The Fringe Universe Expands: The Measure of a Cult Show

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 “To be a fully sanctioned cult show, the life of a programme must continue through its fans after its death.” – Alex Geairns

“The community of the show is currently strong and vibrant and I have a funny feeling that the afterlife of the show, as much as we who have been making it for the last five years are finishing our portion of it, I think it will live on in that community.”

“And how that manifests itself? I don’t know. Perhaps there would be a movie. I think there will probably be a lot of fan fiction. Maybe there will be even some sort of filmed addendum to the show or televised or podcasts or however it manifests itself, but I feel like the afterlife of Fringe is the test case for how modern cult shows are going to live on after they go off the air.”

–  Joshua Jackson / FOX conference call / January 18, 2013

Fringe may be over, but it’s not dead. Our Twitter fan community may not be as united as when the show was airing, but that doesn’t mean that all of the fans have crossed over to the other side to see the rest of their season five. There are plenty of things that you can do in this universe to keep the experience and community alive.

Fandom doesn’t have to be a full-on intense experience. In fact, people often drift in and out. I’ve been an X-Files fan for 20 years, and my interest comes and goes. Lately, it has been intensified… I suspect in an attempt to kinda fill the Fringe-sized hole in my heart…

A little here and a little there will keep the show in our memories, and as time passes, these kind of activities will act as guideposts for the newcomers to the fandom.

Fan Fiction

Many fans have found enjoyment in writing their own stories for Fringe.

How to get started

The two most well-known sites for fan fiction are:

FanFiction.net

ArchiveOfOurOwn

It is also spread throughout forums, LiveJournal, Tumblr, and other various blogs/sites.

What to write about

The awesome thing about Fringe is that the whole premise of the show is based on alternate universes and timelines, so fairly anything could be written and believable.

Romance: Obviously, stories about Peter and Olivia are very popular, although romantic pairings of all sorts can be found. Some content can get rather “scandalous.” There are even those who have a taste for a Walter/Donald pairing, apparently… Not my cup of tea, but that’s the great thing about fandom—diversity.

Missing Scenes: A favorite because they offer the reader possible ideas of what happened off screen. For instance, many stories imagine what happened when Olivia led Peter up the stairs in the episode, 6B. 😉

A fairly popular story written by Elialys, In Reverse is an account of the fifteen years that Peter and Olivia lived after Peter destroyed the other universe in the “gray” timeline of 2026.

Another good ongoing series written by Sunshine170 is A Little Bit of Normal.

Some writers – eg:  Dixiegirl256 and oconnellaboo — do really well with the father and son moments between Walter and Peter.

Prequels and After-Series: Stories that have plots about events that take place before the series and after are also popular. Some imagine Peter’s life as a conman. I saw a good one about Olivia in boarding school. Walter, Bell, and Nina’s days in the 70’s is a fascinating topic. Since the show ended, the ramifications of Walter’s “sacrifice” has been a favorite topic.

Crossovers– with other fictional universes. I have one ongoing that crosses Fringe/X-Files. Doctor Who and Supernatural also seem to be popular crosses. I am planning one involving Fringe/Eureka for later.

Reviews are an important part of the process. They let people know that their work is being read, and also what works versus what doesn’t. Writing reviews makes for a better fan fiction community as it offers writers encouragement, and any criticism should be constructive.

A good primer about getting started with fan fiction can be found here.

Vidding

It’s a murky activity given that the hobby uses copyrighted materials in the creation of transformative content, but it’s highly popular. Fringe fan videos are a staple fan activity. After all, most fans have seen this:

There are others as well. I’ve played with it, but not as seriously as wizards like MaitikaHan and Estelle5

Videos can be anything from scenes set to a fave song like this Peter/Olivia video I made set to Seether’s “Broken.”

Some may have a concept or story in mind. I made a video for a friend who wanted one made for Drowning Pool’s “Bodies,” and it featured… bodies, of course.

I found this site for another fandom to be really helpful. Give it a try. It’s fun.

Fan Art and Crafts

FRINGE-1st_Season_by_Laura_RaceroIcons, Wallpapers, Banners, Original Art, Digital Art, Gifs, Tattoos, Fringe cross stitch, jewelry, scrapbooks, custom dolls, and specially designed coins – If you can think it, it can be made.

Fan Art was a big part of what made the Friday Twitter campaigns so successful. We have an archive available with all of the icons for every hashtag event.

Fringenuity’s Cheri Nowak has a Tumblr page, and she also was glad to share information and answer questions for our friends at Pop Culture Nexus about being a fan artist.

The Fringe365 project maintained by FringeComix is really cool. Something Fringie is posted every day; from excellent character sketches, to a sweet drawing of Olivia and Peter with baby Etta shortly after her birth.

Laura Racero has some awesome wallpapers and prints available. Check them out.

Ian Knight has made icons in support of Fringenuity’s events and he also has a great selection of shirts and posters.

A lot of artists use DeviantArt. Just search for “Fringe” or the names of the characters.

So, how does one get started into fan art? Fair warning – I’m no artist, but I did like to play with Fringe screencaps and Paint, and I also created simple photo collages based on a theme.

Learning basic Photoshop is one of my goals for this summer. You can also use free programs like Gimp. There is a lot of information and many tutorials are available on the net for learning these skills, and for learning to make things like gif sets, which are popular on Tumblr.

Over time, I’m collecting and linking Fringe art to Fringenuity’s Pinterest page.

Mystic_XF made some funny icons for several seasons.

Mystic_XF made some funny icons for several seasons.

 

Fan Meetings and Conventions

DSCN1111Although there won’t be a Fringe Event II this year, there will most likely be a reunion event within the next few years in Vancouver. In the meantime, you might want to visit the city yourself. It’s a beautiful place on its own with just about anything a person could want, including nature, culture, shopping, foodie experiences, and more. More than a few fans have moved there.

An excellent guide to Fringe filming locations compiled by Vancouver Fringie, Diane, can be found here.

There have been local and regional fan gatherings in places such as New York, and the Fringe Podcast hosted a Fringe series finale party. All it takes is a little planning and a place to meet, with some activities planned. For instance, I’m thinking that arranging an Ohio fan meet-up for WizardCon in September could be fun.

John Noble seems to enjoy the convention circuit. Keep your ears open. You never know who might be joining events like DragonCon, or even your local sci-fi nerd, comic book, or entertainment convention.

Fringe Friday is a top source for Fringe-related news.

A big part of the convention experience for many fans is Cosplay; dressing like your favorite characters. SciFiHero.net is an excellent forum for general sci-fi cosplay tips and discussion.

Here’s a thread about:

Putting together an altverse Fringe Division uniform.

A Fringe Division pulse gun.

Nikolai3D, Fringe Divsion / Vancouver Fringe Event

Nikolai3D, Fringe Division / Vancouver Fringe Event

Rewatches

Every Friday is a Fringe Friday in our hearts. Fans still take to Twitter for fellowship as they rewatch episodes together.

I bet the fun Fringe Binge will happen again as well.

Analysis and Reviews: You might also want to write about your perception of Fringe and your thoughts about the episodes. I’ve done this for several years, and it’s great to make connections in the show universe and also to compare Fringe to other works and concepts in the world.

Fringe Roleplay

Playing the role of a characters from the show in order to create interactive stories with others, has been a fan activity since the show started. Various groups exist. We even roleplayed Fringe Angry Birds and The Ministry of Defense.

Say hi to ‘Tweeter Bishop.’

Art by @Cheribot

Art by @Cheribot

One of the groups that I am most familiar with roleplays via Twitter, although roleplay is also done in chats and forums. Check out this list from a very avid Astrid Farnsworth RPer, @AgentFarnsworth

Fan Letters 

We’ve had a few emails and inquiries asking if we knew how to reach certain cast members for fan mail purposes. When Fringe was filming, fan mail could be sent to the production studio in Vancouver. With the show at an end, your best bet for fan mail and/or autograph requests is to write to the cast member via his or her representative agency.

There are some protocols that will help you.

Writing a fan letter

Requesting an autograph

These are addresses for cast agents. Please read the information in the links above. Keep in mind that most celebrities don’t respond to mail. Sometimes autographs take months to receive, if they do respond.

Joshua Jackson

Creative Artists Agency

2000 Avenue of the Stars

Los Angeles, CA 90067

 

John Noble

Coast to Coast Talent Group

3350 Barham Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90068-1404

 

Said to be fairly responsive.

 

Anna Torv

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

9601 Wilshire Blvd.

3rd Floor

Beverly Hills, CA 90210-5213

 

Jasika Nicole

Essay Management

364 W 46th Street

Apt 1

New York, NY 10036-3921

 

Blair Brown

Innovative Artists L.A.

1505 10th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401-2805

 

Lance Reddick

Innovative Artists L.A.

1505 10th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401-2805

 

Seth Gabel

ICM Partners

10250 Constellation Blvd

9th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90067-6209

 

Michael Cerveris

Innovative Artists N.Y.

235 Park Avenue South

10th Floor

New York, NY 10003-1405

We know for sure he gets mail here.

 

Have fun and see some of you at a convention or two, and the next Fringe event. 🙂

joshcomic1


Comments

The Fringe Universe Expands: The Measure of a Cult Show — 11 Comments

  1. All, some fans of “The Fringe Podcast” meet every Friday at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/6 pm PT to rewatch. We are doing 2 episodes per Friday. We meet in the chatroom at http://www.thefringepodcast.com/chat To be honest, we’ve kind of had an amazing turnout so far. We have between 20-50 (normally 25-30 active) active chatters. It’s great fun. We have a countdown at the top of the hour.
    Follow @JGottschall (Janice) & @fauxmeonce (Emilee) for announcements on Wed/Thu/Fri every week.
    2/22 – 108/109
    3/1 – 110/111
    3/8 – 112/113
    3/15 – 114/115
    3/22 – 116/117
    3/29 – 118/119
    4/5 – 120/(not sure if we’ll do 201)

  2. I think I’ll try to pop in on the live podcast. I’ve listened to them after the fact but never caught them live. I would make a video if I knew how to do it… 🙁 I am also anxiously awaiting my September’s Notebook and have ordered Beyond The Fringe and the prequel stories that are going to be coming out soon.

  3. Hi there – very nice to be quoted, BUT the spelling is ‘programme’ NOT ‘program’ (which is computer software). Keep up the good work. All best. Alex J Geairns

    • Greetings, Mr. Geairns. Thanks for checking out our humble blog. As an American, it’s television program to me, and this has been the case all of my life, so please forgive me. 🙂 It’s been edited to reflect what some may consider the proper spelling. Cheers!

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