Outside The Lines

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Fanfiction Mailing List
Name: outsidethelines
Date(s): April 1998[1] - 2000s[2]
Moderated: D. Amaya
Moderators/List Maintainers: Susan Crites, D. Amaya, Thistle, Indigo
Founder(s): Susan Crites and Indigo
Fandom: Comics
Scope: Comics fanfiction
URL: http://outsidetl.tripod.com/
outsidethelines.mainpage.net via Wayback, Dec 3/01
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

What's behind the name, you ask?

Well, it's because comics depend on lines to tell their stories--the lines that draw the characters and settings, and the lines of the dialog balloons. We fan fic writers are stepping over and outside those established lines when we create tales that will never appear between those glossy covers. We read between the lines of established canon to get our private inspiration.

Plus, we're all rebels who insist on the right to color where we WANT to color!

Outside The Lines was a large mailing list for comic book fanfiction. It was established after the death (by bouncing emails) of the previous comic fanfic mailing lists, Untold-l and ACFF.

While the vast majority of fics were about the X-Men and various spinoff teams, OTL encouraged fics about any comic titles: "The exceptions to this is manga (because it already has a huge, separate following of its own), and comic-come-lately titles, such as comic books that have sprung up lately to ride on the coat tails of a TV show or movie." [3]

At its height, OTL had around 600 members. Members of the list were known as "Outsiders."

FarBeyondOTL was OTL's sister list, created for discussion of comics and such. OTL was specifically for posting of stories.

There was also an accompanying website for the list, which included monthly news (including upcoming conventions, active challenges and so on), a "Feature of the Month", which was chosen by the OTL staff and a list of various helpful links:

The website was last updated on December 7, 2000, however the mailing list continued for a longer (unknown) amount of time, with references being made to it by comic fanficcers up to 2003[4] and possibly beyond.