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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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.

gandalf-pumpkin Continue reading

Fantasy throwdown finale

Just FYI, I finally cobbled together a response to the screaming hordes of fantasy fans calling for my head in the “Don’t Talk to Me About Reading” post. You can read it here.

For your convenience, the “Fantasy Throwdown” — the most popular and most vilified series of posts in the storied history of this blog — went like this:

The original post: “Don’t talk to me about reading — or, cranky much?”

The followup: Yeeeeaugh! More on the fantasy throwdown”

The Postscript: Where I explain myself… again.

Yeeeeaugh! More on the fantasy throwdown

frankenstein-castle-torch-mobSomething awe-inspiring happened today.

People actually… uh… read this blog.

Unfortunately, they all hate me.

(More after the jump.)

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Don’t Talk To Me About Reading, Or, Cranky Much?

Have you ever noticed how much fantasy fans read? It’s really astonishing. My fantasy-fan friends have always had the most packed bookshelves, even more than mystery/thriller fans. (Sci-fi fans can’t even compare.) One time I saw an apartment whose owners had a large room devoted to their mostly-fantasy book collection. They had giant shelves lined up across the room library-style, all packed with paperbacks. You literally had to use an aisle between the shelves to cross the room. It was wild.

Of course, they’re really proud of this chew-through-the-phonebook capacity. Take for instance the recently concluded Once Upon A Time Challenge sponsored by the blog Stainless Steel Droppings. Continue reading

I Told You That Bitch Was Crazy

Do you ever wonder how your fandom stacks up to others, craziness-wise?

arkham-asylum

Like, say you’re a comic book guy. When it’s time to head for the Great Mental Institution In The Sky, are you and your friends going to be walking behind the Ren Faire people, or will the sound of lutes and fifes be filtering up from the rear as you set your Chuck T-clad foot upon the first great marble step? (Actually, you can probably feel pretty safe that it’ll be the former — for what that’s worth. Be ready to stare at a lot of fat butts in farthingales as you trudge past Normal People Heaven.)

(And yeah, once you pass the Pearly Gates, the Great Mental Institution In The Sky is actually farther back than Normal People Heaven. But that’s just because they built it first!)

Anyhoo, I now know without a doubt who the craziest fans are. It’s anime fangirls.

fullmetal-alchemist Li’l Tuffy has recently become addicted to certain obliquely homoerotic Japanese television shows. And I want to gab about them. But it’s impossible, because Every Single Anime Fan In America is a nerdy, high-strung 20-year-old college girl. Which means everyone on anime fan forums is, too. And yeesh, I never used to worry about the State Of America’s Youth, but I’m telling you … you would quail.

The latest example: In the Livejournal community devoted to my favorite show, I posted a topic saying, “I think the movie version sucks. Let’s talk about why.” So, natch, all these people post reasons why it doesn’t suck. Including one person who asks why I have to be “so negative.”

But one brave soul begs to differ! She starts her post with, “I don’t want to offend anyone, but I actually agree with Tuffy.”

She doesn’t want to OFFEND ANYONE …

By criticizing a MOVIE.

It gets better! I posted a reply saying something like, “I think your opinions are heresy and you should be tarred and feathered.” Some over-the-top joke like that. And…

She DELETED HER POST

and

APOLOGIZED.

So, yeah. There it is. When I die, I’m finding a way to bring along some magazines. ‘Cause there’s gonna be a hell of a bottleneck at that intake desk.

Nurse_Ratched

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Pure Fandom

Just how experienced a fan are you? Find out by answering these questions taken verbatim from a variety of fandom purity tests.

Or you could just try to figure out which fandoms they all come from. If you’re not man enough to know the answers, that is.

——

-Who was supposed to die in the pilot episode?
-Can you name at least 5 letterers?
-Have you ever named a slashfic character after yourself?
-Do you own a Holy Anorankh?
-Have you ever called for the horrible, gruesome, bloody death of Joel Schumacher?

 joel-schumacher

-Who spoke these lines: “It changes nothing. Tauvo is dead. Struck down by a weak, pathetic, inferior being. It must be avenged! I swear in Tauvo’s name, you will die in my hands.”
-Have you ever seen any Dragon Ball? Do you think it is the best anime ever, far above all others, and the standard by which all other anime should be judged?
-Have you sung any ‘Monty Python’ song at Rocky Horror?

rocky-horror

-Did you rent The Professional just because it had Transformers episodes playing in the background in several scenes? Did you repeatedly watch The Professional in order to figure out which episodes they were? Did you figure it out?
-Have you ever told an anti-Alliance joke?
-Do you know which singer Neil Gaiman is friends with?
-Did you buy the Lexx DVD set and take its included purity test?
-Have you spent between $1000 and $10,000 on Animaniacs-related stuff?

animaniacs

-How many Land of the Lost episodes do you have a specific memory of?
-Where’s the Crouching Groucho?
-Do you know the significance of Totter’s yard?
-Have you ever met any Seiyuu?
-Have you ever asked someone if they can see the thestrals too, then refused to explain what a thestral is?
-Do you know what the opening music for Gundam Wing is called?
-How many theme songs do you know by heart and sing along with? (Just give yourself a bunch of points.)
-Have you ever had to prove to somebody’s family that you’re not a psychotic axe-murderer?

(I might have made up a couple of the questions.)

Plus, a special bonus question after the jump.

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Project Runway: Geekier Than You’d Imagine

As it clomps down to the wire, it’s becoming clear that there’s a diabolical link between Bravo’s Project Runway and fandom.

First there were the sleeves on designer Vincent’s pageant gown, which prompted guiding force Tim Gunn to say, “These ridiculous epaulette sleeves, talk about ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’! I mean, where were they going, to Judy Jetson’s birthday party?”

Then Phaolo of Project Yawnur compared the four designers remaining in the contest to the Fantastic Four.

fantastic-four-project-runway-yawnur

The Invisible Woman was Uli, who “went unnoticed for most of the season.” Jeffrey was The Thing because he “doesn’t care who he steamrolls over.” Laura was “Stretch” (I think he means Ms. Fantastic) because of her uniquely mobile facial expressions. Michael was the Human Torch because he’s … uh… hot and stuff. (3 out of 4 ain’t bad.)

Then the most recent episode prompted recapper Rich of fourfour to compare one designer to Gollum:

“Angela thinks fleurchons are preshhhhhhusssssss”

As well as comparing host Heidi Klum’s hair to the work of H.R. Giger.

Finally, a fourfour commenter posited a link between designer Jefferey’s neck tattoos and Trek:

“Don’t you think Jeffrey’s neck is channeling a member of the Cardassian empire? Gul-lejerk maybe? “

He even linked to that geekiest of sites, Star Trek Gaming Universe!

You know what this means? It’s only a matter of time before Peter Jackson and David Tennant start turning up on the cover of Vogue. In costume. (Jackson will simply choose a costume.)