I've had an interest in the notion of comic book fandom for several years now. When my interest started, there was almost nothing written on the subject and my early research materials were actually written about science fiction fandom, in which I noticed many parallels. While there's still not exactly a wealth of information about comic book fandom out there, there does seem to be a growing interest in the notion of fandom in general. And because of that, I think the time is ripe for me to finally write that damned book I've been threatening to write for at least the past several years.
I haven't started before now because I've never felt that I really knew as much about the subject as I wanted. Or so I've told myself. But some of the research I've done lately suggests that I know a heck of a lot more than many (most?) people who are interested in the subject, and I can write better than them to boot. Coupled with the coming zeitgeist of an interest in fandom, I need to be out there with something soon if I want to capture any of that lightning in a bottle.
My book, as I currently see it, will not be a history of comic book fandom (although I figure I will need to devote an early chapter to it). It will not be a personal history/memoir of my life, such as it's been, in fandom (although I also figure I'll drop more than a few personal anecdotes). What I'd like to attempt is to look at comic book fans, en totem, and explain the who/what/where/why/how of these people. Not the specifics of who did what when, but the larger picture of why certain types of people become fans and how they act within fandom. Furthermore, I'll be writing it in a way that's more academic in nature, but still easily readable/accessible to non-academics. (Much as how I try to write this blog.)
I'm bringing this up here today for two reasons. First, I'd like to solicit help from anyone who's interested in contributing to my book. I plan on including some mini-biographies of different fans -- notables like Jerry Bails and Tom Fagan, but also some folks who maybe aren't as widely known. If you'd like to be considered for inclusion in this capacity, go ahead and leave a comment to this post with a way I can get in contact with you. (I won't make any promises, since I don't know how many responses I'll get, but I'm all for more thoughts and opinions. Even if I don't use the all of the bios, I'd love to include quotes and insights throughout the main portion of the book.)
I'd also like to get people's thoughts on particular aspects of comic fandom they'd like to see covered. Is there more interest in communication methods from pre-internet days than message boards and online social networks? Would you not read the book at all if there were even the merest hint of mentioning slash fiction? Any interest in seeing pictures of comic fandom, past and present? What would you consider worth seeing in a book like this?
Any anecdotes, insights, contributions, thoughts, opinions and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.