OTW Fannews: Fandom in the Streets

Banner by Bremo of a crowd of people

  • Arizona State University’s The State Press reported on the PBS nerdwalk in Tempe. The walk “celebrated scientists, mathematicians, Whovians, Cumberbabes, those ‘Down for Downton Abbey’ and more. The crowd of gold shirts, costumed heroes and cosplayers were led by a team of unicyclers in a show of nerdom appreciation.” Its organizer said “‘Everybody’s a nerd for something…It doesn’t matter what you’re a nerd for, if you have a passion for chemistry, if you have a passion for vector calculus, if you have a passion for comic books…everybody’s a nerd for something, we think that’s something to celebrate.’”
  • The Pensacola News Journal wrote about another effort to take fandom out of convention halls, the Pensacola Pop Expo. “Government Street was closed to vehicular traffic, and pop-up tents lined the street in front of the historic entertainment complex, allowing hundreds of people to mill about socializing and taking in sights…Cosplayers roamed the street, stopping to pose for pictures between stops at vendor booths. There were plenty of artists, but they were professional comic book artists not just selling art but talking to fans and signing autographs. And those vendor booths were selling nerdy treasures like comics, Funko Pop figurines and vintage video games.” The event was funded “with a grant from Arts, Culture and Entertainment Inc., which administers grants to local arts groups. The nonprofit event served as a benefit for Manna Food Pantries.”
  • A blog post at Project Muse talked about scenes in the city during the Frankfurt Book Fair. It “is divided into ‘trade’ days and ‘public’ days. The trade days, Wednesday through Friday, are full of publishing industry professionals engaged in business-to-business activities. The public is allowed in on Saturday and Sunday…I was at the fair on a public day. There were a lot of teenagers in costume! They were in the fair, on the subway, in the train station, and on the regional commuter trains. I guess it’s ‘a thing’ to get into character to go to the Book Fair.” The post goes on to discuss the site’s scholarly content on manga and anime which “shows up in religion, gender, political economy, history, futurism, media and censorship. Popular discussions around manga and anime often include cosplay, fandom (otaku in Japanese), and then bend around to nerd culture, science fiction, and the geek movement.”
  • At Bleeding Cool, Hannah Means Shannon wrote about visiting Sleepy Hollow. “I got to see other people enjoying the Sleepy Hollow mythology, their reactions, and the way in which the town celebrates its name day…I now feel I understand better how the imagined past looms large in our present day, how we need it and seek it out at just about every possible opportunity. Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow is the quintessential Halloween story just as Dickens’ Christmas Carol is a quintessential Christmas story, a fan favorite for reasons. We can make it our own, and choose to take part in it and that’s down the accessibility of the original material and the creativity of generations of storytellers bringing it to life in new ways for us. And we then follow their lead and address the roots of the tales again to make them our own.”

Where have you unexpectedly run across fandom? Write about your experiences in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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