Columns | Cellar Dwellers of the Underground, an Introduction.

by Mike Original

One thing that could describe me  (don’t worry, I won’t make this seem like some sort of weird personal ad) is that I am, in many ways, nostalgic. When I talk to people I usually refer to some old movie, a cartoon, the unfortunately dead Swedish comedian Micke Dubois, or a heavy metal record from the glorious days of the '80s. I got all my old Garbage Pail Kids stickers in a drawer at home, and was excited like a kid at Christmas when I bought the book a month ago with the GPK stickers art in it. Unfortunately, it didn’t include that gum that the old sticker bags did, that lost its taste before it touched your teeth. I buy DVDs with old cartoons I watched when I grew up, and sit there smiling and feeling a warm familiar feeling wash over me every time. I think I might have cried a little when I got the Incredible Hulk cartoon on DVD. Loads of stuff like this has found its way into my movie collection.

There are a lot of things that throw me back in time to when I was a kid; it’s both a good and bad feeling, I guess. Nostalgia does that to you, but hopefully you have more fond memories than bad ones.

I sometimes think that people these days won’t have the same emotional attachment to things when they grow older because everything is so accessible. A whole collection by an artist, a complete TV-series, or all the movies by a certain actor is a click away, 24/7. People don’t slow down and really enjoy anymore, or get the thrill of really looking for something, at least that’s the feeling I get (damn I felt old writing that, but it’s true). I collect records and movies, and I feel I got a connection to almost every one of those things, and I love the feeling I get when I finally get my hands on something I’ve looked for a long time. There's an H100s 7” on red vinyl that haunted me for years, but I got it now and it feels goooood.

People often consider it a weird thing, and even "fanatical," that I got several different copies of the same record or bought all different versions of Night Of The Living Dead, for example. I still haven’t felt that same feeling for a movie I’ve downloaded, an mp3 record, or a Spotify link. I download things, but I, like many others, tend to rush through the downloads and I don’t let it stick to me like when I get a physical record or movie in my hand.

I can pinpoint some bands down to the day I first heard them, and can talk for hours about some of the movies. Like Star Wars. Every time I watch the originals (episodes 1-3 can suck it), I think about how my whole family sat around the TV back in, like, '84 or something like that. My life changed there, I fell in love with movies and haven’t looked back since. I watch and talk about movies everyday, and I write reviews on two different homepages online. The fanatical interest in movies, and the urge to collect movies was born right there, with the kid version of me sitting on the floor watching Star Wars: A New Hope with my family. A year or so later, my mom and dad bought me an Alice Cooper record, and in '86 my grandfather bought me the Somewhere In Time album by Iron Maiden. These events profoundly changed me forever and helped shape who I was and still am. I don’t trust people who can’t name a life-changing record, book, or movie.

Alongside these things, I also grew up reading comics. I was never really into books all that much growing up. I like pictures, so comics were right up my alley. Tintin, Asterix, Lucky LukeMasters Of The Universe, the Swedish comic Bamse, MAD magazine, Don Martin, and the like was well-read and also served as inspiration for my drawings. I learned the basics of drawing using these comics, and they kept feeding my wild imagination, and still do to this day.

When working on my own comic, I try to include some elements of those old comics that helped me a lot when I was growing up. Getting closer and closer to turning 40 (I got a few years left, luckily), people tend to think I’m childish reading comics, watching cartoons, and drawing these silly pictures. I have no problem with that, because in my world, being childish isn’t all that bad. My parents always encouraged me in my strange pursuits and still do to this day, so I guess the people closest to me saw my interests and nostalgia as something positive.

Like I said in the beginning, nostalgia can also have a darker side, and there's been many a time I’ve been shedding a tear or two over the fact that times change and the years go by, and working with my comic has brought me to those dark places many times. With this column, I hope to dive head first into the brighter side of nostalgia with movies, music, and just ranting on about things. I might end up on the darker ends from time to time as well, because as a person I tend to focus on that too much and I struggle with depression.

Being nostalgic is also about thinking back and trying to relive happier days. Watching a movie you saw as a kid can take you back, and by keeping those interests, acting silly, drawing, reading comics, and not actually caring one bit what “a person your age” should be doing, I think you will be a happier person. Even when I’m at my lowest I can always pat myself on the back and hear that little kid with the crooked teeth tell me that he’s kind of proud of me for still, even at a grown up age, comfortably fat, baldheaded, and a "mad at the world" kinda guy, being into comics, eagerly learning stuff about movies, getting all excited about buying records and movies, and still drawing or painting something everyday.

This first entry to my column may have gotten sidetracked, but since it will deal a lot with nostalgic movies and things from the '80s, it might still hold together with my original intent for this column. Hope I haven’t scared anyone away... I can ensure you I will get sillier and the texts will be more fun most of the time. Got some fun subjects to sink my teeth into planned for the future.

Until next time, thanks for reading. True Originals forever!

“The creative adult is the child who survived.”—Ursula K. Le Guin