Fans got real 'Game of Thrones' tattoos at Comic-Con
This weekend, Game of Thrones is back at Comic-Con with a “Survive the Realm” experience that once again includes all of the above, except instead of a drawing on paper, HBO is offering a more permanent way to show your love of the series—by drawing directly on you.
'Outlander' has major fandom appeal, but will its author's stance on fanfic hurt the show?
Starz’ appeal to Internet fandom makes perfect sense, because the Outlander books have always inspired a passionate following of fan clubs and discussion forums. The TV series is definitely something that people will become obsessed with, rather than simply tuning in and enjoying every week like Downton Abbey.
Unfortunately, this media strategy is more than a little ironic once you know about Diana Gabaldon’s attitude toward fandom.
The problem is, Diana Gabaldon really doesn’t like fanfiction.
in 2010, she wrote a blog post on the topic of fanfiction, saying, “I think it’s immoral, I know it’s illegal, and it makes me want to barf whenever I’ve inadvertently encountered some of it involving my characters.” She goes on to compare fanfiction to seducing her husband or breaking into her home.
This post was quickly deleted, but not before being saved and reposted by many fans due to the furoreit caused. Fan writers are happy to keep their fanfiction private and separate from its original inspiration, but nobody reacts well to being told their hobby is disgusting and wrong. This was the worst way anyone could break the fourth wall between fans and creators.
On another occasion, Gabaldon wrote that “99% of [fanfiction] is Just Awful, and it’s revolting to see your characters being made to do and say idiotic things, or be forced to enact simple-minded sex fantasies (which is what most fan-fic that comes to my unwilling attention is). Like someone selling your children into white slavery.”
This all makes a lot less sense once you learn that Gabaldon has admitted on several occasions that her inspiration came from Doctor Who. Specifically, the time-traveling 18th century Scotsman Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines. The male protagonist of the Outlander series is, of course, named Jamie Fraser. It’s easy to argue that Outlander is a kind of fanfiction itself, or at least it began that way.
If you’re familiar with San Diego Comic-Con lore, then the phrase “Hall H” probably strikes a sense of awe and terror into your heart. If not, then the simplest explanation is that when you see photos of people sleeping on the floor at Comic-Con, it’s probably because they’re queueing for Hall H.
Hall H is the biggest theatre at SDCC, and it’s where all the major movie panels take place. For the past few years, the evening timeslot has been dominated by Marvel Studios, leading to iconic moments like the unveiling of the Avengers cast, or Tom Hiddleston showing up to give a speech in-character as Loki.
Last year, more than 130,000 people went to SDCC, and the queue for Hall H was estimated to be more than a mile long.
The Hall H queue has become such an infamously marathon-like exercise that managing to get inside the hall itself is considered an impressive feat.
Friday’s Marvel TV panel revealed that Agent Carter will be employing plenty of heavy-hitters behind the scenes.
Along with showrunners Tara Butters and Michelle Fazekas, the first episode was written by Captain America: The Winter Soldier screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, with the directors of Winter Soldier working on episodes two and three. Joe Johnston, director ofCaptain America: The First Avenger, wants to make episode four.
This is all excellent news for Agent Carter. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which tested the waters as Marvel’s first foray into live-action TV, employed a roster of established sci-fi TV writers and directors, but very few big names from Marvel Studios itself. Joss Whedon directed the first episode, but had no credited involvement after that.
The fact that Marvel is re-hiring so many of the creative minds behind the Captain America movies indicates that they’re treating Agent Carter as a very serious investment.
“While many authors deserve the credit for the recent renaissance of young adult and middle grade fiction, there’s one in particular who was a catalytic force in propelling literature for children into the larger sphere, driving millions of readers to bookstores, and sparking a massive, global movement of fans. Earlier books on quirky, sweet, delightful subjects gave way to progressively darker ones that still retained a characteristic whimsy and sense of humor, and this author’s fame only grew with each title. The author’s public appearances were greeted by thousands of screaming fans, and the books led to movie adaptations and to a whole new fandom.
You might thinking I’m talking about John Green, the current media darling, who’s been repeatedly credited with making YA mainstream, but, actually, I’m not. I’m talking about J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, which weren’t just groundbreaking and didn’t just inspire a new revival in children’s literature. They shaped an entire generation.”—
Supernatural has a long history of meta episodes, with mixed results.
For Supernatural’s 200th episode, it looks like we’ll be getting another one-off gimmick storyline, but hopefully not one that will annoy the fans. Like Buffy and Scrubs did in the past, Supernatural is going to be doing a musical episode. Or in the words of showrunner Jeremy Carver, “musical-ish.”
“We’re going pretty meta. I would just describe it as something of a love letter to our fans and there will be songs,” Carver told E!Online. He wouldn’t reveal whether Sam and Dean would be singing, but added that there would “potentially” be some dancing involved, and that the soundtrack would be a mixture of covers and original songs.
“It’s important to understand the difference between drag culture and trans reality. The former can be about performance, exaggeration, and entertainment; the latter is about people’s actual lives… Many of us are uneasy when our lives are mistaken for “performance,” and it’s disrespectful to trans people to conflate the two.
As for Rocky Horror, here’s another delightful piece of subversive drag culture… But remember that, while Frank N. Furter sings that he’s a “sweet transvestite from Transylvania,” he’s not an actual trans woman any more than Al Jolson in blackface is actually Thurgood Marshall.”—Jennifer Finney Boylan, “Five Bad Questions to Ask a Transgender Person”
“Nevertheless, there’s merit in considering the possibility that maybe the fanboys who have interpreted Fight Club’s themes literally and even taken them to heart, are missing the point.”—Opinion piece from Chris Ostendorf - "What we talk about when we talk about ‘Fight Club’
“In order to quantify its metric, GLAAD introduced the Vito Russo test, patterned after the Bechdel Test and named for the author of the seminal work on Hollywood queer representation, The Celluloid Closet. The Vito Russo test breaks down effective or complex queer representation into three components. The film must have:
* A character who is “identifiably” gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
* Who is not “solely or predominantly defined” by their sexual or gender identity—that is, it’s not the only thing you know about them
*Whose presence actually has a purpose within the plot of the story.”—
Applying the Vito Russo Test to the number of films released gives an even bleaker picture of the state of GLBTQ representation in Hollywood, as the majority of the films which included queer or genderqueer representation only featured characters for a few seconds, and often purely as the brunt of a gay joke, a source of “gay panic,” or other offensive humor.
Still, there were some bright spots, notably Lionsgate’s Peeples, which presented a positive queer relationship to a predominantly African-American viewership, and Sony’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which introduced a fandom favorite in the queer romance of Magnus/Alec, which will hopefully get more screentime as the series continues.
William Shatner is on Tumblr now, and he’s taking his role as Internet Grandpa very seriously.
His first proper Tumblr post is a review of Facebook’s Mentions app, which is only accessible to famous people with verified Facebook profiles. This public review kind of defeats the purpose of the elite, members-only atmosphere of Facebook Mentions—particularly because Shatner concludes that Mentions is no better than the normal Facebook apps that are already available to the rest of us peasants.
Either success has gone to Netflix’s head or the king of the over-the-top content market has gone soft.
Either success has gone to Netflix’s head or the king of the over-the-top content market has gone soft in announcing its new lineup of upcoming shows.
There’s no breakthrough fare in the realm of House of Cards or trend-setting comedic dramas along the lines of Orange Is the New Black. Other than a previously announced late-night talk show from Chelsea Handler (which will likely land somewhere between the chat shows from Pat Sajack and Arsenio Hall), live programming is missing, as are sports, which will be needed to move Netflix from threat to disruptor.
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.