As a cultural movement, 2012 was a watershed year for fandom. Everywhere, it seemed, new parts of the media,entertainment industries, and various corners of the world were discovering fandom or interacting with it in new ways. Whether it was through fanfic contests, the omnipresence of Fifty Shades of Grey, or the widespread attention given to The Avengers, bronies,Sherlock, and Homestuck fans, fandom reached an unprecedented level of convergence with the mainstream.
Of course, within fandom, life went on as usual—with exceptions for a few fans who had noteworthy accomplishments in 2012. The Daily Dot has compiled a series of end-of-the-year fandom Top 10 lists designed to pay tribute to the various events, people, and fandoms who shaped our lives; today, we look at 10 fans who stood out for their exceptional ability to influence their fandoms.
3) Noelle Stevenson (Gingerhaze) The Ubiquitous Fangirl
in 2012, Noelle Stevenson became the face of Tumblr fandom. As the popular artist Gingerhaze, she had a hand in endless Tumblr fandom in-jokes and viral fanart. She invented or popularized mini-memes like the Broship of the Ring, the Pokemon Project, and The Avengers’ New Groove. Just two weeks ago, she inadvertently started the Hawkeye Initiative, which has turned into an entire Tumblr cultural movement. It’s all routine by now for an artist so popular everyone knows her, even if they aren’t in any of her fandoms.
In 2012, Stevenson’s Tumblr readership climbed to 80,000 followers, enough to boost her into a Young Adult publishing deal and into everyone’s hearts.
Illustration by Noelle Stevenson/Blogspot
6) Cara McGee (areyoutryingtodeduceme) Sherlock Tea Tempest
Longtime fanartist Cara McGee had no plans to create a business model breakthrough when she started custom-drawing her labels and uploading fandom tea blends to online tea retailer Adagio. But the 26-year-old Atlantean’s teas quickly shot to the top of the bestseller list, where they have stayed for the duration of 2012.
As McGee’s popularity within the Sherlock fandom climbed, so did the number of people clamoring to try her tea, which boasted unique flavors and catchy names like Moriartea and Reichenbach Recovery. Adagio, realizing that a unique marketing tool had fallen into its laps, decided to embrace the influx of fans, offering special Harry Potter and Sherlockdiscounts over the summer, and eventually giving fandom its own section of the website, where fandom teas of all types and varieties promptly flooded it. They even got aboard the fandom practice of shipping, offering discounts when you buy two teas “paired” together.
Adagio’s decision to go with the fandom flow is a milestone. Not since last year’s influx of fans to social bookmarking network Pinboard have we had such a clear example of a business outside of a creative industry choosing to evolve around fandom rather than shutting it out. And it’s paid off. Although many more tea makers are trying out their own blends, McGee and Adagio have together become their own mini-fandom. And McGee has more than 20,000 Tumblr followers anxious to try whatever blend she makes next.
Photo via semaphore-drivethrough/Tumblr
Disagree with our list? Haven’t heard of half these people? Tell us what you think! And tell us who your top 10 fans of 2012 have been! <3 (And then go let them know how much you appreciate them!)