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[personal profile] helloladies
Today, all round media devotee Clare explains how she got hooked on Harley Quinn and why you should too.





Harley Quinn got me into comics.

Like every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, I had consumed a metric ton of anime and manga (Yu-Gi-Oh!, anyone?), but, unlike every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, my only experience with Western comics was with my brother’s lovingly curated Asterix collection. A collection which I had vandalized as a small child and was thus banned from touching. After my brother went off to college and my father and I began raiding his possessions, I finally came across his Big Two books: Marvels, Kingdom Come, and, most importantly, Les Daniels’ Marvel.

Daniels’ extremely biased account of the rise of Marvel gave me a quiet hankering for good old-fashioned superhero comics, although my fond childhood memories of Batman: The Animated Series and The Adventures of Lois and Clark steered me towards DC. I investigated the 1998-2003 Young Justice and liked what I saw (namely, nineties Superboy, who is my forever Superboy), but I could never quite get into it. Casting around for something else, I stumbled across the 2001 to 2003 Harley Quinn and devoured it in one of my teenage self-soothing media binges.

So when the first issue of The Unwritten finally lured me into a comic book store in 2009 (it was a dollar!), it made perfect sense to supplement that purchase with Gotham City Sirens, which started around the same time. I still give people that advice when they want to break into comics: find a character you like and just focus on them for a while to get your feet wet. Those two comics were the first in my now small but sizable comic collection, and Gotham City Sirens was the first comic I ever owned in its entirety in single issues. They’re special to me.

But reading Gotham City Sirens made me realize how lucky I was to start reading Harley Quinn comics with, well, Harley Quinn.

Read more... )
helloladies: Picture of T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics reading You'll thank me when you share my politics! (you'll thank me later)
[personal profile] helloladies
Put on your shades and grab the keys to the DeLorean, friends, because today we've got special guest Clare from The Literary Omnivore with us to take us on a trip through fandom history with a quick overview from our complicated past to our gloriously rich and unsurprisingly splintered present. Clare is one of our favorite fannish historians and pop culture critics, and we're super excited to feature her here. :D


Introduction


Fans have always been fans. Virgil’s Aeneid is literally epic fanfiction of The Iliad. Before Beatlemania and Whedonites, there were Lisztomaniacs. And the first documented ship war was over Jo and Laurie in Little Women, with Jo/Laurie shippers on one side and Louisa May Alcott on the other. The fannish impulse—that special blend of love, critique, and, occasionally, correction—has been expressed time and time again throughout human history.

But fandomthe organization of fans into a specific community—is a phenomenon of the twentieth century, especially the Western media fandom that characterizes fandom to many people both in and outside fandom. In fact, Ronald A. Knox’s 1911 essay “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes” gives fandom the practice of referring to their texts as "canon". The satirical essay is meant to mock the German New Criticism (a certain take on historical criticism of a text) of the Bible by applying the same method to the Sherlock Holmes stories. The comparison of the Biblical canon to Doyle’s canon caught on, which is to say that the fannish usage of “canon” is over a century old.

But fandom does not start there. Read more... )

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