OTW Fannews: Fandom investments

  • In The birth of a fanboy, writer Larry Sukernik talks about the rationalization people use for their investments in something, as the seed that shifts them from consumer to fan. “[Once] you buy your first iPhone…you’re invested in Apple. Apple’s success is now your success, Apple’s failure is your failure. But why?” The reason is the continuation of the fandom product, because its loss will negatively impact your investment in it. “Not only does that leave you with an abandoned phone, but it also means that you made the incorrect phone choice. You made a bad decision, and you were wrong. Nobody wants to be wrong.”
  • A look at Girls’ Generation fandom also discussed financial investment in a fandom. The group is “enjoyed by people of all walks of life. But within that is where we start to see sharp differences in fans: not in their love, but in their wealth. While there are individuals with high-paying jobs and disposable income, there are also students with nothing but a meager allowance attempting to import relatively expensive albums from halfway across the world. It’s situations like this that make us ask, ‘Does merchandise and money spent on the group measure a person’s dedication?'”
  • While the creation of fanworks has its costs, these days it increasingly has its rewards as well. Fanfiction contests are fairly common but one held by the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library has a focus on fan crafts as well. “The contest was started seven years ago by an anime club that met at the library and has grown to more than 100 entries in the two categories” with fan art comprising any non-text entry. “[L]ibrarian John Hilbert said. ‘Someone baked a cake in the shape of a cat. We had a tree skirt that ended up winning. It can be any medium as long as it can fit through the door.'”
  • Of course these days a fanwork might make money for someone other than the creator. A review of Spank: The Musical, a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, “pokes fun at James’ writing process and her roots in fan fiction. The musical centers on a woman named E.B. Janet (Suzanne Sole), who spends a weekend penning a steamy love story.” The play caters to its “audience of mostly women” with fanservice, even if they don’t know the term. “When Hugh performed a Batman-themed strip tease, and E.B. describes him as having the jaw line of, ‘a pre-weight gain Val Kilmer,’ the audience squawked and squealed. In another scene, Hugh and Tasha play out a ‘Home Improvement’ skit that E.B. writes as part of the show’s fan fiction while taking a break from her book.”

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