Supernatural Birthday Project – And Fandom Positivity!

 

One of the things that makes the SPNFamily so awesome is the love affair that the fans have going with the show and the characters. Sometimes social media can make it seem like there’s more discord and infighting than agreement or celebration in fandom, but in reality, most of us spend a lot of time appreciating our favorite characters and being grateful that they exist in the universe (even if it’s only in the fictional universe of Supernatural). There’s a fandom project going on right now that celebrates our favorite Supernatural characters, as a matter of fact. It’s called the Supernatural Birthday Project, and it runs until September 10 and is inviting all Supernatural fans to participate. The online blog goes live on September 13, and the organizers will compile a book to give to the cast at the Vancouver convention.

I chatted with the organizers to find out what the SPNBday project is all about.

Lynn: This project, unlike many others, focuses on fans’ love for the characters instead of the actors. What was your rationale for this?

Jennie twitter.com/deanisntfineI think we were trying to get back to the core of what unites us: The love of the show itself. Everyone fell in love with the show because something in one or more of the characters spoke to them. This project gives fans a chance to look at that closely, and then, kind of cathartically, thank the characters themselves for what they’ve gotten from the show.

Axy twitter.com/aaaahhhxyWe often see people creating amazing projects for the actors, either individually or as groups, but as the creator of this project, and someone who did write to Jared in the past, I questioned what it would be if I had the opportunity to speak to Sam. I was lucky enough to experience talking with Jared about Sam, but I felt the unexplainable frustration of knowing that I would never have this kind of conversation with Sam, and that the millions of questions I have would mostly stay unanswered, save for the more pressing ones I will be able to discuss with Jared himself. But that we can’t talk with our characters doesn’t mean that we can’t tell them things. So at first, I thought about a simple letter to Sam but then, how cool would it be to get people all over the world to do that and compile it into something that would have a different meaning for the actors because it would focus solely on their work? Those were the roots of our project. To do something original and a little different.

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What the SPNFamily is All About: Always Keep Fighting, Jared!

keep fighting headband

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a week for the SPNFamily. The Supernatural season finale is tomorrow, and we had all watched Jared and Jensen and Misha and the rest of the gang onstage at Asylum (on video at least) in between gnashing our teeth and sobbing about Show. When Jared tweeted that he was in desperate and urgent need of his family and had to head home before JIBCon, and then asked fans for a few seconds of time to write him, tweeting that “I need all the love I can get right now,” fandom responded by coming together in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. We’ve followed and written about this amazing fandom and Show for almost a decade, and have seen countless examples of fans supporting the Show and the cast and crew and each other – but not on this scale. I’m still in awe.

Jared’s colleagues immediately expressed their outright support, verbally and on social media.

@amellywood: Hey @jarpad. I got you.

@TravisAaronWade: For our friend @jarpad Hoping this warms your heart and puts a smile on your face brother (then he posted a little vid clip).

@mishacollins: @jarpad Love u man.

@jensenackles: .@jarpad get some rest, my brother. I got ur back…Always. #AlwaysKeepFighting #SPNfamily

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And the (Fourth) Walls Come Tumbling Down: Supernatural’s MetaFiction

Warner Bros/The CW
Warner Bros/The CW

This week is the Popular Culture Conference in Chicago, which means I get to hang out with other academically inclined folks and have deep discussions about some of my favorite things – including fandom, the reciprocal relationship between fans and the things we love, and of course, Supernatural. That doesn’t leave me much time to do a review of this week’s episode (so this will be a briefer review than usual). But Robbie Thompson sure as hell gave me a lot to talk about!

I love meta episodes. Any time a character has mentioned “subtext” in the first minute of the Show (while breaking the fourth wall and staring into the camera, no less), I’m a happy camper. My daughter Emily, however, is generally not a meta fan. She likes Supernatural, and she loves to take it apart and critique it, but she usually prefers her characters not to talk back and the fourth wall to stay firmly in place. Imagine my surprise when we watched Show together last night and she announced, “I liked it!”

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“Privileged to be Part of the SPN Family”

Photo Op! SPN Writers with Jared and Jensen - photo Chris Schmelke
Photo Op! SPN Writers with Jared and Jensen – photo Chris Schmelke

We’re quoting Supernatural writer Adam Glass in that title – but we’re also feeling very lucky to be part of the SPN Family today. For those of you who missed it, there has been a lot going on in the Sherlock fandom for the past few days, after a journalist at the screening of the new season printed out some racy Sherlock fanfic and then got the show’s stars to read it aloud, apparently trying for some cheap laughs at fandom’s expense. (Ironic for a television show that is itself – literally – fanfiction). We’d be the first to stand up and say that fans shouldn’t be ashamed of however they participate in fandom – that’s the whole point of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls after all – but it wasn’t the fan author’s idea to share and in fact she was mortified. We reached out to her and offered to send her a copy of “Fangasm” and “Fandom At The Crossroads” – which she graciously said she appreciated but wanted to purchase for herself in fannish solidarity. We wish we could send a copy to the entire Sherlock fandom!

The Sherlock actors were respectful (unlike the journalist), but the whole kerfuffle got us thinking about how much the Supernatural cast has embraced the fandom – how much they respect their fans, how the term “SPNFamily” is used by the cast and crew and writers as much as it’s used by the fandom. We thought about Jared’s words at Burcon about how fandom lets us all be ourselves, that we shouldn’t let anyone else tell us what to like; Misha’s joyous and inspiring way of bringing us all together to do good in the world through Random Acts; Jensen joining fans and family in this year’s Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome in Dallas; Osric cosplaying along with fandom and writing his own Kevin Tran fanfic; Kim Rhodes’ passionate defense of the Sherlock fan and all fans; the writers, actors, producers and crew members –virtually everyone involved with the show — joining fandom for live tweets of episodes. We’re lucky – and so are they. And I think we all know it.

As we blogged at the time, we invited a bunch of the SPN writers to ‘crash’ our photo op with Jared and Jensen at Burcon. It was wonderful to see the surprised looks on the boys’ faces when so many of the writers walked in! Some hadn’t met the actors before, so the whole thing was warm and wonderful (and we’re still really glad we lured them in with us!) We got the jpeg from super-photographer Chris yesterday, and sent it on to the writers. Adam Glass tweeted it out with the message “feel privileged to be part of this Supernatural family.”

Couldn’t have said it better, Adam.

We were also pretty excited that Slate Magazine ran a piece on Fangasm and Supernatural yesterday – we hope that lots of people who haven’t had the pleasure of discovering the best Show in the universe will read it and say hmmm, what’s this Supernatural show about?? Check it out here, tongue in cheek title and all — http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/12/academic_studies_of_fandom_two_professors_become_stalker_fangirls_of_supernatural.html

Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you already know what Supernatural is all about. That makes you – and us – some of the lucky ones.

You can order Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls from the link at the top, or at Barnesandnoble.com, where it’s in stock in paperback or Nook! – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fangasm-katherine-larsen/1115150113?ean=9781609381981

Celebrating Fandom – Jared’s Passionate Words, Fans’ Feedback and a Special Fangasm Sale!

Photo by Chris Schmelke
Photo by Chris Schmelke

Happy holidays from Fangasm! Whatever other holidays you’re celebrating this season, we hope you’re also celebrating what we all have in common – our love of Supernatural. And we hope you’re celebrating something else that we think is unique, special and important: Fandom.

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