Back in the Future: 80’s Nostalgia

It’s a great time to be in your early thirties and nostalgic for the entertainment from your childhood. A ‘proper’ Ghostbusters sequel is in the making, in the form of a computer game, with the original cast providing the voices and the story. The Goonies might get a follow-up in the form of an animated series on the Cartoon Network. And an animated sequel to the The Dark Crystal is currently in production, due for 2009. Manga publisher Tokypop is adding to the fun with two recently published titles: Legends of the Dark Crystal and Return to the Labyrinth. For those unfamiliar with Manga: they are smaller-but-thicker comics in black and white, which have a somewhat shared style of drawing, with a Japanese origin.

One volume has so far been published of the Dark Crystal series, which is in fact a prequel as it takes place before the movie. It’s the Gelfling versus the evil Skeksis and Garthim, though the outcome seems predestined. Again a young Gelfling couple-to-be leads the way, making it feel a bit too familiar and I am not sure if the story will be able to surprise me, but it is well-drawn with a lot of detail and certainly worth a read for fans. Return to the Labyrinth is an actual sequel, picking up with Toby – the abducted baby from the movie – now a teen and finding himself drafted to lead the nutball Labyrinth as a successor to David Bowie – sorry, I mean Jareth the Goblin King. But there are hidden agendas yet to be uncovered, and older sister Sarah seems likely to join the fray, going by the end of the most recent volume (#2). The human characters don’t look at all like their movie counterparts – likely due to legal reasons – but the silly and rambling tone of the movie is well-reproduced here, even if the humour is lame in places.

Fans of comics will also be able to relive their youth through omnibus collections from both Marvel and DC. Marvel calls their line Essential (Essential X-men, Fantastic Four and so on) while DC has dubbed theirs Showcase Presents. Each volume contains reprints of a lot of old issues in black-and-white. The colours have fallen by the wayside to cut down on costs, but that is a small price to pay for – well – paying such a small price. And as owners of the original issues can attest, comics colouring in days of yore wasn’t very impressive yet anyway.

As for more recent nostalgia, I can’t resist a quick plug for Buffy: The Long Way Home, the official continuation (‘season 8’) of the television series now out in trade paperback, written by none other than series creator Joss Whedon. Good stuff and ‘entirely pointy’!

(By the way – all the book links here are to the site of the store I work at. If you are abroad, you might find them cheaper locally.)

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