South Park

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Fandom
Name: South Park
Abbreviation(s): SP
Creator: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Date(s): 1997-present
Medium: cartoon, movie
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: wikipedia
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South Park is an animated sitcom that tells the adventures of four ten-year old boys (who had been eight and nine-years old in previous seasons). Known for its incredibly foul language, sexual references and satirical humor, it is supposedly directed toward more mature audiences, falling into the same genre as Family Guy and Futurama.

A movie for the cartoon was released in 1999, called South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

The four main characters are Stanley Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman (usually referred to by his last name) and Kenneth McCormick, as the show normally centers around them. South Park is a small mountain town in Colorado, though it is not like other towns - strange and bizarre things often happen in South Park, such as random cavemen appearing, being attacked by a giant robot of Barbara Streisand, an affair between a five-year old Canadian and a Kindergarten teacher, as well as the constant reappearances of a Christmas poo and a towel that enjoys getting high.

The series took a strongly socio-political turn around season 7, and these themes have only gotten stronger since. Season 18 started the trend of season-long arcs lampooning current social trends.

Fandom nods

A season 19 episode was focused on the yaoi sector of fandom and highlighted the supposed relationship between characters Craig Tucker and Tweek Tweak, whom the Asian exchange students drew fanart of. The art featured in the episode was actually submitted by fans of the show, at the request of the writers.

Fandom

South Park's general fandom has existed since 1997, when the show premiered. It quickly became deluged with OCs on early websites that have now been deleted.[1]

It also had an RP community on Yahoo! Groups as early as 2004.[2]

South Park's slash fandom began receiving significant attention on Fanfiction.net in 2008, where it presently has 18,600 fanworks and is the seventh most popular cartoon fandom on FFn. Notable FFn authors at the time were IndianaBeachBum, BroflovskiFan, Fermata, Seaouryou, Fletset, BratChild3, Ben Barrett, The English Professor, and Faery Goddyss. SekritOMG also remained a pervasive writer in the fandom from 2008 to 2016.

The slash fandom gained a revival in late 2011-2012, especially with the genesis of a kink meme[3] and a big bang challenge, which debuted in 2012, with successive challenges running in 2013, 2014, and 2016.[4] [5] There also was briefly a forum for South Park slash fans[6], as well as a South Park Prom event[7] in the same year.

There is a booru for fan art of the show; it is currently inactive and posting is moderated, however, as of October 2017 the site houses over 62,000 images.[8]

Mary Sue fanfiction is (was?) also popular on FFn.[9][10]

As for fanart, South Park has a sizeable fandom on DeviantArt[11] for English-speaking fans. There has also been a large Japanese fandom on Pixiv[12], and a Chinese fandom on Lofter.[13]

Age and Target Audience

Though South Park's target audience is 18-24[14], and tends to be more classically male, the audience in fannish spaces tends to lean heavily amongst female fans (in slash fandom especially) between the ages of 13-25. There is a pattern of fans either discovering the fandom on Fanfiction.net as young as 12-13, or in early adulthood on Tumblr and AO3.

Ships and Characters

The fandom's most popular ship is Stan/Kyle, or Style[15] Runner-ups include Butters/Kenny, Craig/Tweek, Kyle/Cartman, and Kyle/Kenny. Other largely known ships are Craig/Kenny, Cartman/Wendy, Stan/Wendy (which is canon), Greg/Christophe, and Cartman/Butters.

Pairings are usually made by combining the characters' names, which makes several pairing names words, such as: Style (Stan/Kyle), Creek (Craig/Tweek), Bunny (Butters/Kenny), Candy (Cartman/Wendy), Bendy (Bebe/Wendy), and Dip (Damien/Pip).

In the fandom, appearances of adult characters are very rare, and they are typically minor characters. Many OCs are child characters.

Fanwork Examples

Reactions to Socio-Political Commentary

Fans' reactions to South Park are largely passive in response to the socio-political commentary of the show. Some fans hold similar libertarian views as the creators[citation needed], while others separate their political opinions from their enjoyment of the show.[citation needed]

The social justice attitude wrought by early 2010's Tumblr fandom became a heated discussion when South Park aired 'The Cissy' on October 8, 2014, an episode discussing the large discussion of gender, particularly nonbinary identities, that had been primarily on Tumblr at the time. A blog called safepark[16] was created in reaction to the episode, and cites itself as "a place for south park fans who feel persecuted in the fandom for being critical & anxious about the issues it tackles and how it tackles them. the priority is to make you feel safe and loved in this fandom."

Coincidentally, South Park launched an episode about and entitled 'Safe Space' the following year, on October 15, 2015. safepark was also featured on /r/TumblrInAction[17], resulting in backlash such as:

I can't believe this is real I thought reddit was lying. You realize this is a textbook safespace right? A safespace is a place where you are free to dish out criticism but will take none, it isn't simply a place that contains no criticism. I really hope you eventually see that South Park itself is trying to show just how wrong places like this are, and how they are really fucking up social media/the internet.

One mod's response was:

I’m personally finding it hilarious that you (and south park, but that’s not my point here) find the idea of safe spaces ridiculous in that we refuse to take criticism and only criticize things ourselves - it sounds like you want to defend south park, which criticizes things, but you don’t want us to criticize it. hmm.

On another note, we welcome critics of this blog, but considering they’re just as hypocritical as you in that most people who hate this blog want to censor us for bringing up the idea of censorship - or, you know, basic human decency - it kind of renders a lot of their points moot. Honestly the narrative of this whole argument is that “you shouldn’t be allowed to say whatever you want so I can say whatever I want!” It is circular and illogical. Try again.

The blog has been inactive since 2015.

Doujinshi

Yaoi:

Sources

  1. See I was thinking about the ghosts of fandoms past
  2. sprpgroup on Yahoo! Groups
  3. southparkkink on LiveJournal
  4. South Park Big Bang at LiveJournal
  5. South Park Big Bang
  6. Archived
  7. South Park Prom on Tumblr
  8. soft pork booru
  9. South Park High by Ciaxlia
  10. Mysterion & Friends by SkyeRockette
  11. "south park" search comes up with over 100,000 results
  12. サウスパーク OR ( south park ) on Pixiv
  13. "southpark" tag on Lofter
  14. Comedy Centra: Target Audiences on MediaWiki
  15. This is based on the combination of deviantART, FFn, and AO3 tags. Craig/Tweek is currently the most popular ship on AO3.
  16. safepark on Tumblr
  17. Safepark, the safe space for South Park fans who don't want reality to interfere with their headmates, mischaracterizations and shipping thread on Reddit