Hello again Geeklings.
How’d you spend your weekend? Family stuff? Friend-hanging-out? Homework? Movies/TV/reading/gaming, etc?
Well, I just got back from Toronto Comic Con this weekend. S’awesome! I saw both Rob Liefeld (creator of Deadpool) and Jason Isaacs (Lucious Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, starting with this one, as well as many other things) in Q&As. I saw a couple of great panels on Cosplay. And I got SO MANY buttons! It was a good weekend 😉
And, as these events so often do, it got me thinking about the Fandom Life. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but I do have a little first-hand knowledge of it by this point. The fandom life is an interesting one. It involves a lot of love, a lot of passion and a lot of time. It defines your quiet moments, hanging out on Pinterest or Tumblr or YouTube, or putting on a movie or TV show you’ve been dying to watch. It can be a major part of your social life, going to movie debuts, holding viewing parties, joining bookclubs or going to conventions or exhibits. Many would say that the fandom life is not one they chose but one that chose them (I say that too).
One of my favorite expressions when talking about my geeky interests has always been “It’s not just a passion, it’s a lifestyle.” And it is. Between the communities that exist online, the many ways you can wear and use things with your fandoms on it (I’m drinking from a Kylo Ren mug as we speak), the events and clubs, the new movies, shows and books that are constantly being released…it’s a full on lifestyle. And that’s why we look at non fans and wonder what exactly fills their days (but don’t worry, you can be a fan of lots of things; sports, nature, ceramics, whatevs).
Is the fandom life always an easy and fun road? Nope. Hate to break it to you, but definitely not. You’re basically at the mercy of those who create your fandoms. Your favorite show could be cancelled. Your favorite series could end. Your favorite ship could break up. Your favorite characters could leave. Your favorite characters could (please no!) die. Anything could happen that could bring about a wave of feels.
Plus it could feel kinda lonely, on account of the reactions of people IRL (In Real Life). It’s hard when you absolutely love something and the people around you couldn’t care less about it, or worse think you’re bizarre for having such strong reactions to it. Thankfully we have the internet to help with that, and you can often find a community there, which then translates to real life as you go to conventions and other events. But there’s a reason why the old stereotypes of geeks had them holed up in basements. It’s because the people in our immediate vicinity didn’t get it, and before the internet came along we had to keep mum about those things we loved that others thought were weird. Thank heavens it’s a bit better now.
But, regardless, this kinda life fits me like a glove. And I’m willing to wager that everyone has at least ONE fandom. Even if it’s just a casual love, just something to do while you’re hanging out in between homework or sports or friends or whatnot. Come on! At least one show or book that makes you smile nice and wide. You’re thinking of it right now, aren’t you?
I could list my fandoms, but then we’d be here all night… Well… Should I…? Meh, maybe just the top current ones (yes, they wax and wane, just like any other interest). Let’s see, I’m a (in no particular order and with varying degrees of obsession)…
Gryffindor, Springfielder, Whovian, Jedi (not-so-secretly Sith), Trekker (2nd generation), Sherlockian, Hunter, Night Valian, DC/Marvel Girl, Fannibal, Faller, Crystal Gem, Ringer, Pegasister, fledgling Phantomhive…
*whew* Yep, that’s all i can think of off the top of my head. But those are just a few from the master list. Believe me, I’ve got plenty in my back pocket, and they can pop back out at any time. ANY TIME! (Just the other night I did a quick out-loud ‘woo!’ in the middle of a super grown-up meeting because the guy running it made a reference to The Princess Bride…so, really, the meeting couldn’t have been that super grown-up).
And a fandom you’re a part of can be HUGE or it can be a party of one. It’s all about whatever strikes your fancy. What fandom/fandoms are you into? Or even just what are you a fan of? Post away in the comments section.
Check out this list on PaperFury about the different types of fangirls (could also apply to fanboys too). Which category do you fall under? It’s many for me. I’d say I’m a good mix of Creative Crumpet, Repeat Offender, Recruiter (be careful with that; you could freak newbies out if you come on too strong), Fandom Collector and Offended Defender. And in some situations I gotta be a Part Time Fan or a Closet Nerd, not often but sometimes.
A few last words of wisdom, for what they’re worth; everyone’s fandom is valid. Skip the fandom drama and remember that what speaks to someone is as unique and awesome as the someone themselves. Be kind, be understanding, and remember that as long as no one’s hurting anybody, it’s all good. Remember, our love of fandoms is what unites fans, not necessarily the fandoms themselves. *big pile of hugs*
And check out some books on the subject here, here and here; the first two include some helpful tips on how to find other fans. Until next time, you geeky people of varying degrees, End of Line.