Comics Creators

The geeky year you're most nostalgic about!

Nick Setchfield and I were talking about this a couple of years back. Nick’s from SFX magazine, of course, and thus a guru on all things both nostalgic and geek and we were talking about the year that most defined us as adults. The pivotal year in our childhood we feel all misty-eyed about.

He picked 1979 as he said it felt very much like the end of his childhood and the beginning of seeing all these comic, TV and movie franchises he loved as a kid in a slightly different, more grown-up way. This was interesting as he’s a couple of years older than me, but my choice was 1976 as I was six and only learning to properly read, becoming a voracious comic-book and cartoon fan and discovering everything from DC imports to Marvel weeklies to Superman and Batman Filmation cartoons on Mondays and Wednesdays when I got in from school. It was the BEGINNING of my geek journey, the 1976 Star Trek annual for Christmas kicking that whole year off (annuals in the UK always being named for the year ahead).

So what’s your magical year? What single year comes before all others? I know 2012 for example was a very good comic fan year with Batman and The Avengers movies out, but there’s a power to formative stuff and that’s why 1976 trumps all others for me.



For me it was 1991, although mostly for non-comics reasons.

Movies gave us Terminator 2, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, Naked Gun 2 1/2 and Beauty And The Beast, all of which I watched to death as a teenager.

In music, you had Nevermind, Metallica’s black album and the two Use Your Illusion albums, all of which featured pretty heavily in my teen years too.

Videogames exploded, with Sonic The Hedgehog being launched, which catapulted Sega to massive popularity.

And in comics, Todd McFarlane was at the peak of his popularity on Spidey, and Image Comics was on the cusp of being formed (December 1991 was when the Image crew issued their ultimatum to Marvel).

2000 is it for me. That’s when I discovered The Authority and Planetary and my mind was blown; that’s when I really began paying attention to writers more than artists.

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Hmm. 1975, I think. Right around there. Old enough to know what to do and young enough to do it. And the music! My God, the music!

1992, when i found this in the sweet shop…


Years kind of blur into one another, but I think it has to be 1977, when I was 11-turning-12.

First and most obviously, Star Wars, which I think I saw in the summer of '77.

Second and almost as important: 2000AD launched. It wasn’t the first regular comic I read, and it probably wasn’t even my favourite at the time (I really liked those four-colour American things, you know? You don’t see those so much these days :wink: ). But it was the first time I was aware that other people at school read comics, and so I effectively joined what we would today call “geek culture”. This was a really big deal after years of being a solitary SF and comics “fan”. It also marked probably the first time that I made friends due to shared interests, rather than just living close together or being seated next to each other at school.

So yes, pretty much a life-changing year for me.

It’s only a pity that Blake’s 7 missed the year by two days (2nd Jan 1978, I just looked it up), that would have been the icing on the cake :slight_smile:

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I think that 1992 because the animated carttons as X-men, Spider-man and Batman were so good and all of them have a comic book titles that suported they stories, I mean back in those days comics and TV worker together.

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Kudos to Will for not mentioning a year from his childhood.

I honestly have to agree. 2000-02 was magical as far as I’m concerned. Marvel and Vertigo were doing really exciting stuff, every single week. The movie theaters were full of LOTR movies and the early X-Men/Spidey stuff (which I still rank near the top of the comics films) and more. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones were in peak form and not yet ruined by hype and adaptations and mediocre entries. The best generation of video games just started up. If music counts, then it was the peak years for giants such as OutKast, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Radiohead, and a lot more. I really miss those days.

For the sake of this thread I’ll go with 2001, as that is when Fellowship of the Ring and the Gamecube came out (within a month of each other!). Going to Fellowship with my friends was probably my pinnacle geek moment—nothing before or since has matched it for pure glee. I was 26.

EDIT: For formative years, I’d have to go with 1984: Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Temple of Doom, Terminator, Search for Spock, Neverending Story, Dune. For music I think it was objectively the best year for radio pop. Arcades were hopping. And comics, well we all know what Marvel was up to with Claremont, Byrne, Miller, Simonson (although I was mostly reading GI Joe, Conan, and Elfquest at this point).


1997 - I was thirteen and in one year I discovered Marvel comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element, How Hot Comic Book Actresses Could Be On Screen (Uma Thurman, Batman and Robin, Melinda Clarke in Spawn), Cube, Men in Black, Alien: Resurrection, Jurassic Park 2, James Bond (Tomorrow Never Dies), AND I was old enough to see a bunch of action movies like Face/Off, The Saint, Con Air AND I discovered anime - in Princess Mononoke and the English dub of Evangelion…


And I forgot – 1977 must have been when I first read The Hobbit (it was a set book at school). So really my first foray into modern fantasy, too.

1983 for me. Return of the Jedi comes out in the theater and I get to see it - one of the first movies I can remember. That led to Star Wars toys and merchandise. We also got some older comics like Battle and Eagle, and it also marked the second generation of Action Force toys, getting into SAS, Q, Z and Space Force which my brother and I both obsessed over. And I got my first tastes of American comics (a couple of annuals). Dungeons & Dragons and He-Man were on TV, and I think Monkey Magic, G Force and Water Margin were all available around that time on repeats. Peter Davidson was the Doctor (he’s who I think of as my Doctor). The next year Secret Wars and Transformers came out and that was pretty much that. 1983 was a pretty great year, and ideal time to be hitting 8 years old.

More recently it’d be 2002. That’s what I got back into many of the hobbies I’d given up for university, and finally got to the stage where I had disposable income. It really was the beginning of Gen X nostalgia culture I think, in part driven by Ebay.


The Force Awakens hype has nothing on this one.

For comics though, I have to agree times were good when we had Ultimates, Planetary, Authority etc all sharing the shelf.


1983: I was 11 that summer, VRCs had become available to rent (we didn’t own one until many years later) so my siblings and I were able to have “movie marathons” every few months when my mom would splurge and rent a player with a bunch of films. Having older brothers, I got a chance to sneak downstairs late at night and watch the “R” films after mom was in bed. A Clockwork Orange is perhaps a bit heavy for an 11 year old! One of the films I watched with my best friend Steve was The Warriors, and it inspired us to form an anti-gang we called The Allies, (as in allies to law enforcement) we took the attic space in my garage as our HQ, cut a trap door in the roof to survey the area and spray painted our symbol (a peace sign with handcuffs hanging from it) on the wall. My mom tolerated it for a month or so (she didn’t know about the trap door or weapons stashed in the attic) but when I cut a “secret” entrance in the back wall of the garage with my dad’s circular saw, and found a small Yamaha yz100 motorcycle under a tarp, she finally put her foot down. She made me repair the garage and join the Boy Scouts. They taught me to shoot guns, properly handle an axe and knife, forge knuckle-dusters at the blacksmith class and essential wilderness survival skills. I’m now well prepared for a zombie apocalypse. :wink: I had serious plans to join the military or law enforcement until I stumbled across The Punisher #1 a few years later. It seemed like Frank had more fun as a vigilante than a cop, but the whole “getting shot” thing convinced me stick to carpentry instead. :sunglasses:


Despite the fact that I’m generally crippled with nostalgia, I don’t think there’s any one year I’m particularly nostalgic about for solely/mainly geeky reasons.

1995 (or rather late 94 to mid-96) was a pretty good period of my life that I’m generally nostalgic for, and I suppose the Doctor Who TV Movie was part of that, but it’s not a main reason.

‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Star Trek 3’ at the cinema (Temple of Doom as well, but it’s not my favourite Indy) plus on TV (a quick Google search says) Jeremy Brett’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ began that year, as did ‘Robin of Sherwood’ and ‘Airwolf’!


Did you dislike Temple of Doom as a kid?

I think it’s pretty putrid as an adult but as a kid I was completely bonkers for it.

IIRC yes, it was always a bit unsatisfying. 'Raider’s is a personal favourite so none of the sequels are as good for me. Looking back on it now, it’s definitely a weaker story, makes less sense and is just a bit too dark for a bit too long, but how much of that was my reaction when I was a kid is tough to pin down.

Darkness itself isn’t a problem, ‘Raiders’ has some sections and ‘Gremlins’ (as mentioned above) is very dark in places, but still a film I loved from the first time.

Anyway, ‘Last Crusade’ is probably the second best of the series, then ‘Temple of Doom’ and we probably shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about ‘The Crystal Skull’.

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I feel the same. I liked Raiders and loved Last Crusade but Temple of Doom always felt off to me somehow. Aside from the mine cart chase I think I just didn’t find it very much fun.

I haven’t seen it as an adult but li loved it as a kid. Part of that may be because my dad took me to see it during the school week in an unexpected gesture.

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Actually I forgot several of you are a few years older than me, nevermind.

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