Throwback Thursday #3 – The Real Ghostbusters

Last time I did this, I wrote about Mega Man.  You wanna know what I love more than Mega Man?  Ghostbusters.  But here’s the thing.  I grew up on The Real Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2.  Ghostbusters came out the year before I was born and then the cartoon launched the year after.  My mom took me to see GB2 when it hit theaters in 89.  And man, the series has stuck in me like it’s a part of me.  Cause it is now.  And, in the context of me writing A Demon in the Desert, it is very important.  Why?  Because it gave me so many nightmares my mom tried to get it away from me.  But I loved it.  I would scream about demon bugs crawling all over everything but when she tried to tell me maybe I shouldn’t watch some good ol’ family ghost busting, I fought her.

And that is something I’m putting in the book.  Not the show watching but the nightmares.  I had a lot of nightmares growing up.  The Ghostbusters fought nightmares though.  A whole variety.  Slimer?  Slimer would be like a silly nightmare.  It’s scary, because it’s a ghost.  Slimer was smelly and gluttonous.  Even after the boys tamed him in the Real Ghoustbusters (I use “tamed” loosely), he could still be a nuisance.  And they fought bigger, worse things.  There is an episode where the boys actually stop Cthulhu rising.  And the best line in that episode, “The Collect Call of Cathulhu,” is when Egon explains that the Big Guy “makes Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine.”

Pictured: Little Mary Sunshine

Egon, according to the show, partially got into the busting biz because of his run in with the actual Boogeyman.  That dude is basically Mr. Nightmare, right?  And they beat his ass too.  The show took what the first movie did and expanded on it hugely.  The writing, at least before the show got rebranded as “Slimer & The Real Ghostbusters,” was way better than you’d expect from a kid’s show.  It had a strange effect on the writing of GB2 (Janine going from Annie Potts’s strange little nerdy portrayal to the redhead of the cartoon) but not necessarily terrible.  And the change stuck around.  The IDW comic is an amazing blend of the movies and the cartoons.

So yeah, this was a little rambly, but if you never saw the cartoon (check out Extreme Ghostbusters too), give it a look see!

Throwback Thursday #2 – Mega Man X2

I fucking love Mega Man.  I have been playing Mega Man since I was 6 and first had an NES.  Mega Man 3 was my first, 4 was my favorite (nevermind that I missed 5-7), and I still have my copy of 8 for the ps1, which also celebrated the Blue Bomber’s 10th anniversary.  When I discovered the X series, I fell in love all over again.  Which is amusing in retrospect because that was literally 4 years later.  I love the X series just as much as the classic.  X2 is not my favorite though.  X3 and X4 fight for that spot.  X2 is still very important though.

Mega Man X2 cover
Mega Man X2 cover

Why?  Because it inspired my first attempt at writing prose.  Yes, I’m saying I wrote Mega Man fan fiction here, except it was less fan fiction in the sense you usually picture.  I didn’t create my own characters or my own storylines, things that a lot of us might start out doing and are important to building our own voices.  What I did instead was turn the gameplay into prose.  It started in my 7th grade English class.  The teacher wanted us to do 10 minutes of writing at the start of class every day.  Whatever we wanted.  I had been playing this recently and it was on my mind so I went for it.

The jet bike on the cover?  Featured prominently in Overdrive Ostrich’s stage.  I started there.  I wrote about the level, about X’s traversal through the base, driving through the artificial sandstorm, taking down the missile, and finally battling the big bird himself.  It was fun.

I did it again at 14, though more in a terrible rip-off of Ocarina of Time than a proseing of Ocarina, but that’s another story.  That little experience of using my writing journal to explore prose was a very strong foundational exercise for me as I ended up doing it again in late 2013/early 2014.  And while X2 is not my favorite, it’s still a fun time.

I love Mega Man.

Throwback Thursday #1

I’ve had a rough few days after a cold front decided to roll through.  It feels like the Oklahoma weather followed us to Alabama and that sucks.  So, given that, I’d almost forgotten that I wanted to start this little bi-weekly tradition (along with Follow Fridays that’ll start next week and that I already know who I’ll be promoting).  So what am I gonna write about?

How bout an underrated show that was my first introduction to both westerns (long before I really got into them) and the weird west?  How bout a show with one of the most entertaining actors out there?  How bout The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.?

Why was this show so great?  Well, just going off my little 8 year old self’s memories, it was fun.  It was a lot of fun.  It was silly and there was action and a smartass horse and before I knew who Bruce Campbell was, I thought he was fun to watch.  Interesting.  Now, technically, Back to the Future 3 was my first weird western, but that was part of a trilogy.  I only partially count it but it shared something that got expanded for me with Brisco County:  science in the west.  This was also a very early introduction to steampunk before it really had a name, before anyone really knew what it was.  There’s probably some of you who had this experience as well.

So you have this show starring a smartass bounty hunter seeking revenge for is father’s murder and getting into all sorts of shenanigans.  You have a whole host of various characters with various tropes, and you have anachronisms out the wazoo.  Action, romance, drama, comedy (and slapstick at that, which Bruce has always been amazing with), literally everything you could want.  I really need to watch the whole series as I never saw the whole thing.  It made a lasting impact though.  Part of that impact came from this:

Brisco and the Orb

There’s a scene, I couldn’t tell you which episode, where that damn thing is glowing and sparking and maybe I’m remembering the whole scene wrong but it made an impact.  It seared itself into my brain.  So, for a throwback, for an early work that influenced me and others no doubt, look up The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and give it a watch.  It’s gonna be silly and cheesy and very early 90s, but that’s part of the charm.  And Bruce Campbell.