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This Week in Fandom, Volume 27

Welcome back to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! Did you all enjoy New York Comic Con? Even if you didn’t get to go, there’s been all kinds of squee happening about it online.


One less-than-squee-worthy moment happened at the X-Traordinary: The LGBT Characters Of The X-Men panel, though. Comic writer Peter David went off on a startling rant about his opinion of Romani people after an audience member made a request for better representation. Bleeding Cool put together a roundup of the event, its context, and fan reactions, but please heed the warning for racism and disturbing content/imagery. As one person said on Twitter, “[I] don’t think any of us were expecting hatespeech at a diversity panel.”


Unfortunately, racism in comics and comic fandom is a persistent issue. Angelica Jade Bastien wrote an article for New Republic about being a black female journalist who writes about comics. Bastien writes that “as minorities gain prominence within geek properties, the blowback against this progress has increased in kind, especially within the fandom itself… If you’ve been involved in the dedicated fandoms of comics, science fiction, and fantasy as a black woman for any length of time you’ve undoubtedly had to face a degree of racism and sexism that such tweets are rooted in. It doesn’t matter if you’re an actress or a journalist, a screenwriter or a director, the price of visibility for black women in geek properties feels too high.”


In happier news, there’s been an incredible fan theory proposed. Fan-journalist Kaitlyn Plyley laid out her idea about how Eleven from Stranger Things grows up to become Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. (Obviously, there are spoilers at the link.) Plyley writes “In some ways, Harvard was like being back in the isolation tank at the Department of Energy. People only cared about what she could do with her mind. It was frightening, that first speech of Professor Stromwell’s, exhorting her class to consider their convictions as life-or-death.” Bustle writer Courtney Lindley chimed in with support and additional evidence for the theory. What’s your wildest fan theory? Tell us in the comments!


Elsewhere, Amanda Michalak wrote an article for Comicsverse about the increasing public respect for fanfiction and its commercial viability. Despite some incorrect stats about AO3 (the Archive is at almost a million registered users!), the article discusses the popularity of fanfiction, particularly One Direction fanfiction, across various platforms, and what that popularity implies: “Wattpad, by merging fanfiction and amateur original fiction, allows fic to compete in the same arena as original fiction.” Michalak points out that publishers like retooled fanfiction for the same reason film studios like comic book adaptations: “One of the largest selling points for fanfic to publishers is the built-in audience it comes with.” Have you seen any fanfic authors “turn pro?” Write about it on Fanlore!


We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.