2012 Moments in Fandom
Your main fandom of the year?
My fannish participation this year has been consuming the works of others. And by that measure my principle fandoms were Marvel’s Avengers movie, Pitch Perfect, and Once Upon a Time. But that’s misleading. What I actually have been a fan of this year are
1) the updates to AO3 that makes finding the fanfic I want easier for me, and
Tumblr is a TERRIBLE medium for having a conversation. About anything. It’s a TERRIBLE venue for deep conversation. What it is really awesome at is flickering shiny curated visual fanworks — fanart, gifs, cosplay, animated gifs, vids, and show clips — in front of my easily entertained eyeballs.
I appreciate this greatly. I do not want to take the time to learn to make these things. But I love them — I love the cosplay, love the fanvids, love the gifs, love the transformative nature of creative fanworks. Yet, I don’t want to struggle to find things I like. Tumblr makes it easy for me to passively consume the fanworks I enjoy, and it makes it easy for me to pass those on to other people.
“Look at this shiny thing! It’s funny/poignant/sarcastic/queer/assertive/whimsical/whatever! I really like it!”
I appreciate this quality about Tumblr.
Your favorite film you watched this year?
The film I liked the most, from start to finish, as written and performed, was The Avengers. I loved many, many things about that movie. The performances. The characters. The costumes. The sets. The dialog. The messages. The plot. The action. I loved it all. I’ve been reading rather a great deal of Avengers fic on AO3. I like this universe and I like what people are doing with it.
I also like the authorized movie fanfic — namely, Avengers Assembled. This comic is set inside the Marvel comic-verse, but it’s specifically for new readers who loved the movie and want to get inside this world. I recommend it highly.
My other favorite film is a movie I love more in my head than in reality. I watched Pitch Perfect and loved it with a crazy love. But I edit out about … 25% of the film. All the gross-out humor. The humiliation stuff. And about half of the heterosexuality. So. I’ve read ALL the Pitch Perfect fanfic on AO3. But I can’t say the movie was actually my favorite this year. That would be Avengers
Your favorite book read this year?
I read all eighteen of the Kerry Greenwood Phyrne Fisher novels this year. Twice. I’m holding off on starting a third re-read because I have a lot of books on my tablet that I have purchased and not yet read. Plus, as I write this, a three-week backlog on comics. I wrote about the books here. I don’t have much to add to that; I love them to pieces.
Your favorite tv show of the year?
This was tough this year. Game of Thrones? Downton Abbey? Doctor Who? I love those shows, and more besides. But the show that I clearly have the greatest fannish obsession with is Once Upon a Time.
OUaT went from being a show that lost me in the last four episodes of the first season to being a show that I pine for each week. I went back and watch the end of season one, and I am still not impressed with it. But season two keeps me coming back.
Here’s the thing. This is NOT an unproblematic show. The treatment of characters of color is shabby-to-poor. The handling of adoption as a major show theme is wildly variable. I have an auto-dislike of stories that are solved by The Power of True Love — I prefer plots to be resolved by grit, repentance, and true change. Almost all of the male characters are either not written well, not acted well, or both.
This is an ensemble show in which the women — all of the women — are well-written, well-realized, and mostly well-acted.
I harp on how the thing I want in minority representation is VARIETY. I do not want ONE lesbian to represent all lesbians, I want a variety of portrayals. I do not want ONE geeky girl, I want a host of geeky girls and women of all sorts. I do not want ONE character of color whose primary characteristic is that they are not-white, I want diversity. Variety. I want the pantheon of human existence and experience to be represented broadly across the vast bulk of fiction.
OUaT does many things half-assedly. But it represents white women pretty well. And as one portion of the entertainment I consume, I love it.
Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
All my thanks to Anika for pointing this one out to me. Scandal is fantastic.
I realized, halfway through the season two opener, that Scandal is a Vorkosigan story. We have this manically driven leader of a team of misfit crusaders, who work around the edges of a political-military system which is problematic but also the only game in town, fighting to maintain their secrecy, integrity, and position, while also fighting to protect each other.
I could talk more about the specifics but I truly do not want to spoil the show in case any of you intend to watch it.
Snappy dialog? Check.
Attractive actors? Check.
Characters of color in a variety of types of roles? Check.
Men and women in a variety of types of roles? Check.
Poor decision-making based on an over-developed sense of justice? Check.
Poor decision-making based on guilt? Check.
Attempts at redemption? Check.
I do love this show. So very much.
Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
DC Comics has consistently shown that, not only do they not want to support comics I want to read, they aren’t even concerned that I don’t want to read their stuff. This stings, it truly does. But I am comforted by the fact that the wheel turns, and eventually these people will not be in control of characters I like.
Your fiction boyfriend of the year?
Jaqen H’ghar, from season two of Game of Thrones.
Your fiction girlfriend of the year?
Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time.
Natasha Romonov from the Avengers movie.
Dex Parios from the Greg Rucka and Matt Southworth comic, Stumptown. Which is a terrible idea. I should never date any Greg Rucka characters.
Beca from Pitch Perfect.
Quinn Perkins from Scandal
Kate Bishop from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye comic.
And in the want-to-be-them, not want-to-date-them camp:
Carol Danvers from Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel comic.
Ruby from Once Upon a Time.
Your biggest squee moment of the year?
Probably when I saw that Rucka had included Mim in Stumptown. I mean, I squealed audibly, and then all over the internet.
My other squee moments, well, I was trying very hard to be calm and professional, and so the squee manifested as a complete lack of affect. These mostly involve meeting people whose work I have a huge amount of respect for, and getting to tell them how much their work means to me. But this also includes the publication of Chicks Dig Comics, the book I co-edited with Lynne Thomas.
There’s a book out there that I helped put into the world. This made me really damn happy.
The most missed of your old fandoms?
I’m not sure I really missed any this year.
Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
I don’t really know! I try to avoid the marketing associated with fiction properties I love, because the marketing for them makes me angry and avoidant. So I don’t know what’s coming, fannishly. There’s … another Marvel movie? I suppose? And Seanan has a book coming out? Maybe two? And the nineteenth Phryne Fisher book is coming out in January. And … there will be more comics? And tv shows?
Professionally, I have a couple of projects coming out in 2013 that I am really looking forward to.
Past Moments in Fandom posts:
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