I’ve been involved in fandom for a long time. Star Trek as a kid, Highlander later on, Stargate, Sentinel, Magnificent Seven, Doctor Who… the list goes on. I’ve been to the conventions, discussed the details, examined the intricacies. And that’s not counting the shows or books that I watched, read, and loved, but wasn’t part of the fandom. But every one had some similarities. Every fandom I’ve been involved in, I’ve either gotten into early (at or close to its start) or the show had already been cancelled.
You may remember my desperate cry for help with DC comics a few weeks ago. And I dearly want to thank everyone who replied. I got bombarded with recommendations, on twitter, facebook, here, and at conventions. I’m having a blast going through them, and discovering what I like. And that led to a bit of an epiphany.
I have never truly gotten to experience a new fandom, a new universe, completely fresh. Usually someone tells me, “You have to watch this!” and then explains why. That is is no way a bad thing. But it’s rare that I find something new to watch or read on my own. It means that I go into those new fandoms with another person’s opinion floating around the back of my mind. “If they like it, it has to be good” or “I wish I could see what they love about this show.” Sometimes they’re right about what I like, sometimes they’re wrong, but either way my experience is somewhat biased.
And then there was Batman. My memories of it were vague, but definitely fond. I just didn’t remember anything clearly. Batman in a light gray suit, a bunch of bad guys, and a child’s recollection of watching that particular film over and over.
More than twenty years later, no one suggested that I pick up the comics. That was a decision I made all on my own. My memories don’t match up to what I’m reading, and that’s okay. I didn’t expect them to. I’m finally getting to see a universe through my own eyes first. I have no idea what the common opinions and perceptions are, and ya know what, I have no desire to know right now.
As much fun as reading the comics for the first time is, it’s just as much (or possibly more) fun knowing that there’s so much out there that I finally get to see. A universe just opened it doors. I don’t have to worry about running out of material anytime soon. Not only do I have generations of history to read, I have all the new material that’s still being written. And everything is fresh and new to me. The only downside is that I want to read all of it and there are limited hours in the day.
And I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m loving getting the chance to do it.