Hey it's a post from that ridiculous/amazing/this is the worst idea/this is the best idea Make-Your-Own Meme "blog every day of November" thing! Original post/list of topics. Feel free to add more: LJ | DW — anon and openID welcome!

[livejournal.com profile] squeemu: What was your first fandom/what got you into it in the first place? (here)

Depends on what you mean by fandom! In a way, I was in fandom before I knew what fandom was. First, I will mention Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario Brothers, and come back to them later. Hold onto that thought. Probably The Dark Is Rising and His Dark Materials, both book series blending our world and fantasy that I found in my school library, were the first things I was fannish about in the sense of SO wanting to share with other people and making up stories in my head (especially Dark is Rising). But I encountered both in 4th grade; I was 9 years old at that point. I had friends, but none who shared my interest in books, and though I was already an internet user by this time (which is not impressive now, but that was back in 1995), it had never occurred to me to try to find like-minded souls there.

But here's something more interesting: I was connected to a huge part of Xena fandom history before I knew what fandom was, too.

So I had been watching Xena: Warrior Princess for a while; I don't recall how I got into it, though I think I caught it on TV at someone else's house and checked it out (remember when those TV Guide books were relevant?). My mom was herself a longtime Trekkie (not that I knew what that was, either; just assume I knew absolutely nothing about fandom throughout this story), and eventually joined me in watching Xena after complaining a few times about how campy it was (whatever, mom). Now, I don't think my mom had any connection to Star Trek fandom in terms of interacting with other fans; I'm pretty sure she didn't know what fandom was, either. But once she started watching Xena, that was it. SHE WAS A FAN. She taped every episode and had a catalogued list of them; they filled up half our video case. And she, being an adult and more adept at internet use, DID find fandom online.

And fell in with Melissa Good.

My mom is Xena fandom history! )

So my mom was a fan — a pretty big fan? — and I didn't know it. In fact, I had been YEARS AND YEARS in fandom myself before I looked back and went "... huh!" I've been meaning to interview her about it for a long time, actually; relations with her are like, not awesome, as has been intimated in previous posts, but I am sitting on a big chunk of fandom history over here and I think it would be an interesting project! If I ever do, I will slather the gleanings all over Fanlore and probably make a note here =d (For the record, Xena/Gabrielle was all well and good, but I shipped Xena/Ares hardcore. Maybe a little Xena/Autolycus and Xena/Calisto >.>)

But that's all fandom before I really knew what it was. What I've always thought of my first real fandoms — or my first real fandoms — were Pokemon and Dragonball Z, which I paid tribute to in the last of my daily doodles. One fandom that didn't make it into the doodle but definitely deserves a mention is Sailor Moon. Yes: I came into fandom through the Grossly Popular Anime Trifecta.

The story is not fancy: I ran into all three on the teevee. This was before either series exploded in huge popularity in the U.S. (I tend to have a trend in my life of catching on to things either just before they hit big, or waaaay late); Pokemon was on at ass-o'clock in the morning. I think I caught it one time and was like WOW YES. I loved the relationship between Ash and Pikachu SO much; I have such a soft spot for this sort of thing and basically the show had adorable animals and close bonds between people and animals and I mean, I didn't even need to be sold on it. DONE.

DBZ and Sailor Moon were on in the afternoons, in those blocks of anime they used to have on then (Samurai Troooppperrsss). I realized as I watched Sailor Moon particularly that I had seen it before, waaaay back, when I lived in LA. That must have been like freaking 1992-1993: EARLY days. How was it even ON in the U.S.? But regardless, I watched the girliest show ever back-to-back with the manliest show ever, and I adored both. The reason I tend to habitually drop SM from "first fandom" status, though, is that it didn't really grow on me as a fandom until I was already in other fandoms. At first, it was mostly an "okay, that was awesome NOW WHAT'S UP IN DBZ!!!" thing.

So DBZ: HOW I DISCOVERED SLASH. Don't laugh: the first slash I read was Goku/Vegeta. HELL YEAH! My first slash ship was probably Will/Bran from Dark is Rising, but I didn't even know what the hell a slash ship was then and did not really understand this yearning in my soul for them to make out already.

With Goku and Vegeta, I stumbled onto porn. Immediately.

It. Was. Great.

I. Was. 11.


... so yeah.

Pokemon (and Sonic) )

Dragonball Z )

Sailor Moon )

Altogether, though, it was kind of interesting being into all three series at the same time? Pokemon fans were kinda looked down on for being into a kiddie show (yeah, same to you, jerks); DBZ fans were looked down on for being into dumb dudes thunking on each other and DBZ fans in turn kinda were really misogynist, geez. Especially in the SM direction, which was obviously girly and dumb! Overall it was a pretty strange feeling sharing all three spaces.

And finally, a special mention: Harry Potter. HP was another one of those things I caught early and then suddenly it exploded around me. I read the first book from my middle school library and then I had to wait for the second book to come out. Okay guys? DO YOU HEAR ME? I have had to wait for EVERY BOOK. And this was BEFORE synchronized release dates, so I had to wait a whole excruciating YEAR after it had come out in Britain to get my hands on it over here in the U.S. By this time I was a seasoned fan, though, and this fandom I caught from its inception. This was my first non-anime/manga fandom, and I've been lurking (quietly) around it since 1998. I drew and posted some art, wrote and didn't-post some fic, and actually have a comic I'm working on: it's inks and wordless, and I'm actually really proud of it?

My first video game fandom (not counting Mario) was not Final Fantasy X, through which circuitous route I met many of you! It was actually The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I made a website for it in middle school, okay? I REALLY LIKED SHEIK. I also shipped Link and Sheik withouth realizing. But Final Fantasy X was the first video game fandom where I actually de-lurked and interacted with other fans. HI GUYS.

My first LJ fandom? Trigun, actually! And then, much more actively, One Piece.

And that is my fandom history of firsts! Which, looking back through it, covers books, tv series, anime, manga, comics, and video games. Not bad!
So I am like pretty terrible at talking about myself or my life or my projects; when I'm not posting art or fic this place tends to go pretty dead. And while I really should give a life update (guess what, MORE COMPUTERS DIED, I am becoming AMAZED I really am), I have something WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY WOES to talk about!

Here is the deal! The OTW and the AO3 (one of the OTW's projects) both rock super hard. Like! Guys! GUYS. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. CHECK THESE THINGS OUT:

  • DMCA EXCEPTION FOR VIDDERS. DMCA EXCEPTION FOR VIDDERS. DMCA EXCEPTION FOR VIDDERS. Guys! The OTW helped secure a DMCA Exception for Vidders and continues to keep us updated on DMCA issues. This is IMMENSELY EXCITING and I am so proud and as a fledgling baby vidder I am pretty much going to explode of joy (and I swear I will post my first vid(s) soon, I SWEAR, I'M SORRY GUYS I AM JUST SO BUSY AND LIFE-PLAGUED fff)

  • The tagging system on the AO3? Is basically the best thing ever. To a compulsive organizer like me, it is basically heaven. It is this amazing balance between organization and preservation of fannish diversity and is the first of its kind to my knowledge and basically I could roll in it forever AND GUESS WHAT I DO ROLL IN IT because I am a tag wrangler (if a somewhat dead one ffff my life) and tag wrangling is basically THE BEST THING EVER. YOU SHOULD TRY IT. I'M NOT KIDDING.

  • So I wanted to upload a bunch of art posts to AO3? First of all, I love that you can DO that. The AO3 is multimedia-oriented and I love it; we're working hard on our multimedia posting interface and we have the Vidding Roadmap (which everyone should go roll in immediately) and basically by the time the archive is fully formed it will meet all my fanwork archiving needs and I am a known medium omnivore. HEARTS.

    BUT SECOND OF ALL I wanted to upload a bunch of my art posts to AO3? (They don't offer image hosting (...yet!) but art is welcome and can be tagged with the Arts freeform tag.) And I was like UGH I HAVE SO MUCH ART THIS IS GOING TO TAKE FOREVER.

    And I went to the importer.

    And I dumped a bunch of URLs in it, of my art posts on Dreamwidth?

    AND HOLY WOW. SUDDENLY ART! Gosh it was so easy; I NEARLY CRIED. Guys I seriously nearly cried. YOU SHOULD ALL EXPERIENCE THIS JOY.

  • Most importantly?

    The people are amazing.

    I have met so many INCREDIBLE people through the OTW, with so many different skills and areas of interest. There's something for pretty much any skillset who wants to volunteer, and the diversity it's produced has been! Frankly it has been amazing. I have learned so much from these people; I am not kidding when I say my horizons have been broadened by the experience of working with and around them.

    And guys, that is seriously something. That is magic. This sharing of knowledge and passions and selves?


This is an amazing group of people with great goals. And right now — right now! — they are having their membership drive (Oct 18-25) and also elections! IT IS SUPER EXCITING TIMES. The drive even comes with a matching donor so you can make your money count twice (SO MUCH EXCITE). And have a say in the direction the OTW will take by voting! And it's time to recruit for next year's committees! Look at all of these committees and the awesome things they do!


Anything you can give — a small donation, your time as a volunteer, your consideration and vote as a member — is incredibly valuable and appreciated. Thank you — thank you all — for making fandom such an amazing place to be. If fandom were not so incredible, I would not have loved it enough to devote so much of my time to fannish projects — projects that include the OTW. I want to thank you all for this part of my life, and I invite you to share in it, like I invite you to share in my stories and my art: this, the OTW, is a fanwork, and I am privileged to collaborate on it with the amazing people who are, have been, and will be working on it.

Thank you.

18-25 October 2010 OTW Donation Drive graphic




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