( Some context and observations )
( Some context and observations )
Okay, so, we acquired Phil Kessel (minus some retained salary) and some other players and picks in return for Kapanen, Spaling, and some other players and picks. What this means:
* We got Phil Kessel! Who is a legit superstar. And now he's ours.
* We got Phil Kessel, who was probably my fav hockey person in the NHL who wasn't a Pen (except maybe Ovi, but I think Ovi is happy where he's at). I have a huge soft spot for Kessel because of all the crap he's taken from the Toronto media and management over the years. And now he's ours! \o/
* Toronto RETAINED SALARY. WTF.
* We didn't give up Olli OR Pouliot. I think this means Rutherford is magic.
* We dumped Spaling, who was serviceable but cost too much.
* Now we won't/can't trade for Patrick Sharp. Or his face. \o/
First, your OBLIGATORY FIRST PHIL KESSEL READ.
While we're at it, here's one from Puck Daddy today specifically about the ridiculous Toronto media and its ridiculous treatment of Kessel.
And here is HockeyMeesh's breakdown of the trade. Meesh is my fav Pens blogger, btw; you should totes follow him on Twitter.
Second, some worthy quotes. First, from the article by Seth Rorabaugh above:
General manager Jim Rutherford said discussions on this trade went on for approximately a month. Coupling that with the somewhat light package of assets the Penguins gave up, it's a pretty clear illustration of how badly the Maple Leafs wanted to get rid of Kessel.
Rutherford again, this time courtesy of Dejan Kovacevic:
“You can never know with trades. Over time is when you can best judge trades,” Rutherford said. “We got the best player in the trade right now. It usually works out for the team that gets the best player. To not take a lot off our team and to add Kessel, at this point, that gives me personal satisfaction.”
Basically I am just going to spend the next several weeks going, "We got Phil Kessel. We got Phil Kessel!" I am positively giddy, you guys.
One of the things about Saga that I think is neither good nor bad (though some might disagree) but definitely different from a lot of comics, especially mainstream superhero ones, is how simple the page design is. Greg Burgas at Comic Book Resources has been analyzing comics art every day this year (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and in the scans he's chosen of significant comics artists, there's a lot of pyrotechnics going on in page design. Staples forgoes all that. She never goes for scenes bleeding into each other or overlapping panels. Her panels rarely even have anything but square corners (or corners that are clipped, like photos - I guess for visual interest?), and they pretty much ALWAYS read left to right and top to bottom. IMO it's one of the many reasons Saga is such a great comic to start people with - as comics go, it is super easy to read.
She's also fonder of splash pages than most artists I can think of. It feels a little self-indulgent sometimes, because the story doesn't usually need full pages devoted to a single panel - it's not like we're using the extra space to show off a battle scene or spaceship schematics or anything like that. But man, she uses them so well. Frequently she introduces new characters that way, which means we get to luxuriate in her absolutely gorgeous character designs. The introductions of The Stalk and Gwendolyn are both great examples. Another one is these guys, the fishy journalist boys in love from Jetsam:
( image )
More often, though, Staples uses the splash pages as emphasis. Often they function as reveals - of new characters, changed situations, what have you. Other times, you know, we really just need a full page of The Brand in her tie and crash helmet, saying pithy things about governments and PR.
Below we have one of those changed situations. It's also the last page of #24, so beware huge honking spoilers, but ugh, this panel made me SO HAPPY.
( spoilery image! )
So I've been rereading Saga from the beginning, and I'm noticing things I didn't the first time. I actually have a whole bunch of observations, but it's late, so one long one is all you get. Spoilers through #24 (the most recent issue) under the cut.
( spoilers! )
First, definitions: by soul mates I mean people who are destined to be together - your one perfect match, the person at the other end of your red thread, the person whose name is a magic tattoo on your wrist - written in their handwriting, even! A soul bond, OTOH, to me means something formed between you and another person that connects you somehow metaphysically in a way that affects you mentally, emotionally, and/or physically.
As suggested above, the soul mates trope presents in all sorts of different ways. There's the wristname tropes, the red thread trope, I think in one fandom there's something about having matching beauty marks? (MLP:FiM? Possibly I'm confusing soul marks with cutie marks.) Or just the warm happy glow in your chest that appears when you first meet your match and never fades.
Regardless, the sense of destiny hangs over everything, which right off makes the trope less appealing to me, especially if that destiny specifies that your soul mate is your perfect fit and the person you will be happiest with and if the narrative supports that interpretation. How boring! And in fact in most of the wristname fic I've read in hockey fandom, the conflict centers on people finding their soul mates in the first place, because what conflict could you possibly have with someone who is the most perfect person on earth for you to be with?
Actually, I think there's still a lot of potential there for conflict; see Emma Caulfield's quirky, unsettling movie TiMER, about a world in which you can have a device implanted that tells you the amount of time you have left until you meet your soul mate. What if you meet them when you're still a teenager? What if you won't meet them for forty years - what do you do in the meantime? What if you find someone you'd rather have than some unknown, however soul-mate-y? But fic generally seems less interesting in asking those questions.
(Also, this video, purportedly about Finnish people meeting for the first time, is clearly actually about Finnish people meeting their soul mates for the first time. See the slow opening of the eyes! The nervous smiles, the awkward introductions!)
In addition, the worldbuilding that goes with some of these particular expressions is just wonky. I've been reading a lot of wristname fic recently, so, who is it that decides whose name goes on whose wrist? Are you telling me that's somehow a natural process? Unless you do some work building a world in which wristnames are a natural expression of this, that, and the other magical fact, I pretty much have to conclude there's a deity putting their hand in, and I can't say I care much for that either. And what about the hundreds of millions of people in history who were illiterate - did they just have an X on their wrist? The basic premise drives me batty. And then even once we accept it, the world that results from the premise rarely makes any sense. Why isn't there some database somewhere, in this world of digitization, that keeps track of everyone's wristnames and helps match them up? Is it because there is a massive cultural accretion of taboos and mores that prevent it? What would those be? Fic rarely answers these questions for me.
That said, I've read some wristname fic that does do some neat cultural stuff that I've liked. There's a really excellent WIP on the kinkmeme where wristnames are rare and finding your other half is rarer, and there are hints at some of the expectations and conflicts that arise from those facts, and sherlockelly's Benn/Seguin fic does some exploration of how wristnames might work in general, especially in a world that still has a lot of homophobia.
On the whole, though, soul bonding is much more up my alley, because it's basically forced intimacy cranked to 11, with all the potential conflict that implies. While you might for a soul bond with your soul mate in some universes, in most fics I've read soul bonding can happen between lots of people. Sometimes there's an element of compatibility, but other times it's just a matter of them doing the right (or wrong) things at the right (or wrong) time. Accidental soul bonding is a special favorite of mine, as you might guess. Maybe they don't like each other! Maybe they don't even know each other! Maybe soul bonding right now is just really inconvenient. But like it or not, now this unfortunate pair has no choice but to feel each other's feelings, read each other's thoughts, and/or spend time in each other's space, depending on the rules of the world.
In fact, take away the mindreading and maybe the empathic component, and soul bonding is just regular old biology-based bonding or mating, like a person might find in a/b/o or werewolf fic. I have an a/b/o fic that I've been working on for a while that I figured out pretty fast is actually basically my soul bonding fic, even if souls don't really come into it as such. There's still the forced proximity because of physically needing to be around each other a lot, the affecting each other's moods, and, bonus, the occasional need to have sex with each other.
Again, there are a bunch of ways to expand on this that I haven't seen very much yet, but I have seen fic where hockey players bond voluntarily to improve team chemistry, or where a person is expected to have both platonic bonds and a romantic bond. I've heard tell of poly bonding, although I don't know if I've read it yet. And I would be deeply remiss if I didn't mention Fastening One Heart to Every Falling Thing, by thefourthvine, the story of Geno who can't bond and Sidney who really doesn't want to, and which is single-handedly responsible for me being in hockey fandom.
So: soul bonds. Soul mates. Can work quite differently, depending on context! Which do you prefer? Recs?
( basics )
Things I have noticed:
* The comic makes it explicit that Fantomex can summon E.V.A. - aka his "external nervous system" ins the form of a spaceship with an AI - at any time and that she pops straight out of his brain. Just. What?
* ( spoiler )
More thoughts no doubt forthcoming as I continue to read.
In which I look at some August direct market sales figures of books I’m reading, and I fret and stew a bit. This is a long ramble that is informed mostly by me reading a lot of discussion and articles at Comic Book Resources, so, I am no expert. Corrections welcome!
( an image and a lot of rambling )
Instead, what I can do is write a character with a particular run of comics in mind. So I wrote Edmondson!Natasha, all isolated and driven, and then I wrote early!00s!Natasha with Yelena, where she cares about Yelena and views her from the perspective of a wealth of spy experience, and also she has kind of a sense of humor about Yelena. Those are basically different Natashas, though, as far as I am concerned. I *could* fanwank the differences, but in order to do that I'd really want some kind of coherent narrative thread in the comics that take us at least in the general direction from one to the other, and AFAIK there isn't one (although to be fair I haven't read most of the team stuff Natasha's been in).
In any case, point is: I can write for specific runs or sets of runs (Betsy and Fantomex in UXF vol.1, UXF vol.2, and XF vol.3 come to mind as a related set of runs that are relatively unified). And that works fine as long as there's enough in the run to write a character. OTOH, I'd have a really hard time writing for, say, Wood's X-Men, because none of the characters get enough time or arc stand alone as characters in that book.
But what I figured out today was, I actually don't enjoy reading outside of specific runs, either. I'm a little slow, but it finally occurred to me to look for X-men fic on ff.net, which actually is pretty fantastic, because they have fic split into comics and movies. However, again, I don't actually want to read most of it, because it doesn't seem to be set in any particular portion of canon, so I can't place it. I don't know what the fic is responding to. It's even worse than trying to read fic for a particular book that I don't know; at least there, I can see where the holes are.
tl;dr superheroe comics fic is hard.
I used to think there was some complicated and mysterious alchemy that determined what my next fandom would be, but in fact it seems to boil down to two things:
1. A character I obsess over. This character has so far always been male, which might surprise some of you given my enthusiasm the last few years for female characters. Historically, though, my pattern is: fall in love with male character, get into fandom, eventually switch allegiances primarily to female characters. (Who knows what this bodes in terms of hockey fandom.)
Now, why some male characters do this for me and not others is mysterious; there are some similarities that can be drawn between Spike and Dean Winchester, but my most recent obsession is character/RL person Evgeni Malkin, who has basically no similarities with either of the other two.
2. Lots of fic already existing about said character. It turns out that I can love a character to bits and pieces, but if there isn't tons of fic to feed my interest, it withers and dies. And what's more, I need all that fic to play off of when I start writing my own, which is what rahirah really asked. Writing fic for a small/non-existent fandom is hard work, as far as I'm concerned - much harder than writing for a larger fandom. I'm not great at inventing the wheel; I will never be one of those authors on the forefront of a new fandom, blazing the trail. I need a fandom to be in conversation with.
Now, the exception to all this for me is Marvel comics.
( cut for long description of the shape of Marvel canon and fandom )
Having given you all that background, Marvel comics really does not look like the fandom for me, does it? Current fannish communities and fic are clustered largely around a handful of titles I'm not fannishly invested in, and the only male character I care all that much about, Fantomex, has like five fics on AO3.
And yet, like I said, Marvel comics are the exception to all my fannish patterns, because I've loved the female characters right from the start and because I continue to love the canon so much that I keep offering various pieces of it in exchanges and trying my hand at it. I'm pretty sure Marvel comics is never going to be my main fic fandom, because there just isn't enough concentrated community and fic. (This means when I write fic, there aren't a ton of people interested, either.) But apparently I'm going to keep plugging away nonetheless.
Now that I've said all that: What does it take for a canon to move you to writing fic/making art/getting fannishly creative? What are the secret ingredients?
( notes and process for this fic - possibly better read after reading the fic )
Base Notes (16505 words) by Snickfic
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin, Evgeni Malkin/Maxime Talbot
Characters: Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Maxime Talbot, Sergei Gonchar
Additional Tags: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics, Pittsburgh Penguins, Scents & Smells, Romance, Language Barrier
In which Evgeni Malkin comes to America as one of the few omegas in pro hockey, lights up the NHL, and spends a lot of time wondering why Sidney Crosby is so damn weird.
These are all fairly recent comics, some of them still ongoing, which I personally have read and enjoyed and think would be approachable to someone with very little knowledge of comics continuity, either because they're standalone titles (the Image stuff) or because the writers kept away from the continuity tangles of the larger universe inhabited by the characters (the Marvel stuff). I also stuck to stuff that's available in trades, so that you have a hope of acquiring them through your local library. However, they are all also available via Comixology, the one-stop shop for digital comics by the big publishers.
( onto the recommendations! )
This topic feels like it requires a few thousand words to do it justice, and I don't even know what most of those words would be. Nonetheless, off we go.
I have never had a lot of ships I feel strongly enough about to write about and read fanfic for. In fact, in terms of ships about which I am actively fannish, the list is pretty much Spike/Buffy, Faith/Giles, Meg/Castiel, Sam/Amelia, Gen/Jared, Jared/Jensen, Psylocke/Fantomex and Psylocke/Fantomex/Cluster (from X-men/Uncanny X-Force). If we also talk about fandoms I don't actively participate in, we could add Mary/Lavinia from Downton Abbey, and... I'm sure there are a couple more, but I can't think of them. Basically, it's a special ship that gets and keeps my attention after the first memory of the canon starts to fade.
I don't know that those ships listed have much in the way of common features, either. The one big one would be that most of these ships are ships that I want to work and believe would work despite major reasons why they shouldn't. A vampire in love with the Slayer, an angel who's kind of bad sweet on a demon who's kind of good, the gloriously damaged mess that is Sam/Amelia, streetwise Faith and tweedy Giles (all the better a match for having had a rebellious punk phase himself) - none of those are easy or obvious pairings, and fic that assumes they are easy does nothing to satisfy my shipping itch. What I want are ships that are hard, that might potentially clash for reasons of personality, ethics, or just age differences, but which nonetheless are shown by canon or fic to be sustainable, even joyous relationships for the people involved. There is, to me, so much hope in that; it's part of my personal need to see things built up, rather than be torn down, although of course the former is so much harder than the latter.
(The flipside is that most of my major ships have the potential for disastrous ruin, but needless to say I find fic that goes that route to be much less satisfying. :D)
The oddballs here are the RPF ships. Jared/Gen and Jared/Jensen are like relationships between paper dolls: I expect each character to maintain certain basic characteristics from one fic to the next, but beyond that it's just faces, and sometimes not even those. IDK; RPF shipping, especially the way I do it with the werebears and the space AUs, is a peculiar and inexplicable thing.
All of that isn't to say that I don't read and even write fic involving lots and lots of other ships. SPN fandom in particular has turned me into much more of a multishipper, because all the FPF pairings I like are rarepairs and have precious little fic about them. Therefore I have personally written Sam/Jo, Sam/Amy the kitsune, Sam/Tamara, Sam/Jess, Dean/Ellen, Jo/Ruby, Ellen/Rufus, and surely some others I'm not thinking of, and I've read tons more. Presently I find myself with a weakness for Kevin slash ships, which I suspect is all downjune's fault, and I am always prepared to ship Castiel/ladies. I don't hold nearly as tightly to any of these ships as I do those listed up above, but I enjoy dabbling and thinking about the what-ifs. It's fun; it's play. Every so often I even write myself into shipping something new.
*scratches head* I think that's all I've got, re: shipping. So there you have it.
( cut for length )
Note: If you want to comment to this post solely to tell me that you don't like Amelia or Sam/Amelia, please refrain. I'm often happy to hear about why people dislike things I like, but this is not one of those posts.
There may be a matching fiction post to follow later.
( six books I enjoyed a lot )
In the face of that kind of disparity, details and caveats are basically irrelevant (though I've included them below anyway).
For the record, the artist is Sara Pichelli on Guardians of the Galaxy and the writers are G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel and Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble (although technically she's co-writing an arc with Warren Ellis for that book for the first part of the year). Recent Marvel regulars who don't have steady gigs right now include Kathryn Immonen and Marjorie Liu, although there are probably a couple more I'm not thinking of.
(Fiddly details: these statistics don't count the number of writers, but the number of writing slots. Brian Michael Bendis, for example, is counted three times here. OTOH, a book that's co-written by two authors still only counts for one slot. Note also that artists come on and off titles all the time, so those numbers are potentially more variable over time than the writer numbers.)
I don't know Image well enough to confidently say much about it long-term, especially since I think books are produced on a much less regular schedule there. A glance over the February solicits yields only a marginally better picture (although I'm only reading Rocket Girl, Pretty Deadly, and Saga, which together have a creator ratio of 2/3 women). And I don't know DC at all, so someone else would need to crunch those numbers.
Account created: late 2009 (I backdated my old fics, so I don't know the exact date when I joined)
Total stories: 117
Total wordcount: 311232
Average wordcount: 2660
Longest story: Seraph at 67k - no surprise there. It still boggles me that I ever wrote something that long.
Shortest story: Supposedly Weightless is 98 words long, but Word definitely told me it was 100. AO3 frequently gives lower word counts than Word does
Total kudos: 1157
Kudos per story: 9.8
Story with most kudos: What Should Really, Really Never Be with 102, because when you write a/b/o crack meta set in the crack meta episode and tag it with mpreg and five different pairings, people read it, it turns out. (For context, my next highest has 52 kudos.)
Total comments: 210
Comments per story: 1.8
Story with most comments: Three Christmases with Miss Honey by a country mile, with 43. Because if you write holiday fluff of a children's nostalgia fandom for Yuletide, people read that, too.
Total author subscriptions: 26
Total story subscriptions: 8
Story with most subscriptions: Thermodynamics and the Modern Male, even though it's a complete fic. It's part of a series, though; I suspect people must have subscribed to it hoping to get notifs of other works in the series. Bummer for them. The only actual WIP I have on AO3, the Faith/Giles snowpocalypse one, has no subscribers.
Total bookmarks: 213
Story with most bookmarks: Three Christmases with Miss Honey again, with 33.
Stories with no comments or kudos: Lots, basically all Buffy drabbles. The two that break that pattern are Abandon Hope (the Mary Quite Contrary remix), which is my Dru character study in drabbles; and the aforementioned Faith/Giles snowpocalypse WIP. (To be fair, I very much doubt at this point that I'll finish that one. It's too bad; I've always really liked what I had.)
I think this ties into a realization I've been having repeatedly recently, which is that while I ship primarily het ships, I'm... not a het shipper? Which is to say, just because I ship a lot of het ships doesn't mean I have much interest in Het: The Shipping Phenomenon (except as a phenomenon, because fandom trends and tastes never cease to fascinate me).
( and then I go on at length )
This is an anon meme appreciation post. Specifically, it is a post about the two anon memes that I've gotten familiar with, fail_fandomanon (pan-fannish) and spnanonhaven (SPN-specific), and why I love them.
( in defense of anon memes )
( things to like about anon memes )
SNICK: I have this abiding conviction that my fic couldn't possibly be "worth" as much as stuff that lots of people read and comment on.
LETTERED: I think a lot of us feel that way. Almost everything I wrote last year was gen, and while it got a lot of appreciation, it didn't get nearly the response shippy fic in the same fandom is getting. And I'm afraid that's the reason I'm in such a slump right now. Which is ridiculous, but I'm having trouble getting over it.
This makes me horribly sad, because a number of my Very Most Favoritest Authors also suffer from chronic under-appreciation, IMO, apparently due to being just a little bit too far out of the fannish zeitgeist. The fandom would be much the poorer without them; I can only be grateful that even without getting the love I consider their due, they keep plugging along, telling the stories I want so much to read.
All of which is wordy prelude to me nabbing lettered's meme (loosely paraphrased): Link me to a fic/art/whatever that you're proud of, tell me why it's awesome, and feel free to gripe a little about why you think it didn't get more attention. And/or, do the same for some piece of fic/art by someone else that you think should get more love.
I can't promise I'll look at the work you're talking about, because I might not have time or it might not be in my fandom, but it's nice to vent sometimes, and also perhaps someone else who wanders in will be interested!
But lo! The Jared and Jensen panel was excellent! They were gracious and professional, and they had, shall we say, very different ideas from some of the other panelists about what is appropriate to say in a public forum. They also did a great job of answering the questions fully and then immediately moving on; unlike most of the panels on Saturday, there was no dithering and no feeling of lag time. They made every minute count. What's more, they generally got decent questions. I'd suggest that maybe someone screened the questions for their panel, except the one asking what the plural of moose was got through, so I think not. Maybe, as goldenusagi commented to me, they just have a reputation for being more serious, and thus fans brought more serious questions? I guess I wouldn't have thought enough people would have been tuned in to their panel style to make such a huge difference in the quality of the questions, but IDK.
Some highlights (caveat that the quotations are paraphrases and sometimes condensed)
( many notes! )
And there you go: Snick's epic write-up. I don't know that I have a useful summary. The panel was excellent, absolutely a highlight of the convention, and I find my enthusiasm for canon in general and the new season in particular revitalized by Jared and Jensen's obvious commitment to their work and the story they're telling. On a personal level, they both were classy and professional in their interactions with fans and with each other. My fangirling continues apace.
All questions of panel quality aside, I have to say, there's something electric about being in the same room as the people I've spent so many hours watching on TV. Watching con video just is not the same.
That said, there's a total of twenty minutes' worth of video of the panel here and here, and tweets of the panel are here.
- Her favorite line, she says, is from her exchange with Uriel right before she kills him:
URIEL: There is no God.
ANNA: Maybe, maybe not. But there's still me
It is indeed an excellent line. I applaud her taste.
- She named Anna as a formative character to play and one of her favorites because Anna was the first character she played who "broke the rules because she thought she needed to" and because Anna was more empowered as a character than what Julie usually plays. As an example, she said her last job was as a preschool teacher - which, she explained, was probably closer to her RL personality. I thought it was interesting, hearing about that kind of typecasting.
- Asked what currently running show she'd most like to appear on, she answered without missing a beat, "Breaking Bad. But the only characters on there my age are methheads, and nobody buys me as a methhead!"
- Someone asked for stories about the Dean/Anna sex scene. She said that it was the first sex scene she'd ever done, and she didn't know whether or not you were supposed to use tongue, but she was too nervous to ask Jensen, because if the answer was obviously you don't use tongue, then she was afraid he'd be weirded out and it'd be awkward. So she decided that since he'd done these kinds of scenes before, he'd know, and she'd follow his lead. (Answer: nope, standard practice is they don't use tongue.) Also she commented that for the window scene, Jensen wasn't even in the car.
- Someone (*cough* me) asked her if she could design a role for herself, what kind of character she'd like to play. I was angling for something a little more serious about her as an actor, but her response was that someone from the New Jersey con had shown her a photoshopped picture of her as Ariel from Once Upon a Time with Matt Cohen as Prince Eric, and that she thought that would be fun.
- She commented that when she was given the scripts for her first two episodes, she was supposed to die at the end - for Dean to mourn over as a fallen lover. This is counter to what I'd heard before, which was that she was supposed to be introduced as a long-term love interest and angel ally, but that it was decided to have Castiel take that role instead. Also, hey guys, they chose not to kill a female character to further the manpain! A blind squirrel, improbably found nuts, etc.
Overall, Julie was polite, friendly, apologized the once or twice she thought she might accidentally have embarrassed someone, answered questions directly and informatively, and was generally everything I could hope for. She was flawless. My fangirling knows no bounds.
Roommie and I got into Vancouver this evening. After a good deal wandering around downtown, we located our rooms and went out for yummy gourmet pizza, and then we went down to check out this karaoke thing I'd been hearing about.
You guys, Matt Cohen and Richard Speight's karaoke party is the kind of thing that I suspect is only possible in this weird cultural cross-section that is cult TV. The whole karaoke production is extremely informal. Here are some no-name actors who happen to be much beloved by a small but devoted group of TV fans who are thrilled to come watch them ham it up on stage for a couple of hours. Folks come up and sing, Richard makes fun of them (gently!), and Matt grinds with them or just blocks the view and makes silly motions. Neither of them are great as MCs, but nobody seems to care much, because: Gabriel! Young John Winchester!
And in addition to the two of them, a ton of other folks showed up to dance (er, "dance"), talk smack, and wave at the crowd. Most of them were scheduled to be here for the convention, including the two who were today that roommie and I missed (Julian Richings and Kim Rhodes), but there were also some totally unscheduled delights (see below!). And again, some folks were better on stage than others, but seriously: when else am I going to see a bunch of bit-part actors I happen to be attached to being silly and dancing badly? And because most of them were just flat not very good at stage improv with music, there was a sense of, hmm, authenticity? Sure, they were performing, but it wasn't a polished performance. They're actors, not singers or dancers or Cat Deeley; what we were getting up there on stage was, I can't help but feel, pretty much what we get. And how often do you get to see those kinds of snapshots of your favorite celebrities?
tl;dr If you're ever at one of these conventions, don't skip the karaoke. It's bizarre, but it's a blast.
* Best surprise: Rekha Sharma, AKA Kali, AKA Tory Foster (POCO I THOUGHT OF YOU). She was gorgeous and gracious, if possibly a little overwhelmed.
* Best imitator of Angel's dancing skills: Matt Cohen. He looked like he was having fun, though. In fact, he had so much fun he suffered a wardrobe malfunction early on and spent most of the evening with a bandanna holding his pants fastened. In other news: folks, that boy is not bad looking.
* Most surprising surprise and best singer: Timothy Omundson, AKA that one detective from Psych, who came because he... happened to be in the neighborhood? IDEK. He did one very nice rendition of a Bobby Darrin song, and spent the rest of his time hanging out on the side of the stage nursing drinks and talking to the guy running the computer.
* Best imitation of the SPN character they played: Mark Pellegrino. Y'all, now I understand why what we saw of Lucifer last season felt so natural. It's because Pellegrino wasn't acting. He also wins best performer; he had twice as much ham up there on stage as anyone else. I expect that if I could hear the lyrics to the two songs he performed, they would not be at all to my taste, so I'm just as glad I couldn't. Lastly, to quote a wise woman: "Have you seen his arms? Those are nice arms to have."
* Looked most uncomfortable: Julian Richings. He may or may not have actually been uncomfortable, but he looked it. He hung back for the most of the evening and swayed to the songs. And then he came out front to sing a song of his own and jumped around the stage a lot in his jeans and t-shirt, which was... unnerving. You're just not sure you want Death grinning like that.
* Best rendition of "O, Death": courtesy of Richard Speight, introducing Julian. Richard's also runner-up for the "best imitation of the character he played" award. Judging by tonight, I don't think Gabriel was all that much of a stretch for him.
* Least willing to make a fool of themselves: Mark Shepperd. He appeared, and we were all thrilled. (I leaned over to roommie and said, "That's a lot of antagonists on one stage." When Shepperd showed up, we had Lucifer, Death, Gabriel, Michael, and the king of Hell. And also Kim Rhodes, our representative human.) He stood to the side and watched the proceedings for about ten minutes, and then he disappeared.
* Most lacking in awards from the other categories: singer Steve Carlson (who, hey, now I know what he looks like) and Kim Rhodes (who was there! dancing and singing back-up! looking not at all mom-like! but about whom I have nothing else to say)
Um, no pictures, alas, as the combined intellectual power of myself and my camera were not enough to figure out how to deal with the poor lighting. There were lots of cameras out, though, so surely pictures will be forthcoming from somewhere.
Ugh, tired. Bed.
As previously discussed, I'm pretty much in RPF for the crack. ( However! )
Conclusion: my new fandom is so weird, y'all. Even the things I do in it don't make any sense to me. BUT WE HAVE DRAGONS.
I've been worrying at this notion recently because I have a Dean-centric longfic I've been poking at for probably a year now which may or may not involve some Dean/OFC. I am thus far undecided. This OFC is, behind Sam and Dean, the most important character in the fic, and on top of that I'm kind of in love with her (always risky). The question is, will there be sex or will there not be sex? Clearly if the inclusion of the '/' depends on one sex scene, then we know this is not a shippy fic. It does not end shippily. Yet, do I want to sink the fic and drive away a significant portion of the readership by giving Dean a one-night stand worth noting in the pairing column? After all, I have those assumptions about Dean/OFC, and I LIKE het fic, which cannot be assumed in this fandom.
Over at seasonal_spuffy the mods have always been very relaxed about what Spike/Buffy means, exactly; when I was on the mod team, we let everyone self-regulate, and that seemed to work fine. If it had Spike and Buffy, or it had Spike thinking about Buffy or Buffy thinking about Spike, or some third party thinking about Spike and Buffy together in pretty much any context, well, we were cool. Presumably the authors liked Spuffy, or they wouldn't be there, and what more could we ask?
For that matter, when I say "I ship so-and-so," what do I even mean? Is that pairing an OTP for me? Is it one of many pairings for those characters which I will happily read? Do I require that pairing get a happy ending in all fic I read featuring the pairing? Do I consider the relationship between these characters to be healthy or functional? Do I just like slamming those two characters together in any scenario I darned well please, regardless of outcome? WHO KNOWS.
Finally, have a list of ways to mean/interpret the pesky 'A/B':
- A and B will live happily ever following this fic
- A and B flirt in this fic
- A and B have some form of sexual encounter in this fic, possibly including non-con
- A thinks about B and/or B thinks about A in some kind of romantic/sexual fashion in this fic
- The relationship between A and B is the entire point of this fic
- A and B are in a relationship in this fic, which fact has no effect on any of the action or themes discussed
- A and B have Repressed! Feelings! for each other in this fic which are never explicitly expressed in the text (I suspect this includes a lot of Sam/Dean fic, especially moody short pieces)
- I ship this characters, so obviously any interaction they have is shippy (seriously, is it possible for Spuffyites to write Spike+Buffy gen? I'm not sure it is)
- These characters have so much history that all interaction between them is necessarily sexually/romantically charged (think Angel/Darla or Damon/Katherine)
- At some point following the end of this fic, A and B will engage in a romantic/sexual relationship, even though there is no direct indication of this in the fic (often colloquially referred to as 'pre-slash' on that side of fandom)
I know I do not have them all, but there's a start. Additions?
( tables and stuff! )
* Everybody likes Spike.
* Knotting aka alpha/beta/omega fic is popular.
* On AO3, Yuletide is a great bet (at least for popular/beloved/nostalgic canons; my Raines story continues to languish in obscurity). Crossovers also popular; my second best-performing drabble on AO3 is a Firefly/SeaQuest DSV crossover. (First is a Seraphverse drabble.)
* People are browsing AO3 some, but they aren't looking for Buffyverse fic.
* People still leave fewer comments on AO3 than LJ, but including kudos, total AO3 feedback is fairly comparable to total LJ feedback
It's worth noting that my last two Spuffy fics of any size were posted at the Seasonal Spuffy comm and therefore don't appear in my LJ stats, and meanwhile my top fic at AO3 is a Yuletide fic that's never been posted to LJ at all.
Also, I've been inclined to grump lately about the quantity of feedback I've been receiving, but per these stats, I'm still getting plenty of hits - three of my fics with the most all-time LJ hits were posted in the last six months. However, two of those are also notable for getting significantly fewer comments than the others on the list. I suspect this largely has to do with all three being related to SPN, which is a huge, sprawling monster of a fandom with presumably a lot more casual lurkers than I'm used to from close-knit Buffy fandom.
I'm also working up some stats comparing the feedback in each of my main fandoms across my three platforms. That will probably be up, ah, sometime after my big bang rough draft is in. :D
When I started out in fandom, I wrote genfic, and here's the reason: my life is a genfic. I have a family I love and a handful of friendships - some of them right here in fandom! - that mean the world to me. And do you know what one thing none of these relationships need?
Sex is not the automatic improvement to any given human interaction. 'Sexual' doesn't always mean 'better' or even 'more'; sometimes sex is a subtraction, not an addition. That a relationship is not sexual does not inherently imply that it is lacking; that it is less satisfying, worthwhile, meaningful, robust, or interesting; that it is somehow "not enough."
I've never seen any blanket argument to this effect, and I think even the most enthusiastic of multishippers have a few ships they prefer non-romantically. But the cumulative effect of fandom is to imply that every relationship is better / more interesting with sex.
Sex, fandom, is not the cherry on top of every relationship. It is not the sweet necessity without which no sundae is complete.
So you can stop telling me it is. Any day now.
( This icon (on DW) uploaded especially for this post )
This is the post wherein I confess to learning a whole lot of things from my three years in fandom that I never properly understood before. Some I feel like I should have known already - from college, maybe. Instead I learned it here, because everything is more fun with fandom. Right?
( things what I learned in fandom )
TL;DR: I owe fandom a lot, you guys. It's a little bit embarrassing how much. FANDOM. *hugs*
Discussion through 6.08 "All Dogs Go to Heaven." As usual, no spoilers beyond that point, please.
( Theories! )
I am having the best time with this season, y'all. I'm a little annoyed it still has angels in it, but otherwise I'm having a blast.
ETA: Also, I cannot even express how much I love not knowing what'll happen next. I had a number of general spoilery ideas about S5, particularly a thing about Sam in the finale, and I think it's part of why I had as much trouble with the season as I did. But this season? I have no idea what's happening, and it is glorious.
Apparently I have a much higher tolerance to melodrama than the roommate. For example, she's thoroughly bored with Dean's main plot arc in S3 and all the little Sam-and-Dean moments related to it, and I've been eating it up with a spoon. I'm surprised by the contrast, because I'm pretty much the opposite of melodramatic in RL. Then again, in fiction I do love the angst on occasion; sometimes, as it says in my profile, I just want my heart broken.
The thing is, I'm picky about it. When it comes to that suspension of disbelief, the spirit is often plenty willing but the brain... isn't. You have to sell it to me. Don't get me wrong, I want to buy the angst you're peddling, but I want to respect myself afterwards, too. It's the reason I will never like Twilight: not because it has melodrama, but because its melodrama is too stupid and unnecessary for even me to buy it. (OTOH, I make no guarantees about what my response would have been ten years ago. My taste wasn't nearly as developed at that point, and I was much more interested in vampires in their own right then.)
In the event that I ever feel the need to write SPN casefic, I will definitely need to set a fic in one of the places I've lived. I love reading stories set in places I know with all the yummy details that prove the author knows it, too. For example, nwhepcat's Lilac City, set in Spokane, Washington, full of all the yummy details - Hoopfest, Auntie's Bookstore, the docks down on Coeur d'Alene Lake - that show she knows the region she's talking about. So much fun! And hey, most of the places I've lived are exactly the kind of rural, small-town places the Winchesters spend most of their time in.
(For the record, I'm not feeling particularly ficcish towards SPN at the moment. Usually my inspiration comes from wanting to fill a sadly unfilled niche, but there's so much good stuff already written in SPN fandom that I'm not sure any of those niches will ever present themselves to me.)
Here's a weird thing about watching a show that's nearly all about guys: every so often I'll sit up and realize that, hey, so-and-so is playing the 'girl' role - that is, the role a girl would typically end up playing on a show that actually had girls.
( For example (with spoilers through early S3) )
( read more )
Basically: Dean&Woman long-term. Any relationship! Please! The sibling-type relationship with Jo that we saw in "No Exit" would be nifty if we dropped the schoolgirl crush vibes. Or we could have extended time with Ellen. ANYTHING.
(Just so we're clear, I don't actually expect any improvement in canon. Good thing there's fic. Hey, maybe I'll start shipping Dean with Ellen. At least then he'd be sleeping with someone with personality, and Jo being royally ticked off - not to mention grossed out - would just be bonus. Amirite?)