I came across a question from someone under the comics tag on Tumblr and they basically asked if they could still be considered a Avengers/Batman fan if they’ve only seen the films. I, or course, responded but thought that response wasn’t enough due largely to the character limit. I decided to reblog the question so I could answer it fully. Here’s what I wrote:
I already gave…my answer but I thought that I should elaborate further but, before I do that, here was the answer I gave:
No. Fandoms aren’t determined by how much u know only how much u love. There are levels of “knowledge” w/in a fandom though. 😀
What is a fandom? It’s basically a collection of fans who love the same thing or person (a tv show, movie franchise, books, comics, Harry Potter, Batman etc). That’s it. If you love Batman, you are a part of the fandom regardless of only watching the animated shows or movies and not having read the comics. If you love Doctor Who, you are a part of the fandom regardless of not seeing the pre-2005 episodes.
I get annoyed when people are told they aren’t really a part of a given fandom because they haven’t devoured everything that’s linked to the show/book/character/comic etc even if the connections are really obscure (i.e. That time when Batman was mentioned in a Doctor Who episode in passing 3 years ago but, as a Bat fan, you missed it. Shame on you).
The purpose of fandoms is to share our mutual love of something with others. That’s it. Fandoms allow for various people to share knowledge and, most importantly, enthusiasm.
I find the best part about being into books is sharing the ones I love with people who haven’t read them yet. It brings me joy. I know that when I got into Doctor Who 2 or 3 months back, my friends and others from the fandom welcomed me and were eager to give me some advice on starting out or help clear up any confusions I might have had. The same thing happened with the Star Wars fans when I announced that I would watch the older movies for the first time. A lot of them cheered and said that I would like it (I do by the way. Hans Solo/Princess Leia for the win). That’s what fandoms are for.
They’re meant to get people into what it is you’re into. It won’t make it any less special if more people enjoy it. I understand the fear that by becoming mainstream it’ll lose whatever it was that made it cool but exclusion is a form of elitism. We don’t want elitism. There’s enough of that over at Abercrombie and Fitch.
So next time anyone says you’re not a true fan because you “don’t know enough about what it is you’re a fan of”, tell them they’re doing a disservice to their fandom by speaking.
You can find the original post here.
This is a topic that’s been on my mind for a long time as I got more and more into things that people would deem “geeky” or “nerdy”. These days being a geek or nerd isn’t a bad thing and are, in fact, a great thing. Sadly, people believe this equates to a hoard of “fake geeks” which seem to be a title directed mostly at women (fake geek girl) because THEY would never be into that (note sarcasm). Are there people just putting on the title because it sounds good? Of course. We’ve pretended to be something we’re not at least ONCE in our lives to impress others but these people are rare and you can tell if this is the case by talking to these individuals but by expecting people to know everything about one fandom or the entirety of geek/nerd culture is ridiculous.
No one knows everything and that’s a fact.
I’ve heard the argument that if you love something enough then you’ll go out of your way to learn everything about it. That’s not necessarily true. People love things differently whether it’s cosplaying, buying/wearing things that have Batman’s face or just tuning into Doctor Who every Saturday.
You love it = you’re a fan. Simple as that.
A. A. Omer