This has been going around Tumblr recently. Not the whole image, but each part of the image as different representations of each fandom. There’s a lot more, and if you’d like to check it out, click here. It’s okay, I can wait while you look it all over.
This is something that makes me smile from time to time. Fandoms. People who really like stuff and rally around liking that stuff. And while doing fan art or writing fan fiction or cosplaying or going to conventions may be the dream of most fans, it’s not what all fans do. You can be a fan of something, and just watch the TV show, movies, or read the book (or in the case of music, listen to the music). There’s no difference between just liking something or surrounding your spare time in your life with something. There’s no difference in the level of appreciation a person has for something whether they collect it obsessively or if they just enjoy it from time to time.
As an example, I really love the Firefly series. I’ve got it on DVD and I watch it from time to time. I will chuckle at quotes from the show and there are characters I really like. But that’s it. Is my love of Firefly any different than someone who dresses like Mal Reynolds (aside from having more creative time than I do)? Or someone who draws fan art of the ship and crew (aside from having better art talent than I do)? Or someone who writes fan fiction (I’m still working on Rocket Fox, I have an excuse!)? I’d say not.
You can crank that up a notch with Tomb Raider. I’ve played most of the games, I’ve watched and own DVDs of all the movies. I used to collect the monthly comic, and now have the complete Tomb Raider omnibus sitting on my book shelf. I have action figures, I have posters. Okay, I don’t cosplay Laura Croft, I’m not sure I could pull it off (though, I think my hair is long enough).
I’m also a big fan of Star Trek. I have each series (except for the original series) on DVD, and yes that includes the animated series. All the movies. Several books, most written by Peter David, including the New Frontier series. I’ve played Star Trey Voyager: Elite Force and Star Trek Elite Force II. I’ve played Deep Space Nine The Fallen. And I currently play Star Trek Online. Yet, there’s still people out there who write fan fiction (okay, I did, I just have to find it, it’s a Star Trek/Hawkworld crossover), do fan art, cosplay and even those who do fan films (check Youtube someday).
The point I’m making can lead back to another point I made about fandoms, but this one surrounding the mythical “fake geek girl”. That girl or woman who reads or is into a comic of series to the point of dressing up as their favourite character. Yet, those examples are often called out as being fake by fanboys who bemoan the fact there’s hardly any women in comics (I wonder why!). The main point is that no matter how much of a fan you are of something, whether you just read the books, watch the movies, whatever, or if you go all out and research the backstories and the merchandise and all of the things you can find, you’re still a fan. One person’s love of a thing is no better or bigger than another person’s love of a thing.
For writers, artists and creators it must be pretty flattering to have that kind of attention. On the one hand, I’d love it, but on the other I’d be slightly embarrassed and rather shocked. Still, it’d be cool if some day, I could see this…