OTW Fannews: Understanding fandom

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  • Dartmouth College’s Special Collections Library profiled 19th century fanfic.”After the success of Charles Dickens’ “Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” in 1837, George Reynolds took the characters on a new picaresque journey in “Pickwick Abroad: or, the Tour in France” published in monthly parts from 1837-38. Our first single-volume edition from 1839 acknowledges its debt to Mr. Dickens (or ‘Boz’), but also cites a review from The Age boasting that ‘”Pickwick Abroad” is so well done by G. W. M. Reynolds, that we must warn Boz to look to his laurels.'”
  • The very confusion over published work and what “counts” was explored by Raizel Liebler, discussing Fanfic or Canon? “The removal of Aaron McGruder from the fourth season of the Boondocks on Cartoon Network is another recent example of the difficulty for fans to figure out what ‘counts’ and what doesn’t. As fans of Community (during last season), fans of Gargoyles, and fans of Gilmore Girls confronted before — does a show continue to be canon when the major creative force behind it leaves? Does whether some cultural production count as canon or fanon matter whether it is officially authorized?”
  • Melbourne’s Herald Sun featured a number of photos from the collection of Tom Broadbent, who explored furry fandom. He “gained the trust of Furries in the UK and spent time capturing the lives of the people inside the suit. By day they are computer programmers, engineers, mortgage brokers and fursuit makers. By night they live a life role-playing their ‘fursona’ — the animal they have chosen to live as, generally in private. They communicate across internet forums and meet up at conventions, keeping one thing sacred — their human identity.”
  • Lady Geek Girl wrote about the LiveJournal community Fandom Grammar. “The Fandom Grammar team is made up of fans from a variety of fandoms who have made it their mission to provide friendly grammatical instruction to the internet masses. They do this in a variety of ways. One way, as I discovered, was by answering tricky grammar and style questions about fandom subjects. Aside from my Harry Potter question, they have covered such varied topics as how to effectively write lolcat speech in fanfic and how to deal with transliteration in fandoms whose source language is not English.”

What fandom explorations have caught your interest? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.