The cons are on. Now that Comic Cons worldwide are in full swing makes me think back to a few months ago when Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter films) made a documentary about the Superfans. He wanted to know what it was that made fans “superfans”. If you get the chance to watch it I highly recommend it. He did a wonderful job of meeting and talking with fans of his. Wanting to know what it was that made them these “above average” fan. Getting to spend more than a few seconds as usual but this time really wanting to their story. A really good friend of mine almost appeared in this documentary but backed out and decided the world didn’t know her nerdom even more that what her friends know. With this idea of “superfan” it had me thinking about myself as well as fandom in general.
Personally I have never been to a comic convention. I did attend The Office Convention back in 2007 only because my college roommate at the time really wanted to go. We drove 8 hours to spend a rainy weekend in Scranton, PA. It was a fun 48 hours the convention was interactive and all, but the four main cast showed up to have fun. Now I will also admit that the thought of going to a comic con seems to frighten me and excite me. As an introvert and someone who doesn’t like crowds, it does put me in a bad position. Now as a fan of a lot of different things: Sports, Theatre, Superheroes, film and tv shows I don’t know how to put myself in the “fandom grouping”. I do admit that I was once interviewed by a British magazine back in 2010 for a tv show; the producers gave my name somehow because the production company considered me a huge fan of the show. Thankfully the article ended up being a “blink and you’ll miss it.” The show’s producers were excited to have fans from the US as the show is a cult here stateside. I do go to the theatre in London to see a favorite British actress in a play and talk with the actress after for a good 15-20 minutes. I have been involved with a few fan forums when they were popular. Does this make me a “superfan” I don’t think I would consider it.
Cosplay and various role play are another level of fandom. I’ve never cosplayed but have dressed up as Capt. Janeway from Star Trek Voyager for Halloween back in 1995. The cosplay isn’t for everyone but for those it is a chance to move up Halloween while having fun during the rest of the year. Getting to really put a lot of work into a costume for a few days of fun meeting celebrities who play the characters or fellow fans who have dressed up does bring out a certain excitement. Does this count as a “superfan”?
What is it about cons that people who seem to not understand fans of comics or tv shows/films find them to be an over the top? Do they not have something that makes them be a fan of something and spend money on?
My questions to you reader how would you consider the level of fandom that is you are at? Are you a “superfan” of something or multiple things? What got you started with it? I guess I want to know your story.