OTW Fannews: Life and Times

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  • Latino USA aired a segment on diversity in geekdom which looked at video games, comic books, and cosplay. A Latino fan was interviewed about the introduction of more diverse comic book heroes, saying “It’s intense to see all these races now, it’s not just a white man’s sport anymore.” The interviewer noted that the con attendance was very diverse. “Not only are Latinos and other people of color everywhere but LGBTQ couples walk hand in hand, all ages are represented, and a few people with disabilities are pulling off some impressive costumes.” (No transcript available)
  • The South China Morning Post reported on a Kpop fan who refused to learn English like her classmates because she wanted to learn Korean instead. “The girl has an encyclopedic knowledge of Korean pop stars, and her greatest interest was talking about South Korean dramas and music with her friends”, the report quoted her mother as saying. “Her parents had banned her from using the internet and watching television at home so she caught up on her favourite shows when she stayed with her grandparents on the weekend.”
  • The BBC reported on a special scene filmed for a Syrian fan who became a refugee. “Noujain Mustaffa is a disabled 16-year-old Syrian migrant…[who]…told journalists she had learnt English by watching the US soap opera, Days of Our Lives,” though she missed her favorite character who had been killed. Comedian John Oliver arranged for a spoof scene in which Noujain’s favourite character returned from the dead and gave her a shoutout by name.
  • RetailDive reported on the passing of an Apple fanboy who blogged about their stores. Gary Allen “shut down his blog in March after his diagnosis, choosing to spend more time with his family in his last days.” However, “[w]riters at TechCrunch and The Washington Post hailed Allen’s attention to Apple’s stores, which he detailed at his blog that has now been discontinued, as an example of a singular and entertainingly articulated passion for the company’s choices in architecture and its courteous, well-trained store staff.”

What has marked your life in fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Fannews: Creating & Remembering Fans

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  • Slate wrote about the University of Iowa’s Hevelin Collection of fanzines, quoting the OTW’s Karen Hellekson who wrote “fanzines were typically self-published pamphlets, made from ‘stapled-together pieces of ordinary-sized letter paper, sometimes folded in half.’ Fans would exchange these documents through the mail, often after discovering one another through the letters pages of magazines such as Amazing Stories…According to Hellekson, in those pre-photocopying days authors of zines would reproduce their work via carbon paper, mimeograph, or other similarly primitive means.”
  • Texas A&M University now hosts The Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection in remembrance of the OTW supporter Sandy Herrold. “Sandy’s legacy of work includes the founding of Virgule-L, the first Internet slash mailing list, hosting numerous other mailing lists and fan sites, and helping to create the annual ‘Vid Review’ panel at the Escapade convention (the longest-running slash fan convention), which became the model for serious conversations about vidding as an art form.”
  • The Mary Sue discussed the difficulties in passing on fandom. “Sailor Moon was something we were really looking forward to sharing with our son. I knew that Usagi’s outfits, transformations, and quirky sensibilities would be right up his alley!…Within 3 episodes, I was horrified and questioning everything I ever knew about my love of the series. When all was said and done, we made it only 6 episodes in before I tragically put an end to it, completely taken aback. These girls were so vain, and her superpowers were triggered by a magical makeup mirror? I was right about my son, though: He was hooked.”
  • Netflix released a study exploring when people became fans of a TV show. “While around the world the hooked episode was relatively consistent, slight geographic differences did present themselves. The Dutch, for instance, tend to fall in love with series the fastest, getting hooked one episode ahead of most countries irrespective of the show. Germans showed early fandom for Arrow whereas France fell first for How I Met Your Mother. In Better Call Saul, Jimmy McGill won Brazilians over one episode quicker than Mexicans. And Down Under, viewers prove to hold out longer across the board, with members in Australia and New Zealand getting hooked one to two episodes later than the rest of the world on almost every show.”
  • WBUR had a segment where a couple tried to see if they could become baseball fans. “A change had come over Susie. Over the course of a few hours, she’d become a Cubs fan for life. In those same few hours, Kris Bryant had singlehandedly undermined our relationship. Just kidding. But as we headed home, even I, the longtime sports cynic, had to admit — that was incredible. It’s hard not to get caught up in the thrill of a dramatic win at home. But at the same time, I wondered if I should resent the Cubs for winning? Because I didn’t. And maybe that made me less of a Sox fan?”

What fans do you want remembered for their contributions to fandom? Start a page for them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Fannews: Celebrations of All Kinds

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  • The Chicago Tribune reviewed the play Badfic Love. “Here’s what works: all of the fanfic scenes with Connor Konz as Harry and Jake Szczepaniak as a delightfully dumb Draco. You root for these crazy kids, despite the (intentionally) terrible dialogue they’re saddled with. It’s legitimately funny stuff, mostly thanks to Szczepaniak, who gets the most out every slyly stupid line he’s given…The story’s creator is winningly played by Cristiana Barbatelli as a confident upstart who can’t fully hide her insecurities. The pair meet under false pretenses and fall for each other, and this is where playwright Pasen folds in some noted jabs at the stale, unrealistic conventions of romantic comedy.”
  • The BBC reported on a 5 year plan to mark the bicentenaries of the births of the Bronte siblings. In addition to touring exhibitions, a knitted Jane Eyre, and a collection of short stories, “[t]he society said its president Bonnie Greer was ‘developing an award named after Patrick Bronte”…and was also working on an initiative with Bradford Council to commemorate Branwell Bronte. The playwright was also making a short promotional film with the museum to ‘invite people to come to Haworth during the bicentenary celebrations’ and planning a ‘Jane Eyre fan fiction” workshop in London.”
  • Forbes covered the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim and attempted to predict the future of its fandom. “Even in a fantasy universe, the lines between fact and fiction are hotly disputed. That’s a good thing. A year ago, Disney decreed that much of the so-called Star Wars expanded universe was, in essence, fan fiction…That didn’t sit well with some die-hard fans, many of whom had become pseudo-history professors of the deepest reaches of Star Wars mythology…Yet even on Wookieepedia, the site home to over 120,000 pages of fan-generated content—much of it concerning storylines now relegated to Legends status—the response hasn’t been negative, at least in terms of engagement. Says Brandon Rhea, a full-time community manager at Wikia, Wookieepedia’s parent company: ‘The pageviews in general shot up.’”
  • CBC News took note of the reaction to actor Jonathan Crombie’s death. “Plenty of women who were in their adolescence during the late 1980’s have indeed been mourning the loss of the handsome man who portrayed Gilbert Blythe on screen — but they’re far from alone. It would appear as though, just like the wider Anne of Green Gables franchise, Crombie has continued to rack up new fans from all over the world since the final film aired on CBC TV in 2000…Here are just a few of the ways that fans have been paid tribute to Anne Shirley’s ‘perfect boyfriend’ on Tumblr, on their own blogs and through romantic fan fiction over the years.”

What different kinds of fandom celebration have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.