James Eatock

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James Eatock
James Eatock.tif
James Eatock, at the 2013 Power-Con convention
Born James Douglas Eatock
(1977-08-21) 21 August 1977 (age 39)
Enfield, London, England
Occupation Writer, animator

James Douglas Eatock (born 21 August 1977) is an English freelance animator, designer, writer and publisher.[1] He is commonly known on the Internet as Busta Toons.

Background[edit]

A fan of animation, James Eatock grew up watching cartoons, primarily shows from the 1980s, taking an interest not only in the obvious visual entertainment, but also the people that worked on the shows themselves. Gaining access to the Internet James as Busta Toons soon found himself engaging in many an animated discussion, and was the first person on-line to interview Larry DiTillio regarding his work on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Galaxy High. The name Busta Toons came from his admiration of Leaders of the New School front man Busta Rhymes, and his love of animated cartoons.

He-Man and She-Ra Episode Review Website[edit]

In 1997, James alongside Zadoc Angell created the He-Man and She-Ra Episode Review Website. The website was primarily Zadoc's idea and James had little interest in contributing to it during its initial developmental stages. The website went on to become one of biggest dedicated to the He-Man and She-Ra animated series. The website attracted many visitors, including many of the series staff, earning the pair reputations as experts on the series. However, by late 2001 both James and Zadoc had many other priorities occupying their lives prompting them to rarely update the website, leading to an eventual unexpected merge with He-man.org.

Soopa Don Boogie[edit]

In mid-2001, James was fortunate enough to get his animated short aired on the BBC as part of the "BBC Talent" scheme that the channel had been running. The short was popular enough that he created a website dedicated to the characters from the Soopa Don Boogie short. However he received the most positive feedback over an animated short he had created which featured He-Man and Teela against a monster. James' animated work was heavily influenced by the animation styles of both Tom Tataranowicz and John Kricfalusi. James still hopes to pitch Soopa Don Boogie as a comic book series.

Mattel[edit]

In December 2001, Mattel contacted James and paid both he and Zadoc to write an in-depth guide to the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series. The project was completed on time and handed to Mike Young Productions who used the guide to heavily influence their new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) series. The pair were supposed to receive an on-screen credit for their work, but they were left unaccredited. This would be the last time that James and Zadoc would work together. At the same time James had left his job in the Department for Culture Media and Sport and pursued a career in animation attempting to get a job at Passion Pictures, but failing.

DVDs and comics[edit]

In 2003, Contender Entertainment Group asked James to co-produce the UK release of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe on DVD. Liaising with Contender he was responsible for the extra content, which included DVD commentaries (two on each volume) on which he and Dave Newman attempted to give insightful, and at times humorous comments on specific episodes. The DVDs were popular at the beginning, but due to a slow release schedule the interest level vanished and the DVDs were canceled with Volume Six in late 2004. However at the beginning of 2006 Contender decided to release the remaining episodes of season one on three DVDs but only available as a Boxset exclusive to play.com with all the previous releases. Understandably this was not met with a positive reaction, and even though James and Dave recorded new commentaries, many of these would never be heard until Contender finally released one final He-Man DVD boxset which contained volumes 7-9 and it completed the first season. James and Dave's commentaries for those episodes featured in the exclusive boxset was included in the extras. The set was released in September 2007.

At the beginning of 2004, James and Dave were asked to appear on the commentaries for the UK release of Dungeons & Dragons (TV series) on DVD.

Alongside co-producing the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVDs James was also writing the Masters of the Universe Encyclopedia for MVCreations. Due to disagreements with Mattel the series was canceled after only one issue, even though all five issues had been written. Initially the plan had been for James to write an Encyclopedia based on the classic He-Man properties, but legal problems led to this idea being shelved after James had written the first issue.

James also worked alongside Val Staples to create The Energy Warrior and came up with concepts, stories and designs for a proposed comic series which never saw the light of day.

BCI Eclipse[edit]

From 2005-2008 James worked with MVCreations on many DVD titles from BCI Eclipse including He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, The New Adventures of He-Man, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, Defenders of the Earth, Dungeons & Dragons (TV series), Filmation's Ghostbusters, Bravestarr and many more. His role primarily involved writing the synopses, character profiles and trivia, naming the chapter points, and researching material for the documentaries produced by Andy Mangels.

Time-Life[edit]

In 2008 James assisted in producing The Real Ghostbusters DVD set for Time-Life. In addition to researching a wealth of material for the content that would eventually appear on the DVDs James also assisted in the documentaries themselves traveling to California. As well as formulating questions for each of the interviewees, he himself interviewed Marsha Goodman, Kevin Altieri and Dan Riba. He was later interviewed for the set by Andy Mangels and performed three episode audio commentaries.

cereal:geek[edit]

In 2007 James launched cereal:geek; a 100-page glossy magazine with no adverts dedicated to the animated shows from the 1980s with contributions by many talented artists and writers. Currently fourteen issues have been published, with issues fifteen and sixteen available to pre-order as of July 2014. Issues two and three have sold out, though James is currently taking pre-orders for re-prints of Issue 2.

He-Man and She-Ra Blog[edit]

In 2006 James started the He-Man and She-Ra Blog!, updated on a near-daily basis, which is now in its ninth year. He also participates as a guest host on the He-Man and She-Ra podcast, Masters Cast.

The Unofficial Guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe[edit]

James Eatock has recently written The Unofficial Guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It was published in August 2010 and is available through James' He-Man and She-Ra Blog! site. The unofficial guide was re-printed by popular demand in September 2012 with a brand new cover for the guide. Like the last edition, the guide is available via the blog.

IDW Publishing/Ghostbusters[edit]

James Eatock and Dan Schoening worked together on a Ghostbusters comic pitch which was sent to IDW Publishing (the current owners of the Ghostbusters comic book license).[1] Although the pitch did not result in any immediate work, the on-line debut of the pitch created much excitement. After the pitch was showcased on the New York Daily News' website, James and Dan were asked to contribute a story to IDW's Ghostbusters "Haunted Holidays" trade paperback. He penned the story "Guess What's Coming To Dinner?", which Dan illustrated. When IDW went ahead with their regular series with Dan as the artist, James was not hired.

He-Man Official YouTube Channel[edit]

Since November 2013, James has been providing videos for the Official He-Man Channel on YouTube, including exclusive episode commentary tracks, trivia, behind the scenes information, music and humorous videos. Currently 124 videos have been exclusively created by James and published on the channel.

When he started, the channel was releasing videos every thursday and sunday, but that schedule stopped November 2015. Though the page still advertises it uploads every thursday and sunday; there has been only one new video trailer upload [as of Jan. 8th, 2017], which has now been removed from the channel.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe[edit]

In October 2014 James was hired to work on The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe published by Dark Horse Comics. He contributed the text, artwork, and suggested layout to the Filmation chapter of the book. He also contributed the rarely-seen unpublished Masters of the Universe minicomic "Return From Terror Island!" to Dark Horse's forthcoming He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection.

Future Plans[edit]

Most recently his book for Dark Horse "He-Man and She-Ra: A Complete Guide to the Classic Animated Adventures" was published on Aug 25th in comicbook shops. He has plans for The American Shotgun Symphony (a new comic book series set in the 1970s).

References[edit]

Interviews[edit]

External links[edit]