Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Inkstone

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Inkstone
Interviewer: Andrea Horbinski
Interviewee: Inkstone
Date(s): September 15, 2012
Medium: audio, print transcript
External Links: Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Inkstone
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Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Inkstone was conducted in 2012 by Andrea Horbinski and archived at the University of Iowa Libraries.

This interview's medium is audio (length: 01:51:19), and it has a 52-page transcript.

It was part of the series: Fan Fiction Oral History Project also referred to as "a Fiction and Internet Memory Research Project," "the Fiction and Internet Memory Program," and "Fan Fiction and Internet Memory."

The interviews conducted for this project were used for the book by Abigail De Kosnik called Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom.

Some Topics Discussed


Well, I'm predominately an animeand manga fan, and I got into that in high school with my friends, but I didn't really get into online fandom until I went away to college, because I didn't get onto the Internet until college. I'm kind of late on that score. And my introduction to fandom at that point was mostly through mailing lists, because that was really the main avenue of interaction. Because we had the Anime Web Turnpike, and so at that point, it was all '90s-era fan sites and stuff, and a lot of translations that were pretty much in text, and all those were pretty much pulled straight off mailing lists, so we would get onto mailing lists, and a lot of these mailing lists were run off of either people's university servers, or privately, because this was pretty much before the Yahoo! Groups, or I guess, the mailing lists that would become Yahoo! Groups, because they pretty much bought everyone.
I guess my first fandom was Rurouni Kenshin , and there was one major mailing list at the time—[it] was, I think it was KFFDisc [that] was the name—and it was everything. You would discuss the series—because at that time, Rurouni Kenshin was still being serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump, so—and since this was before the era of scanlations and all that, people would post summaries, and then finally someone started posting translations—just text translations of what was going on in the weekly chapters. But it wasn't even at that point—we didn't even have scans of what was going on.
[LiveJournal] it did make it easier to be multifannish. Because it's true—like on a mailing list, you're just—you tend to be monofannish. But I guess—I guess, among my circle of friends, when we moved over to LiveJournal, we talked about different series. On the message boards, we had been talking about those different series anyway, so it was kind of—I don't know—the same. I guess when I think of fragmentation, I'm thinking more like—you just lose track of people on— because when you move from a mailing list to LiveJournal, the people in your LiveJournal circle of friends, they tend to be the people you talk to all the time, but versus on a mailing list, there's that one person who posts only very two weeks, who you don't necessarily interact with all the time, but you do interact with, but then also, they just vanish. And they just—you can't find them, until you find them—I don't know—like three years later, posting in some other fandom, and you're like, Oh, this is where you ended up. So I guess that's what I mean by fragmentation. It's just like people go off and do their own thing. Which you know, that happens over time anyway, but it's—it just—I guess, dropping out of fandom and coming back in, I felt there was this big shift. I just—I couldn't—you know. It came a little —it was a little harder to find some people—I don't know.
Back when anime and manga fan site collectives and all that were a thing, there was a thing where like you would read, "This site is link-free," which means you can link to it without permission, but I do know at the time, in Japan, like Japanese fan sites, you definitely—there were some sites where they did not want you linking the site at all without permission. And I—. That's part of the issue with—I know the crossover between Pixiv and Tumblr is that a lot of—the fact that it's not sourced and you really need to source the stuff on Pixiv, because a lot of the Japanese fan artists, for them, they don't want their stuff to be just out there like that. They want to retain some sort of control over it, and I don't know necessarily how realistic that is, because even without Tumblr, there's 0chan, which I know a lot of people use as a source, and that's not a legit source at all, like, that's just like people dumping art there, and so it's—I feel like some of that is just—that's always been there, it's just—it's kind of manifested in different ways. Because I definitely remember back then, there were definitely—. Sites were saying, "This site is not link-free." And that meant that you couldn't link to it.
I understand, especially when it comes to fan art and your creative work, you want to maintain some sort of control over it, especially with fan art, where it's really easy for people just to lift it and then claim it as their own. Because I definitely see this on Tumblr, where people will take someone's fan art, and then for some reason, they'll watermark it with the name of their Tumblr, and I was like, Well, that's not yours. Why are you doing that? And they don't source where it originally came from, so it's—it has a—there are complications. I mean, it's good—I do like that there is a lot of crossover, but there are complications to it. Because you know—. I don't want to be like—you know. I'm the person—the type of person who doesn't want to be disrespectful of this person who created the fan art, you know? I definitely think taking someone's fan art and slapping your own URL on it and claiming that as your own is a major problem.
And they—you have to allow [Tumblr-type tags on Archive of Our Own]. Because I do think, in some ways, being someone who uses both, and is tracking Kuroko no Basuke fanfic on both AO3 versus, there is definitely still the perception that the better fic will be found on AO3 versus, but I'm still not entirely convinced that's really true in general, but I personally feel that you'll find a wider variety of fic on than on the AO3. Now granted, this is also dependent on what fandom and stuff, because I do think the anime/manga fandoms are just still more prevalent on versus AO3. But the kind of stuff that's—like, for example, Kuroko no Basuke on AO3, their fanfic, it's mostly—. There are certain types of writing styles, it's all similar writing styles, similar sort of pairings and stuff. Versus, you will find already—these AUs, some are written second person, some are written in first person, pairings—you just find a wider variety on there, so—. If AO3 wants to continue growing, then they do need to have some certain level of flexibility, and being able—. If the philosophy is that you can tag how you want it, then they should allow the tagging, the Tumblr-type tags, because there are people who love those kinds of tags and want to use them. I know, speaking from experience as a tag wrangler, that is frustrating, but—. At the time, when I was there, that you couldn't—. You're like, What am I supposed to do with this? I can't—.Because chances are, a lot of those Tumblr-style tags are just not—they're going to be unique to a specific user, but then again, sometimes they're not, because sometimes those Tumblr-style tags get picked up.