Money I’ve Really Wanted to Spend on Fandom But Didn’t
by Sulagna Misra
I love reading and watching books, TV shows, and movies, and engaging in the fandom thereof. “Fandom” being all the nerdy, excited parts connected to a thing you love: the watching and re-watching, the detailed analysis, the talk of Hogwarts Houses and Reichenbach Fall theories, and the swag. Oh, the swag. The excitement of a new TV season or movie in a franchise becomes tangible with a fandom purchase. Fandom is exciting and weird, and like your decisions paying for vacation, housing, and food, very personal. Part of being in fandom as a grown-up is no longer having to justify your fandom purchases to anyone. Instead, it’s a question of moderation, because there’s just so much you can spend your hard-earned cash on. Take for instance:
Hannibal Season 1: $12
Know what streaming services don’t have? Director commentaries. Bloopers. Random trailers. Sneak peaks of connected movies. Deleted scenes. Director’s cuts. Original commercials. “How It’s Made” features and featurettes (the female version of features, because there are more shirtless actors). The ability to fall asleep with the DVD under your pillow! Not that I know anything about that. Not that I was so tempted to buy Hannibal season 1 on DVD just to get into Bryan Fuller’s brain (metaphorically!).
How is Alana Bloom so well-adjusted?! How, Fuller?!
Hermione’s Time Turner Necklace: $8.99 + $4.50 for shipping
Sometimes you just want to sit around your house, or walk to the grocery store, or dress up for a movie premiere with the right outfit. Sometimes a Wonder Woman wallet is all you need to telegraph to the world how awesome you actually are. Etsy is also a great place for your money to disappear on Harry Potter journals and Katniss necklaces, or this Time Turner necklace, which I would absolutely buy if it was real.
Get Loki T-Shirt: $12
You can buy the standard T-shirts the company sells, but the ones with fanart tend to be much cleverer and weirder and prettier (and cheaper!). I don’t buy too many since I realized placing huge works of art on your chest makes you unable to see the work of art yourself. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally pick up a Captain America t-shirt from the men’s section of Target, though.
Ugh, I still regret not buying this Get Loki T-shirt. The people who would’ve realized its brilliance are people I would’ve attracted with this outfit and thus befriended. A loss for fandom everywhere.
San Diego Comic Con: $900
Some people go to Mecca, other people go to conventions. (Some people go to both, which is SO COOL.) $16 for the HBO Game of Thrones Epic Fan Experience with my friends, hell yeah. $55 for New York Comic Con, yes (if I hadn’t been too late to buy tickets!).
$200 for San Diego Comic Con, plus an extra estimated $800–900 for hotel and airline costs. Um. Can’t they stream it online?
Game of Thrones Bookset: $150
Remember the Harry Potter theory books? Before them, I discussed Harry Potter theory with my fellow nerds as we sat out of gym class. I would read snippets of these books in the library before switching to the Internet to read as many rumors as possible. Now, the recent Marvel Universe movies have gotten me interested in the myriad versions of each character. I walked out of the Captain America 2 movie and bought two Marvel comic books. You also read books to find out what happens on a TV series: Game of Thrones is at five books, Hannibal is set before the actual books so it’s all foreshadowing, and Sherlock has a myriad of short stories. They help you get the references — “speckled blonde,” anyone? Except for Game of Thrones, that just gives other people sordid power over us who spend their precious reading time on books where we don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t buy those books out of principle, but also from lack of time and money. But mainly principle!
Total Cost: $1,087.49.
!!! Look how much money I’ve saved! Probably because the bulk of my indulgence is the free fandom community on Tumblr. Oh, Tumblr. Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr. Thank you for existing. I spend hours and hours on there. I can’t help but constantly reblog gifs, funny photos, silly fanons (fandom ideas of stories relatively unsupported by the actual media but agreed upon by the masses, like an inside joke), great analyses, and beautiful fanart.
Of course, this is where I found references to all the above, so maybe fandom is just another means of the desire-buy-desire-buy cycle of consumerism.
The amount of time I spent laughing over this gifset, though? Priceless.