I haven’t done a Five Fandom Friday post in months, and when I went to check the list of prompts, I noticed that there aren’t any new ones. So I thought I’d go way way back to the beginning of the list and do some of the prompts that I missed.
Today I’m casting my mind back to some early fandoms that got me hooked on a geeky concept or realm and pulled me into a swirling vortex of fangirly fun.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
As a five year old, I was obsessed with the Ninja Turtles. I would race to the television every afternoon at 4pm and wait for Family Feud to end so that I could catch up with the latest antics of my beloved turtles. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was the first movie I ever saw at the cinema, sparking a lifelong love for going to the movies and experiencing films on the big screen. Now in my thirties, I’m still smitten with those lean, green fighting machines and enjoy watching new incarnations of the Turtles and revisiting old ones. So many of my friendships have been cemented by bonding over conversations of our favourite turtles.
2. The Young Ones
Teenage Ness was seriously into the Young Ones. Although only 12 episodes ever aired, I was happy to watch those same 12 episodes over and over, memorizing every joke. The Young Ones were my introduction to British comedy, a love which soon spilled over into Monty Python, Blackadder, French and Saunders, Fry and Laurie and Mitchell and Webb. My slightly absurdist sense of humour and adoration of a dry one-liner meant that I was instantly drawn to British comedy, which appeals to me in a way that American humour never has. I consider myself a pretty funny person, and I think that my personal sense of humour is very close to the likes of those British comedians that I’ve enjoyed since my teen years.
3. The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz remains to this day my favourite film of all time. I’ve watched it more times than I can count, and I can sing every song by heart. I’ve also done The Dark Side of the Rainbow so many times that I now can’t listen to The Dark Side of the Moon without thinking about which scene should be playing during each song. The Wizard of Oz sparked a love of Judy Garland, which in turn sparked a love of classic Hollywood films, which blossomed into an adoration for vintage clothing. The Wizard of Oz had a domino effect, sparking one fandom and interest after another. So many of my favourite things can be traced backwards to an early love of The Wizard of Oz.
4. Tank Girl
Tank Girl was my first introduction to the world of comic books. She provided a talking point that sparked a 10-year romantic relationship with an awesome man. She was my first ever cosplay costume. The Tank Girl soundtrack introduced me to Bjork and Veruca Salt. I have a lot to thank Tank Girl for.
Disney was probably my earliest fandom. I recall sitting at my great-grandmother’s house at the age of four or five, marvelling at her massive collection of Disney VHS movies. It was in her loungeroom that I first watched Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and The Aristocats. Disney set off a lifelong love of animation, magic and wonder. The Disney cartoons fed my sense of humour while the films nourished my need for adventure and excitement. I’m still a huge lover of Disney, even though I’m 30 years old now, and I get as much enjoyment out of those films as I did as a child. I believe that I genuinely need that dash of wonder on a regular basis to stay sane, and Disney well and truly provides that.
What fandoms do you consider your “gateway fandoms?”