Thursday, April 4, 2013
D is for Donatello
If you read comics in the '80's you probably had heard of the Black and White Explosion and you probably knew that is was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (along with Cerebus) that caused it in in 1984.
But most people we had to wait for 1987's animated series for TMNT to become a mainstream phenomena.
Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo hit that sweet spot where ninjas, pizzas, and gonzo meet.
I think I enjoyed the craze as much because I was still in that mindset where I desperately wanted the mainstream to embrace geek culture. Yeah, remember the days where being a geek wasn't acceptable? Remember when being a geek meant you had to be smart?
So as my friends started loving the Turtles, I wore my knowing smile that these were just another comic book I'd been reading for years.
See I grew up in an era where I hid that I was geek. Being smart was hard enough, but openly likeing comics and toys in high school and not really being ready for a girlfriend was just taking things too far. This was after the long, hard lessons of being mocked, bullied and badgered for wanting to be a kid just a few extra years. It was either hide who I was or end up amongst the....gasp...dweebs, who freely expressed who they were but would never have a social life. It would be a few years before I realized the dweebs had it right and I was being a coward. But I got there.
But the Turtles helped all of us see how much we could have in common. It just took mutants and some kung fu. And what isn't better with both of those?