Fangirling. We all do it. Think you don’t? Well, think again. Whether it be a certain musician, sports team, author, or whatever interest captures your fancy, we all have that “thing” that causes us unexplainable joy by its very existence. Now, with the ever expanding social media and internet universe at our very fingertips, we have instant access to every golden nugget of information concerning our obsession. What’s more, we have become highly skilled in connecting with others who share our same affliction of mind. Authors and esteemed college professors, Dr. Lynn S. Zubernis and Dr. Katherine Larsen, guide us down their own path of fangirling to discover the intricate complexities of fandom in their book, Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls. Although the primary focus of the book centers around the overwhelming fandom of the hit television show Supernatural and its leading men Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, it quickly becomes apparent that no matter what floats your boat, we all can relate on some level to the euphoria we feel about our “thing”.
From the very first sentence, authors Lynn and Kathy instantly befriend you. Even though it may sound intimidating to get to know two intelligent university professors, they quickly shed the façade with their frank humor and honesty. They do so by divulging their secret preoccupation with the TV. show, Supernatural. They also reveal every single aspect of fandom, warts and all. At times, I found myself uncomfortable and agitated by the reality of a community of zealots, and its unspoken rules. You travel along with them to conventions, and feel the utter elation and inevitable disappointment that comes with the territory. Along the way, Lynn and Kathy examine both sides of the coin of fandom. They introduce you to not only the fans, but also the stars, and their significant others. Of particular interest, it was quite illuminating to hear from the “powers that be” and creators of the franchise, and their reactions and opinions of their followers of a world they had a hand in conceiving. No stone is left unturned. We hear and see it all.
Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls offers intelligent and witty insight into every corner of fandom. It even has a handy dandy glossary of words like, “BNF: acronym for Big Name Fans or fans that have attained a certain prominence with fandom. BNFs are not always looked on kindly by other fans.”and “Slash: fanfiction in which two same-sex characters are romantically paired.” This book helps to alleviate the guilt some of us might have for carrying a torch for the unattainable fantasy because it helps explain why we do it. Just think of this book as an arsenal of justification for your “thing”. An excellent read for both fans of Supernatural and humanity in general.