This week is the Popular Culture Conference in Chicago, which means I get to hang out with other academically inclined folks and have deep discussions about some of my favorite things – including fandom, the reciprocal relationship between fans and the things we love, and of course, Supernatural. That doesn’t leave me much time to do a review of this week’s episode (so this will be a briefer review than usual). But Robbie Thompson sure as hell gave me a lot to talk about!
I love meta episodes. Any time a character has mentioned “subtext” in the first minute of the Show (while breaking the fourth wall and staring into the camera, no less), I’m a happy camper. My daughter Emily, however, is generally not a meta fan. She likes Supernatural, and she loves to take it apart and critique it, but she usually prefers her characters not to talk back and the fourth wall to stay firmly in place. Imagine my surprise when we watched Show together last night and she announced, “I liked it!”
“For me, discovering this fandom was pretty much like getting kidnapped by a dragon. I didn’t expect being inducted into this world to be anywhere near as strange, wonderful or overwhelming as it has been.” – Misha Collins, in Fan Phenomena: Supernatural
We sat down for a chat with Misha Collins at the recent VegasCon. Misha wrote a chapter for our new book, Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, in which he talks about his experience joining the SPN Family and the way it changed his life, just as it has changed the lives of so many fans.
Misha had just directed his first episode, so that was foremost on our minds.
Supernatural is on a roll. Once again, I was swept along by this week’s episode, the hour going by way too quickly – and that’s exactly how I like it. Adam Glass’ script and Misha Collins’ directing were a heady combination, with the rest of the stellar cast and crew all bringing their A game for the first-time director.
When we spoke to Misha at VegasCon, the first thing we asked him about directing was, “So, do you have the bug now?”
Of course all fandoms feel like theirs is the best (that passion is what makes fandom so unique and wonderful) – but really, the SPN Family is amazing. We heard story after story at VegasCon about how Supernatural changed people’s lives for the better, and we count ourselves among them. We were so touched by everyone who told us that our books had also made a difference, and that you could relate to ‘Fangasm’. We’ve written a lot about the generosity of fandom. What other community is entirely based on a gift economy instead of financial gain? Fans spend so much time and effort creating fan works – taking beautiful photos, writing inspiring fanfiction, making powerful vids, drawing gorgeous fanart, posting con write-ups and thoughtful meta. And instead of expecting anything in return, fans just want to share all this awesome with their fellow fans. For free!
I went into this episode cautiously, because these two writers’ efforts don’t always work well for me. But I try to always be open minded about this Show, and it paid off – because this time Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner penned a kickass episode that I LOVED! The dialogue, the plot, the characters, the progression, all worked for me. And Serge Ladouceur’s directing was spot on. What a pleasure to sit down and write a review full of squee (though also full of plenty of trepidation – this is Supernatural, after all!)
Vegas Con is like a Supernatural con on steroids – it’s an over-the-top, nonstop, emotional rollercoaster of a con, with fans sobbing with joy leaving the photo op room or hugging friends they haven’t seen all year or collapsing in exhaustion on a conveniently placed bench. Of course it is – it’s Vegas!
We live tweeted the entire con (except for the beginning, thanks to an airport shuttle that took the scenic route to the Rio…) but we thought we’d share some of our favorite con moments here.
We’d like to share the wonderful review of Fangasm on The Daily Dot. Here is an excerpt:
“One of the side effects of a post-Fifty Shades of Grey world is the demand for pop culture books about fandom. These include Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World and the recently announced Fan Fiction Studies reader, also from the University of Iowa Press. These works approach fandom from the standpoints of academics writing for a possibly mystified public. Most of them collect essays from knowledgeable academics about the basic principles and issues surrounding the fandom phenomenon.
Fangasm is to all those other books what Elle Woods is to Harvard. It unfolds like a nerdgirl answer to Hunter S. Thompson, only San Diego Comic Con has usurped Las Vegas as the desert mecca of the age and euphoria driven by slashfic replaces the drug-addled road trip. The fear and loathing has given way to squee and awe. It’s almost exactly as much of a pop culture manifesto as you’d expect from a book that doubles as a memoir about how two highly educated women with became obsessed with a show that airs on the CW Network.”
Read the entire review here.
We’re also giving away five autographed copies of Fangasm at Goodreads. Click below for details.
Giveaway ends April 11, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.