Originally posted to a new blog, The Nerds of Color.
To some degree, I think it’s inevitable that all of us who were born and raised in the 80’s, who now look back at that decade with equal parts mortification and nostalgia, and most importantly, who share the special brand of being born and raised an 80’s kid of colour, are to some degree nerds with a special connection to comic books and all other things fandom.
Personally, I stumbled into the role of fangirl, and I still have a hard time fully claiming the title. There are plenty of folks out there with obviously better nerd cred than me – I spot several of them within the esteemed ranks of this site’s bloggers. These are the folks who can quote verbatim Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s From Hell, who can keep straight what happened and who died in which Crisis (and might even be able to point you at which issue of which title is relevant to your particular question), and who can gleefully cite the names of each X-man created by Chris Claremont before descending into a heated debate over whether any of them would win in an epic deathmatch against Iceman.
By comparison, I am a mediocre fangirl. As a kid, I was a casual reader of comic books, a casual consumer of 80’s television, and a casual player of Super NES games. Now, in my thirties, I have less time to devote to these kinds of pursuits than I would like, and I sometimes mourn how hopelessly behind I am on the latest pop culture news (which is moments before I wonder if it’s about time to crack out my dentures and high-waisted granny pants so that I can park myself on the patio rocking chair with a lukewarm chamomile tea and complain about these young whippersnappers, their ear-splitting music, and their new-fangled technology).
All that being said: I’m still a fangirl. Because as much as I’ve failed to make time for the fandom in my life, it has occupied (and will always occupy) an important part of my childhood.
When I was a kid, my prototypical Tiger Mom limited me to a single 30 minute allowance of television a day, which had to be pre-approved and penciled into my otherwise packed schedule of extracurricular responsibilities (also including school homework, home homework, Kumon homework, Chinese school homework, piano practice, and that one year when I flirted with learning the violin). This required me to choose how I spent my TV time carefully. For most of my childhood, I (for reasons now unclear to me, other than the fact that the show bore so little resemblance to my reality) picked syndicated Adam West Batman episodes.
Until, one day, I discovered Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Or, more specifically, I discovered the Yellow Ranger. The original Yellow Ranger.