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  • OTW Fannews: Creativity everywhere

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pátek, 21 February 2014 - 4:59 odpoledne
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    Banner by Erin of a sunrise behind the OTW logo with images of a globe, paintbrushes and a computer sound button.

    • Crunchyroll displayed a slew of artwork when taking note of a new fanart meme. "The last week has given rise to bit of obvious genius on Japanese art portal Pixiv. Suitable for some awesome wallpapers, the hot trend of the moment in fanart is to draw characters trapped behind the glass of a smartphone."
    • Meanwhile, io9 pointed out how fans are drawing the next Disney princess even though her details haven't been released yet. "Only one image associated with Moana has come out, and Disney has said that it isn't concept art for the movie, which focuses on Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief from a long line of navigators. But based on that artwork and the setting of the film, a handful of artists have started drawing their own visions of Moana, drawing from various South Pacific cultures."
    • Bowing to user demand, the World of Warcraft site battle.net added a fanfiction forum. "That's right, you asked for it and now you've got it. We hope you have your creative juices flowing because now is the time to share just what it is that's been crawling through your brain and itching to be be shared beyond the confines of your skull. Those voices you hear? Those are your own characters or interpretations of the world (of Warcraft) whispering in your ear and begging to be set free upon your fellows."
    • IGN looked at audio fanworks for games. "Fans go to great lengths to celebrate the games they love. Some write fan fiction, draw beautiful images, or cosplay as their favorite characters. Others channel their reverence and admiration into rap albums. Some video game-themed rap songs make a big impact, but several more fall under the radar. The following are some of the best songs that didn't quite nab the recognition they deserve."

    What fanwork discussions have you come across? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fan words and papers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 19 February 2014 - 7:24 odpoledne
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    • Texas A&M's libraries wrote about the closing of a Game of Thrones exhibit while one on filk replaced it. "The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids— which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks." They are also looking for donations of "fanworks and filk-related materials."
    • The University of California Riverside posted about 10 Notable Fanzines in the Eaton Collection. "You could say the fanzine is the internet’s precursor. These amateur publications began in the 1930s as a way for science fiction fans – who were geographically spread out–to share their ideas with one another. Created with mimeograph machines during people’s private time, fanzines included letter columns, author interviews and book reviews...The Eaton Collection is home to nearly 100,000 fanzines."
    • The Macquarie Dictionary Online selected a word of the year but fanfic didn't make it to the final round. It was, however, the finalist in the Arts category.
    • The Guardian looked at words as well, specifically those found in Buzzfeed's style guide. Listing reasons to love the guide, the first choice was that "[i]t's got entries that no other style guide has. 'Fangirl', 'batshit', 'bitchface' – one word or two? You aren't going to find the answers in the Telegraph Style Book."

    What fan words do you think need a guide? Write some definitions on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: A closer look at fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Čtvrtek, 13 February 2014 - 8:32 odpoledne
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    • King's College London will be offering a new undergraduate degree in Digital Culture which includes sessions on transformative and fan culture as part of its modules. Admissions have opened for the degree program which will launch in 2015.
    • Den of Geek wrote about Holmesians as the template for modern fandom. "The kind of hype surrounding Sherlock today very much resembles the hysteria around the time the stories were originally published; in fact, Sherlock Holmes is arguably responsible for much of fandom as we know it today. Long before the possibilities of today’s mediated world, he was one of the first characters to massively, irrevocably, step off the page and into the world, and refuse to get back on the page...It’s a fascinating history about what it means to love a story, to let it have power, and to be a fan (or a geek)."
    • While the Holmes fandom is certainly a very long running one, sites as varied as The Asheboro Courier-Tribune and Huffington Post have been looking at Beatles fandom, which is reaching an important U.S. milestone. One fan in particular is part of a nightly remembrance. "When Paul performs a song 'All My Loving'...he picked one girl to be behind him in the Jumbotron showing the days from 1964. There is Irene--she travels the world with Paul." Irene added, "The first time I saw it was just totally amazing to me. I had no idea it was coming up, and all of a sudden you see my face jumping from screen to screen to screen, ending up on the Jumbotron. And then I did scream, because I was completely freaked out."
    • The demographics of fandom is something that NPR's discussion of Supernatural failed to examine, only mentioning how slash is "usually written by women." But it focused on the effect of fandom on a show's success and even storylines, asking "Fan engagement gives color and volume to dry data, such as ratings, but the question remains, how do you quantify depth of feeling? Writing a story takes longer and means more than hitting a 'like' button or re-blogging a picture. How do you measure a kind of success that, by its very nature, is completely resistant to metrics?"

    What closer looks at fandom have you come across? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish connections

    By Claudia Rebaza on Úterý, 11 February 2014 - 9:01 odpoledne
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    • Mina Kimes wrote in Slate about how critical football is in maintaining her relationship with her father. "My father still calls me almost every day when he’s driving home from work. We still talk about the news, and the weather, and the pain in his back, which has gotten a lot worse over the years. But mostly we talk about football. I tell him the rumors that I read on the Internet that day. We scoff at the ignoramuses who dare criticize our team—typically East Coast sports analysts—and praise the brilliance of our coach and general manager. We keep talking as I fiddle with my key, unlock the door, and trudge up the stairs."
    • The Hindu discussed the expansion of fandom from those close to home. "Before the Internet invaded our lives, trends and popular culture meant tidbits of information shared by friends and family members. Once a popular series ended, there was no platform to learn more about the characters, new plots etc. The Internet seems to have changed the manner in which we consume new trends of popular culture. From running promotions on social media websites to operating fan pages and Wikia pages on the net, fans are ensuring that the characters they adore live on forever on the Net."
    • Marketers are latching onto the word fan as a way to connect people emotionally to their brands. However, one group long acknowledged as fans are tech fans. The Verge took a long look inside the mind of a fanboy and explored the hostility emerging from brand loyalty. "Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. 'Among my close friends and family no one really operates at the same level as me,' says one high school Android hobbyist. Thus, fanboy culture takes place in the comments sections of tech news sites and YouTube."
    • Shadowlocked blogged about the marketing approach being used for The Muppets Movie. Saying the ads target multiple audiences, Calvin Peat explains, "[I]t's not as simple as a binary between fans and critics, as if you're either a fan or a critic; or even a continuum between fans and critics, as if you're somewhere along the line between being a fan and being a critic. Rather, it might be more accurate to consider two dimensions: from high-brow to low-brow, and from appreciation to excoriation."

    What personal or marketing connections have you seen in fandom? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: What fanfic does for writers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pondělí, 10 February 2014 - 5:00 odpoledne
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    • Two articles examined the value of Amazon's Kindle Worlds. Slate featured author Hugh Howey. "I had read Slaughterhouse-Five in high school and didn’t really get it. And then a few years ago, I studied the work again, and the story had not just meaning but special meaning...Vonnegut’s didactic work helped me through a similar trauma. With my first work of fan fiction, I chose to use his example of writing about the bombing of Dresden in order to confront my 9/11 experiences—an event I’ve long avoided discussing directly. And what I discovered surprised me. Fan fiction is difficult. More difficult than the dozen or so novels I’d previously written."
    • Over at MainStreet, Craig Donofrio questioned what Kindle Worlds does for authors. "Another Kindle Worlds author, C.L. Marlene, began writing Vampire Diaries fan fiction for Kindle Worlds last June. It was her first venture into any kind of publishing, and she has written two novels, a novella and a short story since then. While sales have only allowed her 'a few extra nice dates' with her husband and gave her 'a minute bump or two' for her savings account, her overall experience with Worlds has been positive and she would recommend it to other authors—with the caveat to stay realistic. 'I'm not expecting this to pay my bills or launch me into a best-selling author list.'"
    • Certainly one way of getting paid for fanfic is writing a fanfic article, as Cora Frazier did at The New Yorker with her Scandal fanfiction where "Olivia Pope Fixes Chris Christie."
    • The Charleston, South Carolina Post & Courier included fan fiction in the bio of the youngest college student in their area. "Amber went on to skip third, fifth and seventh grades. Fourth-grade was her last full year in a traditional school setting, and after that year, Amber was helping high school students with algebra concepts." Her writing skills were quickly noted. "Rachel Walker, an associate professor of psychology, taught Amber in a writing and psychology class last semester, and she said Amber was 'exceptional.' The class was meant to teach students scientific writing, and Amber grasped concepts that many students find to be challenging, Walker said."

    What has fanfiction done for you? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: How much is too much?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Pátek, 7 February 2014 - 7:41 odpoledne
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    Banner by Diane of two graph lines labeled 'fanon' and 'canon' with fanon rising and canon sinking.

    • Death and Taxes complained about What happens when fan fiction takes over the original? "It’s not unusual to do a concept production of a play or musical." But "Playbill has just announced a national tour of the long-running musical The Fantasticks that is 're-envisioned as a steampunk-inspired production.'" Writer Madeline Raynor complained "not only are you foisting a misguided concept onto the show, but you’re not actually integrating it in?" and concludes "[W]hen the creative team behind the source material uses fan fiction-like elements to change the original? That gets weird."
    • Some reviewers agreed with this sentiment in regards to the third season of Sherlock. The International Business Times said "Some people have not been too happy that the series has catered to its online fan base over more casual viewers. 'While any successful TV drama these days should generate fan fiction, it can not afford to become entirely fan fiction itself,' said Mark Lawson in The Guardian." But IBT countered "It's an interesting point, but fails to recognise the unique position of Sherlock as fan fiction since its inception, as well as how over recent years the boundaries between professional media and fan fiction have become increasingly blurred."
    • Laurie Penny at The New Statesman agreed, claiming "The BBC's Sherlock doesn’t just engage with fan fiction - it is fan fiction." However she goes further to note "What is significant about unofficial, extra-canonical fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic. The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans - women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly."
    • NPR's Monkey See blog discussed both Sherlock and the opening episode of Community when questioning the amount of outside intrusion. "Fan service is kind of a cheap gimmick, like a drug thrown out to keep the fans quiet for now, in case something happens down the line that will really upset them. It may feel really good, but it doesn't last, and like a lot of other temporary boosts, it will one day lead to withdrawal...I didn't tune in to Sherlock to see slash fiction or to Community for jokes about the people writing the dialogue. It's great that they know their fans, but they should also remember what they did to get fans in the first place."

    What percolating fandom influences have you noticed in media texts? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom challenges

    By Claudia Rebaza on Středa, 5 February 2014 - 7:00 odpoledne
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    • NPR's Code Switch asked Who Gets To Be A Superhero?. "But an artist named Orion Martin noted that the X-Men comics have on the receiving end of much real-life discrimination: the main lineup in the X-Men team has been mostly straight, white dudes...So Martin decided to reimagine them, recoloring some famous panels so that the main characters are brown — a gimmick that changes the subtext and stakes for the X-people."
    • A post on Flayrah discussed what makes furries a fandom. "Fandoms revolve around a common interest, not a canon. At times the common interest will also serve as the canon, in such things as the Doctor Who fandom or the Pokémon fandom, but at other times the common interest will be more vague, such as the anime fandom, the sci-fi fandom and the furry fandom. In those cases the fans are fans of a concept that can encompass many different fandoms due to a common element. Furry certainly has what we can term a canon. Fred Patten has compiled a long, but incomplete, list of works that influenced and led to the formation of the furry fandom between 1966-1996."
    • Gamer Zarnyx discussed early prejudices and missing past experiences. "I am aware that had A Link Between Worlds been my first game in the series, I would have been voicing an entirely different opinion. I am aware that it is a little bit selfish to dismiss the game as 'just another Zelda game', just as I am aware it would be ridiculous of me (again) to dismiss Nintendo and tell you my faith is wavering. That's not my intent for a company who has given me more amazing memories than forgettable ones and continues to do so even now...But as I listened to my sister's gleeful squeals sprinkled in with the 'oh no' moments of hearing death approaching...I wanted that excitement too instead of the occasional jaded groan I mustered when encountering some of the same things I encountered on so many adventures before this one."

    What fandom challenges have you experienced? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanfiction's benefits

    By Claudia Rebaza on Úterý, 4 February 2014 - 6:44 odpoledne
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    • Writer Jim Hines discussed what his experience writing fan fiction taught him about writing. This included "Writing good fanfic is just as challenging as writing good anything else", "Instant feedback is dangerously addictive", "Fanfic can be freeing", "I can do 'realtime' writing", and "A writer is someone who writes. I’ve never understood why some people jealously protect the coveted title of 'Author' or 'Writer.'...Having done both profic and fanfic, I don’t get it. Calling someone who does fanfic a writer or an author doesn’t in any way diminish or dilute me and my work. Why is this even an argument?"
    • Teen Librarian Toolbox hosted a post by author Frankie Brown discussing fanfiction and writer's block. "I couldn’t invest in writing original fiction. I was too tired, too anxious, too stuck." She turned to "Fanfiction. Lots and lots of Sherlock fanfiction. Reading it, writing it (Yes! Writing it!), reviewing it, chatting with bloggers and digging through archives. Sitting down to write about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson didn’t make my chest feel tight or my throat close up. There were no expectations. If it sucked, who cared? No one would know it was me. But of course it was me. Me at the keyboard, remembering why I loved writing, and -- eventually, tentatively -- typing out the first sentences to my next novel. When I submitted my final edits to Meredith, editor-in-awesome at Bloomsbury Spark, I was as happy and excited as I should’ve been."
    • Writer A.L.S. Vossler told a similar tale. "I was sailing through some rather severe writing doldrums with my novel when I experienced this fan fiction epiphany. So, swallowing even more of my pride, I allowed myself to indulge in a little fan fiction writing and returned to my former habit of telling stories to myself. I was blown away by how much fun it was. My creativity levels soared. I wrote pages and pages of fan fiction in a few days. That was when the bonds of writer’s block fell away and I returned to my own novel, my own 'real' writing."
    • Blogger Sara K. cited a fanfiction drawback that led her to stop reading. "I think being aromantic/asexual is a big part why I could not get into fanfiction. When I first learned about online fanfiction, I imagined being able to explore many different aspects of stories I loved. When I discovered how the vast majority of fanfiction revolves around romance and sex, so much so that identifying the ‘ship is a standard part of categorization ... I felt really disappointed...Yet finding fic...is so hard that it’s not worth it ... especially when you are part of a community where you’re expected to at least read each other’s fics. I simply felt more comfortable just staying out of the fanfic arena."

    What fanfiction benefits have you come across? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Passing judgments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Čtvrtek, 30 January 2014 - 9:13 odpoledne
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    • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it "extreme Internet fandom". "'The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,' said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific...'No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'"
    • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. "The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports."
    • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. "[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace."
    • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. "Leslie Fielder...argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys...'We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?'”

    What judgments on fandoms and audiences have you seen? Write about it on 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Limiting distribution

    By Claudia Rebaza on Úterý, 28 January 2014 - 10:56 odpoledne
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    • Australia's Junkee.com hosted a post by Dan Ilic who called for people to report on their copyright experiences. Similar to efforts going on in the EU, the Creationistas asked for citizens to tell their own stories. "[I]n Australia we have ‘Fair Dealing’ provisions...Under ‘fair dealing’, if you wanted to download the image and/or upload a new version of it, it would have to meet a few criteria: it would have to be for satire or parody, criticism or a review, used for legal advice, reporting the news, or created for educational purposes (arguably)." The Australian Digital Alliance, which is behind the Creationistas campaign is seeking to institute Fair Use similar to the U.S. model, which currently exists only in three other countries.
    • While not a copyright issue, the problem of closed networks and proprietary formats is another limitation for fans wanting to share content. For example, Business Insider discussed places to find free reading content. Although they mentioned fan fiction, they ended up plugging Amazon-directed content and no fanfiction archives, perhaps because they failed to mention any eReaders other than Kindles.
    • Similarly, the new app Penned is only for the iPhone. Designed for writing through mobile, the company targets include "novelist, poet, song-writer, fan fiction enthusiast, or blogger." But they are aware of fanfiction archives, saying "[Penned] is strategically positioned in between the more casual-post networks like Twitter & Facebook and longer form writing venues such as Fanfiction.net or publishing an eBook."

    What sharing restrictions to fanworks do you experience? Write about it on 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.

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