Friday, March 5, 2010

By the power of Greyskull

This stuff is great. I was a kid in the eighties and at just the right age to absolutely love He-Man. There is extent to which I have found a new fascination for it in the context of the science-fantasy New Wave component of the old school renaissance, typified by the endlessly inventive strangeness of Planet Algol.

The He-Man cartoon was a peculiar beastie, a mish-mash of elements, recognisably fantasy, but of a flavour very different from the C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and Folkloric stuff I was exposed to at the time. There is a vivid and effusive strangeness in the colour palette and weird chimerical hybrids of this world. As far as I can recall it was a world without a comprehensible internal consistency, it was mythic and surreal and did not need to make sense. It was gonzo.

The presence of gonzo is one of the defining characteristics of the OSR. The original source material from the seventies was imbued with an enthusiastic inclusiveness, everything that was cool and exciting in the way of sci-fi and fantasy tropes were included in an attempt to maximise fun potential. I, for one, like this approach. There is a kind of anti-elitist permissiveness at play here that makes for a richer, if more chaotic, experience.

I want to bottle some of this essence for my own personal use.
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