A fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates "fannish" (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.
A fandom can grow around any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genres or fashions. While it is now used to apply to groups of people fascinated with any subject, the term has its roots in those with an enthusiastic appreciation for sports. Merriam-Webster's dictionary traces the usage of the term back as far as 1903.
Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to the interconnected social networks of individual fandoms, many of which overlap. There are a number of large conventions that cater to fandom in this broad sense, catering to interests in film, comics, anime, television shows, cosplay, and the opportunity to buy and sell related merchandise. Annual conventions such as Comic Con International, Wondercon, Dragon Con and New York Comic Con are some of the more well known and highly attended events that cater to overlapping fandoms.
Fans of the literary detective Sherlock Holmes are widely considered to have comprised the first modern fandom, holding public demonstrations of mourning after Holmes was "killed off" in 1893, and creating some of the first fan fiction as early as about 1897 to 1902. Outside the scope of media, railway enthusiasts are another early fandom with its roots in the late 19th century that began to gain in popularity and increasingly organize in the first decades of the early 20th century.
A wide variety of Western modern organized fannish subcultures originated with science fiction fandom, the community of fans of the science fiction and fantasy genres. Science fiction fandom dates back to the 1930s and maintains organized clubs and associations in many cities around the world. Fans have held the annual World Science Fiction Convention since 1939, along with many other events each year, and has created its own jargon, sometimes called "fanspeak". In addition, the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medievalist re-creation group, has its roots in science fiction fandom. It was founded by members thereof; and many science fiction and fantasy authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Poul Anderson, Randall Garrett, David D. Friedman and Robert Asprin have been members of the organization.
Media fandom split from science fiction fandom in the early 1970s with a focus on relationships between characters within TV and movie media franchises, such as Star Trek and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Fans of these franchises generated creative products like fan art and fan fiction at a time when typical science fiction fandom was focused on critical discussions. The MediaWest convention provided a video room and was instrumental in the emergence of fan vids, or analytic music videos based on a source, in the late 1970s. By the mid-1970s, it was possible to meet fans at science fiction conventions who did not read science fiction, but only viewed it on film or TV.
Anime and manga fandom began in the 1970s in Japan. In America, the fandom also began as an offshoot of science fiction fandom, with fans bringing imported copies of Japanese manga to conventions. Before anime began to be licensed in the U.S., fans who wanted to get a hold of anime would leak copies of anime movies and subtitle them to exchange with friends in the community, thus marking the start of fansubs.
Furry fandom refers to the fandom for fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. The concept of furry originated at a science fiction convention in 1980, when a drawing of a character from Steve Gallacci's Albedo Anthropomorphics initiated a discussion of anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels, which in turn initiated a discussion group that met at science fiction and comics conventions.
Members of a fandom associate with one another, often attending fan conventions and publishing and exchanging fanzines and newsletters. Amateur press associations are another form of fan publication and networking. Originally using print-based media, these sub-cultures have migrated much of their communications and interaction onto the Internet, which they also use for the purpose of archiving detailed information pertinent to their given fanbase. Often, fans congregate on forums and discussion boards to share their love for and criticism of a specific work. This congregation can lead to a high level of organization and community within the fandom, as well as infighting. Although there is some level of hierarchy among most of the discussion boards in which certain contributors are valued more highly than others, newcomers are most often welcomed into the fold. Most importantly, these sorts of discussion boards can have an effect on the media itself as was the case in the television show Glee. Trends on the discussion boards have been known to influence the writers and producers of the show. The media fandom for the TV series Firefly was able to generate enough corporate interest to create a movie after the series was canceled.
Some fans write fan fiction ("fanfic"), stories based on the universe and characters of their chosen fandom. This fiction can take the form of video-making as well as writing. Fan fiction may or may not tie in with the story's canon; sometimes the fans use the story's characters in different situations that do not relate to the plot line at all.
Especially at events, fans may also partake in cosplay (a portmanteau between costume and play) – the creation and wearing of costumes designed in the likeness of characters from a source work – which can also be combined with role-playing, reenacting scenes or inventing likely behavior inspired by their chosen sources.
Others create fan vids, or analytical music videos focusing on the source fandom, and yet others create fan art. Such activities are sometimes known as "fan labor" or "fanac", an abbreviated form of the phrase "fan activity". The advent of the Internet has significantly facilitated fan association and activities. Activities that have been aided by the Internet includes the creation of fan "shrines" dedicated to favorite characters, computer screen wallpapers, avatars. Furthermore, the advent of the Internet has resulted in the creation of online fan networks who help facilitate the exchange of fanworks.
Some fans create pictures known as edits, which consist of pictures or photos with their chosen fandom characters in different scenarios. These edits are often shared on social media networks such as Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest. In some edits, one may see content relating to several different fandoms. Fans in communities online often make gifs or gif sets about their fandoms. Gifs or gif sets can be used to create non-canon scenarios mixing actual content or adding in related content. Gif sets can also capture minute expressions or moments. Fans use gifs to show how they feel about characters or events in their fandom; these are called reaction gifs.
Fandom is sometimes caricatured as religious faith, as the interest of fans sometimes grows to dominate their lifestyle, and fans are often very obstinate in professing (and refusing to change) their beliefs about their fandom. However, society at large does not treat fandom with the same weight as organized religion.
There are also active fan organizations that participate in philanthropy and create a positive social impact. For example, the Harry Potter Alliance is a civic organization with a strong online component which runs campaigns around human rights issues, often in partnership with other advocacy and nonprofit groups; its membership skews college age and above. Nerdfighters, another fandom formed around Vlogbrothers, a YouTube vlog channel, are mainly high school students united by a common goal of "decreasing world suck".
Feature-length documentaries about fandom (some more respectful of the subjects than others) include Trekkies, Ringers: Lord of the Fans, Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation, and Done the Impossible. "Fandom" is also the name of a documentary / mockumentary about a fan obsessed with Natalie Portman. Slash is a movie released in 2016 about a young boy who writes slash fanfiction.
Fangirl is a novel written by Rainbow Rowell about a college student who is a fan of a book series called Simon Snow, which is written by a fictional author named Gemma T. Leslie. On October 6, 2015 Rainbow Rowell published a follow-up novel to Fangirl. Carry On is stand-alone novel set in the fictional world that Cath, the main character of Fangirl wites fanfiction in.
The film and television entertainment industry refers to the totality of fans devoted to a particular area of interest, whether organized or not, as the "fanbase".
Media fans, have, on occasion, organized on behalf of canceled television series, with notable success in cases such as Star Trek in 1968, Cagney & Lacey in 1983, Xena: Warrior Princess, in 1995, Roswell in 2000 and 2001 (it was canceled with finality at the end of the 2002 season), Farscape in 2002, Firefly in 2002, and Jericho in 2007. (In the case of Firefly the result was the movie Serenity, not another season.) It was likewise the fans who facilitated the push to create a Veronica Mars film through a Kickstarter campaign. Fans of the show Chuck launched a campaigned to save the show from being canceled using a Twitter hashtag and buying products from sponsors of the show. Fans of Arrested Development fought for the character Steve Holt to be included in the fourth season. The Save Steve Holt! campaign included a Twitter and Facebook account, a hashtag, and a website.
Such outcries, even when unsuccessful, suggests a growing self-consciousness on the part of entertainment consumers, who appear increasingly likely to attempt to assert their power as a bloc. Fan activism in support of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike through Fans4Writers appears to be an extension of this trend.
Gaming fans have sometimes influenced content developers. In March 2012, when the new installment of BioWare's Mass Effect series was released, the fandom was so displeased with the game's available endings that they demanded there be some kind of change. Buckling under the pressure of this heated demand, BioWare released a DLC (downloadable content) packet on June 26, 2012 in hopes of reconciling the game's endings and soothing the fandom's aggression. This simple change to the game's ending was a huge step for fandoms because the entertainment industry has never before taken such large steps to comply with a fanbase's desires.
In science fiction, a large number of the practitioners and other professionals in the field, not only writers but editors and publishers, traditionally have themselves come from and participate in science fiction fandom, from Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison to Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Toni Weisskopf. Ed Brubaker was a fan of the Captain America comics as a kid and was so upset that Bucky Barnes was killed off he worked on ways to bring him back. The Winter Soldier arc began in 2004 and in the 2005 sixth issue it was reviled that the Winter Soldier was Bucky Barnes. Many authors write fan fiction under pseudonyms. Lev Grossman has written stories in the Harry Potter, Adventure Time, and How to Train Your Dragon universes. S.E. Hinton has written about both Supernatural and her own books, The Outsiders. Movie actors often cosplay as other characters to enjoy being a regular fan at cons. Daniel Radcliffe cosplayed as Spider-Man at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. Before the release of The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield dressed up as Spider-Man and gave an emotional speech about what Spider-Man meant to him and thanking fans for their support.
The relationship between fans and professionals has changed because of access to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These give fans greater access to public figures such as creators, authors, and actors. Online platforms also give fans more ways to connect and participate in fandoms.
Some fans have made the work they do in fandom into careers. The book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James was originally a fan fiction of the Twilight series published on fanfiction.net. The story was taken down for mature content that violated the site’s terms of service. James rewrote the story to take out any references to twilight and self-published on The Writer’s Coffee Shop in May 2011. The book was published by Random House in 2012 and was very popular selling over 100 million copies. Many fans were not happy about James using fan fiction to make money and felt it was not in the spirit of the community. Cosplay has also become a career and way to make money participating in Fandom. Some cosplayers have made money cosplaying at cons for companies and others have been featured in promotional materials. There is contention over fans not being paid for their time or work. Gaming companies use fans to alpha and beta test their games in exchange for early access or promotional merchandise. The TV show Glee used fans to create promotional materials, though they did not compensate fans.
The entertainment industry in particular has capitalized on the fandom phenomena , by promoting its work directly to members of the fandom community  by sponsoring and presenting at events and conventions dedicated to fandom. Studios frequently create elaborate exhibits , organize panels that feature celebrities and writers of film and television (to promote both existing work and works yet to be released), and engage fans directly by with Q&A sessions, screening sneak previews, and supplying branded giveaway merchandise. The interest, reception and reaction of the fandom community to the works being promoted has a marked influence on how film studios and others proceed with the projects and products they exhibit and promote .
Sherlockians called them parodies and pastiches (they still do), and the initial ones appeared within 10 years of the first Holmes 1887 novella, A Study in Scarlet.
The earliest recorded examples of this fannish activity are from 1902...CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Anime and manga fandom (otherwise known as fan community) is a worldwide community of fans of anime and manga. Anime includes animated series, films and videos, while manga includes manga, graphic novels, drawings and related artwork. They have their origin in Japanese entertainment, but the style and culture has spread worldwide since its introduction into the West in the 1990s.Cult following
A cult following comprises a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a work of culture, often referred to as a cult classic. A film, book, musical artist, television series or video game, among other things, is said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fanbase. A common component of cult followings is the emotional attachment the fans have to the object of the cult following, often identifying themselves and other fans as members of a community. Cult followings are also commonly associated with niche markets. Cult media are often associated with underground culture, and are considered too eccentric or subversive to be appreciated by the general public or to be commercially successful.
Many cult fans express a certain irony about their devotion. Sometimes, these cult followings cross the border to camp followings. Fans may become involved in a subculture of fandom, either via conventions, online communities or through activities such as writing series-related fiction, costume creation, replica prop and model building, or creating their own audio or video productions from the formats and characters.Doctor Who fandom
The long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has developed a very large, loyal and devoted fan base over the years.
Doctor Who fans are sometimes referred to as Whovians, or simply as the Doctor Who fandom. The usage of "Whovian" was restricted to fans in the United States during the 1980s, when the Doctor Who Fan Club of America (pronounced by members as Dwifca – now defunct) published the Whovian Times as its newsletter.
An early use of 'Whovian', outside of the 'Whovian Times', is from Flaming Carrot Comics issue number 19 (circa 1988), when Flaming Carrot leads a combined group of Trekkies and Whovians into rebellion.Fan fiction
Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, fic or ff) is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator. Fans may maintain the creator's characters and settings or add their own. It is a popular form of fan labor, particularly since the advent of the Internet.
Fan fiction is rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's creator or publisher and is rarely professionally published. It may or may not infringe on the original author's copyright, depending on the jurisdiction and on such questions as for whether or not it qualifies as "fair use" (see Legal issues with fan fiction). Attitudes of authors and copyright owners of original works to fan fiction have ranged from indifference to encouragement to rejection. Copyright owners have occasionally responded with legal action.
The term "fan fiction" came into use in the 20th century as copyright laws began to delineate between stories using established characters that were authorized by the copyright holder and those that were unauthorized. For earlier works with similar characteristics, see unofficial sequel or pastiche.
Fan fiction is defined by being both related to its subject's canonical fictional universe (often referred to as "canon") and simultaneously existing outside it (au or Alternative universe (fan fiction)). Most fan fiction writers assume that their work is read primarily by other fans, and therefore presume that their readers have knowledge of the canon universe (created by a professional writer) in which their works are based.Fantasy fandom
Fantasy fandom is a fandom and commonality of fans of the fantasy genre.It revolves around popular media franchises belonging to the fantasy genre and can include collective fan works of these fantasy franchises and events that celebrate franchises of the genre as well as characters belonging to that genre.Examples of fan clubs devoted to stories and franchises of fantasy and include Disneyana fanclub, and The Tolkien Society in appreciation of works by J. R. R. Tolkien.In more recent times, the development of the Internet has also taken fandom communities online.Furry fandom
The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, speaking, walking on two legs, and wearing clothes. The term "furry fandom" is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at furry conventions.Harry Potter fandom
Harry Potter fandom refers to the community of fans of the Harry Potter books and movies who participate in entertainment activities that revolve around the series, such as reading and writing fan fiction, creating and soliciting fan art, engaging in role-playing games, socializing on Harry Potter-based forums, and more. The fandom interacts online as well as offline through activities such as fan conventions, participating in cosplay, tours of iconic landmarks relevant to the books and production of the films, and parties held for the midnight release of each book and film.
By the fourth Harry Potter book, the legions of fans had grown so large that considerable security measures were taken to ensure that no book was purchased before the official release date. Harry Potter is considered one of the few four-quadrant, multi-generation spanning franchises that exist today, despite Rowling's original marketing of the books to tweens and teens.Mary Sue
A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish fulfillment. They can usually perform better at tasks than should be possible given the amount of training or experience, and usually are able through some means to upstage the main protagonist of an established fictional setting, such as by saving the hero.Media Blasters
Media Blasters is an American entertainment corporation founded by John Sirabella and Sam Liebowitz, based in New York City. It is in the business of licensing, translating, and releasing to the North American market manga and anime compilations, Asian films and television series, adult anime, monster movies, concert films, independent films, horror films and exploitation flms.
The company has been releasing translated anime and concert films since May 1997. The company first released adult anime. In 2004, Media Blasters began publishing manga. The company first published shōnen manga titles for older readers, and later so it increased its yaoi manga line.In early 2012, not long after Bandai Entertainment announced its restructuring plans, Media Blasters' John Sirabella announced the laying off of approximately ten employees, which reduced its workforce by about sixty percent. Sirabella has said that this will not affect production rates. Digital distribution for Media Blasters' titles are available on PlayStation Network, Xbox, Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Video, some titles through the add-on subscription of Toku, Shudder, Comic-Con HQ or other channels.Science fiction fandom
Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or fandom of people interested in science fiction in contact with one another based upon that interest. SF fandom has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization (although clubs such as the Futurians (1937–1945) are a recognized example of organized fandom).
Most often called simply "fandom" within the community, it can be viewed as a distinct subculture, with its own literature and jargon; marriages and other relationships among fans are common, as are multi-generational fan families.Sex symbol
A sex symbol is a famous person or fictional character widely regarded to be very sexually attractive.Shipping (fandom)
Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film, literature, television etc.) to be in a romantic relationship. It is considered a general term for fans' emotional involvement with the ongoing development of a relationship in a work of fiction. Shipping often takes the form of creative works, including fanfiction and fan art, most often published on the internet. However, shipping can involve virtually any kind of relationship- from the well-known and established, through the ambiguous or those undergoing development, and even all the way to the highly improbable and the blatantly impossible. It can be used as a friendship term.Stargate fandom
Stargate fandom is a community of people actively interested in the military science fiction film Stargate and the television shows Stargate SG-1 (SG1), Stargate Infinity (SGI), Stargate Atlantis (SGA), Stargate Universe (SGU) and their spin offs. The first franchise release, Stargate (1994) spawned four television series successors, four movies (two in production), a plethora of merchandise, and a massive franchise collectively known as the Stargate (owned by Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer and aired by Syfy, which now owns television properties they previously held with Carolco Pictures).
Thanks to Stargate fandom, the franchise has spawned other media including books, television series, video games, comic books and audiobooks. These supplements to the film and series trilogies comprise another universe than the series and the film, and have resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe. These media kept the franchise going in the interim between the film and series trilogies. In 2008, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Continuum was released direct-to-DVD, which in total grossed over 21 million in the United States. In 2002, the franchise's first animated series, Stargate Infinity, was released as an introduction to the Expanded Universe. In 2004, Stargate Atlantis was released as a spin off from Stargate SG-1 and a new Stargate spin-off series entitled Stargate Universe was released in the fall of 2009.Tolkien fandom
Tolkien fandom is an international, informal community of fans of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, especially of the Middle-earth legendarium which includes The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. "Fandom" is a term used to describe a specific type of fan subculture. "Tolkien fandom" in this sense sprang up in the United States in the 1960s, in the context of the hippie movement, to the dismay of the author (Tolkien died in 1973), who talked of "my deplorable cultus".A Tolkienist is someone who studies the work of J. R. R. Tolkien: this usually refers to students of the Elvish languages and "Tolkienology". The term Ringer refers to a fan of The Lord of the Rings in general, and of Peter Jackson's live-action film trilogy in particular. Other terms describing Tolkien fans include Tolkienite or Tolkiendil.Wikia
Wikia , currently being rebranded as Fandom and formerly known as Wikicities, is a wiki hosting service. The site is free of charge and for-profit, deriving its income from advertising and sold content, publishing most user-provided text under copyleft licenses. Wikia hosts several hundred thousand wikis using the open-source wiki software MediaWiki. Its operator, Wikia, Inc., is a for-profit Delaware company founded on October 18, 2004 by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley Starling—respectively Chairman Emeritus and Advisory Board member of the Wikimedia Foundation—and headed by Andy Doyle as Interim CEO. Wikia also runs the associated Fandom editorial project, offering pop-culture and gaming news.Wizard rock
Wizard rock (sometimes shortened as Wrock) is a genre of rock music that developed between 2002 and 2004 in the United States. Wizard rock bands are characterized by their performances and humorous novelty songs about the Harry Potter universe. Wizard rock initially started in Massachusetts with Harry and the Potters, though it has grown internationally.Wookieepedia
Wookieepedia: The Star Wars Wiki is an online encyclopedia for information on the Star Wars fictional universe—including information on all the films, as well as Clone Wars, The Clone Wars and its introductory film, Rebels, the Star Wars expanded universe, and any upcoming Star Wars material. It is a specialized wiki created to be an extensive encyclopedia of the Star Wars universe with some articles reaching up to 60,000 words, and is written almost entirely from an in-universe perspective. The name Wookieepedia is a portmanteau of Wookiee and encyclopedia, a pun on the name of Wikipedia. The logo, too, is a visual pun showing the incomplete second Death Star as opposed to Wikipedia's incomplete "jigsaw logo".
It is a fan-built version of the Holocron, a database maintained by Lucasfilm to track everything in the Star Wars universe and ensure continuity within it.Yaoi fandom
Yaoi fandom consists of the readers of yaoi (also called Boys' Love or BL), a genre of male-male romance narratives aimed at those who participate in communal activities organized around yaoi, such as attending conventions, maintaining or posting to fansites, creating fan fiction or fan art, etc. In the mid-1990s, estimates of the size of the Japanese yaoi fandom were at 100,000-500,000 people, but in 2008, despite increased knowledge of the genre among the general public, readership remains limited. English-language fan translations of From Eroica with Love circulated through the slash fiction community in the 1980s, forging a link between slash fiction fandom and Yaoi fandom.
Most yaoi fans are teenage girls or young women. In Japan, female fans are called fujoshi (腐女子), denoting how a woman who enjoys fictional gay content is "rotten", too ruined to be married. The male equivalent is called a fudanshi (腐男子). The words' origin can be found in the online image board 2channel.
Yaoi fans have been characters in manga such as the seinen manga Fujoshi Rumi.
At least one butler café has opened with a schoolboy theme in order to appeal to the Boy's Love aesthetic.
In one study on visual kei, 37% of Japanese fan respondents reported having "yaoi or sexual fantasies" about the visual kei stars.