With San Diego Comic-Con International commencing in just a few days, it is a timely moment to take another look at recent fan studies explorations by Ben Bolling and Matthew J. Smith (It Happens at Comic-Con), Bill Schelly (Founders of Comic Fandom), Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley (Fan CULTure), and Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet).
It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon
This “engrossing” (Midwest Book Review) collection seeks to expand fan studies, exploring Comic-Con International more deeply than any publication before it. Ben Bolling is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Matthew J. Smith is a professor of communication and director of cinema studies at Wittenberg University, where he teaches courses in media, including television criticism and graphic storytelling.
Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s
In the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. “Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented” (School Library Journal), profiled here are the people at the heart of the movement. Bill Schelly has been chronicling the history of popular culture since the 1960s, beginning with his magazine Sense of Wonder. He has written or edited several books, and is associate editor of the Eisner Award–winning magazine Alter Ego.
Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century
This “highly recommended” (Choice) collection explores how present-day fans interact with the films, television shows, books, and pop culture artifacts they love. Kristin M. Barton is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. Jonathan Malcolm Lampley is a prolific contributor to many popular-culture periodicals and publications.
Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays
The essays in this “useful and thought-provoking” (SFRA Review) volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Karen Hellekson is a copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine. Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has previously written about fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.