Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have something adorable: actor Dave Bautista reading kids’ bad jokes. You’re welcome. (Warning for autoplay video at link.)
The Mary Sue this week is an article that I had summarized in my notes as “So You’re in Rarepair Hell.” It’s a commiseration piece for those fans who find themselves with an OTP that is eclipsed by the fandom juggernaut ship. “Everything else is about that one other ship, which might be fine but the obsession everyone else has with it is setting your teeth on edge. Congratulations, you’re in the Unpopular Opinion corner.”
The article also offers advice on how to live your best fannish life in your little corner. “First off, find your people,” it says. There are bound to be others who share your ship. “Creating your own fanworks can also be a great way to get those feels out” is next, followed by some amusingly dubious advice about all-night fic writing.
It’s possible to build your own little community around that one weird ship you’ve got… Take it from a perennial small ship shipper — you don’t need to be a big name fan or ship the biggest ship around to have fun.
Have you ever had a rarepair OTP? How did you cope? Let us know in the comments!
There’s been an interesting trend in Korean film fandom recently, according to The Hankyoreh, which recently published an article about the fandoms of the films The Merciless and Herstory. Over the past year, the fandom of The Merciless has been instrumental in resuscitating the film’s theatre run after a lacklustre premier. “This unprecedented fandom, which marked the emergence of a new type of audience, revitalized and prolonged the life of the film with repeated viewing and the organization of group screenings in theaters rented for the occasion.”
This level of dedication is the product of over a decade of increasingly enthusiastic fandom surrounding films in Korea, according to the article, and it shows signs of continuing. The film Herstory is experiencing similar support from its fandom, with people even going so far as to organize a fundraising campaign for the victims of the events that inspired the film.
While some film industry experts warn that even this level of dedication has little effect on decisions made by distribution companies, others argue that that’s not the point.
Min Jin-soo, head of SOO FILM which produced Herstory, claims: “What is important is the fact that they discovered the significance and value of a meaningful film pushed out of the race under the logic of an industrial system and brought it back” and added that “This should be seen as a cultural movement initiated by the public”.
Elsewhere, academics have completed research on the extent of “toxic” Star Wars fandom. According to The Washington Post, tweets were analyzed for offensive language and hate speech. Some people may be surprised at parts of the findings:
Twitter abuse is directed at female fans more often than male fans… I found that male fans received offensively worded tweets about as often as female fans… The difference in hate speech was more dramatic. In tweets to male podcasters, one in 450 tweets contained hate speech. But for female podcasters, about one in 280 tweets contained hate speech.
An article from io9 points out that the study has significant limitations, which are acknowledged in the study’s full paper. However, the article suggests that broadening the scope of the study would yield more stark results.
The sampling came from a very specific subset of online Star Wars fandom: Star Wars podcast Twitter accounts. Sixty-three accounts in total, with 37 operated by men and 26 by women… It’s a sample size that underestimates the scope of how female Star Wars fans interact and express their fandom.
Lastly, how about some fandom history? The Mary Sue recently published an interesting little article about A Fragment Out of Time, a work that is generally considered to be the first slash fanfic in modern fandom. Have you read that fic?
We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.