From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.
Although juggling her PhD research and full-time work at two different institutions, Antonia nevertheless finds time to both attend and volunteer at fanzine events around Tokyo. Her current research interests include time travel themes in contemporary manga and “miritarii” dōjinshi fandom. Today, Antonia talks about what it’s like to volunteer for Comiket, a major dōjinshi convention held in Japan.
How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?
Gosh, it depends on what you mean by fandom and fan works, but I guess it all starts with being drawn to (and gradually infatuated with) one or several original texts. For me those “texts” were Tezuka’s Astro Boy, TV Tokyo’s little known series Samurai Pizza Cats and ThunderCats. I guess I had a thing for androids and “animaloids.”
Like most kids, I enjoyed watching these shows, but you know, sometimes you reach a point when you feel like something in the original text is missing — that’s when you start searching for alternative interpretations or wind up creating them yourself. In my case, I was exposed to a bunch of cartoons and anime series and was fortunate enough to live pretty close to the only comic shop in my town so I got my hands on a lot of Marvel stuff too. So with all these different stories running through my head, I started doodling my own derivative works for fun from the age of nine or so. I hadn’t really thought about why I did it until now. I guess that this kind of fannish activity stems from not being 100% satisfied with a particular source text and wanting something “your way.”