How to Succeed in Fandom Without Really Trying (EDITORIAL)
How to Succeed in Fandom Without Really Trying
Not everyone grows up a fanbro, some people unleash their inner fanbro later in life. For late bloomers like myself it can be intimidating talking to people who started going to Comic Cons in elementary school or have immense comic collections. In adulthood we have fewer carefree afternoons and chore-less Saturday mornings to pore over a new comic or try to beat another level. How does a late-comer cram in the same amount of knowledge with half the time? To those ready to take the plunge, here are my top 5 tips for succeeding in the fandom world.
5. Let Go of Stereotypes
You all know what I’m talking about. Someone who is socially awkward, if male lives in a basement, wears glasses, has questionable fashion choices, is interested in nothing else but their fandom and their fingers are always Cheeto-stained*. Okay maybe this isn’t your stereotype but either way, let it go. As my local comic store-owner confided in me, there are fans from every walk of life. Just when you think you’ve got your fan-radar down to a science you find someone who evades detection. So, enjoy the diversity, embrace it and don’t be afraid to strike up conversations about your fandom.
*by the way none of these qualities are negative…except for having Cheeto-stained fingers. You might have Cheeto-itis, a rare conditions where Cheeto molecules have entered the bloodstream and cause an unnatural craving for Cheetos.
4. Go On Wikipedia
Maybe you can’t cite it on a scholarly research paper, but it does come in handy. Wikipedia will not only give you the rundown on the latest story arc, it will introduce you to new characters via it’s time-sucking wormhole of related links. one minute you’re researching Skeletor, the next you’ve found yourself drooling over Batman jewelry on etsy.
3. Get a Tumblr
Maybe it’s the soothing blue backdrop or the ease of use, but tumblr is a fanbro’s best friend. Fan fiction, art, and tons of cool blogs dedicated to the art of cosplay are all within a few clicks. Plus, if you live in a rural area or in an environment devoid of fanbros, it is an easy way to build your own community and talk about your favorite world(s).
2. Find a Comic Book Store
Perhaps overlooked in this Kindle-era, but a old-fashioned brick-and-mortar comic book store still is a great place to be. You can ask a million questions (within store hours), get free recommendations and hear feedback from regulars. If socializing isn’t for you, a lot of stores have subscription lists where you can get a discounted price for a set number of comics every month or maybe more frequently. This is where you might finally meet someone who loves Mr. Mime as much as you!
1. Have Fun
If you automatically think of rice when someone says Uncle Ben, or sometimes forget that Batman wasn’t bitten by a bat, that’s okay for now. The point of a fandom is to learn and have fun. It isn’t a contest. It takes time to amass that much knowledge and expertise. Read what you like, cosplay if you are comfortable, play games you enjoy and be open to new things. A fanbro is passionate and open-minded about the creativity of others. It’s really that easy.
Thanks to LamechO on the cover art.