Posts Tagged ‘anime’

Nick Simmons Plagiarism Fail

February 26th, 2010

Not surprising to see another celebrity’s child stir up legal troubles. This time it is Nick Simmons, son of the Kiss’s frontman Gene Simmons.

Who did Nick plagiarize? Fans were quick to point out the similarities between his graphic novel Incarnate and the well loved anime Bleach. Some of the pictures in the article Gene Simmons’ son Plagiarizing Bleach? by by karenai prove that this is no false accusation.

In fact, the anime fandom seems to be popping up with articles about this fiasco from LiveJournal and even DeviantART.

The similarities are so obvious. How did Radical Publishing fail to see this when Bleach is seen by millions every day. Radical’s response in regards to Incarnate on their Radical Publishing Official MySpace site‘s blog was:

We at Radical Publishing, Inc. and Radical Comics, Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate Comic Book. We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter. We have halted further production and distribution of the “Incarnate” comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our Company and the comic book industry.

This is actually re-published from their Radical Publishing official site’s blog.

This is not good for any company and there is no need to ‘investigate allegations’. This should be pulled from the shelves as it is a blatant plagiarism.

But who knows, some celebrities and their children only walk away with minor wounds to lick.

What are your thoughts?

Most popular fandoms on Fan History year to date

July 1st, 2009

Half the year has passed so it is time to do an update as to the most popular fandoms on Fan History for January to June 2009. Items on this list list tend to appear for three reasons: 1) Interest in the fandom, 2) Quality content, 3) Good SEO. Because of the latter two, I don’t think that you can draw any conclusion about what is going on in fandom as a result. Hopefully, one day, we’ll be there where you can.

Top Fandoms

  1. Digimon
  2. Naruto
  3. Twilight
  4. Harry Potter
  5. Gundam Wing
  6. Supernatural
  7. The Fast and the Furious
  8. Mortal Instruments
  9. Dragon Ball Z
  10. Prince of Tennis

Top Actor Fandoms

  1. Jorja Fox
  2. Allison Stokke
  3. Russel Crowe
  4. Sara Varone
  5. Megan Fox

Top Anime Fandoms

  1. Digimon
  2. Naruto
  3. Gundam Wing
  4. Dragon Ball Z
  5. Prince of Tennis
  6. Sailor Moon
  7. Bleach
  8. D.Gray-Man
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh
  10. Ouran High School Host Club

Top Book Fandoms

  1. Twilight
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Mortal Instruments
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Outsiders
  6. The Death Gate Cycle
  7. Lord of the Rings
  8. Sherlock Holmes
  9. Gor
  10. Alex Rider

Top Cartoons Fandoms

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
  2. Transformers
  3. Kim Possible
  4. X-men
  5. Rescue Rangers
  6. Ben 10
  7. Sonic: The Hedgehog
  8. Hey Arnold!
  9. Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series

Top Comics Fandoms

  1. X-men
  2. Batman
  3. Watchmen

Top Movies Fandoms

  1. The Fast and the Furious
  2. Star Trek
  3. Transformers
  4. Outsiders
  5. X-men
  6. Batman
  7. Star Wars
  8. X-Files
  9. Watchmen
  10. Highlander

Top Music Fandoms

  1. Metallica
  2. Panic! At the Disco
  3. American Idol
  4. Radiohead
  5. Fall Out Boy
  6. Nine Inch Nails
  7. My Chemical Romance
  8. X-Japan
  9. The Beatles
  10. Savage Garden

Top Television Fandoms

  1. Supernatural
  2. Roswell
  3. Merlin
  4. Jon and Kate Plus 8
  5. Star Trek
  6. Gilmore Girls
  7. Beauty and the Beast
  8. Batman
  9. CSI
  10. Doctor Who

Top Video Games Fandoms

  1. Pokemon
  2. Final Fantasy VII
  3. Silent Hill
  4. Final Fantasy
  5. Sonic: The Hedgehog
  6. Zelda
  7. Kingdom Hearts

Anime-Fanfiction.net

July 1st, 2009

Posting this for people who are interested in Anime fan fiction…  It is a copy and paste of a message by taiyoukai_nile that she wanted passed along.

As mentioned not long ago, [info]x_keva_x and I were going to open an anime fanfiction site. The site is officially open. Right now Rita (Pitabread) and I will be in the works for Avatar Fanfiction as an offshoot. Although I would put it on the site, there was enough questions and interest for it.

Any anime not listed, you can list in Other. When we have more than a dozen fanfics that goes toward a category, then we will make one.

Anyway, without further ado please feel free to be a part of Anime-Fanfiction.net!

We are looking for affiliate anime based sites to link with as well. Please pass the word!!!

Animethon: An ANIME convention that’s only for the non-yaoi/non-yuri people

June 27th, 2009

Whether you like it or not, yaoi and yuri are fundamentally part of the Anime community.  You can’t remove it.  (Though white washing it out of American translations of manga and when dubbing anime into English has been tried.)  It is not going to go away.  So if you’re going to run an anime convention, you have to deal with this reality.  Unless the event is explicitly billed as a child friendly event with no adult content allowed, members of the anime community are going to expect that yaoi and yuri are going to be tolerated.

Sadly, Animethon‘s organizers failed to get this message.   Rather than claim to be a convention that is child friendly, the organizer decided that the convention would be anti-yaoi by prohibiting same sex kissing for cosplay events on stage.  Heterosexual kissing was still allowed.  She wasn’t discriminating against gays and lesbians because she has gay and lesbians friends and she likes them.  (Thanks but no.  That’s a cop out.  I have Gay friends =/=  I am tolerant.  It is insulting to our intelligence.)  When called out on it, she finally decided to allow same sex pecks on the cheek because heterosexual friends of the same gender give pecks on the cheek.  That’s her ode to tolerance.  Makes her a special kind of fandom snowflake where heterosexual same sex kissing is okay but homosexual same sex kissing is not.

She then spelled it out quite clearly: Animethon is not the place for large population in the anime community who like, read and watch anime and manga.  If you want that, go to Yaoicon.  (Because anime isn’t about the gays and lesbians and yaoi and yuri.)  Frankly, I think that’s a good idea.  If there is anyone in Alberta, Canada thinking of going to Animethon, don’t and tell the organizer why.

PRESS RELEASE: Fan History is Breaking Wiki Size Barriers

June 6th, 2009

In May 2009, Fan History became the biggest MediaWiki-based wiki that is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation.

Sleepy Hollow, Illinois – If you are looking for information about fans and all the activities they engage in, you need to check out Fan History Wiki located at http://www.fanhistory.com/ . In May 2009, in trying to become the best resource of its kind, Fan History became the biggest MediaWiki-based wiki that is not part of the Wikimedia Foundation with over 750,000 articles.

Fan History’s accomplishment has been several years in the making.  Since May 2006, the project has been working on documenting the history of fan communities.  Fan History started with some basic history information that had originally been found on FanFiction.Net.  The focus had been on media fandom and fan fiction.  In 2007, the focus changed and became broader and less focused on fan fiction.  In 2008, Fan History created a directory of members of the fan community and added over half a million articles in the process of doing that.  Fan History also added statistical information that updates daily; the wiki tracks the growth of fan fiction and LiveJournal communities representing over 4,000 television shows, anime shows, musical groups, actors and video games.  In 2009, Fan History continued its expansion and breadth of topics covered.  This was done by adding articles about fanzines, musical groups, movies and episodes of television. At every step, the fandom community responded, helped improve many of our stubs and added new content.

Fan History’s place as the biggest wiki of its kind is good news for those seeking to document the history of fandom.  The size of the wiki has led to an increase in traffic and number of contributors.  It has meant that important or interesting things in fandom have been documented for others to learn from.  This includes covering events such as the kerfuffle over Russet Noon in the Twilight fan community, how Dreamwidth Studios was viewed within the LiveJournal fan community, on going issues related to racism in fandom, how Police fans responded to the concert tour, and the current and past role of fanzines in fandom.   Many of these events are not covered elsewhere.  The current size and scope of the project makes this possible where other wikis and projects not in wiki format cannot.

For a list of the largest MediaWikis, see http://s23.org/wikistats/largest_html.php .

About Fan History LLC:

Fan History is a collaborative project like none other currently serving the fandom community. Its core function is as a wiki which allows members of fandom – men and women, young and old – to actively participate in documenting the history of their various fandoms, share current news which may impact their experiences, as well as creating an easily searchable web index of related communities, projects, and activities. It gives members of fandom a chance to share current fandom news that may impact people’s experiences in fandom. Fan History users can also promote their own creative projects, and share opinions with fellow fans and alert them to scams and questionable practices encountered within fandom. By providing these resources, Fan History allows users to celebrate their activities, whichever corner of fandom they come from: anime, cartoons, comics, movies, politics, radio, science fiction, sports, television, theater, and video games.

33,155 fandoms and growing…

May 15th, 2009

roflcopter flew in to Fan History again yesterday.  This time, the goal was to create music fandom stubs and it did that to the tune of 17,000 groups.  We’re really happy with this as we’ve wanted to expand that section for a long time.  There are just so many groups that it can be intimidating as to where to start exactly.  If you’re in music and there isn’t an article about a band you want to see mentioned, drop us a line and we’ll help you create one.  If you know people who could help improve our music section, we’d be extremely grateful.

With this growth, Fan History now has an article about or references 33,155 plus fandoms…  Below is a breakdown of those fan communities by type.

  • Actors – 275 fandoms
  • Anime – 550 fandoms
  • Books – 450 fandoms
  • Cartoons – 200 fandoms
  • Comics – 100 fandoms
  • Movies – 13,000 fandoms
  • Music – 17,605 fandoms
  • Politics – 5 fandoms
  • Radio – 35 fandoms
  • Sports – 125 fandoms
  • Table top gaming – 5 fandoms
  • Television – 750 fandoms
  • Theater – 30 fandoms
  • Video games – 250 fandoms
  • unsorted fandoms – 500 fandoms [1]

Total fandom estimate: 33,155

From the keyword vault…

May 6th, 2009

Sometimes, we get some interesting keyword searches on out blog that look like people need answers that we haven’t answered.  In that spirit, I’m going to address some of those.

what rating did the fans give the twilight movie and why

Ratings can best be found on Yahoo!Movies and on IMDB. Yahoo!Movies fans really liked the movie more than IMDB users. If there was a large amount of wank about the movie being awful, it never hit the radar of the people contributing to our Twilight article.

nicole p. and bonnaroo / nicole p. 104.5 / 104.5 bonnaroo contest

Looking for info on Nicole P?  And why she’s been getting votes in that contest?  That’s because we’ve been heavily plugging it in several places, including Fan History’s main page.   Go vote please.  We would really love for her to be able to go so she could report on music fandom for Fan History. :D

star trek fan total members

How many members are there  in the Star Trek fandom?  I can’t really answer that easily.   There are at least 5,500 fans on LiveJournal.  We can guess that there are over 3,000 on FanFiction.Net for Star Trek in its various forms.  We know there are at least 45 on InsaneJournal.  We also know there at least 43 on JournalFen.   There are probably other places to get numbers but those are the ones we have on the wiki.

the most obscure fandom ever

What is the most obscure fandom ever?  That’s almost impossible to answer.  There are a huge number of small fandoms with very few fan communities.  Some of them could be really old, with very little that got translated online.  A good example probably includes Road to Morocco.  You also can have local sports team for sports that don’t have big international audiences.  An example of that includes the Storhamar Dragons based out of Norway.  Most people probably haven’t heard of them.   So in this case, we really need the term obscure better defined.

fanfiction net – meme’s stargate

I don’t have a clue.   It might appear in our Stargate article, but skimming it?  I’m not seeing an answer.  Some one please educate me!

trace the ip address who visited my community on orkut

I’ve got nothing.  If you can put images in your profile or community, I highly suggest getting a paid account and using LJToys.  I just don’t know orkut well enough to provide better information.

anime fan art history

A history of fanart can be found on Fan History’s fanart article.  It really needs more work, and only generally touches on anime so the anime article might be a better source.

can wanking be beneficial to growth

We talked about this a lot in this blog entry about generating positive metrics.  Wanking can help provide short term traffic spikes but don’t provide long term traffic stability unless you can do that again and again and again on a consistent basis.  Depending on your content?  That may not be desirable.

So ends this edition of “From the keyword vault…”  I kind of liked writing this so I may do another edition soon.

The problems of writing personal histories in a wiki…

April 21st, 2009

On Thursday morning, a friend of Fan History’s and one of our admins pointed me at another post about the issues with FanLore.  We were really interested in this post because it dealt with similar yet different issues than the ones brought up by nextian.  Like that post, we’ve gone through and commented in terms of how we’ve handled similar criticism, how we handle situations like the one mentioned in terms of FanLore, what advice we have, etc.  We haven’t addressed the whole post and the comments because of length.  (And because we got a bit distracted by other things going on.)  We hope to get back to it.

A lot of non-fic fandom is languishing at Fanlore. Gamer fandom, in particular, I notice, ‘cos I’ve been part of that for (eeep!) more than thirty years.

This is a similar problem that Fan History has faced.  And it isn’t just non-fic fandoms.  It is fandoms where there is a community outside of and removed from the fan fiction community.  This was an area we were criticized for about two years.  We were too fan fiction-centric.  We weren’t multifannish enough.  We didn’t encourage the telling of fandom history outside of the fan fiction community.  And those criticisms were entirely valid back then. But now?  We’ve got a whole lot of fan fiction content but we’re a lot less fan fiction-centric in terms of our article scope.  Removing that has been a goal of ours and on our to-do list for a long time. It’s there as a reminder that when we see a timeline for a fandom that says “this fan fiction community,” we change it to “this fan community” or “this fandom.”  We’ve made this a priority.

That doesn’t even begin to get into the issue of media fandom vs. anime and manga fandom vs. actor fandom vs. music fandoms vs. video game fandoms.  In this respect, I think Fan History was fortunate because we had anime and video game fandoms represented early thanks to Jae, one of our earliest contributors.  She had a lot of experience in the Digimon and Final Fantasy communities, and created a number of articles about them.  We are also fortunate to a degree as my own interests were pretty pan-fannish.  I had connections to the anime and  music fandoms because of my relationships with the folks at RockFic, the guy who runs FanWorks.Org, and the people who run MediaMiner.Org.

FanLore isn’t as fortunate in that regards.  Their traditions, their interests have always been focused on media fandom and science fiction.  They don’t really have one or two core people who come from fannish experiences outside their own who, organizationally, are equal to other members of that community.  It is easy to have that problem because you tend to go with what you know, hang out with like-minded people, and stay in your comfort zone.

If you want those other fan communities represented, you have give those fans an investment in it.  You bypass the traditional rules.  You find a BNF in one of those fandoms, offer them admin status, and encourage them to promote the project in their own community.  We did this with the Kim Possible fandom.  We made one their own a fandom administrator, talked to the guy on a regular basis and encouraged him to reach out to his community.  And, to a certain degree, it worked.  If we hadn’t done that outeach, we would not have seen the edits to the Kim Possible section that we have had.  None of our core contributors have ever really been in the Harry Potter or Rescue Rangers fandoms to any large degree.  We reached out on mailing lists, LiveJournal groups, fansites, and fan fiction archives.  We asked for their help.  These folks responded.  Why?  We built a framework which made it easy to contribute.  In most cases, we left them alone to make edits as they needed to so long as they didn’t violate the rules.  They responded more when those articles became useful for them in terms of regularly visiting and linking because people couldn’t get that content elsewhere.

But I’m not sure what to do with the wiki. It’s… big. And mostly empty, in the areas of fandom that are most dear to me. And I’m not a historian; I don’t remember the details, the names & dates, of the fannish events & memes that I grew to love; I remember vague overview of concepts, and a few bright points of detail, which make for lousy wiki entries. I would like to start entries and allow others to fix them, but the few I tried that with, haven’t worked. I don’t think there’s anyone active at Fanlore who comes from “my branch(es)” of fandom.

The thing is, you don’t NEED to be a historian to be able to write the history of a fan community.  You don’t need all the dates.   You can write a good history based on general feel.  People can come in later and improve it with citations.  Just describe what you see going on with your gut feeling and explain that as well as you can.  Describe the community and how it operates.  Heck, a lot of this is not citable; how can you cite things like trends in, say, the LiveJournal community?  There is no way to cite, without doing a lot of research and without having access to primary source documents.

What we hope will happen is that by someone putting what they feel in there, what they intrinsically understand as a community history or how the community functions, someone else will be inspired by seeing that to do the additional research.  Or that someone else will disagree with that and edit it to include their own perspective, and the two different perspectives that can’t really be sourced can be merged.  Or that someone will know some good citations to support what is written.

The models for doing this have to be different because you aren’t writing a traditional history.  This is not the same as writing a history of the US Civil War.  Much of this involves writing ethnographic-style history.  The methodologies are different than other forms of documenting history.  The practices are different.  Both types of history are different from writing meta.

This all has an impact on how people contribute.  Administrators need to keep that in mind. The admin team needs to understand the fundamental methodologies involved in writing history.  At Fan History, our admins have spent a lot of time getting a crash course on exactly this.   There have been discussions on our mailing list about the methodologies of writing women’s histories, and how historians use oral histories in their research.  We’ve talked about multiple perspectives and issues of bias in the telling of fandom history.  We’ve discussed research done in fandom by academics like Henry Jenkins and Camille Bacon-Smith, identified areas of bias and how we can learn from that.  We’ve discussed primary sources, secondary sources, historian bias, reporter bias, the role of collaboration in history writing, quantitative versus qualitative approaches and merging the two approaches to get a cohesive history.  The more familiar the admin staff is with these issues, the better they are at analyzing, guiding and teaching others in terms of writing those histories in fandoms where those admins are not involved.

Knowing all this methodology also helps admins because they can learn when to leave alone historical information where someone doesn’t know the exact dates and might be a little off but are well-intentioned, and when they should step in to correct things that are obviously wrong or intentionally inflammatory.  For example, they can learn to correct when some one thinks they recall something about LiveJournal before LiveJournal actually existed or says something like: “There was never a good mpreg story published in the CSI fandom”.  The grounding in methodology helps to identify when you don’t need sources and when you do.

We’ve done an excellent job in  a few sections without many sources.  http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/CSI does that; no citations but tells history with charity work, with fan fiction archives like FanLib, and with how the LiveJournal community works.  We’ve also done a fairly good job with that on the mpreg article.  http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Mpreg talks about how mpreg is received in particular fan communities.  No citations.  Are we going to remove them?  No.  If there are issues, we can use the talk page to discuss that.  If people have problems with that, they can toss in {{fact}} or {{POV}}.

And if you still have issues where you can’t integrate that information, you do outreach.

I’m a sci-fi fan; I love reading, not watching, my sci-fi input. I love conventions, even though I’ve gone to very very few in the last decade. (So all of my con-based fanlore is decades old. Sigh.) And I want to fill in the blanks for the fandoms I love, but I can’t even get a grip on where and how to start.

I can totally understand that.   When I started writing the history of fandom, I had similar problems…  though more so the case of I had a lot of historical information that I could cite but all that information was really absent context. I didn’t know how to integrate it in to a historical context where these bits and pieces made sense.  I had lists of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Star Trek, and Starsky and Hutch fanzines from the 1980s, but no information about how of those zines were received by the readers, what were common tropes, who was writing them, or who the audience was.  How the heck do you put that information into an article about the fandom those zines come from and have it fit in any sort of meaningful way?  A lot of the culture probably changed when things went online.  There might not have been a continuity in that culture when it went online, so totally different cultural practices were created.   And sometimes, you really are left wondering who will care about that Blake’s 7 femslash zine that was written in 1992 other than someone into trivia.  Also, a lot of this might be duplicate historical research that someone already put out in a fanzine list done in 1995 and if only you had access… It is just a mess.

But at least that information is easy to cite or know.  It might be hard to get a grip on when you’re trying to put it into a big picture and you don’t have a starting place.  The personal, well, I can totally understand that in a different context.   I don’t know when some things happened.  I know I was on staff at FanFiction.Net.  I know I wrote the site’s first Terms of Service.  I know I got into a big fight with Steven Savage over policies.  I don’t know the exact dates.  I don’t have copies of the original text.  I know I founded the b5teens.  I know I got into a giant kerfluffle with some people on another mailing list when I was 16.  Many of the others involved in the group with me back then have left fandom.  I don’t know the dates. I don’t have the texts.  I’m sure as heck hoping that the fan fiction I wrote has disappeared.  Even assuming I knew some of that information, it was still weird to find a starting point.  What seems really big and important to you when you’re in the thick of it is difficult to put into any sort of proper historical context.

How can you make your own history as unbiased as possible?  People do a lot of stupid things -myself included - and really, who wants to deliberately make themselves look bad?   After dealing with that, how do you cite information when the source is yourself?  Or when you’re documenting history that includes your own involvement?  What event do you start with?  Do you start on the stuff you’re most passionate about, or the place where you can most easily slot your history in? Do you write the history where you can most easily put information into context, or the history where you can best cite your sources?

And you know, there are no easy answers to where to start when you’re talking about random bits of fandom historical knowledge or your own history. The best suggestion, in personal terms, is to think of your own goals for involvement for writing a history.  Is there a particular fandom where you have a lot of experience and knowledge but no one has really written up a history yet?  Is there an event that you think matters where you feel like you have a unique perspective?  Has someone written information that can provide a framework for your own history?

Those might be a places to start if you’re stumped. Try to write biographies or histories of the key players that you know.  Timeline specific events in the context of the convention, mailing list, fanzine, IRC chat room, fanclub, social network or kerfluffle.  Create an outline. This information doesn’t need to be ready for “prime time.”  You’re not writing an academic text.  You’re providing information from within the fan community to help members of the fan community and those on the outside better understand it.  Tenure isn’t at risk.  (Though if you’re writing biased material with the intent of making yourself and your friends look better, your reputation in the fan community might be at risk.)   In the early stages, the information that you’re writing or collecting doesn’t even necessarily need to go on the main article about a fandom.  You can keep it on subpages until you understand all the moving pieces and how they fit into the larger fandom picture.  Then, later, you can integrate it into the main article or just create a “see also” in the main article.

If that doesn’t work for you, there are other places to start.  Find the talk page for an article relevant to the history you want to tell.  Introduce yourself on the talk page, talk about your experiences, cite sources where some of that information can be verified and ask the contributors to the article to integrate that information into the article.  Follow up when people ask questions or explanations.   Using talk pages this way can be helpful in terms of learning the feel of a wiki community and how people expect you to contribute.  They can also help you find someone who is more comfortable in terms of finding a starting place, who can help you focus what you want to do.  Starting on talking pages can also be similar to drafting on subpages like I mentioned above: there is less pressure because things aren’t on the main article and you don’t need to make a judgement call on the merits of what you’re contributing.  Others can do that by chosing to integrate your knowledge and experience into the article.

Total fandoms represented on Fan History? Lots and lots.

March 30th, 2009

If you haven’t been watching Fan History’s recent changes page, you might not have noticed it but we’ve steadily been working on clearing out our wanted categories. In the past 10 days or so, we’ve taken that from over 4,500 categories being wanted to what amounts to zero. Along the way, we’ve probably created a bit of a monster in that we’ve found several capitalization issues, several issues with articles appearing or not appearing in categories, etc. Those problems will get resolved over time and will be much easier to address now because we know those categories actually exist and have articles in them. All this category creation has given us reason to reflect on our category organization methods. We’ve subsequently updated our category help page.

Getting to the main point, all this category structure means we have a much better idea of how many fan communities are represented on Fan History. We don’t have a firm count because there is some crossover for things like Star Trek which is both a television show, movie and cartoon. These are estimates based on fandom categories.

  • Actors – 275 fandoms
  • Anime – 550 fandoms
  • Books – 450 fandoms
  • Cartoons – 200 fandoms
  • Comics – 100 fandoms
  • Movies – 1000 fandoms
  • Music – 475 fandoms
  • Politics – 5 fandoms
  • Radio – 35 fandoms
  • Sports – 125 fandoms
  • Table top gamining – 5 fandoms
  • Television – 750 fandoms
  • Theater – 30 fandoms
  • Video games – 250 fandoms
  • unsorted fandoms – 500 fandoms

    Total fandoms: 4,025

  • AboutUs: Best sites about fandom

    February 27th, 2009

    One of the guys at AboutUs pointed me at this list today: Best sites about fandom. Fan History is on it! :-D Very, very cool. There are a lot of other really great fandom sites on it including the following that I love:

  • Xenite.org
  • SF-Fandom.com
  • Theotaku.com
  • Acen.org

    So check out that list and go help AboutUs improve those articles. And then come back and help improve the related articles on Fan History. :-D

  • The market and the medium are NOT separate conversations

    February 10th, 2009

    I occasionally read Anime News Network’s Chicks on Anime because as some one who tries to keep up with fandom, it is helpful to know what is going on in the industry and they discuss topics which are relevant to fan community. Knowing this information, being exposed to the topics discussed there, it makes doing my job at Fan History that much easier and helps to insure that we’re covering things.

    So I read the latest post with some interest. The first part was kind of really disappointing because they had a fansubber involved in their discussion and they totally under utilized that person. It was like one of the panelists, Bamboo, had a set agenda of things that they wanted to say and they weren’t going to let the fansubber get in their way. Fine yeah. Whatever. Disappointing.

    Let’s move on and read the second part and hope it can improve. But nope! Fail. The Sara and Bamboo crap in the first part continued on in to the second part. Only this time? They managed to pull out the offensive with their disconnect. This time, they really managed to piss me off. I don’t know if Sara and Bamboo realize it, but they sound like privileged academic oriented elitists who don’t have to worry about the real world. And when they talk about the anime industry? When most of the consumers of that don’t necessarily fall into that cushy group? When they talk about people who would love to be involved with the industry but can’t because they lack the money? Just ARG! PLEASE SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!

    These two chicks on anime don’t seem to get it: Money and financial compensation do matter to the health of any industry, especially the creative industry. Because, you know, lack of financial compensation means only the elite, those who are financially privileged, can be involved. If you have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from, if you can’t spend the necessary time to get the training you need, then you don’t have the incentive to produce.

    Trust me. I know this. I’ve seen it happen in fandom often. I’ve also heard about it from my friends who are artists. In the fan fiction community, some of the best authors can’t write as often as their fans would like them to because the authors aren’t getting compensated for their work in any tangible sense other than getting praise and adulation from the fan community. Those that are really, really good at writing, those that want to make a go at it as a career, they have to write original fiction. For most of them, that means loads and loads of marketing of themselves, something that takes time away from writing. And it also means continuing to work because even when they do sell, they don’t make enough to quit their day jobs. It can be stressful to watch, especially when your friends trying to make the leap to professional writing from the working class. That stuff is hard to balance.

    And that’s writing. All you really need there is a basic computer. Forget animation and art. Those require a lot more of a financial commitment. You’ve got to buy a lot of art supplies. You’ve got to buy special computers. You’ve got to buy expensive software. (Or you have to use pirated stuff and hope you don’t get caught.) Money. Money. Money. I know of a few professional artists who are pretty damned good at what they do. It would be fantastic if they could continue to produce more… but you know what? They can’t. Why? They need real jobs in order to pay for their continued involvement in the art community as artists. The lucky ones can stay in industry by working as art teachers. And by art teachers, I mean on the collegiate level. That requires more money as you need a lot of training, including a Masters degree, in order to get to that point.

    Did I mention that it pisses me off, the suggestion that you can remove money and marketing and a discussion about adequate compensation from any discussion about fostering quality in the world of anime? It does. Sara and Bamboo obviously don’t live in a world where the above matters.

    Let’s not forget another piece of underlying subtext to the message that Sara and Bamboo, our lovely chicks on anime, are conveying: Talent is hereditary and doesn’t need to be cultivated. The best artists will naturally emerge and be compensated for it as people recognize their inherent talents.

    WHUT? Also, WHUT? Seriously? Talent is not hereditary. You aren’t born a great artist. There is no genetic gift where you just born a great manga artist or a stupendous animator straight out of the womb. Artists need to practice, to have their inherent talents cultivated. It takes time. Sometimes, that time stretches into years. The time required developing any inherent talent means that they cannot be concerned about making a living because if they have to worry, they can’t produce. They’ll lack the time. Or they’ll be so distracted that when they have the time, they can’t produce their best work as a lot of people just do not work well under pressure. Because who pays the rent for a Room of One’s Own?

    Sara and Bamboo seem like a lot of non-professionals who wrongly make that assumption that talent is inherited and doesn’t require a lot of nurturing and training. Thus, they undermine fair market value because they place art and animation on pedestal. It is something that they hold sacred, where they refuse to place any concrete monetary value on art because how can they fairly value that wonderful work? Of course, this is again based on the assumption that the talented will automatically rise despite their lower class status because our culture inherently recognizes talent and quality.

    What does this mean? Those lovely assumptions that Sara and Bamboo have? It means that we, the consumer, get an inferior product, where the overall quality of what is brought to the market is inferior. Why? Because the only people who can produce are the non-paid hobbyist who labor out of love.

    This attitude in turn has the trickle down effect of hurting the industry as a whole. Why? Because if you refuse to pay for quality work, then the product being brought to market will be inferior which means that consumers are much less likely to purchase it. If that happens, then everyone on down gets hurts. This includes your publishers, your book and DVD sellers, your anime specialty shops, anime conventions, professional bloggers, retail employees, magazine publishers, etc.

    So Chicks on Anime, Bamboo and Sara? Please shut up about that which you don’t know. Money and compensation of artists matters. You can’t separate this from the issue of quality and health in the anime industry. All you’re doing is hurting the rest of us.

    Fandoms and their musical tastes & trends

    January 23rd, 2009

    So, I have recently fallen in crazy love with Last.Fm. Not only is it a great service for discovering new music, but also tracking my own listening habits, and now, I see, for examining fandom trends and looking at what connections there may be between certain anime, media fandoms and bandoms. This is possible as Last.fm allows users to create “groups” of any kind, and statistics will show what are the weekly top artists for that group.

    So what are some popular musical artists within certain large fandom groups right now?

    Let’s first look at Twilight. There are currently over 1,200 members of the Last.Fm Twilight group, and their Top 10 artists currently are:

    1. Paramore
    2. Muse
    3. Linkin Park
    4. Carter Burwell
    5. Katy Perry
    6. Coldplay
    7. Britney Spears
    8. The Black Ghosts
    9. Iron & Wine
    10. Blue Foundation

    Not surprisingly, 7 of those 10 artists have material on the Twilight soundtrack cd, explaining their popularity.

    Looking next at Harry Potter, which has a Last.Fm group of over 1,500 members and a fanbase with some similarities in age and makeup to Twilight, we discover some close similarities in musical taste:

    1. Coldplay
    2. Muse
    3. Paramore
    4. The Killers
    5. The Beatles
    6. Britney Spears
    7. Linkin Park
    8. Katy Perry
    9. Radiohead
    10. Fall Out Boy

    6 of the Harry Potter Top 10 are the same as for Twilight, including artists such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, not on the Twilight soundtrack but popular performers within the teenage/20-something age group. How exactly The Beatles and Radiohead fit in I’m not sure, unless they reflect some of the wider age-range and fannish make-up of Harry Potter fandom? I’ll be curious to keep comparing the data on these two fan groups in future weeks.

    Let’s also look at Naruto, a popular anime which also has a large (1,400+ members) Last.Fm group. Here’s their current Top 10:

    1. Linkin Park
    2. System of a Down
    3. Metallica
    4. Muse
    5. Coldplay
    6. Toshiro Masuda (Naruto soundtrack composer)
    7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    8. The Killers
    8. Rammstein
    10. Nightwish

    Again we see some familiar names, such as Linkin Park, Muse, Coldplay and The Killers, but there are also some more metal and hard rock acts such as Metallica, System of a Down and Rammstein. So is there a connection between Naruto and metal fandom? I’m curious to know! Has a lot of metal been used in Naruto songvids? Can anyone explain this more?

    Finally, let’s look at the Top 10 artists this week for an older fandom: Star Trek. The Star Trek Last.Fm group is smaller than the others we’ve looked at so far–about 350 members, and the Top 10 artists are quite different from the other groups looked at so far:

    1. The Beatles
    2. Nine Inch Nails
    3. U2
    4. Pink Floyd
    5. The Cure
    6. Depeche Mode
    7. Radiohead
    8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    9. The Rolling Stones
    10. David Bowie

    The skew is certainly towards much older musical acts from the 60s & 70s (Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, David Bowie…), 80s & 90s (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2, The Cure…) Musical tastes for the fandom match quite closely with the time periods when Star Trek itself was perhaps at its most popular. Though there are The Beatles and Radiohead again. Maybe they’re just popular all across fandom? Will the release of the upcoming Star Trek movie bring in a younger fanbase and skew the musical taste of the group more towards currently popular acts?

    Anyway, such are the things I find interesting to look at on Last.Fm currently, and what it may or may not say about the connections between different fandom communities.

    How many fandoms are represented on Fan History?

    January 18th, 2009

    About a week ago, I was asked by some one how many fandoms were represented on Fan History and I had problems coming up with a number. Why? Because Fan History is a work in progress. For some fandoms, we have articles but they aren’t found in a category that makes them easily countable. Some articles don’t have categories because we just have one article in that subcategory so we don’t bother. Some of our articles were created by bots. While we’ve been hard at work trying to make categories, subcategories and build the framework for them, we’re talking over 5,000 categories and that takes a lot of work.

    So that aside, let’s try to get a picture of how many fandoms are represented on Fan History by seeing how big some of our important categories are.

    Misc

  • Fan fiction community size – 2,111 fandoms
  • LiveJournal community size by fandom – 999 fandoms
  • Actors

  • Actor fandoms – 322 fandoms
  • Actor fans – 41 fandoms
    A lot of these articles were created because LiveJournal communities were based on them or in an effort to create articles for people who visit our site through FanPop and Chickipedia. A lot of these fandoms are smaller so high possibility that there are another 100 actor fandoms on Fan History that aren’t picked up because of LiveJournal related bots.Anime
  • Anime fandoms -304 fandoms
  • Anime fandom categories – 374 fandoms
  • Anime fans – 299 fans
  • Anime LiveJournal communities – 20 fandoms
    A lot of anime fandoms are really, really small. FanFiction.Net related bots picked them up. We just haven’t built categories for them because we haven’t always spotted them. And when we do spot them, we’re not always creating articles for them. We found an anime fandom recently where there were over 2000 articles in subcategories but no actual article about the show itself. I’d guess that’s the high number? Add another 200 and you’ll get a feel for the number of anime fandoms.Books
  • Book fandoms – 220 fandoms
  • Book fandom categories – 287 fandoms
  • Book fans – 181 fans
  • Book LiveJournal communities – 13 fandoms
    We’re planning on adding a number of new book fandoms to Fan Fiction Stat Bot, to the tune over over 100 fandoms. That should ratchet up the number of fandoms represented by another 100. There are probably another 100 not showing up because of FanFiction.Net connected bots.Cartoons
  • Cartoon fandoms – 63 fandoms
  • Cartoons fandom categories – 120 fandoms
  • Cartoons fans – 125 fandoms
    I’d hazard a guess of another 25 fandoms floating around the site. This category just doesn’t feel like it has the sheer number of fandoms to draw from to begin with to have a lot of hidden categories and articles.Comics
  • Comics fandoms – 48 fandoms
  • Comics fandoms categories – 59 fandoms
  • Comics fans – 41 fandoms
    Like cartoons, this is a pretty small type of fandom that is compounded in its difficulty to count and create articles for because of all the crossovers canon-wise, with new comics spun off based on characters, etc. There are probably another 25 fandoms not yet categorized in those groups yet.Movies
  • Movie fandoms – 221 fandoms
  • Movie fandom categories – 338 fandoms
  • Movie fans – 265 fandoms
    Movie fandoms might have some additional fan categories to the tune of another 100 or so. Like actor fandoms, unless there is more than 1 article in a category, categories generally aren’t created for it. FanFiction.Net related articles weren’t picked up by Fan Fiction Stat Bot because we wanted to get the bot done faster and generally assumed those fandoms weren’t as active. There are probably 100 to 250 wanted articles for movies on actor-related articles where we’ve listed what fandoms actors appeared in.Music
  • Music fandoms – 377 fandoms
  • Music fandom categories – 383 fandoms
  • Music fans – 67 fandoms
  • Music LiveJournal communities – 33 fandoms
  • Music images – 44 fandoms
    This broad subcategory has had a few stewards and hasn’t had the articles added by bots that the other ones have had. Where it did, most of the categories already existed. I’d guess at most that another 50 fandoms are represented.Politics
  • Politics fandom categories – 1 fandom
  • Politics fandoms – 6 fandoms
    This is one of those main categories that is a mess. There probably aren’t more than 4 additional fandoms. No one has really put the time and effort into organizing and fixing this category so it just isn’t represented. (That should really change.)Radio
  • Radio fans – 2 fandoms
  • Radio fandoms – 33 fandoms
  • Radio fandom categories – 31 fandoms
    This is another neglected category like politicians. It should have more but doesn’t. It might have another 10 fandoms, mostly ones that are part of other mediums.Science fiction
  • Science fiction fandoms – 38 fandoms
  • Science fiction fans – 2 fandoms
    These categories mostly are pulled from other categories like books, television and movies. There are probably another 300 categories but they overlap everything else ,so take that with a grain of salt. We really need someone to sort through and better categorize those shows. Our emphasis on this category so far has been conventions, culture and terminology when building here.Sports
  • Baseball – 10 fandoms
  • Basketball – 4 fandoms
  • Figure skating – 2 fandoms
  • Football – 8 fandoms
  • Football fans – 3 fandoms
  • Hockey teams – 5 fandoms
  • Soccer fans – 3 fandoms
  • Sports fandom categories – 17 fandoms
    Sports fandom is a total mess because you’re not dealing with a major broad category but a category per sport. No one has spent much time improving the organization or working on articles in this area. We have a number of fandoms based on my and Sidewinder’s sports team interests. A few were picked up by LiveJournal bot. It looks like 50 total but better counting and sorting things out from uncategorized categories and uncategorized articles, I think we’d have another 50 fandoms.Television
  • Television fandoms – 457
  • Television fandom categories – 545 fandoms
  • Television fans – 414 fandoms
    As Fan history came out of media fandom with some music and television fans, I’m not surprised this is really large. I’d hazard a guess we have another 150 categories and articles from various television fandoms floating around the site.
    Theater
  • Theater fandoms – 7 fandoms
  • Theater fandom categories – 14 fandoms
  • Theater fans – 13 fandoms
    This is just one of those other neglected fandom categories. Not much there and no one has spent a lot of time updating those articles. I’d estimate another 10 fandoms just because there hasn’t been a goal of adding categories and articles.
    Video games
  • Video game fandoms – 84 fandoms
  • Video game fandom categories – 187 fandoms
  • Video game fans – 159 fandoms
    This category is one of those that has a lot of categories because people helped complete wanted categories based on articles the bots created. Lots of articles missing but categories created. The category was better maintained a year ago when one of major contributors was more active. I’d guess another 50 fandoms here because not the biggest category ever.
    Based on the biggest number of fandoms (besides sports where we just added them up and misc which duplicated a lot of things in our existing categories) for each subheading, we have a total of 2,761 fandoms represented on Fan History. If you add up our total estimates for fandoms that aren’t counted where they are supposed to be, we probably have 3,635 fandoms represented on Fan History.

    That’s a lot of fandoms. And we haven’t even begun to really document many of those are touch all the fan communities that are out there.

  • Why hello thar CrunchRoll and potential fan wank!

    December 28th, 2008

    Thank you to elocinia for bringing this to my attention. I’m only an occasional visitor to CrunchyRoll and I wouldn’t have picked up on this otherwise. The site is going to have big changes.

    CrunchyRoll made a deal with TV Tokyo to get subbed versions of some of their series available one hour after they air in Japan. Awesome no? Not necessarily. In order to do this, they are first removing all unlicensed anime from their site. And if you want to watch those new episodes? You need to pay to be able to watch them right away. If you don’t, you’ve got to wait a week to watch them.

    The fall out could be pretty big and we’ll have to see how they handle the fall out that is sure to come from people who protest their illegal vids from being accessible like they want to.

    ACEN 2008

    May 19th, 2008

    Over the weekend, I attended ACEN 2008, an anime convention held in Rosemont, Illinois that attracted a crowd of over 12,000 anime fans.  It was held in a convention center that I hadn’t attended a convention at since 1999 or so.  Huge was an understatement from my point of view.  As a non-Anime fandom identifying fan, I suffered almost immediate culture shock.  My brother prepped me for attending by saying to think of it was a convention like I’d see in Genshiken.  Yes, that felt pretty accurate.  Everything depicted in Genishiken was pretty much there, except that it was filled with an American audience as opposed to a Japanese one.

    I passed on most of the big events, something that I started regretting by the time I got home Sunday afternoon.  I didn’t go for the experience and talk with people like I should have.  There were a lot of people who could really have helped my understanding of fandom had I had the courage to approach more people. The few conversations I did have were interesting, entertaining and enlightening.  The panel I did went pretty well and hopefully I can get Fan History involved with more panels in the future.

    My selection of pretty poor pictures can be found here.

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