I received a copy of of this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affected my review.
The blurb for this book hooked me, even if I was a tad leery about a fan ‘guide’. I have been a fan girl for so long, I’m not willing to date myself by giving examples of my first fandoms. So what could this guide give me that I didn’t already know?
Sam Maggs did a wonderful job including as many general fandoms as possible! There are book-, TV-, comic-, game-, and even Disney-fans. The only real disappointment I had in this regard is she tends to focus on the current, widely known books and TV shows. She didn’t talk about lesser known titles that could have become new favorites. Understandable, but still slightly disappointing.
With sections on vocabulary, ways to find like-minded new friends, conventions, to name a few, a lot of ground gets covered. Thankfully the information provided doesn’t feel thrown together or missing key things the beginner should be aware of.
Saying that, there is one big problem I have with this. And, not being sure how to word what I mean right, I’m sure I’ll make some people mad. While the issue of safety is stressed (numerous times, which I an NOT complaining about), I get the vibe that it is more of an internet issue to worry about. I would’ve liked to see convention trolling/harassment covered better. I don’t cosplay, but I have friends who do. One was stuck in an elevator with a drunk man who made inappropriate comments, and made her feel unsafe getting off in her floor in case he followed her. Another one got harassed and groped when she had a low-cut outfit on. These things happen, and, sadly, most times Con security have other things to worry about verses some harassment. It’s not ok, but anyone planning on cosplay should be aware this happens and there might not be any repercussions.
The only other issue I had is a small one. In the beginning when she discusses the different types of fan girls, she has a ‘key accessories’ listing. I am many of these fans, and don’t have any of the listed items. And while it is not said, but I feel implied, that to be a fan you should have these items or something like them. Not a big deal, but something that has bugged me.