Friday, October 3, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Fandoms That Shaped Me

5 Fandom Friday is a series hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. This week's topic is the five gateway fandoms that made me who I am today. Now this is no easy task I must tell you as I have many many fandoms and they range from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Doctor Who. And of course we must not forget the bats, the cute adorable little bats. But most of you know these things already, so we will delve a bit deeper into the fandoms that really left an impact (and still do) or share a certain sort of nostalgia for me presently.

Let’s face it my first fandom was unicorns. I had a unicorn sticker book, a unicorn poster on the wall. I had unicorn freezy freakys mittens, some unicorn snowglobes and those glass little figurines. Of course who could forget the plush unicorn that played ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. I was convinced that unicorns still existed and I ate up all media that featured the horses with the single magical horn that loved little princesses such as myself. There was something about unicorns that I just connected with or at least I am assuming my seven year old self connected with. They were horses, but with horns and magic.

Specifics:Two films that were all about the unicorns and therefore well beloved in my life were The Last Unicorn and the Fantastic Adventures of Unico. Now I am just going to assume that most of you have seen the amazing animated adaptation of Peter S Beagle’s novel of the same name that Rankin/Bass did in the 80’s. But most people do not know anything about Unico and you should. I think it may have been my first anime and who better to have brought me my first anime than Osamu Tezuka of Kimba the White Lion, Metropolis, and Astro Boy fame.

Anyway, it is about a little unicorn named Unico who brings happiness to everyone which of course gets him in trouble with the gods, who believe that only the PTB should have the ability to control others' emotions. The gods send the West Wind to banish Unico to the Hill of Oblivion, but the West Wind takes pity on Unico and declines to follow the gods' commands. The gods are furious when they learn of the West Wind's defiance, and send the Night Wind to capture Unico. To protect Unico from the gods and the Night Wind, the West Wind must continually transport the little unicorn from place to place. Whenever the gods discover Unico's whereabouts, the West Wind appears to spirit him away once again, often without getting to say goodbye to any of the friends he has made - and without any memory of those friends, as Unico's memory is wiped clean each time. I included a little clip just so you can see the glory of it all because I used to sing Katy's song all the time.  I mean all the time.  Apparently I also wanted to be a cat.


Even before my wild fascination with unicorns, I had a love for books. I blame this on my parents and if I am going to blame them for anything, this is probably a good one. From a very young age they read to me. My brother and I had our own little library. I even wrote books (yep about a pair of unicorn twins) when I was in first grade. My parents always gave me money when the Scholastic Book Fair was at school and boy would I save up my allowance for that glorious few days. Books have definitely made me who I am. They allowed my imagination to roam. They improved my vocabulary. They were my friends when I was a shy adolescent and teenager and to this day I read…constantly. Yea books.

Specifics: When I think about fandoms that shape me I know that saying I am a voracious bibliophile is a bit general, so again we will get a bit specific. When I was a teen I loved all things horror and two specific authors were must haves: Christopher Pike and RL Stine. Ooh how I loved the Fear street saga with the murders and the ghosts and the monsters. And Christopher Pike…he was my King and Koontz. Seriously it was all murder, mayhem, sex, booze…everything I wasn’t supposed to read all in a lovely paperback form. Babysitter’s Club and Nancy Drew they were not. I still have some of my favorites on my bookshelf such as Remember Me, Fall into Darkness, Witch, Whisper of Death, Scavenger Hunt, and the Last Vampires series.
There were other horror lite books as well from Lois Duncan, Caroline Cooney, and others but those two were my favorite. Ooh I still love them as batshit crazy as some of the plots were (looking at you Scavenger Hunt). So how did this shape me you ask? Well I still love horror films and my tastes range from Dario Argento to Wes Craven. But these books also got me writing fan fiction and that wasn’t even a thing yet. Oh now I think October book club should be YA Horror Themed.


This one needs no specifics. Joss Whedon by far is my gateway fandom drug. I dug Buffy so much that it was my nickname up through University. It started when the film came out. I was a cheerleader, dug vampires, and thought Luke Perry was hot. Suddenly here was Buffy, strong, badass, and I totally wanted to be her. Since everyone got nicknames in high school, there was mine. And then the show came out and oh how I related to it on so many levels. I quoted it incessantly and my friends kept the Buffy nickname going. I got my haircut and it looked like Season 2 before Season 2 aired, I like pineapple on my pizza, my dad took me to ice skating shows every year, and so much more. The moniker stuck.

But the real reason Buffy changed me and made me who I am were the fans. You see I was in University and still shy as can be, but Buffy had the posting boards on FOX. So the interwebs brought me into contact with geeks like me. We wrote stories as we signed off goodnight (I was part of the Boogedy Boo Clan) I went to fan parties in California where I got to meet Joss and Aly and Eliza. I found a lot of friends in that fandom, still do, and embraced the inner geek. I fell for a vampire named Spike and well…I am a Slayer, ask me how.


If we back up a little, pre Buffy times there was a certain trilogy that my brother and I may have been obsessed with. It was called Star Wars and for two non-geeks my parents did a great job of nurturing our new sci-fi obsession. I wanted to be Leia. I wanted to be a jedi. My brother and I would use the force on one another and when Jedi came out my mom was awesome enough to make my brother and I Ewok costumes for Halloween. That’s right…we loved the Ewoks (though everyone thought we were teddybears instead of Wicket and Princess Kneesa…uh no people. Watch the movies. Jeesh.) I won’t go into this fandom too much because it’s kind of self-explanatory. It was another gateway fandom and I will never stop loving these films.


Shock me, Shock me, Shock me…with that deviant behavior. This film is in my top ten of all time. Still love it even though I have seen a hundred times. I can pretty much quote the entire film and even did some cosplay of Corey blue sweater and all. I loved the music, I wanted a Vespa, and could somehow relate to Deb. It was my junior year when the film came out (yep just aged myself) and it just hit me. I wanted to work at Empire Records. I wanted to be cool manager like Joe later in life when I became a retail manager of Suncoast for several years (sadly my store was not as cool nor did I have a drum set in the back room). It’s my cult favorite and when people say that the first film that Renee Zellwegger sang in was Chicago, I refer them to Empire. Damn the Man…Save the Empire. I love this film. Oh so much.

Honorable mentions include: Macgyver, Shakespeare, Sandman comics, Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Miss Saigon, and Vampires.

So these were the fandoms that helped shape me into the healthy geek lady that I am today.   What were your gateway fandoms?


Dahlia said...

I was a voracious reader as well-my gateway fandom was A Wrinkle in Time. Star Wars. ...well what can you say? Excellent fandom! Brilliant list!!

Whimsy and Noir said...

That Unico movie seems so cute! Ahh I can remember watching Buffy when I was a kid.. I loved both Angel and Spike, and Buffy herself was just so bad ass! Giles was great, too, though.