I’d say most, if not all of us have fictional characters we can’t stand in the pop culture we love. Some characters just have personalities that grate on us, their flaws, or what we see as their flaws, too grating for us to take.
I say “what we see as their flaws” because, no matter how hard an author or creator tries to demonstrate a character as objectively flawed or no matter how strongly culture objects to and hates a character, it seems there will always be those out there who understand and defend that character’s actions. What may be seen as a horrific violation of societal norms by some, might be seen by others as the result of victimization by the same society. Continue reading
You know, I’m always baffled by people who believe there are no girls in fandom, because one aspect of fandom was made very visible to me from the moment I first stuck my 13-year-old toe in: shipping.
If you’ve ever spent a lot of time around fan fiction, fan art, or tumblr., you’re probably familiar with the concept of shipping, which I also briefly covered in an earlier post. In that post, I gave the Wikipedia definition of shipping, but there’s also this definition from Urban Dictionary:
The act of pairing any two characters together. Lonely people do this to try to suppress their own loneliness. It usually leads to making terrible fan art.
So, is this a fair criticism? Is shipping a pathetic symptom of loneliness that leads to a plague of bad fan art? Well…in some cases it could be, but I really don’t know enough about the personal lives of shippers to make a judgement on this. Continue reading
Depp as “Tonto” in The Lone Ranger
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about representations of race in media. This is partly because I personally cringe every time I see a commercial for The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, but I know there aren’t wide-spread protests about it, and many Native Americans seem fine with his representation (though others do find it offensive). So, I find myself asking, “Is it okay for me to be offended as a non-member of the minority being represented? Am I just showing my liberal white guilt when my first reaction to Johnny Depp Johnny-Depping it up as Tonto is to smack my forehead and ask how anyone thought this was a good idea?” I’m not sure I have the answer, hence why I ask the question.
Another reason racial representation has been on my mind lately, especially as it pertains to fandom, is due to representations, and the reactions to those representations, of my favorite character from one of my favorite shows, Young Justice (RIP). This character, Artemis Crock, was half-Vietnamese with naturally blonde hair. Largely due to this unusual genetic combination, representations of this character, both in the companion comic and fan art are constantly being criticized as “whitewashing” the character, even if the artist makes a clear attempt to show Vietnamese facial features. Seriously, it seems there are some users on tumblr whose only occupations are seeking out representations of this character and arguing whether or not they’re offensive.
Now, changing representations of established characters is something I covered in my last post about “adaption rage.” But, I’ll be expanding on it here. Continue reading
So, this weekend I, of course, made the trek down to my local move theater to indulge in the gratuitous violence and smart-assiness that is the latest Iron Man movie. As I sat through the 20-30 minutes of commercials and previews before the movie, I was treated to a “behind-the-scenes” story about Leonardo DiCaprio to promote The Great Gatsby and trailers for Catching Fire (the new Hunger Games move), The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World, and Man of Steel. I’ve also been, as I’m sure most who watch any form of TV or online streaming content have, bombarded with ads and tie-ins with the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie. If I had no other indication of the time year than these previews, I would still be pretty sure Summer was coming. If the last few years are any indication, Summer is the season for adaptions of popular properties to break box office records and sell products in Hot Topic or on ThinkGeek.com.
Clearly, movie adaptions of other media must have some sort of magical powers, because they are pretty much running the movie industry these days. I mean, why else would I, while sitting in a theater waiting to watch one movie based on a Marvel superhero, be watching previews for two other Marvel superhero movies? Adaptions clearly get buts in the seats and bucks in the executive’s coffers.
So, why are adaptions so often met with disdain and rage from the very people who most love the source material? Continue reading