Your “how I discovered fantasy” story is probably cooler than mine.
You: “Oh yes, there I was in the movie theater, in May 1977, for a space-opera film called Star Wars. Why, I had never seen its like! I returned to see it seventeen times!”
Me: “Um, well, in the late 1980s, I watched a Bible anime series called Superbook …”
Actually, several fans have also told Lorehaven their “uncool” fantasy origin stories. They shared these anecdotes in response to “How Did You First Discover Fantastical Stories?”, the sixth episode of Lorehaven’s new Fantastical Truth podcast.
One fan said of his first fantasy book, “Don’t judge based on the horrendous cover.”
Another said of his fifth-grade discovery, “I have no idea why I loved this as a kid.”
Nostalgia does not always fulfill its own promise.
Some stories that we discovered as kids, like Star Wars, turn into classics.
Others prove to be more like copies-of-copies-of-copies of better stories.
Still, unless we actively sinned when we discovered fantasy genres with “uncool” or even bad stories, why should we feel any shame about this?
Many believers converted to Jesus thanks in part to cheesy Christian-made tracts or movies. Does this overthrow their cheesiness or false ideas? No. It only proves that God still operates as the apostle Paul wrote about our callings: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
God may still prefer to use such “foolish” things to help us mature in our faith.
With that maturity may come greater appreciation even for subpar fantasy stories.
For my part, Superbook holds up for what it meant to do. It is likely responsible for helping me view Scripture more “fantastically.” Other books I enjoyed in my teen years, such as the Left Behind series, may catch a lot of Christian’s criticism today. Yet I still thank God for how he used this series to develop my love for biblical truth.
You can probably view any “uncool” fantasy story the same way, even as you still discern the story’s content and practice wisdom to evaluate real creative excellence.
Own those stories that God used in your life. Turn that squirm into a grateful laugh.
I remember watching Superbook after school every day. It was AWESOME!
Now that I think about it, I guess my earliest exposure to fantasy was through cartoons such as Voltron, The Transformers and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
(Eighties-kid high-five, or special sitcom laugh-track-garnering handshake, or what have you)