Looking back, Chapter 1
While thinking of a topic to write about, I had all sorts of things going through my head. Most of the things that I swirling in my head today are things that I am quite fond of and I have been into or liked for a big part of my life.
Alot of the stuff I was thinking about was in someway attached to my childhood and early teen years. Things that helped shape me and define the person I am today. Growing up in the 80’s, as alot of you know was an interesting time. There is all types of stuff from that decade that I think about on an almost daily basis. And I know that this is said alot but, things really did seem simpler back then. And I’m not talking about not having the responsibilities we have as adults. The economy was on the up and up, the sky was the limit for everything, and in my honest opinion that decade had the best toys and tv programming as well as movies I have seen to date. I have alot of fond memories of all of this. Today I guess, I’m still a kid. I still buy toys and watch old tv shows and wake up early Saturday morning to catch TMNT. Speaking of which, have Saturday morning cartoons go the way of the dodo, or what? I remeber the Big 3 networks(NBC, CBS, & ABC), as well as some big but not as huge networks(WPIX & Fox), vying for our viewership. I’ve looked at the shit they pass off nowadays. 95% of it is garbage! Let’s look back at some stuff that will give us happy thoughts.
First, I would like to talk about someone I loved as a kid, and still do today. I watched him find his lost bike hundreds of times, and I knew when he came on tv Saturday mornings, that Saturday morning was over and either golf or tennis would be coming on next. You know who it is. Don’t act like you don’t!
Even though he’s insane, I think he helps me keep my sanity. Just watching the intro makes me want to live there. Here was a grown-up, who was a kid and lived in a house that no parent would ever live in! He lived by himself and lived by his own rules. I always wondered what happened to his house in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. And because of X-E, I can’t look at that door and not have Skeletor with Moss Man’s arms pop into my head! Anyway, religiously watched his show every Saturday and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was one of the most watched tapes in the house. One thing me and my younger brother always thought was how much our stepmom looked like Large Marge, I’m serious(I’ll do a comparison in a later post). I have heard alot of people say that the Large Marge scene scared the shit out of them in their younger days, but my brother and I thought it was one of the funniest things we ever saw! When we would watch it alone, my brother had a habit of rewinding any parts of the movie we thought was funny, repeatedly! It was funny about the first 2 times. Still to this day, I go frame by frame at least once when I watch it.
Next up, we have something that ruled everyones lives. The Nintendo Entertainment System owned me from 1985 until 1991 when it was Super Nintendo’s turn. I would play any game on this, any time I could. Getting a new game was a family event. My dad would play the games with us and really get into it(I learned a few new words ‘cuz of that). I’m not gonna get to in depth, because this subject has been covered by so many. But, being that before we spoke of the NES, we spoke about Pee-Wee…..How about this?
These days it seems that there is little thought put into the child demographic. But, we have learned to be more politically corect these days and most of that shit wouldn’t fly today.
Another huge part of my childhood was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were on everything and they were everywhere! We had the cartoon, the toys, the movies, the food, shampoo, bed sheets and the all so sacred pudding pies. To this day, I would say that the Turtles are my favorite cartoon/toy line. I didn’t have the Turtle Van or Blimp or the technodrome. My brother and I only got one or two playsets growing up, but we had ass loads of figures. The figures spanned every major and minor toy line that was available. The ones we had the most of were G.I Joe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Michaelangelo started out as my favorite, but that only lasted for about a month. Donatello has since been my favorite pizza eating reptile. By the early 90s, you could watch the Turtles on Saturday morning, and watch them on WPIX(NY), after school on weekdays. And that’s exactly what I did. I think the Turtles were the last big cartoon/toyline for me. As you go through school, certain things made you a “baby”. Playing with toys was one of them, although I still got toys once in a while, and I haven’t stopped watching cartoons, but the kids in school didn’t need to know that.
The turtles cartoon debuted in 1988. By the time 1991 rolled around, I was starting to spend my allowance collecting comics. It was thanks to this hobby, that I found the gritty Turtles form the original Mirage comic book series. I will say that I am a huge fan of the original turtles and have many of the original comica and the Donatello Neca figure still inside of his plastic prison. I went to a comic convention at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in 2002(when I lived in the city), and to my surprise Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Turtles was in attendance. There was nobody in line for him, so I swooped right in. He was an awesome individual. We had a brief conversation and I asked if he would sketch something for me. He asked if I had anything to sketch on, so I grabbed a backing board from one of my purchases and gave that to him to sketch. Here is what I recieved a few minutes later.
I got an awesome sketch of “Mike”. Watching him do this was amazing. No pencils. Just a thin tipped Sharpie and a regular Sharpie. I consider myself a decent artist, but ther would be no way for me to sketch something with a Sharpie that’s suitable for framing.
On a final note. I would like to say, if you’re a fan of the Turtles and haven’t seen the three episode “Turtles Forever”, jump on it. The present day Turtles meet their 1988 counterparts as well as their 1984 counterparts. This was an awesome surprise for older Turtle fans. They even left the 1984 turtles black and white. I felt like a kid again, only this time coffee and cigarettes replaced my bowl of cereal.