Fan Stuff: Silly & Cool

Silly #1 Character Sketches — LOLOL *Logan*! Tee-hee! Did ‘BloGoren’ draw this in his famous brown zippered notebook?!?

http://www.brandonbird.com/lno_cara.html

Silly #2 A Mothership (Law & Order) Coloring / Activity Book — Quoting the fan letter I wrote the artist “I laughed, I cried, I want to request a LOCI sequel!”

http://www.brandonbird.com/lno_color.html

Cool #1 SVU Valentine Cards — I missed out on these — love the Munch & Fin ones (note to artist: could we have LOCI ones for 2007?)

http://www.brandonbird.com/svutines.html

Cool #2 Tattoos Consider the one in the center of the page the next time you’re at the tattoo parlor

http://www.brandonbird.com/lno_jamie.html

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Fangurl Problems: See, It Isn’t Just Me…

So I cruised on over to the Cheese Fiend’s blog today to see what’s up with her artwork and what do I see?

http://http://mlibertine.blogspot.com/2006/02/why-me.html/

Why me?

[rant]
I am rather irritated by this stupid situation, not specific individuals, just the whole situation created by some …..
I am in the middle of the lamest controversy ever.

On one hand:we got the obsessed fans, creating trouble to a celebrity because they have these strange illusions, also known as obsessive “celebrity crushes” and as successfully VDOVault notes in her blog ,the “fangurls”. Those fangurls know almost everything about the celeb (except his ‘size’, but i bet they’d love to know that too, or even test it as well). They achieved to come in close contact with the celeb’s family and unfortunately took advantage over it, thus resulting to ugly situations, such as being sued, persecuted etc.

On the other hand:we got the “reasonable’ fans. Fans that might collect movies, pictures, various memorabilia of this particular celeb. Fans who have utter respect (and probably a healthy level of attraction) for a person who might have shaped their ordinary lives in such a way and made their days and nights more interesting, because you see, a good dose of talent in a frequent basis can be quite helpful.

The bad news about those reasonable fans are that they feel or have been violated by the “fangurls”. So what should they do? Shut them out of their lives and protect their properties? Right. But what happens when a person like me (who i like to consider myself a “healthy” fan) finds herself in the middle of the fight? Why do i have to pay the consequences of being part of a group whose activities i am not fully aware of and honestly, i am not particularly interested in ever finding out?

In a few words, do i really have to give a shit if some fangurls decided to start pulling hair and attack each other on the net? Or maybe should i feel guilty for showing sheer interest for the celeb’s work/progress/personality?

Does anyone realize what a fool of themselves they make? Or possibly how the celeb might feel for all this, seeing his family being attacked and stalked by a bunch of fangurls?

Frankly i don’t give a damn where he lives, where he eats, how he fucks,or…whatever. And i have no intention in letting anyone to turn me into a fucking scapegoat of a certain group that might be guilty of misbehavior, but has nothing to do with ME. I wasn’t there, i never did anything to offend anyone, i have no intention whatsoever to make a living out of this celeb’s private life, so why pay the consequences of someone else’s cruel actions?
People and their ”vendettas”.. [/rant]

Hey Cheese Fiend…if you’re getting shit from fangurls, that’s the surest sign you have *talent*. You should keep doing your thing at your blog and let the fangurls flail around being all jealous because they can’t do what you do (well a few of them could if they weren’t so damn busy doing stupid stuff like blog comment spaming and squabbling over who owns an image they ‘found’ online).

The Vault understands and sympathizes :) Now go forth & be creative some more!!!

Music ‘Games People Play’ by The Alan Parsons Project

Blast From My FanFic Past: The Return Of Apocrypha, The Law & Order Zine

Oh my goodness!

I was just surfing, kind of goofing around really, and have been thrown back a couple of years into my fannish past by a link I just found by doing a little research on Chris Noth’s online presence.

It seems that the venerable apocrypha, the Law & Order zine is once again up and running.

The version I used to read and eventually got two LOCI stories published in is now at :

http://www.podengo.com/apocrypha/archive.html

I started writing fanfic for the mothership (the original Law & Order) and since apocrypha was pretty much it for online Law & Order zines that have some standards about what they publish, I tried and tried and tried to get my short stories accepted there while working on my own monster fanfic novel (It was definitely going to be a trilogy of which I had for sure worked out the first two parts).

I got rejected by apocrypha *a lot*, probably deservedly so, because I was putting more effort into writing the trilogy than apocrypha’s challenges or other stories that would have fit with apocrypha’s stories. My tripartate novel of course featured the perennial L&O fan favorite Detective Mike Logan, other L&O regulars and characters of my own creation and well, let’s just say that while what I was doing amused and interested me, it wasn’t doing anything special for the editors of apocrypha (and I don’t think it would have done a lot for their readers either)

Then LOCI went into production and I switched to writing for Goren and suddenly my writing really began to shine. Working Goren into my unfinished novel (he would become the focus of the third part of my trilogy) and then working on stories that could stand on their own in answer to an apocrypha challenge plus be incorporated into my own fictional world was just what the fanfic doctor ordered. I had 2 stories published that were answers to apocrypha fanfic challenges and I was the first person to write LOCI fic blessed by the powers that be at apocrypha.

It’s scary to think of this now, but my first published story won the Blue Wall (apocrypha readers choice) Award for a challenge story in 2002. ‘Night Portrait I’ I don’t think stands the test of time but you can read it and laugh at me and my pretentions all you want over at:

http://www.podengo.com/apocrypha/spring02/night.html

The story I am most proud of is a true stand alone, a musing on an idea I had about how Goren might have first met Eames that also deals with the ‘Homicide:Life On The Street’ world (this is what fanfic writers call a ‘crossover’ story) and a reason I made up for two characters disappearance from the Baltimore Homicide Squad (sort of fan supplied backstory if you like). That story ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’ is at:

http://www.podengo.com/apocrypha/winter02/what.html

I think rereading ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’, that I had a pretty good handle on all four characters I used and that some of my dialogue still sounds pretty crisp when I internally verbalize it. Goren of course comes off the best both in terms of characterization and action, but I think I gave Eames the best lines. And it helps that Madonna wrote some pretty insightful lyrics, lyrics that mean different things to the different genders and advance my story nicely.

Madonna’s ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’

Anyway I feel a lot better that apocrypha is back up and running although they don’t yet have a lot of new fic to show off at their blog. Go do some reading at:

http://apocryphazine.blogspot.com/

And be sure to catch what VDO had to say at the 2005 Television Critics Association press conference on LOCI at

http://www.podengo.com/apocrypha/TCA05/1.html

I still say the jobsharing agreement over at LOCI is going to be a good thing (and it’s got me thinking again about how to work the induction of Mike Logan into the Major Case Squad into my dormant and long abandoned fanfic…I wonder if I’ve got one more decent short fanfic left in me after all and if the novel from hell could be viable).

 

Weird New Media World: Officially Sanctioned Fan Fiction or Where Not To Go With LOCI

At a recent conference on branding called ‘The Next Big Idea: The Future of Branded Entertainment’, it was announced that Showtime and a company called FanLib are going to have a first ever ‘Official Fan Episode’ of the Showtime show ‘The L Word’

Over the course of the coming season, ‘L Word’ fans will have the chance to write multiple short scenes (with some minimal guidance from one of the show’s writers). Then ‘L Word’ fans will vote on which scenes their peers have written that they like the best and by the end of the show’s season they will have produced a script. The pro writer will polish the script and it will be available as an eZine and some recognition will be given to fans whose scenes are voted into the script (they’ll get some prizes). Showtime has the option to possibly shoot the script if they feel like it and think it’s any good (or will get them boffo ratings).

On balance I don’t think this is a good thing…

Some of this reminds me of the stunts NBC Uni, Wolf Films and the LOCI writing staff have pulled with the Nicole Warren character (played by VDO’s friend and a very talented actress, Olivia D’Abo). Warren was used to great effect in her first appearance on LOCI as Goren’s nemesis, but frankly after that first confrontation, the character was brought back too early and not really given anything to do that was particularly compelling. This has continued in every subsequent appearance of Warren and frankly it’s becoming embarassing and painful to watch.

I understand that part of the rationale to keeping Nicole Warren around is because VDO and D’Abo like acting together. But the decisions on *when* to reintroduce her character and *what* she was supposed to accomplish are really nothing more than pandering to ‘fangurl’ enthusiasm which hurts the overall quality of the writing of the show.

Balcer and his writing staff should have waited to bring Warren back after they had given them sufficient time to come up with a really good reason for her return, but they rushed ahead because of the Net buzz. They also have played the game with the fans of ‘should the Nicole Warren character live or die’ and let the fans vote (of course the fans and the ‘fangurls’ don’t have the heart to kill her off, so when the decision is left up to them, Nicole will keep reappearing at all the wrong times, for all the wrong reasons, with no particularly compelling let alone interesting reason for her to make Goren’s investigative life ‘difficult’ for the course of her appearances).

I have no problems with fan fiction, where fans make up their own alternate scenarios for established characters and write their own stories, largely for their own amusement. I’ve written a few myself, gotten them published online, even won awards for them. But frankly, I wouldn’t want my vision of LOCI or the Goren character superimposed over that of the show’s creators and writers. I’m the amateur, they’re the pros and I think they have a much better feel for how to entertain and surprise all the fans (myself included). Besides, while writing TV episodes must be hard, it’s even harder to write passable fan fiction that amuses even one person besides it’s author. If I thought I had more than a dozen fans of my own attempts at writing ‘stories’ using LOCI characters, I’d be posting fan fic here, not the stuff I write about these days. 

With Nicole Warren, LOCI has taken baby steps into this ‘new interactive media’ arena, trying to ‘give fans what they [think they] want’, substituting fan judgment for their own good writing, their own willingness to brainstorm ideas for the show, for character arcs, etc. I suppose you get better ratings in the short term for episodes where fan input is allowed to prevail.

But what about the long term viability of the show. Will Warren seem so appealing 10 years from now in syndicated episodes shown for the umpteenth time? Or will it seem like tired gimmickry that doesn’t stand the test of time when it’s that far back in the audience’s rearview mirror? Will people keep paying (with money or their attention) or will they wonder ‘why did I think that was any good’?

And what happens when ratings for LOCI start to slip (which given the history of TV series, will happen someday, the fabled ‘jump the shark’ moment almost every TV series goes through). Will the show’s writers pander to the segment of ‘fangurls’ who want to make Goren and Eames into romantic partners as well as investigative partners (so called ‘shipping’  or the pairing off  of two characters, in the world of fan fiction)? I don’t want to watch that happen on LOCI but what if majority fan vote gets substituted for minority or staff opinion? Wouldn’t it be better to kill off the show before it descends into mediocrity (or worse)?

This ‘The L Word’ collaboration to me feels more doomed to fail than succeed in essence because it’s so hard to write consistently good TV episodes when experienced writers do so (and they do so on a really tight schedule and with the threat of not getting paid if they fail). Turn loose the untrained ‘fangurls’ and lord only knows what weird direction ‘The L Word’ will go into, not to mention what kind of ‘fangurl’ catfighting there will be. I doubt Showtime will get anything out of it other than a few laughs and some worries about the sanity of some of their most dedicated viewers.

So my advice to TPTB at ‘LOCI’ is watch and learn from this ‘Official Fan Episode’ experiment and should you choose to seek fan input, have each of your staff writers produce a script or treatment and let your LOCI fans vote on which of the *pros* on your staff has written our ‘Official LOCI Fan Episode’, and *then* shoot that.

Better to let us maybe have a contest to give a pro a one-liner or two for Goren or Eames (or Logan or Barek or Deakins or Carver…you get the idea). That would be a reasonable expectation of us. After all it’s our job to watch, and we don’t want to get you all in trouble with the WGA (the Writers Guild of America, the screenwriter’s union). We know how hard it is for writers to get paying gigs these days, especially talented experienced ones.

‘Why I Don’t Have A Web Site’ or Requiem For Alonelybeautifulgirl.com

Music ‘Don’t Tell Me’ by Madonna

It has always been in the back of my mind to go ahead, bite the bullet and set up a website full of images and stories about my VDO things. Perhaps one day I might do so.  But then I think back on things that have happened on various VDO sites and wonder if I have a screw loose.  First of all there would be the financial expense. I realize that I am at a point in my collecting where most of the freebie website options out there are too small and that the data transfers I would need are pretty large. So I’d have to take money from my collecting budget and put it into the costs of web site hosting. As it is, I need to buy a better digital camera (or borrow one for an extended period of time) so that I can capture images of all the things I have that will not fit on my computer’s scanner screen. There are at least a few hundred of those things so a digital camera is a higher priority item for me right now.  

Then there is the sheer time committment involved in setting up and maintaining a website. Now granted I could take my time getting a site up and running. But there is definitely effort involved there and it’s not insignificant.  

But finally there’s the predatory destructive VDO ‘fangurl’ problem.  

Depending on how long you have had an interest in VDO, it is possible that you may have heard of the VDO site alonelybeautifulgirl.com (ALBG) It’s owner is a woman who made the enormous time and financial committment to setting up a really excellent VDO fansite.  

Unfortunately she and I are birds of a feather in one striking way – we are both opinionated about VDO’s works and that makes us targets for malevolent actions against our online projects.  

alonelybeautifulgirl.com is now sadly down to a skeletal form of itself (you can only download some of its collection of VDO themed desktops) largely because so called ‘fans’ did destructive expensive things to ALBG. Like repeated abusive downloads of large picture files that caused her site to go over its data transfer quotas and racking up hefty bills with the Internet service provider.  

Some ‘fans’, huh?  

And even the folks who are running The Reel Vincent D’Onofrio and it’s associated blog have to spend a lot of time deleting obnoxious comments from their blog posted by VDO-interested problem children. The ‘fangurls’ have even wreaked havoc with VDO’s sister Elizabeth’s blog and website Their BS basically causes this woman who happens to be a professional actress in her own right as well as an acting teacher to periodically have to waste some of her precious time undoing their damage.  

This is why anyone and everyone can read my blog but I won’t post others comments on my entries. Period.  

To paraphrase “JLo” in ‘The Cell’ “My blog, my rules”. It makes my ass tired merely thinking about how much time I might have to spend cleaning up other people’s messes, so the commenting feature (and other abusable features) is turned off. The ‘fangurls’ can and should go waste bandwidth at some other site or pay for their own playground and trash that site but good.  

Moreover if I were to set up a really gonzo sort of site that wouldn’t be jerked around with I would have to 1) password protect it and 2) interview/prescreen people who want access to it. That would be a royal pain in the tushy and somewhat defeats the purpose of having a website in the first place. 

So I guess I’m going to have to do a lot more thinking about the merits of setting up a website for now. Maybe if I run out of room here at my blog, I’ll end up doing so, but for now this suits my purposes just fine.  

Meanwhile to people doing things like ALBG and The Reel, y’all are ‘crazy tougher’ than I am. Keep fighting the good fight! 

 

‘Are You A Fangirl?’ aka DASH & The ‘Fangurls’ Redux

I’m reposting something (bad unoriginal blogger me) but mostly because it so accurately describes something like my DASH experience. The author could have been talking about some of VDO’s ‘fans’ (some of whom call themselves ‘vixens’ for reasons unknown to me) especially when it comes to the negativity-avoidance and excessive use of emoticons/smileys in posts, the expectations by the ‘fangurl’/’vixens’ that the idol should conform to the fangurl’s own values (aka VDO used to smoke, may occasionally drink alcohol, has been through two divorces, and sometimes swears in media interviews — so what?), the fixation with the use of the word ‘jealous’ (“gee that person writing the VDOVault blog must be *jealous* of those of us who got phone calls from ‘Vincent’ and she *didn’t* and is only blogging because she’s *jealous* that we know ‘Vincent’ better than she does and still all hang out together at DASH and other VDO fan boards having the same conversations ad nauseum…”), and the limited number of topics on which fangurls post repeatedly and offer nothing new in the way of insight (such as ‘which is VDO’s sexiest/hottest/most shaggable character?’). 

The only significant differences I have noted from the ‘fangurls’ of the article is that many of the ‘vixen’/’fangurls’ don’t avoid discussing VDO’s exwives and children (except of course at DASH where it was a rule punishable by exile that such postings and topics of conversation were not to take place while ‘Vincent’ was present in chats and posts of said nature were strongly discouraged so that ‘Vincent”s feelings would be spared (interestingly, they failed to ban instant messages to anyone other than ‘Vincent’ on those topics — I know because I received a few unsolicited ones). And I haven’t noticed massive signatures but then again I would say that VDO ‘fangurls’ are chronologically older than the fangurls discussed in the article below. It’s a nice question as to just how mature any of them are though ;-) 

Appropriately snarky music ‘Good Girls Don’t’ by The Knack

Are You A Fangirl?  

originally posted at http://www.mrsgiggles.com/movies/fangirl_stuff.html

Fangirls are serious people not to be messed with. Who are fangirls? They are people who take their fan thingie way too seriously. You can find them at Fanforum.com and miscellaneous fansites, and they are usually female. There’s a saying that most fangirls are between 10 to 25 years of age, but I won’t be surprised if fangirls can come in all ages. It’s hard to define the meaning of the term “fangirl”, but they can be spotted coming a mile away because they are all like sheep and be counted on to act like one. 

Here’s top ways you can detect a fangirl from her posts. 

She doesn’t like talking about “negativity”
See, she believes that her idol will be reading these posts of everybody’s, and she knows said idol will be horrified, just horrified, to discover nasty things spoken on an insignificant board idols probably have no idea exist. She will hush everyone who even dares say anything remotely negative. Most tell-tale is how she will pop up in a thread, say “Why Roswell is going downhill?” and start raising a fuss. “What if my darling Jason Behr is reading? Won’t he be SHOCKED? SHOCKED, I tell you!” 

And a fangirl always apologizes before saying anything remotely different from the flock. Example? “I apologize if I offend anyone because I know I am just a fan and I hope the fangirl moderators won’t ban me but I think this is something I must say even if it kills me because you know I am still a Dreamer to the day I die – MaxNLiz4eva!!! Down with Tess that bitch! LizNMax4eva!!! – but I just want to say this, but before I do, I hope you people will forgive me because I know I am a stupid piece of smelly stuff, and I am sorry to have to say this, but, don’t you think Liz’s mascara is a bit on the heavy side?” 

Fangirl expects her idols to conform to her values
Nothing reveals a fangirl’s true colors better than to tell her that her idol smokes. “Smoking is bad! Cancer! I will love him foreva but I will be soooo disappointed if he smokes *insert some jumping sad face smilie here*!” 

Incidentally, fangirls’ values are strictly and embarrassingly WASPy – they can’t stand beards, mustaches, smoking or drinking habits, and they cannot grasp the notion of alternative sexualities. Their idols must be straight, non-smoking, non-drinking, non-swearing boring forkbreads. Tell them otherwise and they will go into denial. 

A dead-on fangirl always reply to negative news of her idol in print with a “Interviews and quotes are always misquoted by the jealous press, and I won’t believe until Mariah Carey herself comes out and admits that she is a drugged-up, alcoholic, hysterical has-been who needs depression treatment!” 

Needless to say, they really expect their idol to come clean to them. 

Fangirl can’t live without smilies
One of the consequence of living in the flock is that you don’t even dare to offend anyone. So every sentence has to end with a jumping smiling pink thing. After fangirls have no sense of humor – you have to tell them that you are joking by putting a at the end of every sentence. 

Whoever doesn’t do that gets a reprimand icon from other fangirls. Fangirls MUST be shown how they must feel. It’s the way of the sheep. They wouldn’t understand irony or sarcasm if they bite them in the butt. 

Fangirl loves big, big signature threads
As most fangirl forums are powered by Infopop that allows large attachments to one’s signatures, fangirls tend to put at least two big photos or screencaps, a long list of said idol’s quotes, and their fansite banner. Sometimes there are threads where the signatures combined are longer than the actual discussions. Combine smilie overkill with signature overdose, and fangirl forums may just cause your 23K modem to explode to flames. 

Fangirl loves the word jealous
Any critic of their idol is jealous. Or jealus, jealouse, jelus, jeallous, jeallouse… So jealous are the critics because the fangirls’ idol are successful, or good-looking, or has a nice haircut. Critics are just dying inside that this idol has starred in fifteen straight-to-video movies, fourteen of which consists of said idol running bare-breasted in grassy molls for ten minutes until she is dismembered by a badly made-up freak with a chainsaw. 

Typical responses to intelligent debate by fangirls include “I’d like to see you record an album and be as big as Westlife!”, “I’d like to see you make a TV series and be as big as Chris Carter!” In short, fangirls believe that just because you don’t sleep your way to the top, buy yourself a recording gig, or aren’t talentless teenyboppers who can only use your pretty faces and aerobicized bodies for your fifteen minutes of fame (I’m looking at you, Carson Daly), you must be jealous of these idols’ great talents. 

Fangirls come in packs, so expect multiple flames when you stump them with your wit and quips and they can’t find a good comeback. 

Fangirl starts the same threads in every forum
A good example is the ubiquitous “*Idol’s name* Appreciation Thread” which can span into multiple parters. These threads are nothing more than people leaching the bandwidths of unsuspecting websites by posting pictures of their favorite idol in question. I do confess I enjoy these threads, especially the shirtless David Boreanaz picture threads in the Fanforum, but there is nothing creepier than a bunch of obviously horny fangirls trying to suppress their libido to be “nice” and talking about that naked hunk’s, er, talent instead. 

Fangirl thinks of her idols as exclusively hers
By this, I mean they refuse, absolutely refuse to discuss their idol’s private life. Commendable act? Nah. See, they just don’t want to hear about their idol’s love life. How else would you explain a simple question like “Say, does Jason Behr smoke?” (everybody knows he does) getting a flock of vultures looking uncannily like fangirls descending on you to screech that Personal Discussions Of Idols Are Not Allowed. They’re rather believe that their idol is just there, waiting for their pure, asexual fangirl love (at least they are too hypocritical to admit that they want to shag their idol) rather than to enjoy the sleazy, good skank vibes of groupies. 

In this way, fangirls also pride themselves as morally superior to any one of their idol’s girlfriends, which by default must be skanks because everyone knows their idol is waiting for them – fangirls – to love! Or if these fangirls will never have their idols, anyone who does must be skanks. Unless, of course, these girlfriends are homely, not-blonde, and have a virginal look to them (an image most fangirl believe themselves take after), by then these fangirls will gush and coo over them. It’s always amusing that these fangirls either gush at the same time or they rip apart their idols’ girlfriends of the month – no inbetween. As usual, the lone dissenter or two will be silenced with a lot of finger-wagging smilies. 

But… 

Fangirl is good for one thing
Get your mind out of the gutter. Besides, there’s no way these fangirls will give out to you. They are good for one thing, however – they will know anything you want to know about their idol. They make a great source for pictures for that screensaver you are making. If anyone has that rare picture of Hugh Jackman naked, the fangirls will be your best hope. (By the way, I asked – no luck there.) Fangirl packs will also sniff out the very celebrity him or herself, and while conversations will then plunge into the abysmal (Fangirl #1: LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!, Idol: Thanks!, Fangirl #2: I LOVE YOU!!!, Idol: Thanks!, etc), you can always hop on and bask in the presence of a star. But don’t expect to ask him about his alcoholic problem or those embarassing white powder stains rumored to be found on his black Porsche seat, the fangirls will kick you off and ban you faster than you can say “Smack my bottom, baby!” 

See, who says I hate fangirls? They do serve a purpose in life. Now excuse me, they are posting a new batch of photos in the “Hugh Jackman Appreciation Thread Part 6”. Oops, duty calls!