I first became aware of the fictional crossover/shared reality concept when I was five years old. As my family was about to embark on a drive from Massachusetts to California, my father gave me my first comic book to keep me occupied, and it was an issue of the Marvel Comics adaption of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. This is the first time I was able to comprehend what was going on here, on a significant level. All these characters from their own cartoons were appearing together, as part of the same reality, thus placing all their previous cartoons in the same reality.
From that point on, I started becoming more aware. As I started reading more comics, I noticed how all the DC characters lived in one world while the Marvel characters lived on another, and I mostly only bought team and team-up books. Of course, once Superman met Spider-Man, my mind was blown again.
I also started to notice cartoon events like the annual networks previews shows that would combine all their cartoons in the same universe. And I would also notice the live action shows. Facts of Life characters appeared on Diff’rent Strokes. Mork had met the Happy Days gang and Laverne & Shirley. Trapper John M.D. had been on MASH. Maude was related to Edith Bunker and George Jefferson used to be Archie’s neighbor.
Around the age of eight, I started keeping track of these various shared realities, particularly focusing on live action and animated television. I started lumping them into groups based on their crossover connections. When I was 12, I bought my first book about the history of television. It was an encyclopedia style with entries on every television series, and one of the appendixes was a list of crossovers and spin-offs. I was both excited to see crossovers I had previously not known of, but also to find some crossover I had found were not listed. Inspired by the DC Multiverse, I started to coin the groups together as the Television Crossover Multiverse and started to label them individually as TVCU-1, TVCU-2, ect.
When I grew up and left for the army, I left my notebooks behind, and they were destroyed in a flood. However, I continued to keep track of crossovers and recreated my groupings in a work document.
In 2001, as I was exploring the internet, I came across a few websites that perhaps changed my life. They were all crossover related sites, and for the first time, I discovered that there were other people like me who also kept track of such things. I had thought I was the only one.
Thanks to social networking, I eventually got to be friends with some of these other people who share my hobby, and the sharing of ideas eventually led to the creation of our own discussion group, the Crossovers Forum, on Facebook.
The forum became more popular than I expected, with lots of active discussions, and I was inspired to finally turn my notes into something tangible and public, the Television Crossover Universe blog. I didn’t really expect anyone to read it, and was just trying to get my ideas out there, but to my pleasant surprise, people did read it, and others began contributing to the blog.
Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but fiction was not my strength. Finding that I do have a strength in researching and discussing crossovers, I decided to try my hand as writing a book about fictional crossovers, and should it be successful, continue with a series of books.
So why crossovers? I can’t really explain why. It seems to be something that you either get or you don’t. For me, it became an obsession from an early age, and one that only grew stronger over time. I hope when you read the book, you will feel my love for the subject.