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.”

What fanworks, financial issues and fan practices have caught your attention? Tell us 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Links roundup for 14 June 2012

Here’s a roundup of fan gathering stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • The Wooly Mammoth Theater Company blog posted that fans “aren’t just connoisseurs of a given body of work. Whether dressing up for San Diego Comic-Con, reading fanfiction at the Archive of Our Own, or just proclaiming the awesomeness of a given movie, book, or TV show, fans’ allegedly geeky pursuits are all directed towards the same endpoint: community.” Fandom is a place where individual friendships develop over shared interests and “everyone has a voice on the Internet.”
  • Larry Nemecek at Trekland Supplemental takes a bad experience as a way to relate to fandom of the past and what it’s lead to. “‘[S]uffering for your art’—or your passion!—was one of the very issues that had just cropped up this weekend in a reunion of our ‘80s-era Houston ‘first fandom’: namely, whether today’s digital-savvy, media-soaked fans appreciate what that first wave of relentless and oft-ridiculed Trekkies accomplished. Or, to be fair, whether they even can appreciate how much it took…so that not only was Kirk transplanted to the big screen, but with a groundswell that allowed offshoots like Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer and even ‘alt-Kirk’ to blossom. And, along the way, gave root to a movement that defined just what a modern ‘media franchise’ and its fandom could look like.”
  • Robert Greenberger at ComicMix reviews Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture by Rob Salkowitz and muses over the evolution of comics fandom as “the rise of video games and infusion of Manga/Anime helped change popular culture and they began gravitating to San Diego to hawk their wares.” While finding the book misses the mark, Greenberger concludes that “the book’s most interesting chapters are its final ones as he explores where the market is in 2011-2012 and the trends that may push it in one of four directions: Ghost World (collapse of the direct market, Hollywood moves away from superheroes), Endless Summer (the status quo only more), Infinite Crisis (diehard, aging fans and no one else), and The Expanding Multiverse (new technologies and new ideas grow the business in fresh ways).”
  • Tambay at Shadow and Act discusses increasing the connection between fans of black independent cinema and creators, and commenters cite the importance of community: “S&A’s comment section is reminiscent of a family reunion…Fights ensue and stratchline are etched in the sand, but that’s what lovers do. And they’re not limited to 140 characters. Essentially, S&A is unique in that it has a host of family members/commenters who bring a wealth of insight and information not normally seen on discussion boards. Granted, their pages are filled with tidbits of tantalizing information on Cinema Of The African Diaspora, however, I’ve come to believe many return to this place of enlightenment because they know there will be folks just like them, dropping by to see who’s in the comment section and what they are doing.”

If you’re a movie buff, a longtime Trek fan or a con goer, why not contribute to 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 — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. 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.

Links Roundup for 25 May 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories about pros playing inside the fandom sandbox that might be of interest to fans:

  • Dubbed the “world’s very first (and only) Science Fiction Football Musical Comedy!” Packer Fans From Outer Space recently ran in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Geared to a hometown audience with its “songs about love, Wisconsin traditions and our historic football rivalry, including ‘You Gotta Hate the Bears’ and ‘Winning is the Only Thing,'” it still provided insiderish/crossover/genre-hopping fannishness that lots of non-Wisconsinites could recognize.
  • Not far away, Canadian Charles Ross performed a one-man show in Adrian, Michigan that was insiderish only to people who had never seen Star Wars (is there anyone left?) “It’s basically me onstage — with no costumes, sets, props or real talent — me, onstage, retelling the original, bad hair, 1970s-1980s ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, basically using my own body and my own impressions,” Ross said. His obsession with the saga came from a source many fan creators can relate to — wanting to know what comes next. As a child he saw a double feature of the first two Star Wars films made. “But [my father] didn’t tell me that it wasn’t the end of the story. I was convinced that the sort-of lame tone left over at the end of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ was the way the story actually ended. And I was like, ‘What a bummer of a story!’”
  • Sony Music decided to employ fan fiction to promote the band One Direction. They partnered with a Wattpad writer who created a five-chapter eBook about the band members “designed to coordinate with the video for the band’s single, ‘What Makes You Beautiful.'” Fans then spread links to the books and video. The marketing effort is among the finalists for the GennY Award which “recognizes best practices of those who have applied new and innovative techniques to connect and communicate with youth.” The winner will be announced at a conference focusing on youth marketing.
  • Then there are some creators who are writing their own fanfic. One that was widely circulated was a story about Lost co-producer Damen Lindelof writing Mad Men fan fiction as fictional sci-fi writer Ken Cosgrove. Another frequently republished story was about romance novelist Diane Story writing Britney Spears RPF, made all the more notable given that she is the aunt of Britney’s former husband, Kevin Federline. Story also “created a contest on her website where the winner can win an actual wedding invitation from Spears and Federline’s 2004 wedding.” And finally, Booktrib hosted an article on fan fiction that discussed Vampire Diaries actor Matt Davis writing fanfic on Twitter: “His crazy, sometimes smutty interpretation of the show he resides on is without a doubt the talk of the community. If the actors can write an alternate universe based on original content, why shouldn’t the fans?”

If you are a fan of Vampire Diaries, Britney Spears, Mad Men or One Direction, why not write about it 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 — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. 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.