Kid Stuff Storybook Artwork

Kid Stuff procured licenses for a number of then popular 80s era properties for use in the company's "See & Read" storybook products including VHS tapes and cassette/book combos. The VHS tapes contained non-animated videos of the artwork contained in the cassette/book combo pack. Basically the VHS tape accomplished the audio and video components simultaneously, while the cassette/book combo relied on a cassette tape for audio and printed storybook for visuals. The camera zooms in and out on various portions of the artwork on the VHS tape to generate a more visually stimulating experience, while text is displayed and read by various narrators and voice actors.

Super Powers represents one licensed property for which three "stories" were released: "Battle at the Earth's Core", "Darkseid of the Moon" (an obvious name play on the well-known Pink Floyd song/album?) and The "Battle for Apokolips". The artwork showcased in this entry, consisting of two individual components combined to form a single image, pertains to the "Battle at the Earth's Core" story.

The base artwork, accomplished by water colors, is rendered on illustration board. The illustration was attributed to Jose Delbo and Mike Esposito while the coloring was accomplished by Greg Theakston whom collectors may recognize as the inker on the second Super Powers comic book mini-series.

The second component, a clear acetate overlay, contains all of the black outlines and a select few color additions to Desaad's face/hands and Darkseid's cape medallion. The yellow photo background makes the overlay look yellow, but it's completely clear and allows all of the beautiful water colors to show through when placed atop the base artwork.

This artwork and others surfaced in 2014 with an interesting story. The gentleman who sold the artwork was given a box of artwork that his father acquired during the purchase of a storage area's contents. Artwork for additional properties like G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, and more were also part of the find. Thankfully I was able to purchase this piece from the seller. I typically focus my collecting on Kenner related material, but couldn't pass up this piece given its Tower of Darkness component. The Tower of Darkness is referred throughout this story as the "Tower of Rage", a name found on early design blueprints for the unreleased Kenner playset.

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