2010 Moments in Fandom

I ganked this meme from LJ and Caroline —

Your main fandom of the year?


I think my biggest fandom this year was Twitter. I still love this social proprioception. I love hearing about the days my friends are having, as well as the days of various writers, artists, celebrities, or people I vaguely met at a convention that one time. Twitter gives all of these people a human face that I find compelling. I like hearing about Felicia Day’s WoW characters. I like hearing about the workplace holiday party a blogger I’ve never met is at, and what sort of drinks she is having. I like the picspam, the James-Marsden-rickrolls, I like the twelve-part rants about politics, feminism, marketing, horse racing, Bruce Springsteen, or the cultural meaning of the word “cock.” Rants divided into brief little snippets and sent out to the masses.

I like sending my words out and not knowing who will respond. I like chiming in on a question of bathroom tile colors or dog breeds. I like reporting the weather to people around the world and reading, in turn, the weather reports from four continents. I like seeing three days of Halloween costumes.

From Twitter this year I have learned about violent riots, legislative results, border wars, earthquakes, and floods. I have learned about airports conditions worldwide. I learned that a favorite character may be getting a tv show. I have learned of new bands I now like and new books I have now read.

Twitter is suited, well-suited, to the way I like to interact with the broader world. I have been and remain a fan.

My second-biggest fandom is still comics. I mostly avoid the larger haunts of comics fandom, though. I don’t read the main news sites or post to ANY message boards. That’s because I love comics too much to devote my time to the pervasive negativity I found in those places. Whatevs, y’all. I’ll read my comics and write my essays and reviews for Fantastic Fangirls. I’ll write emails and tweets to the creators whose work I enjoy, pleading with them to keep being as awesome as they are. Comics are, along with RPGs, my deepest and longest-lasting fannish loves. The longer I read comics, the more awesome they get.

Your favorite film watched this year?

Easy A, reviewed here.
The Runaways, reviewed here.
Black Swan, reviewed here.

Your favorite book read this year?

Other Powers, by Barbara Goldsmith. My review, here.
Denial: A Memoir of Terror, by Jessica Stern. My review on Goodreads.
Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by David Grann. Extremely brief thoughts on Goodreads.
Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, by Sara Marcus. My review.

My Goodreads page can be found here.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?

I did a whole post about this. Two posts, actually.

Your favorite TV show of the year?

This has got to be a tie between Fringe and Hellcats. I talk about Fringe further down, when I discuss Agent Olivia Dunham, and I review Hellcats here.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome

Oh dear sweet crickets, I love these shows.

You can look up both shows on TVTropes, Mai-HiME, Mai-Otome, or you can look them up on Wikipedia here or here. And if you read all four of those links you will get a fairly good sense of the show. But none of that conveys the sheer unbridled force of the repressed sexuality, the hyped-up heightened emotions, the drama, and the intensity of the shows.

All the anime I’ve ever seen is about intense emotions. Usually repressed in some way until the emotions are undeniable and come exploding to the surface. This is, clearly, a self-selecting data pool, but it is what keeps me coming back to anime. That, and the women.

For reasons I do not entirely understand, manga and anime are formats rich in titles featuring a cast of women. Whether it’s the “harem” genre, like Love Hina, or the “magical girl” genre, there are a ton of shows and comics that have easily a half-dozen female characters, or more. And these a leads and major supporting characters, not walk-ons. Forget about the absurdly low hurdle of the Bechdel Test. These shows, and Mai-HiME and Mai–Otome in particular, show the variety an complexity of the relationships women have with other women.

In the Mai shows we have platonic love, maternal or sisterly dynamics, hero-worship, asexual crushes, sexual crushes, bitter jealousy, and twisted sexual aggression. We have best friends, lovers, and rivals. And these relationships grow over the course of the shows, shifting and changing as the characters grow. These women, these girls, they are people, flawed and fallible and transcendent. How could I not love these shows?

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

I am most frequently disappointed by comics. But that’s only because I care so deeply about them. I won’t list the specific titles that disappointed me here, because it’s all water under the bridge. Suffice it to say, it only hurts because I love.

Your TV boyfriend of the year?

I don’t want to DATE the guys from Terriers — in fact, their lives are so chaotic and messed-up I don’t want them in the same state I live in. But Hank Dolworth and Britt Pollack are the best-written, best-acted, best-conceived male characters I saw on television this year. In, I might add, an amazingly well-written and -produced television show that was cancelled after thirteen episodes. Tim Minear worked on the show, did I mention that? (You can find Tim on Twitter, as @CancelledAgain.)

Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Olivia Dunham.

Agent Dunham did not impress me the first few times I watched Fringe. In fact, the show did not impress me. But this post here explains a number of reasons why you might like the show. And I’m going to quote a bit here about why, specifically, I like Agent Dunham so very much.

”Olivia Duhnam is will push herself to her limits to protect people and solve the case, but she is not so good with Talking about Feelings. She loves deeply; she will literally go to the other side of the world, and beyond, for just a chance to save someone. She’s just much, much better in situations where she can lean in someone’s face threateningly, or use her gun. Or if she can just swagger her way through it. She’s good at swaggering.

That, my friends, is tight wrapped fury in motion.

Olivia Dunham does not damsel in distress; she can and will save herself, thank you very much. The first time she is full on captured by Bad Guys, she ends up strapped to a medical table, and starts sniffling about if they are going to kill her, could she please have a glass of water? Cue me sighing. Then she talks the henchmen into untying her hands so she can sit up and drink. She immediately smashes the glass over his head, and fights her way out of the building. On top of that, she fills her pockets with evidence of what they were up to, and then quickly hides it as soon as she is out the facility, so she can come back for it, once she’s sure she can get it into the hands of people she trusts. Competency.

Competence, intelligent, empathy disguised as emotional unavailability; god, I do love Agent Dunham.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

I got published.

I really, really, REALLY am pleased about this. Like, a huge amount. A lot. Oh, yes, I am full of squee. A month later and the squee has not abated.

The most missed of your old fandoms?

I’ve been feeling nostalgic this year for Theatrical Muse. I don’t have the time for it, not in a million years, but it was amazing fun.

The fandom you haven’t tried yet, but want to?

Huh, nothing comes to mind. Mostly because I have no time.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

I’m keen on this whole “being published” thing that I’ve just started. I look forward to it continuing. But that’s not really a FAN anticipation. I’m looking forward to Wiscon and CONvergence, both because of the people who will be there. I am excited to see a lot of friends-I-have-made-on-the-internet (see the above-mentioned Twitter) and to catch up in person with friends I see only a couple times a year.

It’s the people that make the fandom. The people. The bright, shining, wicked smart, articulate, passionate, devoted, insane, creative, witty, living breathing people. Without them — without you — there is no fandom.

One Response

  1. […] For your reference and mine, here is last year’s Moments in Fandom post. […]

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