Monday, July 7, 2008

Webster's Catches Up

According to the news I heard as I was driving back to work after lunch, the phrase "fanboy" has finally made it into Webster's Dictionary--almost 90 years after the first printed references the researchers found from 1919. The interviewee said it is mostly "used in connection with comic books and sometimes movies." I guess they've never met science fiction fanboy geeks. In any case, I am dying to find out what it was first used in relationship to, if not comics and science fiction.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I've never heard the phrase 'fanboy' used so I must be behind the times somewhere along the line. I must confess that I never read many comic books as a kid (Archie,Betty and Veronica,that's about it) and am not into science fiction so I guess I missed the whole 'fanboy' phrasing. That's why blogging is such a good educator, you get to learn something new all the time.

M. C. Valada said...

You haven't lived until you've been in a room with 75000 fanboys. Well, yeah, you have, because you have not been exposed to so many members of the "get a life society" in one place.

I'm being more than a little mean. I live with two fanboys, even if they are both professionals in their respective areas: comics and games.

I confess that I was in my 20s before I learned that there was this thing called fandom and that so much of it was actually organized. I knew about fan clubs, of course, the Beatles and the Monkees introduced me to that, but this other world was beyond my knowledge and is sometimes still beyond my understanding.

There are many aspects of fandom in the areas of comics and science fiction. There's filking, which is basically a twist on folk songs, done about sciencefictional topics. Sylvester Stallone's half brother was a singer with a filk band called "Clam Chowder" in the Baltimore-DC area. They were quite good.

There's costuming--people spend the entire year on these expensive, elaborate costumes based in science fiction, comics, fantasy, and historics (or alternate histories) that are unbelievable. If you go to my husband's entry in Wikipedia (Len Wein), there a photograph of him with someone dressed up like Swamp Thing. I've seen him photographed with Wolverine and other X-men as well and he's occasionally participated in costume groupings, like The Endless (from Neil Gaiman's Sandman) and a Jules Verne tableau. Both won awards. I used to sew all my own clothes, but this is beyond my skill.

That's why I still haven't sewed a fanciful Arabian costume for myself and the Arabian Prince--yet. It would be fun.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well thanks for clearing that up. When you get to sewing the Arabian nights costumes for you and the prince, I'd love you to post a picture of you two. How about a costume party at the barn for Halloween?