Let's discuss Fandom


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    A general discussion about fandom,

    there is a sister post about the root of fandom, who boldly lead the way of fandom.


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    Some things I've noticed (and I'll try to be positive and negative, but the negative is easier to look at). This is for general fandom and some for LN fandom.

    1. People are quick to call out works as copies. Even if said series is a clone, that doesn't mean it can't improve on the original or have its own unique flavoring. And a lot of the original works people point to could be called clones themselves, they were just the ones that broke into the mainstream.
    • I always like to bring up Shakespeare who basically took stories, history, and tropes that were established and put them in a form that was digestible to the public. He's considered a master, a genius of his art (he did create a lot of original words, so it's not like he wasn't original too, but he borrowed from what came before him). This is obviously a slippery slope since we don't want plagiarism, but taking inspiration from another series or aping its ideas to frame your own interpretation is not an inherently bad thing. It can be bad too of course, but it doesn't have to be. If more intellectual properties entered the public domain recently, maybe there'd be less of a stigma against clones and different interpretations of established works?

    Side Note: Psycome is a bit of a Deadman Wonderland clone*, and it's also great. The protagonist is of course not wimpy at the start.

    (*)Deadman Wonderland probably did not start the "I'm a good / normal dude being locked up for a crime I didn't commit with a bunch of crazy convicts", but that's definitely one of the most popular of the genre.

    1. Reader interpretation is not valued in certain communities. Particularly potentially unintended interpretation and meaning derived from a work by an individual is scoffed at. The "word of God" from authors, that is an author saying "I didn't mean this" is also treated way too highly. What the author says, and how an individual interprets the literature are both valid if the literature is "art" (which is a word I don't like, but if you want LN and Manga to stand up there with classic lit, you gotta let people participate with them like the classics).
    • Just as an example, the poem "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti has language in it that seems to be sexual in nature. Word of God (the poet) said this poem was intended for children publicly, but privately she said to her publisher that it wasn't intended for children. What an author says publicly is not always the truth of the matter, and quite frankly it doesn't really matter if the author didn't intend for an interpretation. Once the work is out, the work is the public's to digest, analyze, and interpret how they wish. Even criticism of classic work through a modern lens I think shouldn't be scoffed at.
    1. I like seeing the fun gaming + anime fan art pop up on my Twitter feed, and wish we saw more of it in the LN community besides stuff that has anime of it. Maybe I just don't know where to go for art without spoilers (and without adult content). Fire Emblem fandom has some of the best artistry imo, though I don't follow any artists in particular, just see things I like pop up on the feed.

    2. Do You guys follow your favorite LN and Manga artists on social media? I guess this goes with that thread we had earlier on authors, and I'm definitely in the "I'll read what interests me" vs "I'll read what this author made", but I do follow a few artists and authors on Twitter. I saw Satan's Secretary creator has been updating his Manga recently, wouldn't have known that the series was still being worked on if I wasn't following them.

    End note: I think the LN community is overall a pretty positive place. If I have a New Year's resolution, it's to get back to reading more on JNC so I can participate in more of the official threads.


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    @terrence said in Let's discuss Fandom:

    I always like to bring up Shakespeare who basically took stories, history, and tropes that were established and put them in a form that was digestible to the public. He's considered a master, a genius of his art (he did create a lot of original words, so it's not like he wasn't original too, but he borrowed from what came before him).

    Shakespeare = Steve Jobs?

    Sorry for the semi-OT (that's a fandom/quasi-religion too, so sort of tangentially on topic. It just struck me how similar they are when I read that)

    Seriously regarding #1, I've been guilty of saying "X is like Y but with A, B & C different etc". I don't mean it in a negative way, just a trying to answer a "what is X like" question, whether it be my own or someone elses, yet I've had negative reactions from doing so. Clear communication isn't my strong point, I have a talent for pissing people off unintentionally.

    #2 - Reader interpretation makes me think of Evangelion fandom & all the arguments about the soul in Unit 0, primarily Ritsuko's mother or a part of the original Rei (I'm in the latter camp). As Anno says, it's all fanwank he was out of his mind making it so it means nothing, lol there's your Word of God.

    #3 - I only follow the English publishers & a few of the translators/editors from here that have shared their account, plus Justus Stone. If there is more of a #LNtwitter like the #anitwitter community I'd probably lurk/follow for pics

    #4 - closest to that is the few western web comic authors/artists I follow. Language barrier makes it harder & I'm more individual series fan than author fan


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    @smashman42 said in Let's discuss Fandom:

    @terrence said in Let's discuss Fandom:
    Shakespeare = Steve Jobs?

    Lol, maybe.

    "We took the concept of a bed and the concept of a room to create the new "IBedroom". It's a term you can use for the place you put your bed in. It only costs you stuffing my works down student's eardrums for years to come like the poison Hamlet's uncle stuffed in Hamlet's dad's earhole."

    And seriously, he created the term bedroom. xD
    https://www.litcharts.com/blog/shakespeare/words-shakespeare-invented/

    Seriously regarding #1, I've been guilty of saying "X is like Y but with A, B & C different etc". I don't mean it in a negative way, just a trying to answer a "what is X like" question, whether it be my own or someone elses, yet I've had negative reactions from doing so. Clear communication isn't my strong point, I have a talent for pissing people off unintentionally.

    I don't mind that, but I've seen it used in a dismissive sense too. As long as you expound on what it is that it borrows, or why that makes you think of the other series, I think that's fine. I compare series myself when I can. But I can't control how others react to it either which can be an issue (like the interpretation issue). T_T


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    I think the author(s) have some degree of control on how toxic their fanbase can get. For example JK Rowling I would say is the root of most of the negativity about Harry Potter. Getting into arguements about fans such as about Snape (this goes into point 2 @Terrence made), I personally do NOT like the idea that Snape is redeemable while Malfoy is not. One is a grown man who abused children while the other is a child who grew up being taught that muggles and wizards born from the. are inferior etc (though it does not help that every wizard seemingly accepts the term muggle).


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    The reality is there are no "original works". There are occasional "original ideas", but then they become entwined in parts of a story that's already been told. All stories are a mixture of components which have already been used somewhere else. It's how those components are used which makes the story interesting, or not.

    This is what bugs me about the idea of "tropes". Yes, they're generalizations about what happens in the story. However, the same thing happens with EVERY literary work regardless of format (movie, tv, audio, text, etc...). If these weren't repeated components, the idea of a hero/protagonist would've worn out LOOOOONG before the bible ever used the idea.

    As mentioned, there are "original ideas", but nowhere near enough to create a successful literary work on premise alone. As corny as it sounds, I would probably go so far to say that the most original idea I've read in recent history would be the use of "slip" in Smartphone. Pretty much everything else recent has been done in some form of media. If not somewhere else, I'm pretty sure the Simpsons already did it.