Pop Culture Erupts Within Marshfield

Cosplays, fan fictions, headcanons and crying.
A fandom is a group of people who share a common interest, usually in pop culture.

Individuals who associate themselves with a fandom are often given certain titles to express their affinities. Sherlock fans are referred to as Sherlockians, fans of Star Trek identify as Trekkies, Harry Potter admirers are Potterheads and so on. People in more than one fandom can combine the titles, e.g. fans of Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock may identify themselves as Superwholockians.

Senior Kadie Backlund, a Superwholockian herself, said her obsession with Doctor Who began the summer before her senior year.

“During summer one day I was on Netflix and I was just bored so I randomly started watching,” Backlund said. “At the end of the first episode I was like, ‘I have no clue what’s going on; let’s watch the second episode,’ and then I spent the next three weeks watching six seasons.”

There are a plethora of fandoms centering around television shows, movies, video games, books and other mediums such as the Sherlock, Harry Potter and Pokémon fandoms.

 

Backlund said Doctor Who led to Sherlock, which led to other fandoms, including Harry Potter, Supernatural and anything Marvel.

Science teacher Kevin Cellura said he is a fan of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series.

“It’s just a good story of good overcoming evil,” Cellura said. “I like the general message about it of never giving up, being persistent and even if it seems like you have impossible odds, doing your best to overcome those odds will amount over anything.”

Senior Angela Matthews said she and Backlund “fangirl” together.

According to Backlund, fangirling is when one becomes so engulfed by something they want to know everything about it. Matthews said fangirls have a tendency to scream and wave their hands in the air in a snake-like motion.

“I fangirl over Supernatural. Kadie and I both fangirl over Doctor Who, Sherlock and

and everything Marvel,” Matthews said. “I have no life.”

Cellura said while he enjoys LOTR and other shows, he does not actively pursue them over social media.

“I enjoy other shows, silly shows. Maybe juvenile shows like science fiction or whatever, but I don’t usually get into following them on Facebook or anything like that,” Cellura said.

Freshman Skyler Houghtaling, a Whovian, also identifies himself as a Brony.

“A Brony is an adult or adolescent fan of My Little Pony,” Houghtaling said. “The age of a Brony is usually around 18.”

According to Houghtaling, there are other Bronies at Marshfield.

“There are a few Bronies here,” Houghtaling said. “They’re usually identifiable by pins on their backpack.”

Cellura said he read the Lord of the Rings in college during a religion course, and he found the Christian symbolism J.R.R. Tolkien wrote into the book to be interesting. He also said he enjoys the films. Strider and Gandalf are his favorite characters in the series because, according to Cellura, they appear to be the most balanced.

“In terms of the movie, there are just amazing special effects and so in terms of that aspect of it, it has action and special effects and drama,” Cellura said. “So I like the technical aspect of that and the story aspect as well.”

Active members in fandoms can be found writing fan fiction about idolized characters, pairing characters together, spending time finding or creating things relating to their chosen fandom and interacting with other fanatics. These interactions can occur at conventions or bycommunicating via social media.

Aside from fangirling, Backlund and Matthews get together to work on their respective fan fictions together. They edit each other’s work. Backlund has written a couple Sherlock fan fictions and is currently working on an Avengers piece.

“We would get together and talk about ideas. It’d be really cool like I’d say an idea and get stuck on something, and we’d be able to talk through it and come up with a story idea that would be way better,” Backlund said.

Matthews said she enjoys writing fan fiction because it allows her to take control of the story and characters.

“It’s basically, like, ‘What if something happens that changes the plot line?’ I get to explore how I think the characters would react and how it would affect the relationships between the characters,” Matthews said.

Cellura said he would not make a big effort to attend any conventions or to cosplay as one, but if he did he would cosplay as Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi was awesome. Especially in the original ones,” Cellura said.

According to Backlund, being in a fandom creates the opportunity for one to express themselves more, with other added benefits.

“I’m definitely becoming more expressive about myself,” Backlund said. “I’m always wearing something that’s fandom, and, you know, writing fan fiction helps me develop my writing more.”

Backlund also said fandom is integrated into who she is now.

“It’s something that’s like a part of you,” Backlund said. “Fandoms have taught me that tears are happiness; no, not really. I think fandoms teach you that no matter who you are or what you’re into there’s always going to be someone who accepts you.”