development script in early 2013: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/unique-item-dr-strange-fans-411883048

MP 100 The Incredible Hulk
The Creature And The Cavegirl (partial storyboard available)

MP 600 GI Joe
Operation: Mind Menace
Worlds Without End part 1 and 2
Cobrathon (with Rebecca Parr)

MP 5201 My Little Pony
Story Editor for 61 episodes (with Rebecca Parr)
Writer: Fugitive Flowers, part 1 and 2 (with Rebecca Parr)

MP 6610 Bucky O'Hare And The Toad Wars
Kreation Konspiracy (full script available)

93-400 The Tick
Story editor for 6 episodes
Writer: The Tick vs the Breadmaster


Worlds Without End, part 1



Worlds Without End, part 2



Wednesday, 22 April 2020

April 2020 update: 10 in 10

Just wanted to say thank you to all viewers and contributors for getting the archive to 10,000 views in 10 months. 

I haven't done an update post for a couple of months, but have been busy adding to the archive on a near-daily basis.  The additions include:


  • Various model sheets/cels, height charts and concept art from Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, G.I Joe, Muppet Babies and the Pryde Of The X-Men pilot.  Including work by John Romita Sr, Russ Heath, Rick Hoberg, Bruce Timm and Alex Toth.
  • Various one and two-page storyboards for Jem music videos
  • For Transformers, pages from the outline, and the unedited pages to Act I of the dialogue script for Chaos.  The first page of the outline and the handwritten "Beats" chart for Grimlock's New Brain
  • The official video for the first three miniseries of GI Joe
  • More official video of Defenders Of The Earth, including three of the four "movie" releases: The Story Begins, The Book Of Mysteries and the Prince Kro-tan arc.  The fourth, The Necklace Of Oros, will be linked once posted to YouTube by ComicsKingdom

As always, if anyone out there has access to any full scripts or storyboards and is willing to consider contributing scans to the archive.  Please get in touch via the "Contact" link.  For scanning from home, some contributions have already been made using Adobe Scan: https://acrobat.adobe.com/uk/en/mobile/scanner-app.html
For one-page items, such as a voice actor call sheet or a memo, a flat photo will do the trick.

Here's to the next 10,000

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Unproduced projects


Doctor Strange And The Mystery Kids - 1981
In late 1981, Marvel Productions hired Martin Pasko to write the Preliminary Development document for a proposed Doctor Strange cartoon to be sold to NBC for the 1982 season.  Spinning off the Doctor's guest appearance in Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.

According to Pasko when he sold the document in 2013, NBC rejected the pitch as they felt the mystical elements and the villains could be interpreted as "Satanic" and Marvel refused to water down the concepts any further.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/unique-item-dr-strange-fans-411883048

The Mysterians - 1983

An early entry into the 1980s transforming robot craze.  New Jersey-based toy company Knickerbocker, after an unsatisfactory effort by DC Comics, approached Marvel Comics to develop a monthly comic, pack-in comics for the toys and an animated special.  Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter developed the backstory and treatment for the first story, much to Knickerbocker's delight.

In December 1982, Shooter, publisher Mike Hodgson and other Marvel staff attended a meeting with Knickerbocker executives to discuss the planned launch of the franchise.  The meeting started three hours late, with the executives described by Shooter as "ashen-faced and nervous" and "going through the motions".  The meeting included a conference call with Dennis Marks, Marvel Productions' Head Of Development.  It transpired that Marks had ignored Shooter's treatment and come up with another one involving "cute, wacky, goofy kids and a dog".  Knickerbocker were aghast, stating they wanted what Shooter had developed.  Which in turn, left Marks stunned*.

Shooter and company headed home wondering about the meeting, speculating about a possible company shakeup at Knickerbocker.  The next day, they found out that the shakeup was that Knickerbocker had been bought out by Hasbro.  At that point, all plans for the Mysterians were dropped.  Though the toy designs would not go to waste, as they found their way first to Takara's Micro-Change line, then to Transformers as the Autobot mini-vehicles Huffer, Brawn, Gears and Windcharger.

* - The "kids and a dog" premise popularised by Scooby-Doo had been relentlessly copied during the 1970s.  Marvel Productions spent its first three years applying this tired formula to pitch after pitch.  Successfully selling it to networks on Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends and Meatballs & Spaghetti.  It was attempted on Dungeons & Dragons until D&D creator Gary Gygax intervened and insisted the dog be made a unicorn.  Even after Dennis Marks was fired from Marvel in 1983 - the executives of both NBC and CBS refused to deal with him - this formula would be attempted at least one more time on transforming robots.... 

For more details on the Mysterians' development, head to Jim Shooter's blog


The Incredible Hulk & The She-Hulk - 1983

Written by Misty Stewart (Later Misty Taggart) in early 1983 as a means of retooling the previous year's Incredible Hulk cartoon, presumably as a last-ditch effort to persuade NBC to renew the series.
Changes included rewriting the Hulk to be less like the comics incarnation and more like the live-action TV series which had ended the year before.  Also to bring back She-Hulk as a regular supporting character. (photos taken from ebay auction). https://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-INCREDIBLE-HULK-THE-SHE-HULK-1983-Unproduced-TV-Script-Presentation-Idea/124063444962?hash=item1ce2c1efe2:g:vi0AAOSwADReMAAW










"Car And Cable" 1983/84
Originally appearing in an article about Marvel Productions, in the pages of Marvel Age magazine in 1985.  A pitch titled Car And Cable showed a transforming Volkswagen in a comedic setting with three kids and a dog.  Long assumed to be Marvel's attempt at producing a knockoff to their own success story in The Transformers...

That was until March 2020 when Instagram user consumercollectibles contacted this archive and others to show the original pitch artwork, revealing a previously unseen piece that shows this was in fact an early pitch for Transformers



It is unknown at time of writing exactly where this pitch falls in the development of The Transformers.  Whether it was conceived in summer 1983, when Hasbro first acquired the toy license and according to Buzz Dixon, were shopping the concept to every production studio in LA.  Or whether this came after the Jim Shooter treatment seen in the main Transformers section.  Marvel Productions head David DePatie was reported to be openly hostile to Marvel Comics.  As mentioned above, allowing his development team to outright ignore the treatments being sent over to them.


Air Raiders - 1987
Intended to be the next major Sunbow and Marvel co-production in 1987, promoting the new toyline.  Ron Friedman and Doug Booth worked on development of a potential cartoon through the summer of 1986, with Friedman writing a three-part pilot by January 1987.  Unfortunately, the dual slump in syndicated cartoon ratings and toy sales - due to oversaturation of both - led Hasbro to cancel the project and end all new funding for toy-promoting cartoons once the existing contracts for Jem and Visionaries were completed.




Ron Friedman material (Heritage Auction previews only).






Captain America and The Avengers - 1990
As he recently uncovered from his storage, Flint Dille worked with Stan Lee on developing an Avengers series to sell to ABC.  The network felt there wasn't a market for it and passed on the pitch.
Flint would work with Marvel Productions again in 1991, as story editor for season 2 of Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.




Siegfried & Roy 
Pitch material created in 1992, intended for 65 episodes in 1993 season.  The plans fell through and Marvel Productions was reorganised into New World Animation that year, taking Biker Mice From Mars forward under the new banner.

Concept art (20 pieces)
Pilot storyboard (14 pages) Will Meugniot





Miscellaneous

The following pitches were revealed in an article covering Marvel Production in Comics Feature magazine issue 33, cover-dated January 1985.  Full scans can be found at: http://starlogged.blogspot.com/2012/01/marvel-productions-in-198485.html

Daredevil

Ant-Man


Iron Man

The Monstress

Teen Hulk


Hulk Hound


Other

Wacky Wacky West - year unknown