Happy Birthday Sam Winchester – We Miss You!

I wasn’t sure I’d do a happy birthday post for my favorite characters this year. Supernatural ended nearly six months ago, and that means the Winchesters haven’t been on my TV screen. But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been in my heart, where I’m fairly sure Sam and Dean will live forever. So even though I can’t watch new episodes, in my heart Sam Winchester is having a birthday, and I want to celebrate!

Over the course of fifteen years, Sam became a beloved character to so many of us, thanks to Eric Kripke who created him and Jared Padalecki, who brought him to life. I was fascinated by Sam and Dean from almost the beginning, and over time, through good times and bad times, that fascination only grew. So here’s a post full of reasons of what I love about Sam Winchester, from the start to the finish (at least temporarily, because I’ll hang onto the hope that we’ll see the Winchesters again in time…)  Instead of not doing a post at all, I got entirely carried away and took a trip down memory lane, reminding me of all the reasons Sam is special to me.

One of the reasons Sam Winchester is so inspiring as a character is because he’s been through the kind of trauma and loss that would have most of us flat on our backs and unable to put one foot in front of the other. The first losses come when he’s just a baby – his mother, his home, and his father too – still there but no longer the same man or the same father to his young sons.

Twenty years later, Sam’s at school, with goals and aspirations, kicking ass on the LSATs and planning his future with Jessica. And disaster finds him again, Jessica burning on the ceiling just like his mother did.

The boys hit the road. So young and pretty, so many challenges yet to come.

We experience Sam’s empathy and his strength early on. We’ve followed him on quite a journey in just one year, from the boy who struck out on his own to the boy almost as bent on revenge as his father, and finally to this – the young man who understands that there are things more important than revenge, including his love for his family. Sam goes against his father in a completely different way here, with Sam and Dean on the same page about family and reconnected with each other.

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Rolling the Dice at Supernatural VegasCon

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There was no way that VegasCon this year was going to outdo VegasCon last year, when all four Winchesters were onstage together and the actors were every bit as emotional about that as the cheering fans were. There was no way anything was going to top Jensen Ackles turning into an effing rockstar right before our eyes belting out Sister Christian at the Saturday Night Special. I left VegasCon last year on a high, clinging to my fellow fangirls in a sort of euphoria that was hard to believe wasn’t the result of some illegal substance. A Supernatural high, if you will.

So yes, there was no way that was going to happen again. This year’s Vegas Con was definitely different – awesome in its own way, but full of more highs and lows than generally happens at a con. There are several con chapters in Fangasm in which things went rather amusingly awry for us; this year’s VegasCon will probably be part of the eventual sequel.

I almost didn’t go.

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Supernatural Returns with a Bang! But The Devil’s In The Details

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Wow. Supernatural came back from Hellatus with a vengeance, didn’t it? There’s always a special energy for the season premiere and finale episodes, of course, but the mid season premiere is also hotly anticipated by a fandom who has been starved for Show for months. This episode, by Andrew Dabb, came crashing into my living room like a bulldozer, and didn’t let up throughout the entire 42 minutes. In fact, so much happened that my head was spinning by the time we were halfway through – some of it awesome and some of it gutting.

In other words, Supernatural.

The Road So Far was definitely part of the awesome. Both the appropriate song choice and the montage, which amped my excitement up even further. Good job, Show!

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A Family Affair – SPN Family At HousCon

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I wrote this post a few days ago and then was too sick to actually post it. In the interim, there’s been some discussion about ‘SPNFamily’ and whether that term is appropriate for us when there sometimes seems like so much infighting. I hate the infighting and love the sense of community – it’s why we wrote Fangasm and why there are entire chapters on wank and the reasons for it in Fandom At The Crossroads. I hate seeing other fans hurting, whether that hurt comes from inside or outside the fandom. I guess, when you get right down to it, I hate seeing people hurting. That’s what I do for a living, after all.

So I understand why some are questioning the term ‘SPNFamily’ – who wants to believe that someone within your family could deliberately hurt you? There are people in any group who try to cope with whatever it is they’re dealing with by attacking others, or are afraid of losing something important to them and are willing to use whatever means they can find to keep that from happening. That sort of anger-based, fear-based behavior is tough to watch and even worse to be on the receiving end of. And it’s not okay. This ‘family’ we’re in is not perfect. Bobby Singer’s warning that family is there to make you miserable isn’t always off the mark. That’s true of every family I’ve ever known, blood or no blood.

At the same time, I don’t want to lose sight of the many powerful and important ways that this gigantic diverse squabbling infuriating supportive creative amazing group of people is a family. I’ve been collecting stories for a new project about how Supernatural and SPN fandom have changed people’s lives. In some cases, saved people’s lives. Fans, cast, crew – we’ve all been changed by our participation in this widespread, dynamic group. I’ve heard stories of fans going out of their way – above and beyond – to help other fans. I’ve seen it and experienced it myself, in big dramatic gestures and in small moments at cons when someone lost their photo op ticket. That feeling of belonging and acceptance that we wrote about in Fangasm is still there, and still has a strong impact on fans who discover the community of fandom. Like all large families, we have our factions and our alliances and our family feuds, and some people get along better and are happier if they just don’t talk to ‘that branch of the family’ anymore. (Of course, you may still see them at Cousin Martha’s big bash of a wedding…or run across them in the comments on a fandom blog…)

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