Welcome to FanDumb!

This is FanDumb, a blog I wrote from 2006-2008. I poked fun at all different kinds of fandom and geek culture, such as science fiction, fantasy, comics and anime.

I’ve cut a lot of posts and tidied up the rest, leaving a collection of some of FanDumb’s “greatest hits.” These posts have held up reasonably well over time and serve as a pretty good sample of the blog’s contents. You’ll find…

GAMES, like the “Buck Rogers Space Gun Challenge”…  

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GLIMPSES of the stranger corners of fandom, like “Hellraiser/Star Trek: Weirdest Crossover Ever?” and a look at fans’ fondness for the band Linkin Park…

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ROUNDUPS of contrarian fan commentary, like “Rowling Sucks! An Antidote to Mass Hysteria” and “Stargate Wasn’t All That.”

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You can also check out the most controversial (and popular) series of posts in FanDumb’s history, which questioned the value of fantasy novels. The first of these was “Don’t Talk To Me About Reading, Or, Cranky Much?”

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Other favorite moments of mine were talking to Jesus about Battlestar Galactica, comparing fan culture to Project Runway and discovering a connection between Vladimir Putin and H.P. Lovecraft’s octopus monster, Cthulu.

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You can also scroll through the posts in the usual reverse order, of course. Happy reading!

-Etelka Lehoczky
2013

Mazes and Monsters Lives On

mazes-cover-22Looking up Mazes and Monsters, Rona Jaffe’s 1981 novel about Dungeons & Dragons, for a previous post introduced me to an astonishing phenomenon: the Mazes and Monsters fan community. Yes, it exists! Sort of!

There are two things worth noting about the Mazes and Monsters fan community.

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Comics Shoes: Stylin’ or Stupid?

Food for thought: Comics shoes.

FANBOYS: If your girlfriend showed up sporting these, what would you do? Multiple choice options after the jump!

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Nerdin’ it Old School

I bring you the following YouTube clip, which may at first seem to have little to do with fandom, because it features a type of person you don’t see too much these days: the hyper nerd.

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sarah-jessica-parker-square-pegsRemember that archetype? It was Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles/Weird Science, David Lightman in Wargames, Ronnie Miller in Can’t Buy Me Love, JayJay in Mazes and Monsters. (More about Mazes and Monsters next week.) And of course there was always one hyper nerd on those 1980s high-school TV shows. Even Her Stylishness Sarah Jessica Parker used to be one.

These days nerds have mostly given way to geeks, who are nerds who have an area of expertise that serves as a kind of power center. Even when they’re pallid, overweight and/or slightly smelly, geeks can muster up a wall of scorn for lesser beings that’s more-or-less analogous to coolness. Which is fine. But I miss hyper nerds. They remind me more of myself.

Thus, I present these guys, appearing in The Very Best Supaman Video Ever Of All Time. It’s been ages since I’ve seen anyone act this unselfconsciously dorky. They spell it “Soldier Boy!” And check out their little “gatt blowing a guy away” pantomime at -1:04. Awesome!

Nerds Forever!
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Fan Pumpkins

Here’s some Halloween pumpkins with fan themes. Follow the jump for Star Wars, Spiderman, Dr. Who, Shaun of the Dead and more.

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Blade Runner’s Hong Kong (Or, How to Read Those Dull Academic Papers)

Blade-Runner-posterIt’s so frustrating to run across an academic paper about your favorite comic or movie or TV show. Academics always say one or two smart things and then spend the rest of a 20-page paper gabbling about incomprehensible theories we ordinary people don’t have time for.

It’s kind of cute, really. I picture a tenure-seeking associate professor of film or cultural studies (like the authors of 90% of these papers) tapping away on her trusty laptop — until she’s brought up short! She realizes she’s gone three whole paragraphs without citing Slavoj Žižek and she’s in danger of failing the intellectual Voight-Kampff test! TIME TO GET THEORY’D UP!!

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For a normal person, the only way to read one of these articles is according to the following rule:

If a paragraph has a lot of scholarly references, skip it.

Take this neat paper I found about how Blade Runner and other movies with a grunge-tech vibe (Ghost in the Shell, Johnny Mnemonic, Akira, Hackers) all used one particular area of Hong Kong as their template. What makes a scruffy Asian urban neighborhood more “futuristic” than a scruffy American urban neighborhood? Answers after the jump.

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Rowling Sucks Some More: An Anti-Potter Saturnalia

deathly-hallows-cover Just to sustain the unproductive negativity of the last post, here’s another round of J.K. Rowling-bashing for anti-Potterites or just people who enjoy being all “nonconformist” and stuff.

First, a couple of helpful links: To skip reading Deathly Hallows at all, go here. Also, you can watch Brad Neely’s Sorcerer’s Stone commentary soundtrack on YouTube.

But enough of that. Let’s get hurtful!

Infectious_Mononucleosis_3“I HATE HAVING MONO and having to work on Harry Potter night. I thought I was going to die. We had a line wrapped around for 4.5 hours. I had to step away a few times before I blew chunks in someone’s latte. I hope Harry dies.”LiveJournaler Kelly

“AMERICA, YOUR TASTE IN READING SUCKS, your reading comprehension is poor, and you wouldnt know the difference between a static and dynamic character if they both hit you.” — MySpacer Johnny Trash

“PATRONIZING, VERY CONSERVATIVE, HIGHLY DERIVATIVE … a pedestrian, ungrammatical prose style which has left me with a headache …” — Whitbread book award judge Anthony Holden

More after the jump…

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Rowling Sucks! An Antidote to Mass Hysteria

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Jo.

 Sick of J. K. Rowling? Me too. Whether you hate Harry Potter or just need a palate cleanser, here are a few choice anti-Potter rants for your misanthropic snuggle-time.

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Dot.

GOBLET OF FIRE WAS NOT a book to be put down lightly but, as Dorothy Parker once put it, to be hurled with some force to the corner of the room. Rowling’s prose is as flat (and as English) as old beer, while Harry himself is not a boy of depth or subtlety.” — Guardian (U.K.) literary editor Robert McCrum

“THE MAIN BAD GUY IS A TOTAL BITCH. He’s like a combination of the Penguin from the old Batman and Robin TV show and one of the bad guys from Scooby Doo, always getting punked by a kid. At this point, how threatening can he be?” — blogger Kevin Palmer (PointlessBanter.net)

“IF YOU CALL ME A MUGGLE I am going to rip out your larynx with my nephew’s Tonka truck backhoe.” — Kevin Palmer again (PointlessBanter.net)

MORE after the jump…

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