Here’s a roundup of stories on fandom clout that might be of interest to fans:
- One of the clearest signs of fandom clout is that an increasing number of content producers consider fans and geek culture to be a draw. In Australia, iiNet’s TopGeek seeks to find “Australia’s most talented geek through a series of challenges that have been designed to test gaming, fandom, creativity and Internet skills.”
- Fans are behind the reboot of soap operas in the United States. With only four traditional soap operas still airing on network television, producers have reached out to their fans. Greg Meng, executive producer of Days of our Lives, took cast members on a multi-city tour and met with fans to discuss the show. After hearing that their fans were disappointed that their favorite characters were no longer on the show, Meng says that, “We realized we needed to take the show back to where it was.” Other productions have also decided to cater to their core fans rather than try to hook a mass audience. Bradley Bell, executive producer of The Bold and The Beautiful, notes, “The old theory says: Keep things moving slowly, because if people are only watching two or three times a week, they need to know what’s happening. Our new theory is: Something has to happen every day, and it’s more important to feel as though you’ve missed something by not watching.”
- Fandom outcry over changes to their favorite works has also taken place when major movie projects altered the nature of the canon characters. One case was that of Gene Luen Yang, “a notable member of the Avatar fandom. He was brought to the attention of the creators of the series during his campaign against the whitewashed cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender.” In Yang’s case, however, he was offered the chance to write a comic for the series, and it is pulling in a large audience from bookstore customers as well as comic shop visitors.
- Comics Beat recently promoted crowdsource funding for the documentary WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which “examines the evolution of Wonder Woman and other kick-ass heroines, with a look at “how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.” They note, “With the rise of geek girl fandom, it couldn’t be more timely.”
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