What’s old is new again, writer explains

By: Moira Bonadonna – Staff Writer

It seems as though many people have a fascination with the old –  movies, TV shows, comics – though many of the remakes don’t always receive the highest praise.  While this is a trend that has been around for some time, it has picked up steam in the entertainment industry in recent years.

One might question why Hollywood keeps spending money and time remaking these classic stories.  Guy Gilchrist, renowned comic writer and illustrator, known especially for the “Nancy” comic strip and his work with Jim Henson and The Muppets, believes this love of the old comes from a sense of nostalgia.

“Even though you’re not old enough to remember it,  it seems interesting to you,” Gilchrist said.  “I grew up in the ’70s but I loved the music and culture from the ’50s, and I loved comics from the ’30s and ’40s from way before I was born.”

Many people are in agreement with Gilchrist. “Hawaii Five-0,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and many Cartoon Network programs are just some examples of old programs coming back to life. But are they just as good? Sophomore English and education major Molly Stanifer claims that the original “Ninja Turtles” was “much better” than the 2014 remake.

Similarly, sophomore intervention specialist major Hannah Snow preferred the original and Disney versions of “Annie,” as opposed to the most recent version put out in 2014.

“I saw it and was appalled by how much they changed the story line,” Snow said.  “I did however enjoy a few of the songs simply because I could get crunk to them, which is not supposed to happen when you watch Annie!”

Returning to these time-honored classics makes people feel that they are in a “safe, warm, secure place,” Gilchrist said.  “You’re in a world of surprises every day, but some things don’t change. It’s like going home again. That’s what the draw has always been.”

Even commercial advertisements on television and the radio utilize older music instead of more modern types.  Rather than today’s pop music, commercials play “classic rock, psychedelic rock from the ’60s, disco, Pat Benetar, and Billy Idol from ’80s,” Gilchrist noted.

Writing and illustrating comic strips pertains to this “what is old is new again” theme as well, according to Gilchrist.

“One of the cool things about doing “Nancy” is that for some people, it reminds them of their childhood because they grew up with it,” Gilchrist said.  “There are kids now that my version of ‘Nancy’ is the ‘Nancy’ that they know right now and it will become part of their nostalgia somewhere down the road in the next 20 years or something.”

This fondness of what is old may be part of what is driving Gilchrist’s passion for his profession, but he said the best part about working with “Nancy” is that those characters “get to say the things that will make you smile and maybe make the world a better place, and I get paid for it.”

Gilchrist also believes that college students in pursuit of a dream, no matter what that dream may be, should “never quit.”  His approaching e-book, “Drawn 2 Success,” will be about “how to be successful, how to plan goals and work out plans so that creative people—cartoonist, writers, animators—can get through all the things stopping them in their lives.”

For more information on this subject, contact Gilchrist through his website www.nancyandsluggo.com.