Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Defending FanFic

Finally, after a week filled to the brim with things that have to be done, I get a chance to write the one thing I've been dying to get to. So, like it or not, I'm going to do it:

What is FanFic? Well for those that don't know, fanfic, or its proper term, fan fiction, is pretty much self explanatory. It's where someone takes something that they're a fan of and writes a piece of fiction about it. Most of the time the term is referring to the comic book industry, and that's what I'm here to discuss.

Almost all comic book professionals (an oxymoron if you ask me, but you didn't) look down on the art of fanfic, and honestly, I can't see why. Considering the practices of The Big Two (Marvel and DC Comics) it should almost be welcomed with open arms. For decades and decades Marvel and DC have fed the comic book industry reruns upon reruns of tired old stories featuring the same characters, yet those that write fanfic are looked down upon for putting their own spin on said characters.

If anything, fanfic writers should be given credit for usually doing things the big boys don't have the balls to do, and that's change the status quo. You can find tons of stories where heroes and villians alike die and don't come back six months later. The fact is, Marvel & DC resist change because of the readers, where in fanfic, the plots are at the authors discretion, and he's free to craft the tale the way he wants to tell it, not the way some suit thinks it should be told.

Fanfic isn't about marketing characters, licensing images, or any of that nonsense, it's about fun, period. Yes, there are plenty of horrible fan fiction site/stories, in fact the horrible ones probably outnumber the good ones by a considerable margin, but, then again, it's the same way with what's currently on comic book shelves across the country.

There are plenty of things wrong with fanfic, just as there are plenty of things wrong with mainstream comics, but I for one think the group as a whole gets a bad rap. Fanfic writers write because they want too, it doesn't matter how good they are, or how good they think they are, they don't do it for money, they do it for fun. Like alot of things, at the end of the day it's an escape, only they're writing it the way they want to see it, and you're more than welcome to join the ride.

The bottom line is that while these guys get looked down upon, they're turning out better superhero books than 90 % of the stuff that actually sees pring from the big publishers. Will they ever write in the industry? It's doubtful, but most of them don't want too, they'd much rather write somewhere that will give them the freedom to tell their story how they see fit.

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