Fans are still angry critical and box office thrashing received by the Jem and the holograms movie can take comfort in knowing that the creator of the franchise, Christy Marx, is a wonderful woman who has nothing to do with this abomination. Marx is the subject of the first episode of a new video series at The front called Off Hollywood, billed as “a documentary series that covers influential and under-recognized filmmakers and gives them a chance to tell their stories”. Off Hollywood is the brainchild of an analog video artist JJ Stratford and has a strong vintage feel, perfect for chatting the 1980s jem series with the woman who helped create it.

As the interview reveals, Christy Marx has a long and varied history writing comics and animation, beginning as a child and using a ballpoint pen to draw skirts and boobs on Robin so that there is at least one strong female character in the Batman comic books she was reading. As an adult, Marx began to write for Marvel Comicsstepping in the door with a Conan the Barbarian story written from the perspective of a female character. From there, she branched out into writing animated series based on Marvel properties like Spider Man and The Fantastic Four. Soon she was writing for many action-packed, male-dominated series, such as G.I. Joe, where she made a point of giving Scarlett’s character a satisfying backstory.

Jem and the holograms presented a unique challenge: to build a show around Hasbro toy prototypes and the vague premise of combining rock music with holograms. To his credit, Marx took the task seriously, studying both holographic technology and music videos. As “really, really, really outrageous” as the show was, Marx made sure to include as much emotional depth and character development as possible between the mandated action scenes. As for the 2015 film? Marx is disappointed but realistic: “I don’t own jem. It’s a Hasbro franchise. Reboots happen.