Culture

Gates McFadden on Pranks, Sexism, and Spandex: Tales from Hal-Con

November 9, 2016 // 2 Comments

Last Sunday, FAN/FIC Magazine was granted a one-day pass to Hal-Con, the biggest, geekiest sci-fi convention in Atlantic Canada. Remarkably, it was also the first fan convention I’ve ever attended. So, armed with my con survival pack, I headed into the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre to get my geek on. First, I hit up the vendor floor, where hundreds of artists, craftsmen, jewellers, and sellers had set up shop. Crammed onto the exhibition floor in the Scotiabank Centre, there was //

He Who Must Be Named: On First Reading Philosopher’s Stone at Age 29

October 18, 2016 // 2 Comments

A thing perfectly named brings to life a universe around it. It feels as if it has always existed, and this existence bleeds into the imaginary world that surrounds it, which lends it its credibility in turn. Since we are speaking of exchange, consider Gringotts. Gring has the “ching” of a register, gotts the gruffness of goblins, the hard consonants of each syllable are Gringotts pillars, durable and stable, sounds you can trust. Like all the names in Philosopher’s Stone, Gringotts seems //

Why Dean Winchester’s Bisexuality Matters

September 8, 2016 // 27 Comments

Warning: this article contains spoilers for Supernatural seasons 1 through 11. Dear SPNFamily, We’ve all done the homework. We’ve screencapped every eye flicker, every smile, every jaw clench. We’ve catalogued, archived, and tagged the fleeting moments; memorized facial tics, voice cracks, and lip quivers. We’re not obsessed (okay, debatable). We’re just on the prowl for bisexual Dean Winchester. And, turns out, he’s pretty easy to track down. Bisexual Dean is everywhere. //

Fanfiction Through the Ages: From the Midrashim to The Magicians

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

If you think fanfiction started with Harry Potter and Twilight, think again. The first written fanfics were the Midrashim, ancient commentaries on the Hebrew scriptures, dating as far back as the 2nd century. These rabbinical texts were doing exactly what fanfiction does – interpreting stories, filling in the gaps, and sending off pre-existing characters on new adventures. Guess which story the Midrashim were fanficking?  Why, the Bible, of course! Apparently, Jewish scholars //

Women in Anime: Empowered or Undermined?

July 29, 2016 // 4 Comments

Anime has risen over the last decade from a relatively obscure niche to a staple of pop culture. If you want to watch the latest series from Japan, you no longer have to go to your local VHS shop and hope that they have it in stock. Now, you can find any show you want, watch anything you want, whenever you want. In fact, anime is now so popular that people have written entire books filled with essays on the subject. I remember reading one, a long time ago, and one essay in particular. It //

Stop Killing Lesbians: Convince Creators to Produce the Content You Love

July 25, 2016 // 4 Comments

You might have noticed that the majority of current media consists of boring or outdated plots or that there is a severe lack of representation for marginalized groups, despite the many changes to society in the last few years. We still see movies with the nagging wife/useless husband dynamic or sitcom jokes about how girls don’t visit comic book stores. If you have noticed this, you’re not the only one. With sales dropping and more consumers losing interest, why is the media industry still //

Ode to Big Bangs

April 24, 2016 // 6 Comments

On the wintery second day of 2014, moderators writcraft and mab posted an ambitious prompt on LiveJournal. They named it the “Harry Potter Big Bang,” a year-long challenge to write a novel-length fanfiction about J.K. Rowling’s infamous protagonist. In fandom, “Big Bangs” refer neither to cosmological phenomena nor mediocre CBS sitcoms, but to challenges where fans write lengthy fics over a set period of time. Big Bangs encourage collaboration with fan artists to create illustrations //

That’s Problematic: How Critical Discussion in Fandom is Going Wrong

April 13, 2016 // 1 Comment

At the end of last year, I left Tumblr for good. I then deleted my account a month or so later, when I realized I was happier and more mentally well than I had been when I was spending several hours a day—most of my free time—there. For me, that was a huge shift. For a long time, Tumblr had been the only thing holding my mental health together—I went there to find validation that my feelings and experiences were real, to be reassured that I wasn’t alone, and to enjoy the media I was //

Why You Should Be Aware of Queerbaiting Tactics

April 8, 2016 // 5 Comments

“Queerbaiting” is the practice of some television shows and movies to attract queer fans by hinting at potential queer relationships or actually promising them (but not delivering). There is some debate even amongst fans about whether queerbaiting is actually a thing. Outside of fandom, many believe queer fans are reading too much into on-screen interactions. However, writers, producers, and executives nowadays do recognize the existence of a queer fan base, and they want to appeal //

That’s Wrong! Homophobia, Slash Art, and Late-Night Television

March 31, 2016 // 2 Comments

There has been a recent and unfortunate trend on late-night talk shows whereby hosts force sexually explicit fanart upon their celebrity guests to embarrass them and to provoke laughter from the audience. Mocking and ridiculing fan works on national television has led fans to restrict access to their works, remove them from the Internet, or in some cases, stop making fanart altogether. An even more insidious side of this trend, however, is the undercurrent of homophobia during these segments, //