Lately, I’ve been watching, repetitively, a 20-year-old cartoon series that used to run on ABC Saturday Morning’s, “Nightmare Ned.”
Based off a video game, “Nightmare Ned” follows a bespectacled 10-year-old boy named Ned Needlemeyer whose nightmares are used to face his fears. Most times he comes out on top, but, other times his endings are not so good and he wakes up only to realize it was only a dream.
Finding this show was difficult, and I barely remember it being on the air. I was in middle school, 7th grade to be exact, when this show was on. I recall catching the intro and watching a clip or two. And no wonder, the show aired at 11am Central Time on our ABC affiliate here in Dallas. And usually around that time I was already out and about.
The show is quite creative and brilliant in its own crazy way. After 20 years, the show still holds up.
I’ve also studied the art style and it has helped me grow my drawing skills. Hence, Ned in cow pajamas from the episode, “Abduction.”
Ned is relatable, especially if you were the boy who grew up facing bullies, your own personal anxieties and parents who didn’t quite get where you were coming from in perspective.
Because of “Nightmare Ned,” I’m reminded why I write what I write and how my personal experiences from boyhood are able to properly translate. I’m also reminded of my time growing up, slipping in and out of constant daydreams and having an overactive imagination and even wild dreams and nightmares.
I am reminded how some things growing up were tough, but, how things were not always that way.
I’m reminded to be OKAY with the past and write for the future, the future of other Ned Needlemeyer’s and Kendall Lyons’ out there whose experiences growing up were a bit unorthodox.
I’ve found myself writing my characters in my comic strips and in my books in such a way that they are truly “kids!” They’ve become more real because I’ve been reminded of how important it is to get real but still be funny and creative at the same time.