Creators in my Youth and Now

space ghost coast to coast and c martin croker

Space Ghost Coast to Coast’s Influence

Earlier this week I found out that one of the people who was largely responsible for the creation of Space Ghost Coast to Coast passed away. C. Martin Croker voiced Zorak and Moltar, two of the four pillars of the show along with Brak and Space Ghost himself. I’ve been thinking for the last few days about how much of an influence that show had on me in my youth, even though I probably didn’t get most of the humor, and how interesting the world of creators is today as compared to in my youth.

I remember watching a ton of the original Space Ghost show when I was younger, along with the likes of Thundarr the Barbarian, and how they captivated my imagination. The space setting of Space Ghost and the dark fantasy setting of Thundarr were still new and intriguing to me, especially in cartoons. They could do anything on the screen, where live action media was limited by real life. Then, likely years after Space Ghost and the like had lost their appeal to me, I found something with the same cast of characters but in a late night talk show format. They interviewed real people and pulled shenanigans on each other, all the while introducing me to a new form and level of humor. The show had a tremendous impact on me and is probably the reason I’m still so interested in animation today. I was not a super fan by any means, but it still saddened me that I had never even heard Croker’s name before.

Our Relationships with the Creators We Love

That brought up the contrast of now and then in context. Back then, between the state of tech and my age, I would’ve had no idea how to even begin to be any sort of devoted fan. Croker had a hand in a bunch of shows that I love, but I had no clue. I was too young to work on finding out more about the crew and probably barely comprehended that there was a team behind its creation. I don’t know if it was just my youth or the lack of available information at the time, but looking into the creators never crossed my mind. I just knew the characters.

Now spin up to 2016, the internet and social media may have their issues, but creators and their fans are able to connect on many levels besides a single piece of art. I look up information about anything that piques my interest. I can look at that creator’s past and see what they’re up to now, even get book recommendations and little quips from them on Twitter. Unfortunately, the public nature of creators now has two sides and is often abused by people who are mad at the world for whatever reason. On a more optimistic note, if Space Ghosts Coast to Coast was on today, I’m confident I would’ve been more familiar with C. Martin Croker and his work. I like that idea.

I’ve matured in the time between now and then. Now I realize there are some amazingly people behind the art that I love and has shaped who I am. Whether a writer, comedian, journalist, voice actor, or animator, I am gracious for my contemporary ability to send some kudos their way and directly let them know that they’re kicking ass.  Too many people let the art that they enjoy just slip by. In the digital age, we have to ability to do so much more, as shown by Patreon and similar services. Let creators know when you appreciate them and the way they’ve influenced you, I like to think that gratitude and can to influence them just as much as they help to shape us. At the very least, I hope it keeps them motivated and hungry.

Everyone can use a little word of thanks from time to time, like a gracious kick in the ass.

Image credit goes to Gizmodo

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