Jem and the Holograms was one the most influential animated series on animation career. Along with ElfQuest, it inspired me to expand my skills from drawing animals to drawing people. Jem also helped bring me me out of the shell of a frumpy teen of 15 and gave me a preview of how to cope in the adult world. It was a sociology lesson of the grey areas of judgement. For life isn’t always fair. Through its themes competition between bands, or as I would prefer to stress: artists, Jim prepared the artists in its fandom for business life.
“Jem, why do you always think the worst of me?”
The Holograms were the protagonists of the story, but I related to the Misfits. Sure, their behavior was abysmal, but even the 15 year-old in me saw that they were an indie band struggling to heard in a mass market world. Overshadowed by Little Miss Pink Hair and the Sing Alongs, the Misfits much like others in their genre made experimental music that the mainstream derives from and feared never getting credit. That’s what Pizzazz really meant when she said she wanted crowds roaring her name. She was a good producer and she wasn’t going to let her work fall into obscurity. Then there’s the mainstream band: Jem and the Holograms. Jem’s music was pretty, but pedestrian, and as a follower of the indie and post-punk scene of the mid-eighties and other art movements like post-modernism and alternative fantasy, I understood the Misfits’ frustration. If Pizzazz had simply gone with the status quo, the Misfits market would as esoteric one that watches MTV’s 120 Minutes, MTV’s 120 Minutes was an obscure broadcast for insomniacs and no artist, who put as much effort and money into their work as the Misfits, wants to be relegated to that time slot. The Misfits were determined to piggyback Jem’s publicity campaigns and learn what they could. What was obvious tp the public was Jem’s altruism, but the Misfits also recognized Starlight House was a clever marketing ploy.
“Don’t answer that, Jem!”
KlashkaTse takes that marketing aspect of the series and expands on it. Pizzazz and Stormer were my favorite characters in the Jem series and I’ve applied their personalities to Klashka and Tse. Klashka is from a wealthy family who won’t pay her astronomical student loans from the three art schools she attended. Tse enjoyed a full scholarship from Julliard, but like most students who receive a full ride through college, they are given the grants because it’s rightly predicted that they will push the art form, yet not go far in their metier commercially. The fine artist’s work is what commercial artists glean from. Fine artists aren’t appreciated by the mainstream until they’re dead. Their appearance alone is too often off-putting to discerning mom’s screening what influences their brood in Rich Kid, USA. Their loss, for weird is often the most brilliant, wearing a mask to shield a vulnerable heart that must stay undaunted to produce art that isn’t widely received. I derived this from Stormer. She had the scariest makeup of the Misfits but the shiest demeanor. Stormer was also the most talented character of the Jem mythos, but unapproachable on the moneyed pop music scale. The Misfits needed a gimmick that would allow them to stay true to their Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, personae. KlashkaTse needs a marketing ploy of their own help them be the face behind their own music. I split from the comic’s primary influence here: Jelly Guru, KlashkaTse’s former employers, now competition, helps them find their lure. Most of the members anyway…
Gimme a Gimmick…
Jelly Guru is a popular regional band that KlashkaTse compose and play for as session artists. As Mozart’s dad warned: “composition doesn’t pay”, so KlashkaTse need a hit and a tour of their own to free themselves of their debt. Kirei and Arashi of Jelly Guru give them insight to their own angle: a kewpie doll to lure in gun shy fans. Midori is Jelly Gurus’ kewpie doll, so KlashkaTse search for a kewpie doll of their own to soften their image for a wider audience. They find their kewpie doll in Tabby Soleil, a popular high school senior who has modest musical ability, but a great deal of appeal.
Come live your fantasy in Beverly Hills.
Tabby is overjoyed with the opportunity. Talk about having the coolest after-school ever! Unfortunately, she scared to death of Klashka who barely tolerates her sugary, pink, heart. Tabby learns that all competitive fields have caveats and one must learn to deal with them. Hermes, KlashkaTse’s manager advises that there is no shame in indulging in the perks of the trade to counterbalance a hostile work environment. That’s why execs make themselves scarce every August for lavish vacations, leaving all financial decisions of their companies in stasis. KlashakTse tours all over the world and the Universe. Tabby stays too long at fair…
Amy is the Sweetheart and Doyle’s got a lot to learn here at Galaxy High….
KlashkaTse is a lesson in business life. The aspect of working that isn’t formally covered in the post secondary requirement of Professional Practices and Communication. Working is more than the resume and cover letter, one has to manage to stay on the payroll once their foot is in the door. Joan Crawford said:” You can have all the talent in the world, but no will hire you if you’re a pain to work with!” There are so many pitfalls and and grey areas in the realm of industry protocols.The Misfits were a pain to work with. Mozart was obnoxious. KlashkaTse learns not to be so difficult under pressure and are rewarded with an artist’s ultimate luxury: brief fame and wealth from one’s work enjoyed in obscurity.