Monday, May 10, 2010

Fan Service

[Editor's Note: I started this blog on Monday and had one hell of a week and didn't finish it until Friday. Gahhhh!]

Let's start this blog by saying I am sick. I am sick just over a month after the last time I was sick. So far this time it seems to be a bit tamer than the last. I am thankful for that because I have a lot of work to do. It's a bit ridiculous that I am sick again. I had a long streak of healthiness and it basically got shot to shit in the last two months. The bright side is it's tied to my terrible seasonal allergies, though, not something worse.

Moving on...

I've been running into a phenomenon lately that is extremely perplexing. People who have a fan-base and are unsatisfied with who or what their fan-base is. Does that make sense? I'll explain more with an example.

Let's say there is a rapper. He raps about cars, and bitches, and Lost (he's not a total stereotype). He builds an empire with a stable of millions of fans. One day he has a signing and gets to meet a ton of these people. He's expecting that all of his fans are like him: Physically fit and charismatic, nicely dressed, drives a nice car, has a gorgeous girl at their side or is a gorgeous girl, and likes Locke while despising Kate. But they're not.

Most of the time fans aren't like the thing their are fans of. Usually that's exactly why they like what they like. Star Wars fans aren't athletic monks. Simpsons fans don't do as good of a Homer impression as they think they do. Dave Chapelle fans aren't hilarious. Yet, lately I have heard from many a mouths that have something you could call a fan-base how disappointed they are. "Wow... he was kinda of a nerd." "She's the one that loves my comic... a little too much, if you know what I mean." No, I don't know what you mean, asshole. I don't know what it means to have someone express how much they like something I do and then feel hate that they like it.

You can't pick your fans. What you can do is be happy you have them. Be happy some kid from Kansas dresses up as your character or a girl in another country writes fan-fiction about them because there are a million other things out there vying for their attention. Instead of pouring their heart and soul into something someone else made they are putting hours and hours of work into something you made. They are honoring it, advertising it, expanding on it, and (most importantly) enjoying it. The point of all this creation is that people out there enjoy the work you do whether it be making art, music, movies, videogames, crafts, books, television, and that they experience something you wish to transfer to them. There are millions of people out there that would kill to have just one person reach back to them and say "this is awesome" and this condescending attitude is just throwing shit in all of their (fans and creators) faces.

Take it from someone who is a rabid fan of a specific set of things, you don't want to lose someone like that. The people who dress up, the people who show up to meet you, and the people who write you incessantly... Those are the people who make internet petitions to get your show back on the air, or buy every last thing you do, or lend their DVDs to a friend to get more people on board. They are the warriors-- the champions for your work. You don't even pay them.... they PAY YOU for this job... and they will fight long past when you've given up.

If you are in a position to receive something that might resemble a "fan," every fan you get, make sure you give them the respect they deserve. Because they gave it to you the moment they decided they like what you do.

Peace and carrots muthafuggas,



Anton said...

Loyal Goon for life brother. Loyal Goon for life.

Josh said...

An artist I used to follow on twitter once complained about his fans, posting something to the effect of "just because you follow me on twitter doesn't mean we're friends. I don't know you, so don't act like we're old buddies when you see me at a convention."

I quit following him within seconds of reading that tweet.

I don't understand why anyone would engage in social media to get closer to their fans just to turn around and bitch about those same fans. It's insane to me.

Anyhow, I really appreciate you always being great to your fans. You're the man.