A historical overview of fandom.
Exploring the reason for fandom’s existence—community in shared passions and desire for more from the fandom’s source materials—this book looks at common forms of creative expression in fandom. The five chapters are devoted to fan fiction, fan videos, cosplay, fan visuals (comics, memes, fan art, and so on), and games. The book’s greatest strength is its exploration of the historical origins of the various fandom forms, demonstrating that while the internet has transformed fandom, fan fiction and the like have been around for hundreds of years—even chess was once thought to be dangerously addictive in the same way Dungeons & Dragons and computer games have been. The highlighted fandoms skew American- and Eurocentric, leading to odd omissions of the influence of anime and manga fandom, beyond the coining of the word “cosplay.” Occasionally, arguable ideas are presented as fact (such as which video was the first to go viral), and readers might find themselves wishing for more information regarding the tenuous relation of fandom and copyright. Overall, the book is upbeat and optimistic, and it has a prominent social justice lens that highlights fan creators of color and the ways fandom allows for greater diversity in media so often dominated by straight white men.
Best as a starting reference for kids researching fandom-related topics—or perhaps for adults baffled by said kids’ hobby. (glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)