Here’s a roundup of issues in fandoms that might be of interest to fans:
- One persistent problem fans have experienced revolves around their representation — either in media stories on fans, or within the canons that they’re fans of. Alyssa Rosenberg wrote about the latter, saying Hollywood decision makers think “it’s easier to sell white men as brawling gods than black men as hugely technologically advanced leaders of foreign nations”, which leads some stories to cross media formats while others don’t. In the meantime William Shatner hopes to defend fan practices to the media with his new documentary. “‘These people who come to Comic-Con and dress up – all across the country, the rest of the population who doesn’t understand are scoffing at them.'” But fans have their reasons. “‘For a kid who is pathologically shy, dressing a cat up in a uniform — [suddenly] he could speak. ‘Captain Dave,’ who is dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, lives through ‘Star Trek.”” The media, or at least Variety continues to beg to differ.
- When it comes to the press though, fans now have their own forums for speaking out about the slant given to press coverage. Indeed problems may arise when fans are also members of the press, as is the case for a CultureMob reporter who talks about making decisions on what to attend at ComicCon and for what purposes.
- The fandom/media divide has been a topic at other sites, with some acknowleding the greater depth of fan knowledge while critiquing its objectivity. On gaming site GamaSutra this personal slant is blamed for blocking creativity among content producers. The respondents to the column were having none of it, with a rather good discussion ensuing about how the role of commercial interests were being ignored in the post.
- Such a discussion would also have been welcome on the article of OTW staffer Aja Romano at The Daily Dot when she discusses the persistent problem of female erasure from fandom. Noting how rarely women are included in fan convention panels, or condescended when they are, she also explored other ways in which their participation is ignored in male dominated fandom spaces. “Take Kate Leth, author of popular webcomic Kate or Die. When a father told his daughter in her comic store, right in front of her, that there was ‘nothing for her’ in the store, she tweeted angrily, ‘you bet yr ass I gave her a free comic.’ Leth added, ‘what am I, chopped liver?'”
If you’ve got your own fandom issues to share, why not explore them on Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.
We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup at transformativeworks.org. 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.