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(Beware, lots of links to Japanese-only sites in this one.) While I was in Japan last month, my Japanese advisor dragged me to Haru Comic City so I could chat with a former student of hers who is now active as a dojinka in Tokyo. This was my second time at a big dojinshi convention (sokubaikai), but since I was only there for about five minutes at the very end on that first occasion, that one probably doesn't count. The one-day Haru Comic City was held in the same building as the more famous Comiket (the one with over half a million attendees), but in the end I didn't even get to see the fabled big halls because there were so many damned people in the way. The number of attendees was staggering and I was afraid of losing sight of my advisor, so I stuck to the smaller (heh) west halls. It sounds very abstract to say that the dojinshi market is worth 50 billion yen, but this is suddenly much easier to imagine when you're standing in the midst of an ocean of dojinshi-toting women. (The total manga market, pockets and magazines but minus dojinshi, is estimated at 450 billion yen. That's only nine times the value of the fannish manga market. 50 billion isn't peanuts by any definition, and the dojinshi market is still growing, while the manga market for pockets and magazines appears to be shrinking. Interesting.)
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Look at my pressies! 'Invasum (Like Father, Like Son)', my Snarry Holidays gift, was written by the most excellent winoniel. It is long and plotty and shiny and has Tobias Snape in it doing very interesting things that I'm not going to mention at the risk of giving the plot away. It is mine and I loves it.

And for Snapely Holidays, I got a delicious Snape/Slughorn called 'Subtlety Personified' from therealsnape. 'Delicious' in the sense that is subtle, poignant, Slytherin through and through, and has the best Slughorn voice in any fic ever. (And the ending. The ending.)

In case it's not obvious, I am officially chuffed and very, very grateful. Please go read, and shower with praise.

(I made a couple of things too, but will get back to those somewhere in the next few days. Life is busy and the gods of html do not approve of me today -I haven't managed to format a single thing correctly.)
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My Ph.D research focuses on narrative differences between Japanese fanwork (dojinshi) and English-language fanwork (fanfics). To find out whether there really are significant differences between these two media, content-wise, I did a small-scale test using six fanfics and four dojinshi, all of them James/Snape. I compared only a small number of narrative elements (will be more in the 'real' research) and tried to list them in a nice clean data set. Below I list the narrative elements I looked at, summarize the resulting data, and offer a short first assessment -possible explanations, remarks, and ideas for further inquiry. I'll continue adding to them, and would love to hear any insights or ideas from others. You can view the complete data set in full screen here (please read next paragraph before clicking). If any of this catches your eye, let me know what you think!

Important notes before analyzing fun begins: Please don't link directly to the full-screen version of the data set, as there's no way to include this text there. The summaries of the fanfics and dôjinshi included in the set were written by me for the purpose of contrasting the narratives, and they contain SPOILERS for the stories. The ratings/warnings are the original author's; please pay attention to them before clicking any links, since the stories may contain adult material. If you think I've misrepresented or misinterpreted something, please let me know and I'll correct the information right away. If you're the author of a fanfic/dôjinshi included in the data set and you feel this is cruel and unusual abuse of your work, or you just don't want it mentioned anywhere, drop me a note and I'll remove identifying information from the entry (author name, title, link, summary) or remove the entry altogether.

No, seriously, JP/SS is a heart-warming tale of true love over there... )
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My own gut reaction upon reading that Obama had made it -"Thank god I won't have to look at the other guy anymore"- was another reminder to me about the influence of striking looks on a fictional character's popularity. I got up at an ungodly hour this morning to watch the US presidential election results come in, but pesky CNN managed to call the race exactly five minutes before I got behind the computer, making me miss the big moment. Oh well. I got to watch the concession and acceptance speeches in real time. Listening to Obama and his huge crowd of supporters was actually a pretty damn emotional experience -we may gripe and groan about the US now and then (okay, a lot) here in Belgium, but sometimes I wish we could display the kind of spirit that I saw in Grant Park. While my country is a very good place to live and I feel lucky to have been born here, there are a lot of whiny and very passive people.
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