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Twilight was my first foray into fandoms. Well, unless you count my late childhood obsession with Point of Grace, which I hope you don’t because that might make you a bigger dork than myself.
So everything I experience fandom-wise from here on out will be compared to the Twilight fandom. Maybe it’s not fair- all fandoms have their differences so how can they be compared? But it’s all I got. So I have this blanket statement to say:
I think Outlander Fans might be
crazier/weirder more acutely obsessed than Twilight Fans!
Now before you get your panties in a twist and say, “How DARE Bekah insult us and our fandom” let me gently remind you I am a recent Outlander convert (My anniversary is July 2013 and my dealer is Beth) and a new Outlander fan. I AM now a part of the crazy/weird/acutely obsessed Outlander fandom.
For 4 years I made fun of Twilight, Twilight fans and the fandom, yet, ultimately the joke was on me. Because I was (and am) a Twilight Fan. And put Twilight haters in a ring up against weird/crazy/obsessed Twilight lovers, I’m on the lovers side, every time. I am united with the fandom when push comes to shove. But that doesn’t mean there are crazy-ass things that happened that I wouldn’t exactly sign my name next to.
That’s how I feel about Outlander. I’m ALL IN. Give me the weird, crazy and crazier. So I did what I always do when a fandom intrigues me. I went for a deep dive into the fandom to see what I was up against- to see if I could hold my own (in my perceived normalness) Here is what I found:
When I first joined the Outlander fandom I did what anyone normal would do & took to the internetz to who the major players were. The first site I came across was MOP- My Outlander Purgatory. Carol and Tracey, despite the current site only being around since (I think) 2009, see to be the big players in the game. I think of them as the “Twilight Lexicon” of the Outlander Fans. Their site is a great source for Outlander background, they are in the know and on a first-named basis with Diana.
If you want to go true Outlander vintage you gotta hit up Ladies of Lallybroch which has been around since 1997 (the site just MAY be original)
I literally don’t know how to work that website. I’m not sure what that says about me. But they have boards called LOL Social & LOL Books. Which I thought for a good 10 minutes meant “Laugh out Loud Books” and so I was looking for some new comedy recs. Nope. Not what it means (Ladies of Lallybroch for those as “smart” as me…)
A couple other favorites are: Outlander Fan (see why below) who is newer to the game (circa 2010) and Outlander Kitchen. Outlander Kitchen features recipes mentioned in or inspired by the books. I can’t say I’m INTO the food on My Outlander Kitchen (though I’m definitely into her alcoholic beverage recipes!) because I’m a vegetarian and would have clearly starved back in the 1700s with nothing to eat, and much of the food features meat.
Rump Day happens on Wednesdays (Get it? Hump Day?) Rump Day, you ask? Get yourself over to Outlander Fan where every Wednesday she posts a new picture of a naked ass out of or under a kilt:
I totally pretend I think it’s weird, but I’ll be honest, I’ve looked almost every Wednesday and always make sure to send Beth my favorites.
Sadly I haven’t been in the fandom long enough to know whether the gals from MOP hate the gal from Outlander Fan, but there’s nothing on the surface that says they do. BUT I’m willing to bet that somewhere somehow in the last 25 years some drama went down between someone.
I can imagine a scenario like Sally from OutlanderRocks.geocities.com thought it would be cool to dress Larry, her husband, up as Jamie Fraser for Diana’s signing in Tupelo, KS in ’97. But Betsy from WhatsInYourSporran.tripod.com totally called that idea first over on the Ladies of Lallybrook board (original members ya’ll) for her husband Gary. And so drama ensued when both Larry AND Gary showed up to the signing dressed as Jamie:
And the photographer covering the event for the Tupelo Star Ledger kept getting confused because Larry and Gary look a lot alike dressed as Jamie Fraser. He kept mixing them up, asking them to pose for the wrong wife. And Diana, who Sally & Betsy thought for SURE would like their husband the best, kinda ignored the women and asked to get a picture in between both Larry & Gary.
(Just in case you’re wondering what Larry & Gary were doing in this scenario- they both packed flasks full of whiskey in their sporrans and hit it off really well! Actually to this day they consider themselves best friends and take a fishing trip together every May!)
Diana Gabaldon, of course, is the author Outlander & creator of Jamie Fraser for which we should bow down and worship her. In fact, fans call her HERSELF (I think because Colum is called HIMSELF?) which I can’t really get behind. Every time I see it I think it’s a grammatical error. Maybe if I could figure out how to work the Ladies of Lallybroch website I’d understand it better.
Diana is is THE source when it comes to the Outlander Fandom. She is very active online- try tweeting her– plus she communicates on some new fangled invention called Compuserve which brings up to the next question:
Speaking of Geocity and tripod, those websites are brand NEW compared to Compuserve. I kept hearing, “Here is the latest from Diana on Compuserve” before I finally took to the google to find out what it was
Here are a few things I googled:
According to wikipedia, Compuseve IS older than God & is also the first major commercial online service in the US. It was dominate in the 1980s and remained a major player through the mid 1990’s.
From what I can tell, you can’t sign up as a new user, but the old forums exist. Since Diana’s books came to be in the early 90’s this was the hip place to be for fans & for the author way back when. And while Diana and many fans have adopted to Facebook & Twitter, Compuserve seems to be the place to get the GOOD, personal info from Diana. ALthough in order to translate it you have to learn how to read a language that looks like this:
And you thought Edward_Cullen <g> was the world’s_best_ book_boyfriend? <g> How_cute <g>
I don’t understand but I think <g> is a smile and the “_” between words means “You’re welcome world for the creation of the one and only Jamiemothereffing Fraser” but maybe tweet Diana for clarification on that one.
I basically envision Diana in a room with a supercomputer typing cryptic messaging to 12 Outlander fans every time I heard the word “Compuserve”:
In ANY Fandom, fan fiction runs rampant. Of course this would definitely be the case with a series as EPIC and sexually charged as Outlander. You know there are some deranged crazy fans out there who really wish Laoghaire was the one to take Jamie’s cherry that night he was holding her and kissing her at Leoch. So they write that story in Fic right?
Well, the true fans don’t write fic. This is actually the FRIST fandom I’ve heard where fic is NOT a big thing. The reason being- Diana is NOT cool with it. From her website:
Diana’s Fan Fiction Policy
You know, I’m very flattered that some of you enjoy the books so much that you feel inspired to engage with the writing in a more personal way than most readers do. Both for legal and personal reasons, though, I’m not comfortable with fan-fiction based on any of my work, and request that you do not write it, do not send it to me, and do not publish it, whether in print or on the web. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Of course Diana is not the first author to not be cool with fan fic, but she’s the only one I’m familiar with that has actually spoken out against it
Most of what Diana said (I think there was a rant in 2010) has been erased from the internet (I think that’s something you get with Compuserve’s $7.99/month plan!) but from the real quick googling I did, there was some drama that went down and maybe a regret of a few things said. To each their own- Diana has spent her life on these stories and has a right to her opinion on fan fic about them. I don’t necessarily agree that all fic is bad 100% of the time, but I have seen both sides to the story. And I’m not an author. [Unless you consider what I did with the above piece entitled “Two Outlander Fans take their Cosplaying Jamie Fraser Hubands to Tupelo, Kansas” a story. Which… actually you should! And feel free to make fic from that story guys!! Do Sally & Betsy realize beneath their hatred there is a true kinship to be had? With their two brains (and the 5 bairns they have between them) they could buy just one set of Highland-era costumes for their family Christmas card photo-shoot and share, saving on the costs. Or what ACTUALLY happens between Larry & Gary on their annual fishing trip? Maybe there’s a slash fic author who would like the explore the complexities of that bromance…brokeback-mountain style]
Someone should probably let these 45ish people writing Outlander fic on Fanfic.net that it’s not cool. Although don’t you DARE stop this girl who wrote an Outlander-Twilight fan fiction cross over in German called:
Brianna and Roger MacKenzie live again in Scotland, near Inverness. But what happens when they meet the Cullens and Brianna finds out?
THIS IS THE BEST!!!!
Yes. And I have no comment except to say Jamie Fraser singing and dancing? Hell-to-the-no.
One of my favorite things to do as someone with ZERO visual arts skills at all, is judge fandom art. And the Outlander fandom does not disappoint. Let me present to you:
These soft sculpture Jamie & Claire dolls (for just $225 a pair!)
This Jamie Fraser sumo wrestler
Outlander-Harry Potter crossover art
Big foot Jamie Fraser Fan Art
Claire and Jamie Sexytimes Art
There is actually a TON of really good sexytimes art & I totally lost the link to some of my favorites I’ve found
Phew- I could keep going and going. I didn’t even get to share any fan videos. I didn’t tell you about the actors fans INSISTED be Jamie & Claire for the past 20 years. I have a feeling I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of this wild and crazy fandom, but since it’s been going strong since 1991, I think they may have a few years in them yet- and plenty of time for me to catch up!
So what do you think? Think your homemade Fraser Clan cross-stitch could fetch a pretty penny on Etsy? Have you ever seen any *illegal* Outlander Fan Fiction? Who do YOU think is older- Compuserve? Or God!?