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My good buddies over at JoeCanuck have launched the September issue of their now famous JoeCanuck Newsletter.  Even though they are based in Canada, these newsletters are fun for all nationalities, and feature an exclusive dio-story by yours truly.  In fact, the September issue wraps up the first 6-parter!  Hope you’ve enjoyed it.  To be brutally honest, I’ve read and heard absolutely zero feedback on it (other than the JoeCanuck guys themselves) so I’m not even sure anyone liked it or cared about it…  but it was fun.

Actually talking about the JoeCanuck newsletter also brings up an interesting thought to me that I’ve been meaning to talk about.

What is fandom?

On the face, it seems an easy question to answer, but in my mind, it’s not quite so simple.  What makes someone a fan, and what do they do to further their fandom, or enjoy their hobby?  Is it simply stopping by Target on your way home from work and dropping ten bucks here and there?  Does that really make this a hobby?  I mean, I stop by the local grocery store on my way to work and pick up milk every few days, am I a milk fan?

In my mind there is so much that folks could be doing to celebrate their fandom and to enjoy their hobbies.  I see so many people tossing money at Wal-Mart, then sitting at their keyboard and bitching about what they just spent thirty bucks on, then bitching about everything else coming out this year and everything to do with the movie, the toys, etc…  are you really a fan of this property and this product?  Is spending money enough?

I see folks like the guys from JoeCanuck…they’re all from Canada, a country which wasn’t even receiving G.I. Joe product until a couple of months ago.  They had no physical way to obtain this product, but instead of just sitting on their butts and complaining on message boards, they did something.  Mike pooled his resources and started a “Joe Meet”, which has steadily grown and evolved into what next year will be a full fledged Canadian G.I. Joe Convention.  He’s done so much with the idea that last year Hasbro Canada even volunteered their time and resources at the Meet and got personally involved!  How cool is that?  Mike and the other JoeCanuck guys would have never gotten that  chance if they didn’t put some effort in and actually demonstrate a love and effort for their hobby.  It would have been easy for them to cuss out Hasbro and sling faceless insults from behind a keyboard, but instead they did something productive, which has grown into a real celebration of G.I. Joe and is positively affecting thousands of other fans.  To me, that is the epitome of “fandom”.

Keep up the good work, guys!