Creativity and nerdity tend to be an explosive mixture. Art is an expression of emotion through various media, and geeks tend towards extremes of emotion regarding their particular fandoms and passions, the two make for a happy and productive union that produces a great deal of beautiful and thought provoking material, and many of the works we know and love today were originally the product of fan art in it’s own way.
As a prime example, it’s widely known that the origins of the Warcraft series are strongly tied to the Warhammer tabletop game, but copyright and creativity clashes caused the game to take a different direction. Were it not for the development team starting with that original idea, two iconic RTS game series would not have been made, the immensely successful Warcraft, and Relic‘s own Dawn of War.
Slender: The Arrival is another, far more direct example of a fan-made project, focussed on the now eponymous internet-born bogeyman. Perhaps even more notable is that it was a remake of a much smaller game, raised to new heights of success by it’s own fanbase.
When we are so utterly taken by a concept that we fully immerse ourselves in it, but we in turn attribute part of ourselves to it. We envision ourselves as characters within its’ world, create costumes based on our favourite characters, or perhaps create characters and stories of our own. For example, Heroes of Might and Magic came with a level editor, the first I’d ever seen, and I spent far more time using that than I ever did playing the game itself, I was so taken with the format and the stories I could create therein, that I frequently neglected the game itself.
One of the most stigmatized forms of fan art is fanfiction, maybe because it’s most renowned examples tend to be haphazard constructions in which the author has poorly shoehorned themselves into the narrative, plus let’s not forget those few examples that have really tarred a thriving, and talent filled format.
The fan film is a media on the rise, especially in the ever-mounting popularity of the comic-book film, the most successful of which are those made and directed by fans of the genre, and the work that they’re bringing to the big screen. Both comics and games are seeing short films and spoof trailers made by increasingly talented teams, and even a few surprisingly famous faces. Which brings me to the point I came here to make:
Adi Shankar recently made a Power Rangers film which went viral amazingly quickly, but under the weight of its’ success was just as quickly taken down under copyright law. Fan support saw it back online soon after which sets an excellent precedent, and prevents a far more concerning precedent being put in place. Why would the Power Rangers bootleg (below) be an infringement of copyright law, and yet a host of fanarts, fanfics and other original works based on intellectual properties go untouched?
This is a serious matter of hypocrisy that annoyed me lately. There are some amazing works of fan art, and it’s only right that we, as fans be free to express our love in whatever form we see fit. For example, I write, so I write the DMing 101 series as a way to share my affection for Dungeons and Dragons. I won’t lie, I’ve written some fanfic too, none of it finished. And law should not stand in the way of any form of artistic expression, (obviously within reason, do not cite this article as grounds for murder as an art form).
My question to the creative types then: How do you share your passions for your fandoms? Art? Writing? Are any of you budding film producers (or actual film producers)? Share some fan art with us! Or go forth and make some, you lovely lovely people.