• Jeff Dean

History - Part 1

Maybe I should give a little bit of background of when I started to write and why. As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed playing video game RPG’s, watching a ton of movies/cartoons, and listening to music. I must have been around 8-years-old when I started thinking up my own universe and characters…well, sort of. Back then, the best I could do was take somebody else’s story and add my own character to it (a fanfiction of sorts). That’s not to say I stole their ideas, but they inspired me to help come up with the Tagenji universe. As the years went by, I slowly migrated it into my own world with unique characters.

Visual media was my primary source for inspiration. If I had to pick ONE particular show that had a massive effect on me, that would be a made-for-TV special called “Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue”. Okay, if you looked that up online, you probably had a good laugh. Yes, it was a TV special made back in 1990 – as per Wikipedia – it was an animated drug-abuse prevention television special starring many of the popular cartoon characters from American weekday, Sunday morning, and Saturday morning television at the time of its release.

Why did this affect me so? Because the idea of all the popular cartoon characters of the time, living together in the same universe, working against a common goal/foe, just blew me away. This concept was done earlier in 1988 in a film called “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, but that only focused on mainstream characters like Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, not the Ninja Turtles or Muppet Babies or Garfield, etc. - the more obscure cartoon characters.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make, is that this cartoon-special made enough of an impact on me to that I wanted to create my own universe and characters so that one day it would become popular enough to impact some other child (or adult) in the same way. This TV special is the earliest memory I have that can be considered a turning point in the way my imagination evolved.

In my next blog post, I’ll focus on my early attempts at writing and how it lead me to where I am at today.

Image from "Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue" - 1990

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