Fandom and Nerd Chic

Good morning, Flames.
I took the week off from gathering material for the humor series in order to finish my June short story; we will get back to the funny stuff next week. Since I will be attending my first ever Comic Book Convention this weekend, I hoped you would indulge me in a little fandom talk.

Did you know that the very first Comic Book Convention happened in March of 1970? It took place in San Diego and had only 100 attendees. That one-day minicon earned enough interest and revenue that they held a second convention in August of 1970. The second covered three days, saw 300 attendees and had special guests of Ray Bradbury [Sci-Fi author], A. E. van Vogt [Sci-Fi author], and Jack Kirby [comic book artist-Hulk, Captain America, Thor]. After nine years of steadily increasing interest, the conventioners outgrew their hotel basement and moved to a convention and arts center. The modern crowd has exceeded the limits of their latest convention center pressing the convention to spill over to the neighboring hotels and parks as satellite locations for certain events.

Comic-con International: San Diego grew from a handful of young men who loved the escapist worlds they found between vibrantly painted covers and their desire to share that enthusiasm with like-minded people. Now the annual conventions pack out, seeing as many as 130,000 fans in attendance who are drawn to the celebration from around the globe.

In order to spread the excitement around the country, smaller Cons have popped up near major cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. I’ll be attending the Florida Super-con, but Florida seems to have a Con going off somewhere every few months. I’m excited to be going.

I am looking forward to seeing what the Cosplayers have put together. I want to check out a movie at the film festival. It would be cool to see Karen Gillan or Chekov & Uhura in person. There are twice daily writer’s talks by a published author; that’s definitely on my list. I just hope the sheer number of people won’t make it impossible to take part in my pockets of interest. I’m not one for waiting in line.

All of this has me thinking about fandom and how intensely people become involved. As a reader, I have a few authors or storylines that have really resonated with me over the years. Enough that I pursue owning all of the books, seeing all of the movies or related media, indulge in the purchase of trinkets and tchotchkes, read articles about the creators and other participants, engage in discussions with other fans about that particular universe, and each have provided the name for various pets over the years. (A marked improvement over naming my first dog Frosty Milkshake.)

A few of my favorite fandoms:
Jim Butcher’s world with Harry Dresden at the center.
J.K.R.’s wizarding world (perhaps you’ve heard of it).
Doctor Who – I will confess that I watched it as a child when I was permitted, but I did not fall in love with it until I was an adult. Back then I was all about the Tomorrow People.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, though that’s not represented in a fandom per se. It’s more of a quotable way of life.
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
Firefly/Serenity

Then there are the nostalgic things that make me squee — like The Dark Crystal, Legend, and The Labyrinth.

As a writer, I imagine that it must be incredibly rewarding to know that you have created something that inspires so much enthusiasm in people. I don’t necessarily want to be famous as a writer – that’s not what motivates me as a person – but I would love to arouse the imagination of readers to the extent that they bring my fictional world into their physical one and share in it with other people.

Can you imagine what Tolkien would feel if he saw how his four books of Middle Earth had been embraced and reinforced over the decades? I don’t mean the movies alone — in the gaming world Middle Earth is the first source for character archetypes, monsters, and settings. Thanks to Tolkien our most advanced technology is used to allow people to exist in a prehistoric world of magic and battle foes with ancient weapons.

Today, I invite you to talk nerdy to me about your fandoms. Which world of fiction speaks to you? For what do you squeal and cheer and argue to defend?


Lost & Found is almost over. Stay vigilant and keep writing.

We are flamestorming tonight. Be sure to send your request for an invite via email to flamestorming.tng@gmail.com from your gmail account and look for our Google Hangouts invitation before 7:30. It is a text chat, so don’t worry about your hair and feel free to wear your pjs.

 

 

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About t.s.wright

Writer, reader, casual photographer, nature-lover, dog mom. I grew up in a tree, inside a book, whispering possible futures into discarded seed pods that curled up and exploded each summer. One day, they cut down my tree and I was forced to go to school while waiting for the replacement trees to grow strong enough to hold me. But while we waited, I grew too heavy and awkward to climb, so I had to get a job. I spent my days surrounded by flimsy walls covered in carpet that made boxes and people who forgot to look out windows. I worked really hard. Possibilities were replaced with formulas and exactitude. Eventually I forgot how to climb a tree...and how to smile. Then one day, a dog licked my foot excessively and I remembered smiling. That reminded me of more things that didn't cost money and couldn't be tallied in a spreadsheet - like hugs and love and being happy. So I found myself a Steve who reminded me what home was. Then we filled it and our hearts with dogs. Eventually we planted our own tree, together. Even though I'm happy right here, right now, I remembered that we all need possibilities to dream of, so I've started writing them down.
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11 Responses to Fandom and Nerd Chic

  1. Shane Bell says:

    Now you’re speaking my language!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shane Bell says:

    For me it has always been all things
    X-Men and Star Trek.

    Obviously you know i am a huge comic dork and could quite literally go on all day about my favorite comic universe so i’ll leave it at that.

    Lately I’ve also been into all things relating to Hellraiser. Both the books and movies. (Even though the movies are mostly awful past the first two)

    Oh, and speaking of horror franchises im obsessed with…Phantasm. Such a bizarrely rich and interesting world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • t.s.wright says:

      Star Trek is one of those universes that has splintered off into sub-fandoms. I love how it maintains momentum passing from one generation to the next.

      Of all comic book conflict/hero universes the X-Men have always been my favorite. I think it’s the diversity of the abilities and the relatabilty of individuals who do not fit in with mainstream society. The constant struggle to be accepted for who they are is a bonding situation that helps the reader invest in the characters. And the varying personalities of the mutants make it easy to find a particular character to feel aligned with. X-Men has been around so long there is a rich history to keep exploring. I totally agree with you on The X-Men.

      I’m a Clive Barker fan and I have seen two of the Hellraiser movies, but I can’t get through one reading of the book. I need to try again. Sometimes these things are all about timing.

      I recall Phantasm scaring the crap out of me when I was a kid. I want to look for the original and watch it again. My parents were pretty strict with me about scary movies. I woke up screaming often enough I didn’t need to add the nightmare fuel. I blame it on the Baptists teaching me that demons were more real than dinosaurs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. skyllairae says:

    I completely forgot about the FLAMESTORMING 😦 and I wrote a reminder about it yesterday. My brain! I really, really want to catch the next one!

    Anyway…I love this post. I met my husband at a teeny, tiny comic convention in Arkansas.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve never truly “committed” to a fandom. Maybe I’m too lazy … or something. But I would readily join the Joss Whedon fan club (is there one? I’ve never checked.), and I’m crazy about the Terminator movies. I want to love the whole The Game of Thrones franchise but GRR Martin is killin’ me over here already. If Joss Whedon and the Terminator and Daenerys Targaryen ever do the same convention, y’all would tell me right? Give a girl a heads up.

    Oh. PS: I adore anything Ray Bradbury!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-Up | Brigit's Flame Writing Community

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