How The Lost Boys' Frog Brothers Kicked Off The Mainstreaming Of Comic Book Culture [Exclusive]

As difficult as it may be to understand in this day and age of Marvel media dominance, there was a time when comic book culture was marginal, if not downright stigmatized. Comic readers were often stereotyped as either children or awkward middle aged men. It wasn't until after the runaway success of "Batman" in 1989 that you started to see depictions of comic shops and their denizens in mainstream movies like "Cool World," "True Romance," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy," or "Unbreakable." Yet the movie that may have paved the way for mainstreaming of comic book culture is arguably "The Lost Boys," director Joel Schumacher's 1987 teen vampire flick that featured teen idols Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (aka "The Coreys") as certified superhero obsessives. 

Feldman and co-star Jamison Newlander (1988's "The Blob") portrayed The Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan (as in "Poe"), two hyper-vigilant comic book store employees in the California beach town of Santa Carla. Donning camouflage shirts and Rambo headbands, the militaristic Frog boys run a tight ship at the store owned by their perpetually-stoned parents, although their real aim is to take down the coven of vampires that have infested the town. Haim played Sam, a stylish new kid in town who manages to school the savvy Frogs on funny book lore: "You can't put the Superman #77's with the 200's. They haven't even discovered Red Kryptonite yet." After the bros warn Sam about the bloodsuckers via a comic book called "Vampires Everywhere," they eventually form a trio to take out the coven.

⁠During a recent press day for Warner Bros.' new 4K Ultra HD release of "The Lost Boys," we go the chance to ask both Feldman and Newlander about their perspective on how The Frog Brothers helped pave the way for more positive portrayals of comic book fans in movies as well as the culture at large. 

'The Frog Brothers made it okay to be a comic book nerd'

It turns out that 35 years after "The Lost Boys" was released and became a smash hit, grossing over $32 million on an $8.5 million budget, the impact it had on comic book nerds has been substantial. Jamison Newlander confirmed as much to us:

"So the thing is, I was talking to someone recently who said, 'Look, I was a comic book nerd, and the Frog Brothers made it okay to be a comic book nerd and also to be tough.' So I think it did have an effect. As to exactly the effect, we don't know, but I think it did."

Although both Newlander and Corey Feldman reprised their roles in two direct-to-video sequels ("Lost Boys: The Tribe" and "Lost Boys: The Thirst"), it is the original '87 movie that still impacts fans today. Feldman expressed this in his own comments:

"We've been doing these conventions a lot lately, particularly over this last summer because I've been on tour with my band, so we've been doing this thing where my band performs at the end of whatever convention. Typically, it's a very wide breadth of different things going on, but we did this one called The Summer of Santa Carla, which was completely dedicated to 'Lost Boys.' There was no other stuff going on, just 'Lost Boys.' It was crazy, and they filled up the whole Mall of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas. Jason Patric was there and he brings his kids ⁠— or actually his kid and his best friend ⁠— and they're wearing Frog Brothers T-shirts. He says, 'Hey, my kid's totally obsessed and his best friend, and they run around, they act like the Frog Brothers all the time. So I was wondering if you'd take a picture?' I was like, 'Of course.' They're wearing the headbands, and so you start to see that a lot. You see these kids six, seven years old running around with the headbands and the Frog Brothers outfits. A ton of people, girls and boys, come in cosplaying as the Frog Brothers. So you know that it certainly made an impact."

Even as a potential "Lost Boys" remake starring Jaeden Martell ("It") and Noah Jupe ("A Quiet Place") lurks around the corner, there is no way to recreate the impact the original classic had (and continues to have) on viewers old and young.