First, I will just say that I love Supernatural It s a great show and if I could I would love to visit Comic Con, but I think there is a limit to how far one takes one s obsession with a show movie singer group whatever it s one thing to like something, but to let it take over one s life totally It s not that I don t enjoy fandom s, but I just don t have the need to ruin my economy, drive away my friends or family for it.The ladies in this book, middle age women, suddenly start to obsess over Supernatural although it seems mostly Jensen Ackles, they fly to see him in play, watch everything he is in from movies to tv shows Nothing wrong with that, I have favorite actors also But it bothered me reading how for example Lynn hid the fact from her family that she ordered passes to a convention Like what she did was something shameful And here we have the BIG problem with the book Everything they did was so shameful, liking Supernatural and writing fanfiction It s shameful to like something it s shameful to write slash fanfiction It s shame, shame, shame And I tried to remember if I have ever been ashamed for liking something Hell I liked David Hasselhoff in Baywatch when I was a teenager and not even that makes me ashamed nowadays This book felt like an excuse to be able to get up and close with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, a middle life crisis now that the children are almost grown upAs we pondered and plotted and looked for opportunities to get up close and personal with actors, our road trip through fandom continued But there are moments I feel for them because in a part they manage to find a life outside being a wife, mother, and professor That part of the book I liked, but I ultimately I think they failed in their mission to show the good side of the fandom, it felt like they showed the worst part, the over enthusiastic fans, the fanatic fans that sleep in hallways to have breakfast with actors There isn t any shame in liking Supernatural And if you like writing fanfiction, slash or not slash go for it It s your life Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review I have the same problem with this book as I did their academic version Fandom at the Crossroads The authors seem to keep their focus on the extreme fandom obsessions and fail at showing that they are not ashamed Like other commenters, I can t help but feel they are trying to convince themselves rather than others that their actions are not shameful.Besides, what about the fans who just watch the show Like my friend who got me hooked into Supernatural What about fans like me who just watch the show and read fanfiction and applaud awesome fanart Neither of us give than a passing damn about meeting Jared and Jensen Surely there are other fans who should have been represented in this book about fans.As for the fanfiction I read and archive, I think only one is heterosexual There are a few with no pairings, but the vast majority are Wincest or Destiel Dean in a same sex relationship pretty much does it for me There s also a dozen J2 fics No shame here. I had to divide this up between by personal feelings on fandom and conventions and my feelings about the actual book so the waters didn t get muddied There s some overlap of course, but I felt this was the most fair way to go about it THE BOOK I have mixed feelings about this book and its topic I read 67% percent in one sitting and then had to force myself to get back to it Something about it all feltdirty I guess dirty fits This is why I had to separate this out It was my feelings around hardcore fandom itself that led to this feeling for the most part, though I did take some issue with the tactics the authors took.The ups and downs, the positives and the negatives of being a fangirl in a hardcore fandom are covered in Fangasm From the unspoken rules of fandom to the fandom turning their collective back on fans that don t do fandom right, the pages cover less of the psychological side and reasoning behind obsessive fandoms and of the personal journey of the two writers For the academic review of the authors antics, check out Fandom at the Crossroads Celebration, Shame and Fan Producer Relationships by the same authors.Fangasm is the story of two middle aged college professors one university professor with a PhD in eighteenth century literature and one psychologist and researcher with a PhD in clinical psychology that find themselves becoming certified fangirls over Supernatural and try to document their journey inside the fandom while attempting to discover what lies behind and beneath the crazy culture of fandom They write fanfiction You should know this You will know If you forget, they ll tell you about 9,000 times.Here s where I m torn I was never really sure if the authors were trying to justify their fangirl ways to the readers and themselves or if they used their professional researcher status as a way to gain access to the cast, crew and creatives under the guise of writing this book Those PhDs they mention several times They seem to think that sets them apart from other people or somehow makes their fangirl ways sound less crazy and like research It doesn t really work. Kathy saw fangirls, subscribing to all the negative stereotypes nerdy, socially awkward, and no doubt living with at least half a dozen cats and south to distance herself from them That s not me she told herself, conveniently ignoring the fact that we had flown one thousand miles to ogle One Good Man That pretty much sums it up They want to do this piece about fangirls from the inside while consistently acting like 99.9% fangirl and.01% professionals They wanted to highlight the positive, sane side of fandom and why it s ok to be a fangirl The beginning did this well, including letters and postings from different fans who had their lives altered for the better because of this show, it s fandom and the community it has created The rest of the book then felt like it focused on the negative or darker sides or their OMG WE GET TO TALK TO I CAN T BELIEVE THEY RE FALLING FOR THIS antics.Through long stories, some told multiple times, it never adequately answers the question they set out to answer is it okay to be a hardcore fan Is it ok to take time away from your real life responsibilities to fangirl over a TV show They spoke frequently about how it s not accepted in today s society that women do anything for themselves or that it s frowned upon that women doing something to have fun, something just for themselves I really don t agree with this mindset and frankly they didn t pay it proper attention to convince me otherwise These woman went to multiple conventions a year and wondered why their families said uh hi, remember us They spent thousands and thousands of dollars on flights, hotel rooms, tickets for cons, photo ops, autograph signings, and on and on and on And for what Oh that s right, they called it research while using the next sentence to basically say we wanted time away from our families They touch upon the guilt this caused them but never really dug into it.We follow these trips from their first Comic Con up to their interviews with the stars of the show on set Ultimately, I couldn t shake the feeling that these women took on the task of writing about the show and its fandom because there was a chance it would give them access to things, places and people a normal fan wouldn t have, and less because they wanted an honest look at fandom as a whole.There are interesting bits about fandom and some fun peaks behind the curtain once they wriggle their way into on set visits But the real story is essentially two women using their degrees and credentials to gain access to the show under what feels like false pretenses Their entire goal was to get face time with stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles under the guise that they wanted to hear their thoughts on fandom Instead it felt like they were using their book as an excuse to try to get close to the boys They admit this much themselves about two dozen times.No matter how legitimate we tried to tell ourselves and anyone who would listen our fan studies research was, nobody including us was really buying it Despite supposed good intentions, the stories meander in places, get repetitive and detract from the experience for the reader Fangasm reads like the leftover notes that were too personal to make the cut in the academic book they also published I wanted something than what this turned out to be I wanted a true story of the fan s perspective and not a copy of someone s journal full of notes they jotted down in hopes of remembering the details of their own experience.And the obsession with slash fic WE GET IT I m not sure how many people involved with the show needed to shrug their shoulders and say We know it s there It exists That s the extent of it before they stop asking every single person.Enough The only people who are that concerned about slash fic seem to be the ones writing, reading, or flipping sides protesting it No one else cares about it Move on Write your fic Don t write it Read it Don t read it Just stop asking the cast and crew about it already.We were still myopically viewing fandom through the prism of fanfiction reads and writers, since that was the fandom niche we happened to live in ourselves And therein lies the problem While there is no doubt that the Supernatural fandom produces an insane amount of fanfiction, not all fans write, read, or even care about fanfiction The authors, despite the text above, don t seem to realize this and continue to make it the main focus of their interviews and well over half of this book.It had been deeply, vitally important to use to show fandom as the healthy positive thing that it could be We wanted our book to do something that had never been done before to celebrate the subversive idea that women were entitled to do things just for fun, that women longs for a community of other women where they could be real, that women were every bit as interested in lusting after hot guys on TV as men were ogling an endless array of hot girls on film This may have been their unofficial mission statement but they missed the mark.I enjoyed the first 15% a lot of the book and found that I, as an outsider of fandom see below identified with some of it Then the crazy was uncovered.If you re not a fan of Supernatural, I don t think that will deter you from enjoying the book but you will definitively like it if you are a fan.FANDOM I have issues with the word fangirl as a noun I hate the word fandom even so now after reading this book I hate the words LARPing and cosplay and cons It all sounds sosoI don t know Childish Obsessive Negative There are many levels to fandom and I ve always considered myself to be on the far outskirts of it I don t use tumblr it confuses me , I don t write fanfiction, I don t attend fan conventions or spend hours and hours each week online staying up to date on whatever bits of news leaked that day about the show or its stars I don t have folders full of pictures and gifs on my laptop I don t continuously hit refresh on searches for hashtags to experience a con live through attendants updates I don t spend hours every day updating a blog or a microblog or anything else with every scrap of info or gossip I don t treat being a fan of this show like it s a job.That s not me I suppose it s fine for other folks but it s not my story.I hang out near the edge of fandom without investing thousands of dollars or years of my life being a true fangirl Try as I might, I get a little weirded out by the hardcore superfangirls The ones who aren t capable of having a conversation about much else other than their fandom The ones that need it like they need oxygen.I watch I ll rewatch I ll tweet reactions non spoilers, because I m nice like that when a new episode is airing Maybe a few comments if I m rewatching past seasons on DVD I follow a board or two on Pinterest That s about it Compared to some parts of the fandom, that s next to nothing I own all the seasons on dvd and tweet about it occasional The fandom would hardly consider me as a participant much less a full blown fangirl I m than ok with that.I thought I was pretty tapped in to the goings on of fandom despite being an outsider but, as it turns out, there was a lot I didn t know or had even heard of Crack fic, whumped, BNFs What It s all a bit much I ve seen girls bitch at people who run blogs for the ten minutes I was on tumblr before deciding it wasn t for me because they didn t post screencaps fast enough after an episode aired Really This person is doing this FOR FREE and someone is going to harass them because this free service wasn t done immediately I don t get that.There s a large section of Supernatural fandom that has created a fictional relationship between two heterosexual male characters and continues to get and angry when this relationship doesn t become canon on the show itself What You re getting angry over something you created in your head Really Conventions The idea of conventions is a weird thing for me On the one hand, it s a great way and probably the only way for superfans to be in the same room as the stars of whatever show or movie they love Past and present guest stars along with the central cast all in one place for a few nights of silliness I get the appeal of that part of it.On the other hand, it s this major money making Mecca that charges insane fees because they know fans will pay for it There s no blame on the part of the stars here but on the organizers of these cons, in the case of this book, Creation Entertainment The whole thing is set up so you, the fan, hand over cash upon cash upon cash upon cash for 2.5 seconds in interaction, a pic, an autograph, or a seat in a conference room We re not talking a little bit of money here Photo ops go for hundreds of dollars at FACE VALUE I understand that all the guests that appear are paid to be there and Creation must cover their costs while making a profit But there s no need to screw people out of money just because you can either I take huge issue with people overcharging folks out of their hard earned cash just because they can.The Gold Package 699 Want front row That ticket jumps to 839 That doesn t include any photo ops 699 to sit in a conference room Want a pic Add another 260 for pics with Jared and Jensen Misha Collins 80 Didn t get the gold package that includes autographs Open your wallet up because you ll need money Then add in the cost of travel, hotel, and food and well you see where this is going.But they have to pay the guests to be there, rent the room, etc I know I get that Jus in Bello held in Rome pays them too and their top of the line package is cheaper than the cheapest Creation package Same for Asylum held in London each year So to pretend that there isn t a ton of price gouging going on by Creation seems like a lie But why would they stop Fans will continue to fork over tons of money each year, some at multiple cons per year, no matter what they do because they want to see pretty boys up close That s the bottom line If fans have a bad experience or feel it wasn t worth the money they paid So what They sell these events out every single time so there will always be another woman ready to hand over her credit card to attend.There was a dust up on twitter between members of the writing staff and the Creation Entertainment powers that be a few months back when some fans said hey Let s have a Writer s Panel at cons This, if true, is another big reason I d give major pause to going to a con.Adam Glass, executive producer and writer of some of my personal favorite episodes including 9.07 Bad Boys which he later described as his love letter to Dean Winchester , wanted to set the record straight.Finally, Creation said hey,great idea The writers said they d love to Fans persisted Hey What about that writer s panel we asked about Creation sent the writers Writers, without whom there would be no show, movies, books, plays, poems, or music a lowball offer How low I don t know The figures were never disclosed and that s fine So take that for what it is Creation maintains that the writers were greedy and wanted too much money The writers feel they contribute , and therefore should get be compensated better, than a one time guest star And you know what He s right.Yes, the famous faces draw money and attendants but there would be no guest roles to play without the creative teams that make the show happen So maybe Creation thinks that photo ops or autograph signings with the writers wouldn t earn big money Maybe they wouldn t But with this fandom I think they d earn a lot than Creation may think The tickets for a writers only panel would sell out as fast the rest I have no doubt.But the whole thing with cons It s all so manufactured and set up, streamlined and planned out, and fans will spend thousands to convince themselves otherwise Don t get me wrong, I m not going to pass up free tickets to stand next to Jensen Ackles for fifteen seconds but I m not going to spend three day s pay to do so That s basically what they re paying for half a minute sharing air with someone.I m also not going to pretend that it s some intimate moment with the dude I ve watched on tv Some fans get that experience search any area of fandom and you ll find someone that was finally able to thank the boys in person for the effect the show had on their lives That is a great thing for those fans I really mean that Despite how this whole piece may sound, I m happy for those people and glad they got the chance to do that in person.I m obsessed with music It s the soundtrack to my days Each memory has a song and each song has a memory When life has chewed me up and spit me out, I turn to my music collection When my brother died, I turned to select artists I ve since had the opportunity to meet two of those artists and said to them During the lowest point of my life there were a handful of artists that helped me pull through and you were one of them Thank you for writing the songs you do So I get it I get how art and artists can have a personal effect on your life I understand being a fan and what those people can mean to a person I m not judging the fans here.Listen, I love this show Love it Hell, I include gifs from the show at the end of my posts here My issue with cons lies directly with the con companies and not with the stars or the fans that will attend So the money, the dismissal of the writers contributions and the ZOMGFANGIRLNESSHIGHPITCHSCREAMS of cons gives than a short pause.Would I attend a con Sure If the costs were covered I love Jensen s jawline and eye crinkle as much as the next gal but there are limits.What if I was rich Sure, but it would only be spend some time with a couple of twitter friends that I adore That would be my main motivation for going They went to DallasCon last year and immediately made plans to go again From the texts and pics, they had a great time and I was so happy for them I think it s great if people go and have fun I ve spent money on concert tickets in my lifetime that I care to add up I m not judging folks that go, but it may not be for me Getting to sidle up next to Jensen for thirty seconds wouldn t hurt but my life isn t lacking because I haven t done that.There s a rabidness to fandom that makes me want to run in the other direction The authors of Fangasm tried to write a book that said that wasn t such a bad thing and attempted to explain that it s not what it looks like from the outside The problem Even from the inside, it still looks the same There s healthy obsession and obsession The problem with fandom is that line between the two is beyond blurred.Or maybe I m just a fan and not part of the fandom Disclaimer I received a free e copy of this book from Netgalley for review. This unique read really hit home for me in a thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable way I am what the authors describe as a buffet fansampling a bit of this and that before moving on to try something else I prefer to think of myself as a serial monogamistfaithful for a phase until my next obsession comes along That being said, I always teeter on the edge of fandom without the willingness to invest my funds, or my precious time, as fully as a true fangirl I ve long wanted a glimpse deeper into the fandom and Larsen and Zubernis have generously allowed all of us on the fringe to journey deeper in with themand what a journey it is For fans of the show Supernatural, this is an obvious must read But I think fangirls and boys of just about anything will appreciate this honest portrayal of the struggle to immerse one s self in the joys of fandom without guilt, without shame and without losing relationships or other important aspects of life outside of the fandom Thank you Katherine Larsen and Lynn Zubernis for your bold and honest look at fandom, for trusting your readers with the details of your struggle to balance the personal with the professional, and for allowing us to ride along on your 5 year journey What a wonderful trip it has been Supernatural Fan GirlsKatherine Larsen and Lynn S Zubernis While I enjoyed Fangasm from page one, I have to admit I was confused at first What I thought would be an academic account of fan culture, particularly surrounding the TV show Supernatural, turned out to be something altogether different.Two professors Katherine Larsen and Lynn S Zubernis geek out over the hunky stars of their favorite television show, attending conventions, joining an online community and penning racy fan fic, all the while discussing the book they were going to write.Unfortunately, this wasn t that book.The original output of their research was the 2012 academic study, Fandom at the Crossroads Celebration, Shame and Fan Producer Relationships Fangasm, on the other hand, is the reporter s notebook of their exploration.Once I realized this, I settled in and thoroughly enjoyed the ride Along the way, the authors feed each other s squee stalk hunky TV stars and struggle with strained family relationships, their careers and even their friends It s a riotous, road trip affair, and it s refreshing to see the lighter side of the uptight academic.But there s a serious side to the book as well In exploring fan fiction, the duo encounters a diverse body politic A bulk of the viewer produced literature is sexual in nature and due to the make believe subject matter, and the lack of publisher gatekeeping, fan fic writers often delve into places even pornographers fear to tread Hint the show s leading men, though not actually related, play brothers on Supernatural take that ball and run with it Also on the serious tip are the self esteem issues that arise Unfortunately, the shaming of fangirls is not limited to the mainstream community While the conventions can be a refuge for those who otherwise feel displaced from society, there is an internal enforcement of etiquette that can be just as stratified and exclusionary as the mainstream It s a dark and curious sociological paradox.Ultimately, I would have preferred to geek out with the academic text, but hey, there is no wrong way to get your nerd on While I don t approach the level of fanboy status held by Larsen and Zubernis, I know my way around a convention, and I ve spent thousands of dollars on rare books, albums and KISS memorabilia I can relate to this duo, and I find it refreshing to learn about a pair of obsessed academics letting their geek flag fly. I feel so disappointed in this one I went into this expecting a fun, yet insightful, look at how fandoms work specifically the Supernatural fandom What I got was a book about writing the book With a huge focus on fanfic writers readers of which I am not It s also extremely repetitive On the very last page the authors mention an academic book they published on fandomsmaybe that s the book I should have picked up because this was seriously just a book about writing the book. Once Upon A Time Not Long Ago, Two Responsible College Professors, Lynn The Psychologist And Kathy The Literary Scholar, Fell In Love With The Television Show Supernatural And Turned Their Oh So Practical Lives Upside Down Plunging Headlong Into The Hidden Realms Of Fandom, They Scoured The Internet For Pictures Of Stars Jensen Ackles And Jared Padalecki And Secretly Penned Racy Fan Fiction And Then They Hit The Road Crisscrossing The Country, Racking Up Frequent Flyer Miles With Alarming Ease, Standing In Convention Lines At AMThey Had White Knuckled Encounters With Overly Zealous Security Guards One Year And Smiling Invitations To The Supernatural Set The Next Actors Stripping In Their Trailers, Fangirls Sneaking Onto Film Sets Drunken Confessions, Squeals Of Joy, Tears Of Despair Wallets Emptied And Responsibilities Left Behind Intrigue And Ecstasy And Crushing Disappointment It S All HereAnd Yet Even As They Reveled In Their Fandom, The Authors Were Asking Themselves Whether It S Okay To Be A Fan, Especially For Grown Women With Careers And Kids Crazystalkerchicks That S What They Heard From Supernatural Crew Members, Security Guards, Airport Immigration Officials, Even Sometimes Their Fellow Fans But What Kathy And Lynn Found Was That Most Fans Were Very Much Like Themselves Smart, Capable Women Looking For Something Of Their Own That Engages Their Brains And Their Libidos Fangasm Pulls Back The Curtain On The Secret Worlds Of Fans And Famous Alike, Revealing Supernatural Behind The Scenes And Discovering Just How Much The Cast And Crew Know About What The Fans Are Up To Anyone Who S Been Tempted To Throw Off The Constraints Of Respectability And Indulge A Secret Passion Or Hit The Road With A Best Friend Will Want To Come Along I got this book because I have a friend who is really, really into Twilight she s in her mid 30s, for what it s worth , and I thought I could gain some insight into what drives her obsession The authors obsession is the TV show Supernatural, but they do reference other fan communities such as Star Trek.The authors claim they want this book to show fandom as a healthy, positive thing While there were a couple of letters from fans stating how the online fan community was supportive of them in difficult times, the majority of the book doesn t support the authors goal In fact it primarily shows the negative and unhealthy side of fandom The authors repeatedly abandon their families, friends, and jobs, and they lie to their loved ones Although the authors describe themselves as smart and articulate their favorite description of many of the fans , they are emotionally unstable at best They even acknowledge that it s not healthy to pin one s emotional well being to someone or something else, yet they continue to ride the highs and lows based on whether they got a seat close to their favorite TV stars at this or that convention.Anyone who doesn t agree with them is dismissed as just not getting it They justify their bad behavior by claiming that they re just doing what male sports fans have always done I vehemently disagree with that premise They think their fan behavior is viewed negatively by others because they are celebrating the subversive idea that women are entitled to do things just for fun When their friends started pulling away from them because of their behavior, they say that they continued to follow the rule of good girls don t disagree, and if they do they sure as hell don t talk about it Huh I don t know what 1950s enclave they ve been living in, but I am a woman of about their age and even live in the same part of the country as they do and I cannot relate to the statements such as these that are peppered throughout the book.I only gave this book two stars for the transcipt excerpts of some of the interviews they conducted with the show s cast and crew But even these are a bit light, because it was clear that the researchers were utterly unprepared for the interviews as they undertook the whole project just to satisfy their fan desires to be closer to the show They don t even try to hide the fact that the whole thing was just a cover to satisfy their obsession Overall, disappointing. I m no stranger to fandoms my first fandom was N Sync, and I just HAD to own all the albums including import CDs , put dozens of posters on my wall, set the VCR to record all their TV appearances, and go to their concerts every time they were in the Midwest I remember visiting fan websites and waiting impatiently for pictures to load back in the dial up internet days I read fanfiction and even tried writing it once I bought all kinds of N Sync merchandise, but my most prized item was a towel that I caught when they threw it into the audience Only my family and closest friends knew the true extent of my fangirling I tried not to let too many other people see that side of me because I was worried they d judge me or make fun of me.Nowadays I am willing to let my fangirl flag fly I go to midnight premieres of movies based on my favorite books, I get to book signings so early sometimes that I m first or second in line, and I even go to my favorite artists concerts by myself if none of my friends are free because I don t want to miss out on the opportunity Life is too short to be embarrassed about the things you enjoy, you know And while I don t have posters covering my walls any, a quick glance at my Pinterest boards will tell you that I still have music, books, TV shows, and movies that I m very passionate about I was really excited when I first heard about this book Even though I ve only seen a few episodes of Supernatural, I knew I could relate to the topic of fandom Fangasm touches on many aspects of fandom, including reading and writing fan fiction, making fan pilgrimages, attending fan conventions, becoming part of a fan community, and so much It examines the negative ways we react to fan behavior, even from within the fandom itself sometimes For those unfamiliar with the language of fandom, Fangasm includes a Glossary of Terms so you can learn all the relevant lingo for example, shipping and OTP The authors share some research from the field of fan studies as well as anecdotes from their own experiences as Supernatural fans While many of their stories made me smile or laugh, they also made me think critically about what it means to be a fan and the relationship between fans and creators This book challenges fan shame and shares insights from the perspectives of both the fans and the creators It s also a fun read that a lot of people can relate to. When I started reading I expected something slightly different Maybe a little bit about the shows fans A bit fokus on the whole fandom Instead, the book is about the authors personal experiences with the creative side of the show and TPTB The Powers That Be Thus minus one star.I liked the book nevertheless because it showed me totally different side of the show What is going on on the other side That side that fans like me will very likely never get to see and experience Personal meetings and interviews with the actors and creators, for example What do they think of the fans Also, the book describes very well what is going on on conventions For me, as someone who has never attended one and most likely never will sighs sadly it gave me a clear idea of what I m missing sighs even sadder.But the book isn t all sunshine and squees, it also shows the darker side of fandom, like fan shaming or fans rotting together to kick other fans out of the fandom because they did something or said something that violated one of the unspoken rules of fandom To me, this was rather surprising It also adresses the fact that and why we seem to be ashamed of admitting that we are fangirls, with all the typical fangirl behaviour attached Why do we keep our inner fangirl a secret Why don t we tell anyone in our real lifes about our Tumblr or LJ account And why do we feel so instantly connected to other fangirls once we get to know or meet them If you have asked yourself those questions and if you re a SPN fan, you will probably like this book, too.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Fangasm book, this is one of the most wanted Katherine Larsen author readers around the world.
- Kindle Edition
- 266 pages
- Katherine Larsen
- 04 March 2017 Katherine Larsen