We The Fans: How Our Powers Can Change The World

As some of you know, I spent some time with the Pop Culture Collaborative as their Senior Fellow on Fandoms and how Fandom power can be used to add to the social good.  What follows is a distillation of my research and findings. There are hundreds of pages that I’ll do something with at a later date. Also, for those who want it, there will be an audio version coming soon. Here’s the intro:

“Dear Fellow Fans,

Our Spidey senses are tingling. There is a giant bat symbol in the night sky….

We have the power to answer these calls. It’s time for us to assemble!

Who am I to make this call? That’s a particular kind of origin story.

I grew up in a violent household, where there was little interest in child-raising. My mother routinely left me alone, living her separate life. By kindergarten, I could cook for myself, iron my clothes, and survive with minimal supervision.

Comics gave me my superpower. Despite having dyslexia, I was a dogged and early reader, combating loneliness by forcing myself to read Jet, Ebony, and Reader’s Digest magazines stuffed into the cabinets of our end tables. I set all these aside, though, the week before my kindergarten Christmas vacation, when my mom gave me two enormous boxes of comic books.

“I’ll see you,” she said, then left for a week. In her absence, I read every single comic, some of them multiple times. Challengers of the Unknown. Mr. Miracle. The Fantastic Four. The X-Men. But it was Spider-Man that changed my life.”

Read the rest at AO3, right here.

I so appreciate all you NOCers who still rock with me. I love you. F’real.