New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

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Guyver I
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New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

Post by Guyver I »

I hope all are doing well, and that everyone is staying safe and healthy as much as possible these days; hopefully a corner is being turned, but only time will tell. I wanted to post something about an idea I’ve had bouncing about in my mind for a few years now; with some recent projects wrapped up and starting on a slew of others, as well as other recent events, I’ve decided to buckle down and start serious work on it. I would greatly value the group’s insights and suggestions.

I was thinking of an edited work on the history of anime fandom in America and possibly, specifically the “boom years” when it, and anime in general, was kind of at its peak in the United States (in my mind at least), circa 1995 to 2008 or so, although others may reasonably suggest differing dates. I understand that this wouldn’t cover the earliest years of fandom, and it may make more sense to start earlier, or at least discuss it on some level. I’ve talked to a few popular and academic publishers about this, all of which have shown interest; at the moment, I’m leaning towards one in particular, the first academic publisher I ever worked with, and with whom I garnered my first Eisner Award nomination. They have a dedicated department for popular culture; I think they produce quality works, both in content and aesthetically; and they have a significant presence at conventions and other major functions that would attract an audience possibly interested in such a title. And, honestly, just great people with whom to work.

What I have in my mind’s eye is an edited work; per the standard for such a book, I would write one or two entries myself, as well as the intro and other related information, but largely I would be the organizer of the whole venture, working with the publisher and attaining cover art, interior art, etc., as well as editor and curator of these articles, by experts who can speak to them the best, given their own knowledge and experiences. I’ve wrote out some rough outlines of specific sections (East, West, and Mid-West Conventions, Fanzines, Anipike and Growing Internet Fandom, etc.) which could be added to, augmented, or subtracted from, as time goes on.

I was inspired in this, partly due to my own personal interest and experiences as a member of that fandom, but also in the many science fiction fan histories by Sam Moskowitz, Damon Knight, Arthur C. Clarke, and others that have been published over the years. While there have been great (academic and popular) books about, or touching upon, the history of anime fandom in America, the number is somewhat limited; on the other hand, a substantial amount has been written online, some by several members of this group, and it would be my hope to carry that knowledge into print, to augment what is already available.

Several individuals largely responsible for getting this medium into the public consciousness have passed away recently, and I think having a guide to the “boom years” they made possible would be important to fan studies, a growing arena of academic studies, although I can’t say academia is my driving motivation – simply, this is important to me, it’s important to many others, and I think it’s a fascinating history that deserves recording. There was so much going on, from DVDs appearing, to the growth of the internet and other factors, that affected popular culture and fandom in really unforeseen ways. I think there was also a level of creativity in fandom at the time, that is really unmatched, be it in the fanzines, the dedication to cosplay, or just the enthusiasm that was there, that (again, only my opinion) seems to be kind of lacking at more recent conventions – there’s just so much there that makes it interesting, on several levels.

I would greatly value anyone’s thoughts on this – there are several here that I know, just off the top of my head, that I would (or actually already have) approached as either a potential valued resource or as a contributor themselves, but anyone’s views or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As I said, this is in the beginning/prospective phases, and I’m working on a few other projects as well, so no time-crunch or anything, but I did at the very least want to get the ball rolling, and see if this is as feasible as a project as I, and the publishers, envision it to be. Comments here are certainly welcome, but if anyone would like to PM me about it as well, please feel free to do so.

Thank you for reading all this; take care, and stay safe!
Nathan Vernon Madison

http://www.pulpmags.org
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mbanu
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Re: New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

Post by mbanu »

If you could get an interview with Joanne Ninomiya, that would probably be up there -- I think she's approaching 80. She was responsible for getting subtitled anime on to Hawaiian TV through KIKU.

For fandom proper, I imagine the biggest issue will be old drama, similar to trying to do a history of a musical scene -- sometimes people don't want to revisit bitter memories. On the other hand, without those bitter memories, a complete picture won't emerge, which is an often underappreciated difficulty in being an editor and compiler of stories.

If they don't want to know now, people will want to know eventually, and it is good to try to get things down while it's still possible.
mbanu: What's between Old School and New School?
runesaint: Hmmm. "Middle School", perhaps?
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NorthernKaleCity
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Re: New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

Post by NorthernKaleCity »

I'm sure, some time down the road from now, anime and manga fans of tomorrow would enjoy reading about what the times were like, of a fandom they're a part of, that's not perpetually everything late 80's and early Nineties, or as far back as the early 60's or 70's. New generations of fans are in their own right, keepers of their place in the grand scheme of the anime and manga fandom all around the world; what you're proposing, gives those fans their proper documentation of their experiences, their discovery of their favorite anime and manga, how they began to cosplay, and so many other things that made their journey, in my personal opinion, an experience far much greater than the experience I had, when I was a kid.

From about Nineteen Ninety Nine to about 2012, was really a sight to behold. Everything seemed so much easier to come across in the fandom as a whole, from talking about it openly, to participating in semi-social events at school or at a local convention in town, that even the mere mention could connect you with someone who would probably turn around and say, hey, I like that anime, too. No Members Only jacket needed, come right on in if you so choose.

You're in prime harvest when it comes to reaching out to the right sources to help build upon this. It's that much easier to reach out and talk to some of these individuals, now that the technology truly has caught up with the fandom.

I'm excited for you. Strike while the proverbial iron is hot and good luck with your passion.
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Guyver I
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Re: New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

Post by Guyver I »

mbanu wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 7:14 am If you could get an interview with Joanne Ninomiya, that would probably be up there -- I think she's approaching 80. She was responsible for getting subtitled anime on to Hawaiian TV through KIKU.

For fandom proper, I imagine the biggest issue will be old drama, similar to trying to do a history of a musical scene -- sometimes people don't want to revisit bitter memories. On the other hand, without those bitter memories, a complete picture won't emerge, which is an often underappreciated difficulty in being an editor and compiler of stories.

If they don't want to know now, people will want to know eventually, and it is good to try to get things down while it's still possible.
Thanks for the suggestion of Joanne Ninomiya; definitely one to look into!

And I absolutely agree, as far as the old drama. One thing about the old sf fandom histories written by Moskowitz, Warner, Knight, etc., was that the personal infighting and dislikes, in my readings at least, kind of overshadow the rest of it. These stories will happen, and I agree they are important, but in some of those it was to the point that you came away from your reading knowing who hated who, and maybe why, but not much else beyond that. That level of drama, I'd hope to avoid, but have to wait and see I suppose.
Nathan Vernon Madison

http://www.pulpmags.org
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Guyver I
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Re: New Book Idea - Thoughts and Suggestions Appreciated!

Post by Guyver I »

NorthernKaleCity wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:44 am I'm sure, some time down the road from now, anime and manga fans of tomorrow would enjoy reading about what the times were like, of a fandom they're a part of, that's not perpetually everything late 80's and early Nineties, or as far back as the early 60's or 70's. New generations of fans are in their own right, keepers of their place in the grand scheme of the anime and manga fandom all around the world; what you're proposing, gives those fans their proper documentation of their experiences, their discovery of their favorite anime and manga, how they began to cosplay, and so many other things that made their journey, in my personal opinion, an experience far much greater than the experience I had, when I was a kid.

From about Nineteen Ninety Nine to about 2012, was really a sight to behold. Everything seemed so much easier to come across in the fandom as a whole, from talking about it openly, to participating in semi-social events at school or at a local convention in town, that even the mere mention could connect you with someone who would probably turn around and say, hey, I like that anime, too. No Members Only jacket needed, come right on in if you so choose.

You're in prime harvest when it comes to reaching out to the right sources to help build upon this. It's that much easier to reach out and talk to some of these individuals, now that the technology truly has caught up with the fandom.

I'm excited for you. Strike while the proverbial iron is hot and good luck with your passion.
Thank you for the support! And absolutely so it was a different time, so much, from what came before. I ended up meeting girlfriends or friends in the late 90s, early 2000s just because they saw my Evangelion shirt and wanted to say "hey, I like that show too." And, I think that's part of my motivation, situations like that happening, was made possible by previous fandom, which is why I'm leaning towards starting a good bit earlier, overall. I"m still leaning towards having it end by 2010 or so, but that could fluctuate as well - it just feels like things had changed, in some way or another, by that point. I'm not quite sure I could put my finger on it, at the moment, and I could totally be wrong on that, as well.
Nathan Vernon Madison

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