We all were young once, right. At the last convention I attended – the newly sited Dragonmeet at the beginning of December – I spent a good quarter of an hour discussing the likes of Chorlton and the Wheelies and other childrens’ TV. We all have strong influences from our childhoods, powerful memories – images of characters, stories and events from animated series that jump out when you least expect it.
Fil and I come from different backgrounds, with different childhood influences. I grew up in the UK, while she grew up in Australia. Our kids grew up watching the animated marketing of massive toy companies in Japan and the US. It all combines for some fairly eclectic sources of inspiration.
By the time I went to University, I spent all too much time watching kids TV. Quite why the UK authorities thought the sniff of ninja might create a major incident, I don’t know – but I know the half shell martial artists as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.
Once I had kids of my own, I seemed to spend early evenings and weekends catching cartoons on Cartoon Network. I discovered Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends and the elastic hero of the high seas, One Piece. I aspire to find a fabric that will recall the adventures of Samurai Jack or Courage the Cowardly Dog.
Now, my wife might have had a different upbringing, but that still meant some common ground. While I’d never heard of Bananas in Pyjamas or Gumby, I certainly could recognise the anarchic Bullwinkle and Rocky or The Addams Family.
Mind you, My Little Pony probably came too late for both of us, but I actually (guilty secret) find the modern series, and the adventures of Twilight Sparkle, quite entertaining!
The boys got raised on Looney Tunes – with the likes of Road Runner, Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian, but by the time they moved to the UK… well, Pokemon hit big. Catching Them All seemed unreasonable enough to begin with, but who has any chance these days with more than 600 of ’em.
Luckily, the little monsters faded away, and we got a stream of other TV and toys instead, like Transformers, Star Wars, Cartoon Network creations… and then they discovered Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer. They lingered to watch a bit of anime, but the cartoons seemed to come to an end.
Somehow, those memories have found their way into our collection. And, occasionally, I still get a chance to sit down to watch another crafty plan go wrong with Wile E. Coyote.