Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year in Fandom

Every year in pop culture is a big year. That's the "pop!" part, the fleeting, scintillating newness of things. There are events whose influence will ripple out far into the future and into the mainstream, like the announcement of the near-mythical Star Wars Episode VII. Other are more personal, more fannish, or have a smaller impact, but may have been just as important to the people who lived them.

This year was a high point of geeky travel for me. On my trip to Austin, Texas I met Shannon McCormick and Burnie Burns at RTX. At New York Comic-Con, I met my blogging mentor Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester, along with Erich Schoenweiss from Random House, Star Wars authors John Jackson Miller and Ryder Windham, other Del Rey/Random House and Lucasfilm crewmembers and other bloggers extraordinaire.

I've already made my list of 2013 Star Wars books from best to worst, although I've mentally changed it at least six times since then. Usually Into the Void heads more toward the top in these revisions.

The Star Wars fandom cried out in March when we heard that The Clone Wars had been cancelled. Ahsoka walked out of our lives this year. However, later we saw the announcement of a new animated series, Rebels.

The Halo franchise brought out two female-lead comic series; Initiation and Escalation, both starring Commander Sarah Palmer. I also enjoyed Ania Solo's story in the comic Star Wars: Legacy.

Speaking of female leads, The Legend of Korra had a bit of a shaky season but ended a finale that rivaled the original Avatar: The Last Airbender for spectacle. Steven Universe and Bee and Puppycat also brought female creators into the animation conversation.

Female characters gave a strong showing at the box office, with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen making headlines. It's still a problem that there are so few female-lead genre films, and I look forward to not having to announce every time one makes it big, nor to have to bemoan that Frozen contains significantly fewer female characters than the fairy tale it was based on. But for now, their success is an accomplishment that looks pretty impressive, while neither Black Widow nor Wonder Woman have their own movies in the superhero department.

Voice actor Ashley Eckstein declared 2013 the "Year of the Fangirl," and it certainly saw a lot of forward momentum for me as a fangirl, as I worked on interviews, blog posts, and podcasts.  With Ashley's recent announcement that she received enough nominations for Year of the Fangirl to continue it into 2014, I look forward to more and more. My bridge between the new year and the old will be my re-read of the New Jedi Order, which will continue throughout 2014.


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