Why do some characters inspire a ton of fanfiction, while others are perennially ignored?
The true answer would probably require an entire book to articulate, but this is just one of the questions raised by this year’s unofficial census of the most popular fanfic pairings on Archive of our Own.
One of Ao3’s strengths is its tagging system, which is stupendously in-depth. It allows writers to make their work searchable through various categories including fandom, pairing, word count, and an ever-expanding list of more specific content tags.
These tags make it very easy to see which topics are popular among fanfic writers—or at least, among the fanfic writers on Ao3. Using the ship tags, Tumblr user centrumlumina has figured out the 100 most popular pairings on Ao3, a sequel to last year’s census.
The most noticeable trend is that 71 of the top 100 pairings are male/male slash, with the vast majority of popular relationships being between two white characters. The first character of color shows up at No. 23: Scott McCall from Teen Wolf, paired with his ex-girlfriend Allison Argent.
We know Kamala Khan is popular, but what does a sixth printing really mean?
Kamala Khan has enraptured the world as many times as she’s saved it. Now, the plucky Pakistani-American teen who made history as the new Ms Marvel, comics’ first ever lead Muslim superhero, is getting a rare sixth printing—and heralding a new era of diversity in comics.
Although the world of comics occupies an increasingly large part of the pop cultural domain—last year the industry did about $800 million in sales—the number of people who actually buy comics is relatively small. Most comics only average about 3,000 copies per printing; with Kamala now on her sixth printing, she’s headed towards a whopping 20,000 print copies sold.
Still, to put things in perspective, sixth printings are major milestones in the world of comics. Spider-Man Issue #583, the one with President Obama on the cover, only made it to a fifth printing despite making international headlines. Kamala now joins an elite lineup of bestselling comics that have performed beyond all expectations.
The facts were these: DashCon was a convention for Tumblr users. Once the convention was in full swing, organizers suddenly told attendees that they needed to crowdfund $17,000 in hotel fees or they’d be shut down. In cash and via Paypal, the 1000-1500 conventiongoers somehow managed to scrape this money together.
Since DashCon’s explanation is more than 4,000 words long, plus illustrations, here’s our breakdown of the most important parts.
Refunds from the $17,000 fundraiser
Anyone who wants their donation refunded should contact the admins before 11.59pm Saturday, the organizer-set cutoff date.
Paypal refunds should be easy enough, but it’s unclear how the organizers will verify which cash donation claims are genuine. People just handed over money during the fundraiser, with a high proportion of attendees being teenagers who were probably worried about being thrown out of the hotel.
Amazingly, DashCon 2015 is still happening. In their tearful apology on the last night of the convention, one of the admins talked about learning from the mistakes of DashCon 2014. The press release adds, “The backlash has been severe, but we won’t be defeated so easily.”
The post ends on a familiar note: a Paypal donation button.
Netflix has quietly stopped sending Saturday shipments to customers of its DVD subscription service, a move that could save the company 10% annually on shipping costs, one analyst estimates.
Last year the U.S. Postal Service considered ending Saturday mail delivery, leading to a report that said the change could make Netflix more profitable. Ultimately, the USPS backed off its plan to end Saturday deliveries, but Netflix has gone through with it.
“When Jerry Spinelli’s young-adult novel Stargirl was released in 2000, it received instant critical acclaim. The titular stargirl’s freewheeling hippie lifestyle (she changes her name every few years, because she can) makes a big impact on the story’s protagonist, a boy trying to find his place in high school and in life.
Of course he’s drawn to her nonconformist ways, her unconventional wisdom and beauty; and in the end, as she leads her high school in a conga line out the door and into the night only to mysteriously disappear, she has miraculously imbued upon all her classmates the ability to accept each other as they are. She leaves the boy’s life as she enters: the Mary Poppins of coming-of-age narratives and mystical revelations.
Stargirl was a bestseller, an award-winner, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In 2007, author Jerry Spinelli released a sequel, Love, Stargirl. That same year, film critic Nathan Rabin published a review of Elizabethtown in which he coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”—"How the Manic Pixie Dream Girl label became a monster"
“Within this tome of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man,” said Cerone. "So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
Cerone is partly right: It did take a while for Constantine be seen with another guy in the Hellblazer comics. Constantine seems to be attracted more often to women than he is to men. However, his first appearance was in 1985, with Hellblazer becoming a regular series in 1988. By 1992 he was mentioning ex-boyfriends, but it took a few more years before his bisexuality became more overt.
Cerone’s “maybe in 20 years” comment refers to the fact that it took until 2002 for Hellblazer to show Constantine in a full-blown love scene with another man. But in the context of a TV series airing in 2014, it should be easy enough to just have him make an offhand comment about having dated men in the past.