Back to the 80's, aka Everything Old is New Again

Neon. Big hair. Leggings and printed clothing. Synthesizers and power ballads. There hasn't been a time quite like the 80's, since...well, the 80s; or has there? More and more books, television, fashion, and music have been coming out that seem oddly familiar and new at the same time. From Netflix's Stranger Things, Glow, and Kung Fury, to Ready Player One's unabashed homage to the decade -- how are we supposed to feel about and interpret the return of 80s culture?

As a child of the mid-80s, my memories of this time are hazy at best, and mostly involve wailing at the movie theater during the first of thirteen Land Before Time movies as well as while watching E.T. Nonetheless, the 80s seem to have always had a retro-cool vibe from the not-so distant past, and it's picking up speed faster than the Delorean. We got together some of DPL's biggest 80s nerds for an exciting panel discussion at Denver Comic Con, though you can get in on the action here with our collection of favorites. Whether you're just an enthusiast like me, or lived through it -- if you're an 80's fan, you won't want to miss these new-old picks! 

If you couldn't get enough Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and the Cure, or if you just grew up feeling awkward (and who didn't?), check out the film Sing Street, directed by John Carney. Conor, a teenager in 1980s Dublin is set on winning the heart of the ultra-hip Raphina through the formation of a New Wave band. Meanwhile, he is sent to a new school with a terrifying new schoolmaster and bullies, all in the midst of his parents' divorce. One really interesting thing about this film is its soundtrack and style, which, if one didn't know was released in 2016, could easily see coming out 30 years ago. With tracks like The Riddle of the Model and Drive it Like You Stole it, Sing Street is one fantastic blast from the past. Still wanting more New Wave? Check out Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst, co-founder of The Cure's, recent memoir, Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys.

Fans of John Carpenter, known for such iconic films as Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York, and Halloween, are certainly in for a treat! Not only have Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China gotten an all-new graphic novel makeover, but Carpenter himself released a complete album of the synthwave sounds he's well known for just last year, Lost Themes II, which feels like it came straight out of an 80s dream. Carpenter's creation of the new album was perhaps inspired by the surge of synthesized music coming out now to sound like it did then. This relatively obscure music style took off big with Vincent Pierre Claude Belorgey, better known as Kavinsky, and his hit track Night Call from the Drive Motion Picture Soundtrack. Similarly, Twin Shadow's track Five Seconds from the album Confess takes me back to simpler days of listening to cassette tapes in my family's car.

Additional recommendations:

Mad Max - Fury Road by George Miller

Jem and the Holograms - The Misfits by Kelly Thompson

Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender *If you loved the 80s cyberpunk style, such as seen in Akira, this is one for you.

Back to the Future - Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines by Bob Gale

Ghostbusters International by Erik Burnham

How do you feel about the return of the 80s? Totally tubular or lame-tacular? Is there something you'd love to see get a reboot, or should it just go back to whence it came? If you are at Denver Comic Con this year, join us for the discussion on Saturday, July 1, in Room 303 from 12:30-1:20 p.m., or let us know in the comments!

Written by Desiree on June 29, 2017


debbie m on June 29, 2017


nice blog, Desiree!!!!!!

Anonymous on June 30, 2017




We agree! Thank you for reading! 

FrankW on July 2, 2017


I'd like to see the Commodore 64 computer make a comeback. Great post Disiree! It's funny, I have fond memories of all things '80s, but I wouldn't want to go back. Teen angst, working at Wendy's and McDonald's, etc.


We had a DOS computer growing up & I can still remember playing eight bit video games on it. You can definitely tell where Minecraft got a lot of its inspiration. Thanks for reading, Frank!