Something has happened to me that I’m utterly unable to explain. I’ve fallen in love … not with a person. With a television show.
I should explain that I have been fen (fanspeak for “fan”; vide Star Trek, for instance) of a great many things over the years. That would include (among others):
- Star Trek (Original, TNG and Enterprise)
- Wild, Wild West
- Harry Potter
- Angel (or at least Spike in the last season)
- Starsky and Hutch
- Lord of the Rings (long before anyone ever heard of Peter Jackson, cursed be his name)
- Stephen King
These are all fandoms which have produced reams of fanfiction and tons of fan art, discussion, etc. But did I ever do any of this? Well, other than drawings of Spock, Starsky and Hutch and an attempt at an illustration for The Stand, all of which were more “Look, Ma! I can use a pencil (or a computer)!” exercises than fan art anyway, I have never been inspired to write or draw anything before. But in the past three months, I have produced five short stories and one parody (from three to 20 pages) and as of now, about 11 drawings — all on a TV show.
My new lover’s name is “Combat!”. Yep. I have fallen hard for a WAR TV series. I can’t figure it out.
It’s not that I don’t like war movies. Tom and I periodically watch “A Bridge Too Far”, “The Train”, “The Longest Day” and “The Great Escape”. Also “Gettysburg” (one of my favorite movies — I also love “The Killer Angels”, Michael Shaara’s excellent novel, which is the basis for the film) and “Gods and Generals”. But it’s not my first choice of subject. So when I brought home “Combat!” from our wonderful library for Tom, I didn’t expect to watch it, and in fact, I didn’t, at least initially. But then I started to watch peripherally. And then I watched more. And THEN … it was me saying, “Hey! Why don’t we watch Combat!?”
It wasn’t for Vic Morrow’s intensely decent Sgt. Saunders. Or Rick Jason’s dazzling Lieutenant Hanley. Or Pierre Jalbert’s sultry, efficient Caje. (Although, yes, being female, human and oriented toward the male half of the population, I did notice the guys. But that’s not WHY.) I liked the stories. I liked the chemistry between the leads (which is a big part of why I like Wild, Wild West, too. Sorry Will and Kevin — you need to watch the original series and take notes.) I liked the underlying philosophy. I liked the production values and the grittiness of black and white film.
But I’ve liked these kind of things before. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed attractive men — just ask my loving, long-suffering husband. It’s not the first time stories have amused, entertained or intrigued me. It isn’t even the first time I’ve immersed myself in fan fiction. I had a Harry Potter fanfiction habit it took me a good month to break once I realized how much time I was spending on it. But this the FIRST TIME I couldn’t wait to sit down and write myself. I have cranked out what amounts to a small novella of stories contained in my own subsection of the Combat! ff universe. I will have two stories in a ‘zine this fall, and instead of trying to collect screen caps, (which I could have done, I think, if I really tried), I will have created seven illos for each story plus one for the title page/author’s note. In pencil. From reams of reference material I have painstakingly captured from Combat! videos plus off the net from all over the place. I don’t think I put this much effort into some of the work I did for my AAB in Graphic Design. In fact, I know I didn’t.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see where this is going — if it’s just a passing fancy, or if I’ve got a serious jones here. And maybe, one day, I’ll write about the other inexplicable thing. If I’m not in a home for the bewildered by then.