Students, staff engage in multitude of fandoms

Paige Gieseke, Fielder Friday Editor

People of all ages love to find themselves included in a community where there are individuals with shared interests. Anyone of any age group can be involved in at least one of these large groups, called fandoms.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘fanatic’, which can also mean ‘frenzied’ or ‘mad’, is where the word ‘fandom’ originated. Fandoms have ascended in growth along with the popularity of social media and online content. The ability for anyone to share information about a certain fandom has opened opportunities for anyone to become involved with a community.
Kaeyln Witt, sophomore, is in the Harry Potter fandom. She enjoys reading the books and looking at content created by others online.
“I’ve been in the fandom for almost 6 years now. I began reading the books the summer before sixth grade and have been rereading them ever since,” Witt said.
The Harry Potter franchise is full of magic and fantasy, so that is reflected in the fandom. Artists create art and new story concepts to share with other viewers online.
“The fans acknowledge that the HP universe is capable of anything, so the extra content is endless. It’s like the fandom never runs out of fun ideas or concepts to implement into the series,” Witt said.
Natalie Heye, senior, is involved in the fandom for Stranger Things, a Netflix Original series. She has been in the fandom since 2016, which is when the show first aired. A fanbase has quickly built up despite the show itself only existing for three years.
“I started watching the show when I saw it trending on Twitter. I started following a bunch of fan accounts on [social media], which helped me stay up to date,” Heye said.
Heye says that because of this fandom, she has strengthened friendships with other fans. She held viewing parties for the releases of seasons 2 and 3.
“[The show is] something to bond over, since we all enjoy the show,” Heye said.
Katelyn Heisen, freshman, is a part of the Disney fandom. She has been in the fandom since she was very young.
“There’s so much happiness that Disney brings to everyone. I haven’t met one person who didn’t like Disney. The creativity and involvement [are] really awesome,” Heisen said.
Disney movies and merchandise are very common, especially with the theme parks located worldwide, including two in the United States in Florida and California.
“All of my friends already love Disney… we get along so much better [because] we have something in common,” Heisen said.
Adam Depew, dual-credit English teacher, grew up watching superheroes, especially those from DC Comics.
“Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s (the main time period that I was interested in the genre), Marvel had transitioned into fairly extreme and high-octane characters and story arcs–it didn’t really appeal to me,” Depew said.
Depew was influenced by his older brother, who was in the fandom. His grandmother also owned a comic store, which gave him easier access to books and other content that is related to superheroes.
Dan Monroy, senior, was a fan of the Hunger Games when the series was popular. He decided to modify his appearance in the seventh grade because he was that big a fan of the movies and books.
“There was this character who had really sharp teeth, so I talked my parents into getting my back teeth sharpened by the dentist, so basically they just filed it down [and] they were a little pointed and now they fit in like dog’s teeth,” Monroy said.
Fandoms are a home to many, no matter what their age. They can provide a place for anyone to share their interests and love for their communities and friends.