Why? Well, for one thing, it seems like a perfect example of the hostile environment women have to deal with when they attend conventions. However, the T-shirt’s manufacturer, Tankhead Custom Tees, has just come forward to explain why the shirt isn’t sexist.
“the fangirl/fanboy shirts can best be explained like this: fangirls/boys =/= fans. Fans are people who like and genuinely respect a fandom, and it’s creators. Fangirls/boys are like those creepy fedora wearing neckbearded bronies, or hetalia fanfiction shippers, who make us all collectively cringe in pain at what they do to the things we love.
No one should ever defend these kinds of people. Seriously, they make the rest of us look bad.”
So, just to be clear here, the shirt isn’t insulting toward all women, just the ones who are the wrong kind of fan. And that’s totally not a gendered insult because bronies (i.e. male fans of a media source that’s traditionally aimed at girls) are repulsive as well. Right?
The idea that it’s OK to be disgusted by certain types of fan is pretty widespread in geek culture, and it’s ridiculous to suggest that this habit isn’t connected to sexist prejudice. In the nonsensical social strata of geekdom, “serious” sci-fi literature fans are somewhere at the top, Trekkies and comic book nerds are somewhere around the middle, and anything women are interested in is invariably right down at the bottom. Popular examples: Supernatural, YA novels with female protagonists, fanfiction, shoujo anime, and pretty much anything that’s popular on Tumblr.
It’s no coincidence that “fangirl” is most commonly used to describe women who read and write fanfiction. By the logic of people who use fangirl as a pejorative term, fans who spend hours reading and collecting superhero comics are at the cool, respectable end of the geek scale, while “fangirls” who write tens of thousands of words of superhero fanfic are embarrassing weirdos. In other words, if you conform to the old-fashioned, male-dominated form of fandom then you’re fine, but if you prefer to join the subculture that was primarily founded on the work of female fans, then it’s acceptable to publicly mock you at an event like WonderCon.
Created by comics artist Robyn Kenealy, American Captain a uniquely downbeat take on Steve Rogers, the alter ego of Marvel’s Captain America.
On a superficial level, Captain America is a classic square-jawed superhero, a staunchly moral and patriotic wartime icon who slowly evolved into the Hollywoodized Chris Evans character we know from movies like The Avengers.
Frozen and then reawoken in the present day, in many ways Steve Rogers is one of the most tragic superheroes around: a man trying to find his way in an alien environment, where all his friends are dead or dying of old age. American Captain borrows the diary comic style of indie artists like Robert Crumb and Alison Bechdel to explore how he deals (or doesn’t deal) with adjusting to life in the 21st century.
What made you decide to go this route with Captain America, of all characters? American Captain explores some pretty dark and downbeat topics that most people wouldn’t really associate with a hero that’s often perceived as being very wholesome.
Robyn Kenealey: Honestly I have some skeptical looks for anybody who thinks it’s normal to want to be a superhero. I don’t think it’s normal. I don’t think it’s normal to start fights with people in alleys (defending yourself is one thing. Actively starting fights? You may have some anger issues, son). I don’t think it’s normal to actively let the military put weird stuff in your body. Also, I’m not a fan of the historical consistency with which the military scoops up young men from shitty socio-economic situations and sends them to war.
The other thing I think a lot about in writing Steve’s character is that he’s a baby. He is (given the birthdate in the comics, not the movies), what, 23 when he’s frozen? He’s so, so young to be in the situation that he is. And that’s not unusual, but it is important, because it is so often invisible. So, so often, when you watch movies about WWII, something like Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, or the Cap movies, in that Chris Evans is like 32 or something, you see actors who look like fully grown adults playing all of these these roles that in real life would have been staffed by very young men.
Joss Whedon just surprised fans at the Tribeca Film Festival by pulling a Beyoncé and releasing his new movie online, with no prior warning.
Paranormal love story In Your Eyes premiered at Tribeca and as a $5 Vimeo rental at the same time, meaning that many of the film’s first reviews came from Internet commenters rather than professional movie critics. Starring Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David, the film is a supernatural romance between two people who share a telepathic bond from childhood onwards.
What exactly is going on in South America, and why are hundreds of people in funny robes suffering from shock, broken bones, and… bites?
It must mean only one thing: It’s time for the Quidditch World Cup. And this year, Harry Potter fans who can read dispatches from the unexpectedly dangerous Quidditch stands—as written by J.K. Rowling at Pottermore.
Chaos and mayhem erupted in Patagonia during the 427th World Cup when organizers made the unwise decision to host a parade of magical mascots, some of whom turned on each other. (Apparently, Norwegian lake monsters don’t play well with Fijian shark-men.) The daily writeups come straight from the mouth of former Quidditch pro and reporter Ginny Weasley, who as all die-hard Potter fans know had a career as Seeker for the Holyhead Harpies before becoming the Quidditch correspondent for The Daily Prophet.
Recent reports of crackdowns by Chinese officials on young female fans who write slash have sent waves of alarm throughout international fandom waters.
A new investigative report from Anhui TV claims that Chinese authorities have arrested at least 20 people for the crime of writing male/male fanfic—mostly polite, introverted young women in their 20s.
The increased attention to slash is part of a recently announced Internet “cleanup" by China’s National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications. It’s apparently been tasked with deleting any kind of pornographic online content.
The whitewashing reportedly includes all text, pictures, videos, and advertisements. It also seems to include slash fic—specifically male/male slash and its Japanese cultural counterpart, yaoi or Boys Love. In China, it all falls under the term “dan mei.”
Slash is only one form of the many kinds of fanfiction on the Internet, and fanfiction in general is rarely more shocking than your average romance novel. But it seems some Chinese authorities have targeted slash and the young women who write it as a particularly appalling form of online pornography.
Online fandoms are now the popular media equivalent of the tech world’s early adopters. If you can get people to start blogging and tweeting about your TV show or movie, half the work is already done.
The good news is, your social media campaign doesn’t even need to be all that subtle. If you say that you’ll release the newDivergent trailer after a thousand retweets, a thousand fans will retweet you, cheerfully aware that they’re own Twitter feeds are being used for advertising purposes. Even fast food joints are trying to build their own fandoms, with Denny’s currently in the lead thanks to their inexplicably cool Tumblr presence.
Inevitably, there’s now a lucrative market for social media consultants who can engineer online fandoms from scratch, with the fans as willing participants in the deal. It’s an “if you build it, they will come,” kind of situation. Fans want to show support for their favorite TV show or movie, even if they’re completely aware that it’s a cynical marketing ploy. In the era of Facebook communication, you are what you Like.
In a recent episode of PBS documentary series Frontline, Douglas Rushkoff took a look at various social media fandoms from the ground up. With YouTube star Tyler Oakley at the most organic end of the popularity scale and the Hunger Games movies as the most professionally cultivated example, all of those fandoms had one thing in common: a desire to feel closer to your idols, even if the most tangible sign of that relationship is a retweet.
If you’ve seen Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, you may have noticed something a little weird about the semi-Biblical, semi-apocalyptic cast of the movie: they’re all white. Even the extras.
In an interview with The Higher Calling, Noah screenwriter Ari Handel spoke about the reasoning behind the lack of racial diversity in the cast.
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’ Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”
In summary, white people are stand-ins “for all people,” and no other race could possibly qualify for “everyman” status. Ari Handel’s reasoning is that the only way to dispense with the issue of racism is to remove everyone who isn’t white. Asking what happened to all the other races is akin to nitpicking about whether the arc would float or not. It’s just silly, OK? “The race of individuals doesn’t matter,” which is why they made absolutely sure that all of those individuals were white. Or something.
Unintentionally, Handel managed to illustrate everything that’s wrong with the ongoing attitude towards casting actors of color in major Hollywood movies. White people are the norm, and everyone else is just a distraction. God forbid anyone attempt to be as diverse as the cast of the Star Trek, which debuted in 1966 and included a grand total of two non-white characters.
1) Food. As the first of the laws, food may not be conjured, created or generate in any way shape or form.
2) Money. Similar to food, Money may not be created out of thin air. Contradictory to muggle belief, magical laws governing money prevent it from being created, moved or altered by magic
3) Life. The most prime principle of magic; there is no spell to reawaken the dead.
4) Knowledge. You cannot know something you’ve never heard of. Therefore, as the fourth exception, knowledge can be neither conjured nor generated by magic. Proof of this fact lies in that Aurors are unable to conjure the location of criminals, nor students conjure up the necessary knowledge to pass tests and the sort.
5) Love. The fifth exception is love. “Love Potions” are misleading in that they claim to generate love, however they do in fact only generate a deep sense of lust or desire. There is no way to conjure or generate love – it must be created from within.
The 5 Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Magic; Transfigurations 101, Lesson 1.
“The weird, impenetrable nature of Homestuck has led to it becoming a kind of mini-culture on the fringes of the more mainstream fandom community, with no one quite sure how to classify it. “Webcomic” seems OK, but but only because it feels kind of pretentious to describe it as a “multimedia storytelling experience.” Even convention organizers don’t know what to do with Homestuck. Its fans show up in droves to virtually every anime con, but it very clearly isn’t anime. Basically, Homestuck needs a place of its own. And that’s where Paradox Space comes in.”—'Homestuck' creator announces a new website as fans celebrate (and mourn) 4/13
Among Star Wars aficionados, there is one age-old question that separates the wheat from the chaff: Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
If you say Han, you’re a true fan of Han Solo’s original characterization as a morally ambiguous rogue. If you say Greedo, then you’re clearly a George Lucas stooge with no respect for canon. (If you say “Who the hell is Greedo?” then just FYI, it’s this green alien dude from the first Star Wars movie.)
Now, thanks to Harrison Ford’s RedditAMA on Sunday afternoon, we can now know the definitive answer to Who Shot First:
Is Agent Jasper Sitwell’s lack of popularity is a combination of bad luck and unappealing characterisation, or was it influenced by racial bias?
When Sitwell was killed off in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it was clear that his character arc had many similarities to that of Agent Coulson, who was resurrected following the hugely popular #CoulsonLives campaign. But a week and a half after Sitwell’s death, his equivalent fan campaign, #IBelieveInSitwell, is not exactly taking off.
So, why does everyone love Coulson so much more than Sitwell? What makes them so different?
Well, while Joss Whedon bumped up Coulson’s tertiary role to that of a lovable everyman hero in The Avengers, Sitwell was revealed to be a sleeper agent for the evil HYDRA organization. But as we already know, being evil has nothing to do with a character’s popularity. Just look at Loki, who tried to commit genocide in Thor and attacked New York in The Avengers, but is still widely beloved throughout Marvel fandom. If being a mass-murdering alien overlord isn’t enough to put people off, then Sitwell’s apparent HYDRA defection can presumably be humanized as well.
The 1982 Atari game for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is famously the “worst game ever made.” In fact, it was such a disaster that all the unsold copies were rumored to have been dumped in a New Mexico landfill site, giving rise to one of the most popular unsolved urban legends in gamer culture.
Now, that landfill is going to be excavated. Meaning that we’ve already reached the point where 1980s video game history counts as archaeology. Feeling old, yet?
It took 17 episodes, but Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally the show we were all hoping it would be in the first place.
It’s no secret that many fans were disappointed by the show’s early episodes, complaining about simplistic villain-of-the-week storylines and bland characterization. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. began to turn around after a couple of months, but nothing could’ve prepared its audience for this week’s tie-in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, during which (spoiler alert!) the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. organization was gutted by hundreds of HYDRA sleeper agents.
Imagine a TV series about the janitorial staff at the Death Star, all leading up to the realization that they’d been working for the bad guys all along. That’s basically what happened in this week’s episode, complete with the equivalent of Luke Skywalker blowing everything up at the end.