CONNECTICON – More Than Meets The Eye

Up until recently one of the highlights of being a genre fan has been going to conventions and not only meeting the actors and actresses that create our favorite shows and movies but also hanging out with thousands of people who share your interests. Unfortunately for me, my opinion of conventions started to sour when some of them got too big for their britches.

As more and more people started to attend these events the higher prices skyrocketed. At one time you could wait in line to meet a star, get something autographed and have your picture taken right there with your own camera with said star. All of a sudden this was no longer allowed and if you wanted to have your picture taken with somebody famous, you would have to pay an exorbitant amount of money and the picture was taken by the convention’s camera and they would print you up a copy (digital copies cost extra). This whole practice ruined conventions for me and I just stopped going. Not only because the fun was no longer there but also because I just couldn’t afford it.

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For anyone that has read any of my posts in the past you will know that I am very nostalgic when it comes to my youth. I cherished being a kid for so many reasons. We had the weekly ritual of Saturday morning cartoons as opposed to today, where there are 24 hour a day cartoon channels. We also had a block of cartoons on each morning before school and another one waiting for us when we got home from school. The Saturday morning showings were on the major networks and the weekday showings were on UHF stations.

Saturday mornings were great because not only did you have the great Hanna Barbera and Warner Brother offerings but Sid & Marty Krofft were creating a regular variety of live action shows such as Land Of The Lost and Dr. Shrinker. It is the weekday showings though that I am currently here to talk about. These showings introduced me to a whole new type of animation; an animation from Japan. At the time we called it Japanimation and now it goes by the name of anime. The best of these, in my opinion, was a show called Star Blazers from 1974.

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One of my fondest memories as a child of the 70’s was coming home every day after school to watch my favorite cartoon series, STAR BLAZERS. At the time it was being shown on a UHF station so it varied from day-to-day as far as how well I could draw the station in. Regardless, I was there every afternoon at 3 PM to enjoy the exploits of Derek Wildstar, Mark Venture, Nova, IQ-9 and so many other memorable characters. For the time, the animation was a definite step up from what we were seeing on Saturday morning and unlike most cartoons of the day, this series had a well-written, ongoing story. Plus it had a catchy theme song!

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