Childhood Memories of Cartoon Characters: From Blobs, Turtles, and Slimer…

When our author has serious, mammoth tasks to tackle, she flees into childhood memories – to computer games, cartoons and comics.

Scene from the comic series “The Real Ghostbusters” (1986-1991) Photo: imago

There are series like “Grey’s Anatomy” with which you can save yourself through life crises. According to the motto: self-therapy with a blanket. Linus from the “Peanuts” knew that. But what helped me two years ago in the winter with the writing challenge for my doctoral thesis was a computer game on my cell phone called Slime Pizza or, as I always called it, “Pizza Blob”. When I couldn’t think anymore, I would stand in the yard with a fag and coffee and play the little green blob. In the game, an unspecified Slime Pizza Delivery Boy crashes his spaceship onto a planet, the onboard computer has a virus, and he has to collect all the slices of pizza that were scattered throughout the ship on impact. No next level without a pizza slice.

Pizza Blob was probably so comforting to me because he’s a cross between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who were famously obsessed with pizza, and Slimer from the “Ghostbusters,” the green blob who always wants to snack on anything in the comic series met him. Going back to childhood memories when faced with a serious mammoth task has always helped me. It’s like a reassuring counterbalance to the fact that you can only reach the next level on your own.

And if we take the Turtles seriously, the anthropomorphized turtle crew and their rat trainer are the 80’s plea for acknowledgment of the coexistence of human and non-human beings on this planet that we debate so much today. Sure, that sometimes drifted into the tiresome “A Damsel in Distress” plot when the Turtles had to save news reporter April O’Neil from something. But the character, who was initially conceived as a computer programmer, wasn’t all that helpless. Can’t even be with a reporter who has blown her way through the glass ceiling of the sexist media business.

Purple is the color of bad guys

The opponents looked like punks and underdogs, and the identifying color of the Foot Soldiers, which the Turtles constantly had to fight, was purple. Entire doctoral theses could be written about the obsession with purple as the color of evil in animated series and films of the 80’s, from Skelotor in “He-Man” to Ursula in “The Little Mermaid”a character who has long since risen to become a lesbian icon.

The racist reflex against the occupation of Halle Bailey as Ariel in the new film adaptation of “Arielle” is also strongly reminiscent of the campaign against the female cast of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 2016. As funny as the film was, Lady Slimer, the love interest for Slimer, who simply had lipstick and a bow slapped on according to the put-a-bow-on-top principle, could have been skipped. I’m much more likely to see Slimer zipping through the galaxy alongside Pizza Blob. Another slice, please.

Pizza Blob

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