What Made You A Fan of TV?
Hi, my name is Rueben and I am a confirmed tv-oholic. As far back as I can remember, my best friend has always been that glowing orb that sits in the middle of the living room called the television set. Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy; but I was one of those kids who had a major childhood illness, which kept me stuck inside while all the other kids in the neighborhood were outside playing chase or kickball, catching fireflies or riding their bikes. Because of my health issues, I was able to watch from my front porch while all the other kids had fun so in an effort to make me feel “better” my parents put me in front of the television set, hoping that cartoons and children’s programming would fill the void.
Well, the TV did take my mind off my friends who were playing outside without me. I discovered the amazing worlds of Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Lassie, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street (among many others). And while I’m sure my parents did not anticipate what was to be a short diversion to become a life-long passion, that’s exactly what TV did for me.
By watching television from such a young age, I had the opportunity to travel to all kinds of places – much like avid readers travel to all kinds of worlds simply by turning the page of their favorite book. As I grew up, of course, my tastes in programming changed, moving from children’s programming to teen-oriented series and eventually I landed on sci-fi shows.
While I had been watching sci-fi based shows for years, it wasn’t until 1998 when a little show called Prey debuted on ABC, starring Debra Messing (of Will & Grace fame) and Adam Storke (who is best known for his role in the Stephen King mini-series The Stand). It was because of this show and a trip to Los Angeles for my very first sci-fi convention that I realized I was a sci-fi fan. It was an interesting moment when the revelation came to me that I loved sci-fi: it wasn’t for fear of being seen as a geek or a nerd, but just the fact that I had been so blind to my own obsession of the genre.
Much like the revelation I came to at a young age that I loved TV (I did say it has always been my best friend, right?), once I realized that I loved the genre, there was no going back. I delved as deeply into the world of sci-fi, fantasy and the supernatural as I could.
Granted, I know the difference: real life is real and the sci-fi world is well a world of make-believe. But, what wonderful worlds those can be, you know?
As far back as I can remember I’ve been watching the world of sci-fi, superheroes and the supernatural play out on my TV screen. From watching Isis, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl as well as Shazam, The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man to Quantum Leap and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century to more recent shows like Roswell, Pushing Daisies, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, Smallville, Supernatural and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (among countless others), I am a die-hard sci-fi fan.
It may seem strange to say, but I am thankful for that childhood illness that kept me cooped up indoors in front of the television set because it not only became a buffer for me, it also became my best friend and has led me to my current “career” as a freelance entertainment writer and reporter specializing in sci-fi, fantasy and supernatural programming.
Now, my question for you is what made you a fan of TV? Was it a particular series that captured your heart and mind? Or was it the influence of a friend who got you hooked on a specific show? Did you get caught up in a cult-like series (i.e., Buffy or Firefly) that led you on a path to the world of sci-fi? Or, did you stumble upon a comedy or drama that is still your all-time favorite show? Please share what made you a fan of television.
Artist Spotlight: The artist spotlight for this month is Katie Cook, a talented artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since she was in elementary school, she wanted to be a cartoonist. Her childhood of reading comics and comic strips as well as watching cartoons made her who she is today. As an adult, Katie graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 2004 with a BFA in illustration and she has done licensed work for DC, Marvel, Star Wars, HEROES, Lord of the Rings and much more. She specializes in comics, children’s book illustration and product design. Her most recently work is the new Fraggle Rock comic with the story written, drawn and colored by Katie. The activity page was also designed and drawn by her as well. She also just completed a Star Wars t-shirt design for the new company Her Universe. Katie is also happily married to Ryan and became the proud mother of baby Grayson last month.
Her sample piece is called “Dark Crystal Pin-Up,” which was drawn for the Tokyopop Manga of the Dark Crystal and was featured in the back of one of the issues. It was drawn on 9” x 12” Bristol board with Micron Pigma pens.
You can learn more about Katie Cook and her artwork by visiting her website here. She has also started an all-ages weekly webcomic called “Gronk, a Monster’s Tale,” which is available here. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.