This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 142

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! As with last week’s TWIF we are offering a slight variation on our regular format, with a lot of people still at home and much of the entertainment world still on hold. But fear not, despite the hard times everyone is experiencing, we’ve sought out some good things happening around the globe. Have you encountered any exciting fandom ideas or initiatives? Let us know in the comments and we might feature them in a future TWIF!


First, it’s clear that fans under movement restrictions, currently in place around the world, are in many cases turning to fanworks for entertainment. AO3 traffic saw a spike from 262 million views in the first week of March to 298 million in the final week, enough of a difference that we’re having to make a few changes to some users’ experience in order to maintain an optimal experience for everyone. But it’s not just fanwork consumption that’s been affected. As Aja Romano observed this week in an article for Vox, fan creators are already making the best of these exceptional circumstances by creating something new: the quarantine trope.

As you can see, the quarantine (or self-isolation) trope offers a topical adaptation of the legendary fandom favourite, And They Were Roommates (Oh My God, They Were Roommates). What better way to flatten the curve, and make the best of a stressful situation, than staying home and spending some quality time developing your own variant on the theme? Or, as we say, improvise. Adapt. Overcome. We got this. Leave it to the fans to transform and create in a time of crisis.

If you’re interested in the other ways that fan creators have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, articles on the subject have already begun to pop up online. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot has an interesting article on the ways in which current events, like this one, translate into fan communities; and Palmer Haasch at Business Insider offers a similar, shorter piece which includes a conversation with a fan creator about her motivations.

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This Week In Fandom, Volume 141

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! First, a small format change to TWIF for now, since the broader entertainment world is on hiatus: we’re going to be featuring more recommendations and events from around the internet as we all spend more time at home. There may be only so much Netflix you can watch, but fandom is full of things to create and participate in. Feel free to tell us about cool fandom things that are happening in the comments!

First up, a handy primer for all the apps, services, and ways people are hanging out over the internet: Aja Romano’s Vox article From Netflix Party to Zoom: The internet apps getting us through quarantine, which is full of links and ideas. Eventbrite is growing in popularity, with its landing page now full of virtual events you can attend online, from yoga classes to concerts to art classes. Your blogger has always wanted to learn to draw well enough to make fanart – if you’ve always been in awe of the talented vidders, podficcers, writers, fanartists and other creatives in our community, now could be the time to give it a try! Read More

This Week In Fandom, Volume 140

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! It’s been a strange week for many of us but some things remain reassuringly constant: as Jessica Mason observed in The Mary Sue, Supernatural has a gif for this. Season 5 episode ‘The End’, which aired in 2009, featured a postapocalyptic world in which prophet Chuck Shurley advised Dean to ‘Hoard toilet paper… like it’s made of gold’. Time for a rewatch?


We might be stuck rewatching old episodes of our favourite shows for a little while; like many other movie and television productions across the world, production came to a halt this week on the current (and final) season of Supernatural with just two episodes left to film. Producer Jim Michaels tweeted a reassuring message to fans:

As well as production delays, the Covid-19 situation has seen the postponement of numerous festivals, conventions, and movie releases. As well as the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, which has been delayed until November, Disney is holding off on the live-action Mulan, and X-Men movie The New Mutants, which has already seen a series of delays, had its April release date cancelled.

On the other hand, some studios have opted to hurry forward the release of some titles to streaming: Birds of Prey, the Harley Quinn movie that’s still showing in some theatres, will be digitally available from March 24. And new forms of entertainment have been springing up into the void that the others have left! Twitter is hosting Covideo Parties, art clubs and bedtime stories for bored children (or just those who like to be read to sleep). Culture adapts pretty quickly, it seems! Read More