News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Museums of Faith

    By Cat Goodfellow on Čtvrtek, 17 December 2015 - 6:11 odpoledne
    Message type:

    A statue of a person holds up a Fannews sign while two others hold up a banner reading Museums of Faith

    • A write-up at Patheos reported on several papers presented on fandom and religion. "We see there, and in Star Trek fandom's rejection of a sexist interpretation of 'Turnabout Intruder,' examples of liberal or liberationist prooftexting. Historicism is used selectively in the service of constructing an imaginal world. Raphael mentioned wanting to teach a course that imagines that a religion has been constructed around Star Trek, without some of the evidence that we have, in order to illustrate what happens in interpretation and imaginal world construction."
    • A writer at The Christian Century looked to find similar connections at a fan con and came to a different conclusion. "Sociologist and media theorist Stig Hjar­vard argues that citizens of postindustrial societies find the most significant experiences of enchantment in pop culture. In his studies of Danish culture, fantasy texts like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Nar­nia were eight times more likely to be named significant in shaping moral and spiritual ideas than the Bible or other traditional religious texts. This is why I went to Comic Con: to learn about the religious nones or those who find their religion in hobbit costumes and manga fan clubs. Then I found the panels, the sub­terranean heart of Comic Con, in the basement of the convention center. The panels revealed Comic Con as less alternative religious gathering and more professional convention."
    • The Cincinnati Art Museum is among those who understand the importance of fandom commerce, and it's begun a series to capitalize on it. "Fandom, a new monthly gallery conversation, aims to bring together fans of art and popular culture in a playful and humorous exploration of the Art Museum’s galleries. Each month, a different pop culture topic will inspire an interactive tour in the permanent collection. Join us this month as we explore the connections between the CAM collection and a galaxy far, far away with our resident Star Wars expert Anne Buening."
    • The Guardian hosted an opinion piece about the overlap of high art and pop culture. "Critics...have suggested that Griffiths’s exhibition isn’t about Murray per se, but is a way for the artist to explore a number of concepts – including scale and the relative status of people and objects...It’s all wonderful theorising – but when it comes down to brass tacks, don’t Griffiths et al just simply love Murray? Crafting an entire exhibition around his image could be thought of as an extension of doodling his name on your notebook or cutting pictures of him out of a magazine and putting them in a scrapbook."

    How does fandom and fanwork cross over into other cultural spaces? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Justifying the Drama

    By thatwasjustadream on Neděle, 13 December 2015 - 5:38 odpoledne
    Message type:

    a cartoon of one person speaking into another person's ear, with the words Justifying the Drama, OTW fannews written nearby

    • The Learned Fangirl wrote about the professionalization of fandom. "As we see more mainstream writing and academic study about the economies of fan culture and digital media, the ideas that Timberg presents here are worth revisiting. Communities of fan creators are more robust than ever before, and the semi-professionalization of fandom is more formalized than it has ever been, with clearly defined points of access and channels of distribution of creative work (cons, social media, podcasts, etc.). And if technology is the lifeblood of the creative class, allowing more rapid growth and implementation of ideas from different sources, then that doesn’t sound quite like a 'killing' to me."
    • The Columbia Chronicle posted about gender bias in fandom. “'People don’t think I’m mature because [WWE is] like fake wrestling and has a bunch of cheesy storylines, but I like it,' said Tutson, noting that she has about 40 action figures and 11 games and gets looked down upon because people do not typically expect an 18-year-old girl to collect wrestling action figures."
    • At ProWrestling.net, another writer complained about the reaction of wrestlers to critiques from their fans. "Coachman, like representatives of WWE frequently say, is using the 'it's about the fun' argument and instructing others to sit back and watch. WWE likes to say wrestling isn't meant to be deconstructed and thought deeply about. They like to paint a picture of an industry where the most important thing is smiles on faces. They like to ignore the call for responsible storytelling. "
    • Meanwhile Metro ran an opinion piece asking for celebrities to start intervening in fan attacks. "The more popular the icon the more power and influence they wield, but too often they are silent when it comes to acknowledging the dark side of their fandoms. Jessie J has finally taken responsibility for her fans, isn’t it time every other pop star does the same?"

    Drama? Fandom has plenty of it. Write about the events you've seen 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: Setting Goals

    By Sarah Remy on Čtvrtek, 10 December 2015 - 5:29 odpoledne
    Message type:

    OTW Fannews icon in red. Setting Goals in white font over a green hill with a blue sky in the background and a red arrow running up the hill

    • The Phillipine Star offered a look at fanfic's changing prominence. "You, me, and your lola are probably now aware of what fanfiction is. In my simple mind, it used to be some underground cult, but has grown into a legitimate hobby in the last few years. You got your books, you got your movie tie-in novelizations, and then you got fanfiction. It’s not quite a sequel, in the way the New Testament followed the Old one. Imagine a hardcore Bible-reader wanting to know what happened after the Book of Revelations, so he wrote a post-apocalyptic novel featuring The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Ridiculous, but strangely plausible."
    • Huffington Post listed one of many benefits of fanfic, including its ability to encourage reading. "While the other two strategies helped, when my daughter found fanfiction things really took off...Because she was already invested in Padme and Anakin through the movies, it was an easy leap to enjoy reading about them. And it hasn't stopped with Star Wars. She's read fanfiction based on Once Upon A Time, How to Train Your Dragon, and even Pride and Prejudice! That was a year ago, and now I struggle to get her to stop reading." Some of those Star Wars readers may also one day become Star Wars writers.
    • More media outlets are getting into the business of offering serious recommendations, such as when Vulture included recs to Buffy fanfic as part of a larger story on its appeal. "To truly understand Buffy’s fanfic reach, though, consider the following: One site featured 351 Buffy-related fiction updates last month, even though the series ended its run more than a decade ago. And that’s only one site. There are multiple online sources for Buffy fanfiction. Some, like Archive of Our Own and FanFiction.net, offer detailed tagging and filter options for those seeking out very specific Buffy experiences...Other fanfiction sites specialize in Buffy crossovers, for those who are curious how Buffy’s world would collide with Harry Potter’s or Luke Skywalker’s."
    • Of course, as The Telegraph revealed, those fanfic readers may also one day become television producers creating crossovers and prequels. “It's quite a simple concept...Taking a selection of Dickens' most iconic characters and free them from the narrative of the book. Take them and put them all in one place, and see what happens. Let them interact and see what it's like when Fagin meets Scrooge." Said screenwriter Tony Jordan, "I'm not going to pretend to be a Dickens scholar. I've probably watched more TV and film adaptations then I've read books. But I've grown up loving them."

    What stories can you tell about writing or reading fanfic? Contribute them to 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: Fandom in Motion

    By Claudia Rebaza on Úterý, 8 December 2015 - 4:33 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Banner by Soy Alex of OTW logos inside a curled film strip reading 'Fandom in Motion'

    • MoviePilot.com looked at how the rapid appearance of Linkle fan art made a statement about her acceptance within the fandom. "When Linkle was first announced as a new character for the upcoming Hyrule Warriors: Legends game, the internet went crazy. Some loved her, some hated her. The debate is still going strong and will probably not end any time soon...and several people have already drawn their own version of Linkle. I have scavenged the internet and collected the best fan-art I could find for you to feast your eyes upon."
    • Yibada.com put a spotlight on a Dragon Ball Z fan film. "If you're looking for a darker and more realistic version of Dragon Ball Z then this fan-made live action flick is for you. A group of European fans produced the almost 30-minute 'Dragon Ball Z: The Fall of Men' and it will blow your mind." The film "features Trunks and is set in the future. It is inspired by the characters in the Dragon Ball saga. It also pays tribute to the iconic universe that Toriyama created."
    • A.V. Club wrote about a LEGO stop motion fan film. "Captain America finds himself in a town overrun by Nazi zombies and must fight his way through the horde, and soon finds himself entangled with other characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s an exciting short that displays real talent in the stop-motion medium as Whaley uses lighting, music, and impressive poses for the characters to create an incredibly gory but fun short film that is as brutal as it is entertaining."
    • The Hockey Writers discussed a fan who had turned her very fannishness into a tradable product. Kat Velez no longer felt comfortable supporting her team, the Chicago Blackhawks. "So, Velez decided to sell her fandom to support the fight against domestic violence. A fan of any team from any hockey league can donate to have Velez root for their team. At the end of the week whoever donates the most money will get to choose the team Velez roots for the next week. Yes, even if you are a fan of the Australian Ice Hockey League...she will root for you, as long as she has access to a live stream of the game."

    What fanworks do you think should be remembered? 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Loving the Fangirl

    By Claudia Rebaza on Čtvrtek, 3 December 2015 - 4:41 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Banner by Elena Who of a heart monitor line in a heart shape reading 'Loving the Fangirl'

    • Mashable highlighted the emergence of more female fans as superheroes. The latest is Faith “Zephyr” Herbert from Valiant Comics’ Harbinger series. The “sci-fi loving, Firefly-quoting fangirl” now has a series of her own. "Part of what’s gained Faith attention in the comic-book community is that she doesn’t fit the mold of overly skinny or sexualized female superheroes. 'I've heard some very moving comments from comic fans who had never seen a hero who looked like them on the cover of a comic before the Faith covers were unveiled...So there is very much a demand for a book like this.'"
    • iDiva cited 10 Reasons Why you Should Date a Fangirl, which included their loyalty, understanding another's passions, always being able to entertain themselves, enjoying simple pleasures, and not being judgy of others.
    • Bustle piggybacked on an article in The Economist about the success of slash literature in China to discuss slash in more detail. "According to many estimates, the vast majority of yaoi consumers are young women — for instance, attendees at the 2003 Yaoi-Con in San Francisco were reported to be 80 percent female. When it comes to the gender breakdown of the folks who read and create slash, the vision is a bit less clear, as many authors remain anonymous and obscure their gender. But the overall picture seems to be that young women are the dominant consumers and producers of fanfic focusing on romantic relationships between men, whether it's slash, original fiction, or visual media."
    • Black Girl Nerds posted about loving fanfiction, and by extension, its most prolific creators. "I read your work on the bus, in between classes, during lunch breaks, before bed. Your writing has gotten me through boring lectures, eternities spent in waiting rooms, long car rides, and just plain bad days where all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and forget how absolutely terrible the world can be. It was your words that I first discovered before many of the WOC-authored published works I’d come to love. It was you who first helped me learn that genre fiction didn’t have to represent yet another place where Black people didn’t belong, that there could be a place on any planet, any world, any reality, for girls like me."

    Are there fangirls you think should be known about and remembered? Write about their work 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: From Sacred to Commercial

    By Angela Nichols on Pondělí, 30 November 2015 - 5:40 odpoledne
    Message type:

    “Fromsacredtocommerical"

    • Places like Refinery29 are noticing the importance of what fans do. "Urrata, who is studying English lit, film, and women's studies, sees femslash (the fan-art romantic pairing of presumed-straight female characters) as a way to do 'what fan artists do best: attempt to close the gap between the media we are given and the media we want.' Like racebent casting (fans adding actors of color to movies and TV shows that lack diversity), Disney femslash is a way of taking action rather than simply discussing frustration over the lack of representation."
    • Chicagoist reported on an event with Carrie Brownstein in which she discussed the importance of fandom in her new memoir. "'My story starts with me as a fan,' she writes, 'And to be a fan is to know that loving trumps being beloved.' Hopper asked her to talk further about what being a fan has meant for her, and Brownstein credited being a music fan with giving her both stability and community, calling fandom itself 'sacred' with 'a desire to connect' at its heart."
    • She Knows interviewed author Christopher Rice about a planned m/m romance novel and noted "Thanks, in part, to the world of fan fiction, man-on-man action has become pretty popular with the female population. Not only are women reading it, but they're writing it. Rice isn't surprised. He said, 'It's a stereotype that men want to see two women roll around in a bubble bath, but oh, women don't want to see two men. The real fact is women may not want to see it, but they do want to read it.'"
    • Various outlets wrote about the planned Star Trek series, noting that CBS is counting on fans to make its new service successful. "Is this the 'killer app' for CBS All Access? It’s certainly required to get your name on the map. If there’s a property that can get folks to buy into a service, it’s either this or Star Wars at this point." CBS itself stated "We’ve experienced terrific growth for CBS All Access...We now have an incredible opportunity to accelerate this growth with the iconic Star Trek, and its devoted and passionate fan base, as our first original series.”

    How have you noticed the importance of fan activities? 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.

  • OTW Fannews: From Philes to Fire

    By Pip Janssen on Čtvrtek, 26 November 2015 - 5:04 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Background flames with text saying From Philes to Fire

  • Fan/Fic Magazine wrote about how AO3 revolutionized fandom by looking at the events that led to the founding of the OTW. "A brief snapshot of fandom in early 2007: The first Naruto series had wrapped, and Naruto Shippuden had just started airing. Supernatural was wrapping up its second season with a shocking finale in “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII came out only the year before, and Final Fantasy 7 fandom was back with a vengeance with the release of Advent Children. The world waited breathlessly for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And fandom on LiveJournal was on fire."
  • Den of Geek looked back at development of X-Files fandom. "There was more online buzz before the commercial aspects of The X-Files had caught up, which allowed for a freer flow of media content. 'Best of all, unlike most ‘fan magazines’ with their carefully controlled content, it was a free-for-all discussion, where the most outrageous and insightful and sometimes brutally honest discussions about UFOs, the government, conspiracies, Mulder's hair, and Scully's wardrobe could take place without interference.'" Although the article mentioned various fan sites it failed to mention Gossamer, the landmark fanfiction repository.
  • A number of outlets wrote about an Australian documentary on boyband fans. "Leski has met fangirls in the US and Australia that own their passion and use it to create material of their own. 'It was the first time I’d seen fan art and fan fiction, and it was a much bigger world that I realised,' says Leski. Fangirls can form accepting and inclusive online communities...Adolescence is when girls experience a drop in self-esteem and depression rates go up. Fangirls are empowered by their fandom, make deep connections with each other and have an outlet for personal expression. Educators and psychologists Leski interviewed believe that validating fandom, rather than dismissing it as trivial and temporary, is important. It can set girls up with the self-esteem, passion and skills they will find useful as adults."
  • The Bangalore Mirror featured a look at fan behaviors. "In 2008, Shira Gabriel, a psychologist at the University at Buffalo, conducted a series of three studies on celebrity worship to measure its impact upon the self-esteem of 348 college students...Students who initially scored lowest on the self-esteem scale scored much higher on the second test (after they wrote about their best-loved celebrities). Gabriel was quoted: 'Because people form bonds in their mind with their favourite celebrities, they are able to assimilate the celebrity's characteristics in themselves and feel better about themselves when they think about that celebrity.'"

What have been landmark events in your fandom's history? 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Improve Your Life

    By Kiri Van Santen on Úterý, 24 November 2015 - 6:13 odpoledne
    Message type:

    banner by SoyAlex of a bicycle with the OTW logo as the wheels

    • The American Library's Association's Center for the Future of Libraries has a mission which involves identifying "emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve." Included in their trends is an entry on fandom. In the "Why It Matters" section, they write "As cultural institutions that preserve and provide access to books, video, music, and an increasing array of media, fandoms may be obvious partners in promoting literacy, engagement with culture, and media creation. Fandom increasingly assumes active creation – writing, recording, drawing, remixing, role-playing – rather than just passive consumption of media. This could make it an important space for libraries to design programming and instruction around, especially in ways that promote Connected Learning that is highly social, interest-driven, hands-on, and production oriented."
    • Two different sites promoted fandom involvement as a way to stay healthy. The University of Utah's Health Feed focused on sports fandom while Inverse expanded it to include media fandom. The fandom benefits cited were a sense of belonging, greater happiness, and an increase in critical thinking.
    • Bringing your fandom into the workplace can be problematic, though, depending on your profession. Gawker was among those criticizing a BuzzFeed reporter for a lack of objectivity. "[T]he Buzzfeed Brand is built in large part on explicit and outspoken fandom. But the News side at BuzzFeed works as seriously as as traditional newsroom, and has put into place ethical guidelines to cement that... It’s hard to imagine how these guidelines jibe with teary-eyed fandom for the Pope, an elected political entity with a broad swath of deeply political views that include (a longstanding opposition to) women’s rights and LGBT equality." They concluded by noting that "pure, uncritical adoration goes beyond the usual biases, and makes a reporter seem incapable of grappling with the complexity of her subject... This isn’t a Foo Fighters fan interviewing Dave Grohl."
    • Death and Taxes revealed that Dave Grohl is equally likely to have his fandom on display if Jonathan Davis is any example. "Probably the biggest thing Davis and I have in common is an all-consuming love for Duran Duran. The big difference being that Davis got to actually connect with his musical idol Simon Le Bon... 'I was shaking, because I’m the hugest fan. He was like, 'How old are you? Name some songs.' And I was like '"The Chauffeur" is my shit. I love that song.' We just hit it off and started hanging out that night. And then a couple years later my agent brought him out. He came to the Korn show, and then we went out to this pizza place in London, and we hung out all night and it was the greatest night of my life.'"

    What was the greatest fandom day of your life? 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: For Reals

    By Katie on Neděle, 22 November 2015 - 6:17 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Image reading OTW Fannews For Reals

    • The BBC noted that fans have been right all along in their devotion to popular culture, given that it's adding to the stories of old. "Our modern civilisation, like all civilisations before it, has settled around a set of myths and legends as the basis of its culture. They are more complex, more interesting, more sophisticated, and with a much richer interaction between creators and fans than you might think. Far from being mere films or comic books, they are whole extended fictional universes, entirely self-consistent, with deep histories, hundreds of characters, and even a form of theological scholarship."
    • As the curators of cultural preservation, librarians have been proactive in responding to fans activities by not just encouraging their creation with numerous library programs, but also now doing readers advisory for fanworks. The results can be important. "While wearing an Avengers t-shirt in the library, a librarian was stopped by a little girl who wanted to know if she'd seen the Avengers movie. The librarian responded that it was one of her favorite movies, and the girl confessed that she loved it too, even though her teacher said it was just for boys. She then asked if the library had any Avengers books. As the librarian helped her collect a stack of Iron Man easy readers, the girl's mom tearfully explained that her daughter was a reluctant reader, and that this was the first time she'd actually wanted to check out books."
    • Even media outlets that one wouldn't expect are trying to integrate fannish practices into their coverage, such as Fashion & Style highlighting Twilight fansites, or Seventeen making a fairly good list of responses to criticism, such as countering the familiar "'Why don't you care about something that actually matters?" with "Who are you to say something I'm this passionate about doesn't matter? It matters to me."
    • Meanwhile more fannish and amateur publications are reporting on topics from fan terminology in motion, to what happens when fandom burnout begins, or charting the course of a fannish passion. Stories like these mean that all sides of fandoms and fannish experiences are joining their canons in being a part of cultural history.

    Is it important to you that fannish history be preserved? Then open an account and 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: What's in a Name?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Čtvrtek, 19 November 2015 - 5:47 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Banner by Sidhrat reading 'OTW Fannews What's in a Name

    • The New Statesman weighed in on an important discussion as fanworks become more well known: what actually counts as one? "It comes down, as it often does, to money. Because money, and a lack of it, is at the heart of long-held tensions about fanworks. Fanfiction is overwhelmingly the product of unpaid labour, millions and millions of words given freely, whether for legal reasons or community norms. Because it isn’t compensated – and because it is so often done by women it is devalued, as an art form and as a way to spend one’s time. When money is added to the mix, whether in giant pull-to-publish book deals or, increasingly, fanfiction contests and authors sponsored by television networks and Hollywood studios, the place that fanworks occupy in the vast sphere of adaptation and reworking begins to shift. And not always for the better."
    • The confusion about what counts is understandable given the visibility of commercial works that either tell the stories of fans, that do similar work, or even co-opt the terms to market a product from commercial authors. What's promising is the increasing focus on available fanwork, especially when it provides a way to show audience response to a current event or topic of interest.
    • The visibility of fanworks means that its features and practices have been inspiring commercial creators and industries, whether it's to blend fanwork with their own work; to take popular genres more seriously; to respond to users' wishes about how they want to interact with stories; or to create works about them.
    • The transformative nature of fanworks is an important element in its legal protection but this is often overlooked or misunderstood by the media, even while examples of its commentary on commercial entertainment are easily found. One recent example is a fan edit focusing on Pulp Fiction and Breaking Bad. The need to educate others about what fanworks makes the effort of fans to do so all the more important.

    Do you think it's important for fans to explain their own practices and communities? That's what Fanlore is all about. Contributions are welcome from all fans so create an account there and share your knowledge.

    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.