Ah, fandom! That oft stereotyped and much maligned cultural phenomenon. Back in the day, being a SF/fantasy fan was social suicide. Oh, how times have changed. What once was shunned, now is–dare I say it, cool. More than cool–it’s become transformative. For a while, cell phones looked suspiciously like Star Trek communicators. Some still do. SF references and tag lines become part of our cultural fabric. Use the Force. Beam me up. No one takes Khaleesi’s dragons! The San Diego Comic Con gets as much respect as Cannes, more when you consider how Comic Con can make or break a movie. I’ve even read Queen Elizabeth loves Doctor Who! (As well she should).
Cosplay? Cosplay is now as professional as a major studio’s wardrobe department. And the fans? Let’s just say fanboys have to be torn to the point of schizophrenia. Always, they were the anti-cool–the ones who snickered at the ‘it’ crowd. The true fan loathes the mainstream, but in reaching it, said fanboy has found a sweet consolation. Have you seen today’s fangirl? In costume? Gulp! It’s changed, and vivre the change. Cosplay’s become our version of SI’s Swimsuit Edition. Don’t believe me? A simple google search for cosplay will be enough to convince you. Just don’t do it at work. Okay?
So, thank you Twilight! I may not dig you, but I like your influence. Ditto Hunger Games. And let’s not forget the inimitable Sailor Moon. Geez! How is it that a genre that so fetishizes women so blatantly attracts so many female fans? Not that I’m complaining. I grew up loving anime. The increase in popularity means greater availability of titles stateside. A win-win!
To all you post Star Wars/Star Trek fans, I raise a glass of Romulan ale. Thanks for opening the basement door and letting us out! We reward you with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates! With the internet, the cell phone, and movies on demand. That’s our legacy! The dream of a few geeks who looked at SF and said, why the hell can’t we have that stuff.
And now we do. All but the flying car, and I hear that’s on the way too. Cheers!