Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge!

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Challenge
Name: Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge!
Date(s): 2007-current
Moderator(s): thehighwaywoman, wendy
Founder:
Type: Challenge, Big Bang
Fandom: Supernatural, J2
Associated Community: spn_j2_bigbang (official LJ community)
URL: (unofficial) Supernatural and J2 Big Bang Challenge master collection on AO3
Subpages for Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge!:
2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! is what the name says, a Big Bang challenge for Supernatural and its corresponding RPF fandom. The J-Squared or J2 part stands for Jared/Jensen.

The challenge is a collaborative project between Supernatural writers and artists to produce original SPN or J2 novellas (20,000 words minimum) with accompanying artwork or vids.[1] Between 2007 and 2009 the fandom produced 382 stories, totaling 13,678,347 words, and more than 500 pieces of original artwork in response to this challenge.[1]

In 2009, the mods allowed for RPS pairings that weren't Jared/Jensen. In RPS, any pairing is allowed, as long as either Jared or Jensen is one of the central paired characters. FOR EXAMPLE: Misha/Jared or Jensen/Genevieve is allowed, Misha/Genevieve is not. [2]

The challenge has for years been overwhelmingly LiveJournal-based, with most stories available only in parts on individual writers' LiveJournals and artwork masterposts on the artists' LiveJournals. Some writers, artists, or readers would create and offer downloadable single-file PDF versions (sometimes with integrated artwork) of a story.

In 2011, Morgan Dawn and Amothea set up the Supernatural and J2 Big Bang Challenge master collection, with subcollections by year, on AO3. Although the AO3 (crossposting) option was not officially promoted by the challenge moderators, it allowed writers with AO3 accounts to voluntarily add their SPN J2 Big Bang stories to the collections, making it easy for readers to find those stories and to get all-on-one-page versions as well as one-click downloads in multiple formats.

Community Banner

Related Fanworks

SPN J2 BigBang Trailer

secretlytodream made a vid that mixes show footage with Big Bang art and story snippets from past years to promote the 2010 challenge.[8]

Delicious List

The challenge has always left hosting of stories and art up to the creator and most are posted to Livejournal, often exclusively. With the passing of time, many of the original links to stories and art on the master lists are broken. In 2009, badesquisse created the SPN/J2 Big Bang Delicious account which bookmarks all available art and stories at their current location and includes a brief story synopsis for each. The list is extensively tagged and searchable under many categories.[9]

2007 Big Bang

See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! 2007 for a complete list of the stories and summaries.

The first year of the Supernatural Big Bang had a relatively modest number of participants with approximately 50 stories produced and a total of 100 individual fanworks (art, vids etc). On the Master Index, Wincest, het and gen stories were listed together and all RPS was under one heading. While there was artwork to accompany the stories, only 5 vids and 2 fan mixes or soundtracks were created.[10]

2008 Big Bang

See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! 2008 for a complete list of the stories and summaries.

Over 100 stories are written. The use of fanmixes and vids to accompany stories becomes more widespread.

2009 Big Bang

See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! 2009 for a complete list of the stories and summaries.

2009 was the year in which RPS stories took off, requiring a 3 page Master Index to list them all. It was also the year the mods allowed for RPS pairings that weren't Jared/Jensen, possibly in response to the popularity of Castiel, a new male character introduced that year on the show. He was most often paired with Dean (Dean/Castiel). More and more fanmixes were made (68 in total) along with a smattering of vids (roughly 16). This is also the year where interactive websites are created. Ex: God Loveth His Children by mystic_reader, a story about the sexual awakening of two Mormon missionaries, offered links to video documentaries about Mormons, along with a soundtrack and art. Morgan's Free Rangers by calamitycrow, a historical AU set in the Wild West offered hidden easter egg links to facts about the life in the old west, fictional religions and histories created for the novel along with recipes. To see a list of more interactive websites, go here.[11]

225 stories were written and a total of 472 individual fanworks were created that year and over 6 million words were written.

2010 Big Bang

See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! 2010 for a partial list of the stories and summaries.

280 stories with accompanying artwork were created. The rough breakdown shows an increase in all categories, with fan fiction focusing on "other pairings" falling slightly.[12] A partial list of 2010 fanworks have been tagged here: fanworks and fanmixes (no vids were tagged). A detailed count of the total number of fanworks (stories, art and vids etc) has yet to be created.

2010 saw the creation of a promotional fan vid to advertise the Big Bang challenge.[13] 2010 was also the year that the Big Bang moderators took aim at anonymous comments which they felt were often too critical of the fan fiction and art or writers and artists.[14] Anonymous comments had been banned in the Supernatural Big Bang community Livejournal (in fact the community itself is moderated so that only the moderators and verified Big Bang participants are allowed to post). In previous years the moderators had encouraged writers and artists to disallow anonymous comments in their own journals. Starting with 2010, they began encouraging fans to report anonymous comments from other fans as abuse to the Livejournal abuse team.

Hi guys! As you know, Big Bang posting has started. YAY! We love our authors and artists and want to be sure you know how much fandom appreciates your time, energy and contributions.
With that, here’s a word about anonymous comments...
We don’t allow them in this community. What authors or artists allow in their own journals is their decision. We urge you not to seek out anonymous comments, especially ones you know may be deliberately hateful.
If you truly feel you have been attacked by anon comments, please consider filing a complaint with the Livejournal abuse team.

They then included detailed instruction on how and where to file an abuse complaint. [15]

It is unclear whether the moderators believed that all anonymous comments should be considered abusive, in spite of their content and irrespective of where they might appear (ex. in an anonymous feedback meme instead of within an author's or artists personal blog). Nor did they take a stand on whether non-anonymous comments containing abuse should be reported, leaving room for significant disagreement as to what might be considered abuse vs what might be considered critical commentary and how to address it within the community.

2011 Big Bang

banner advertising 2011 Big Bang, art by switch842
See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang Challenge! 2011 for a list of the stories and summaries.

Sign-up began for the 2011 Big Bang in January 2011. Some gen writers have created their own separate Big Bang Challenge: LJ community spn_gen_bigbang. This is part of an overall trend of writers and readers narrowing their interests and focus. For example in 2010 the Dean/Castiel Big Bang Challenge was held with over 50 particpants. Likewise the SPN Slash Big Bang and the SPN Femmeslash Big Bang challenges were begun in 2010.

As of May 2011, 244 entries were listed:

Sam/Dean: 59
Dean/Castiel: 13
SPN Het: 4
SPN Gen: 22
SPN Femslash: 2
Other SPN Pairings: 17
banner advertising 2011 Big Bang, art by switch842
Jared/Jensen: 116
RPS Gen: 3
Other RPS pairings: 8[16]

By the end of the challenge 243 stories and artworks were posted as part of the 2011 Big Bang. This was down from the 278 stories posted in 2010. According to missyjack who compiled the statistics: "I think the main factor affecting this was probably the proliferation of other big bang challenges in the fandom – there are now ten other big bang style challenges in our fandom!"[17]

Other statistics courtesy missyjack:

  • Overall canon based fiction makes up around 80% of stories with RPF making up only 20%. This has shifted a bit over time, and for 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, RPF made up 30% of fic.
  • The Supernatural Big Bang started with Supernatural canon stories in the majority, and this swung around to RPF stories dominating. In 2011 it was a 50/50 split.
  • Of the 122 RPF stories posted in 2011, eight featured pairings other than J2 and there was one gen story.
  • Unsurprisingly within Supernatural fic, slash is the dominant genre, although as is typical of Supernatural fic overall, there is a significant Gen component, with these stories making up from 21 to 33% of stories. This is actually pretty reflective of the proportion of Gen fic in Supernatural fandom, although it was decreased in the last couple of years, not in absolute numbers but as a percentage of all Supernatural fic, as the arrival and huge popularity of Dean/Castiel fiction swelled the ranks of slash.
  • When the categories are broken down a bit further, we see a definite increase in the variety and diversity of stories. There has been a steady increase in the numbers of "Other Slash" and Dean/Csstiel stories in 2010 and 2011. This may reflect the rise in secondary recurring characters on the show since season 4.
  • There were nineteen Dean/Castiel stories in 2010, and fifteen this year. This category is heavily influenced by the deancasbigbang which started in 2010, and which this year has over 50 stories and artwork due to be posted staring on October 3.[18]

2012 Big Bang

See Supernatural and J-Squared Big Bang 2012 for lists of art, vid and stories.

LJ icon for writers participating in the 2012 Big Bang. Icon by paleogymnast.

In January 2012, the 2012 Big Bang was announced. Unlike previous years, there was no banner designed for the challenge nor was there a promotional vid. paleogymnast designed LJ icons. Also, this was the first year that the community did not create a list of Big Bang fanwork bookmarks.[19] A few more writers and artists cross-posted their fanworks to the unofficial AO3 SPN J2 Big Bang collection; however the majority of fan writers continued to prefer posting their fic to their Livejournals.

The schedule

  • January 15: Writer and Artist sign ups
  • February 1: Writer sign-ups close
  • May 1: Writer rough drafts due, artist sign-ups close
  • May 7: Artist claims day!
  • June 1: Art rough drafts due
  • June 6: Posting began
  • August 15: posting ended

2013 Big Bang (incomplete)

The schedule

  • January 12: Writer and artist sign ups
  • February 1: Writer sign-ups close
  • May 1: Writer rough drafts due
  • May 3: Claims preview
  • May 4: Artist claims day
  • June 1: Art rough drafts due
  • June 5: Posting begins

2014 Big Bang (incomplete)

2015 Big Bang (incomplete)

2016 Big Bang

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 spn_j2_bigbang profile page, accessed 05 March 2010; WebCite created jan 2100.
  2. 2009 Writer Sign-up Post, accessed 5 March 2010; WebCite.
  3. 2007 WebCite
  4. 2008 Wincest, Het Gen WebCite & 2008 RPS WebCite
  5. 2009 Wincest WebCite, Other Slash WebCite, Gen WebCite, Het WebCite, RPS page 1 WebCite, RSP page 2 WebCite, RPS page 3 WebCite & Art only WebCite
  6. 2010 Sam/Dean page 1 WebCite, Sam/Dean page 2 WebCite, Other Slash WebCite, Gen WebCite, Het WebCite, RPS page 1 WebCite, RPS page 2 WebCite, RPS page 3 WebCite & Art only WebCite.
  7. 2011 Master List Webcite; 2011 RPS Page 1 WebCite; 2011 RPS page 2 WebCite; 2011 RPS Other Pairings WebCite; 2011 Sam/Dean WebCite; 2011 Dean/Castiel & Sam/Dean/Castiel WebCite; 2011 Other Slash & Femmeslash WebCite; 2011 Het WebCite; 2011 Gen Wencite
  8. SPN J2 BigBang 2010 trailer, posted January 4, 2010, accessed August 2, 2010
  9. badesquisse in spn_j2_bigbang, SPN/J2 Big Bang Delicious account, posted September 9, 2009, accessed August 3, 2010
  10. WebCite for some of the vids created for the 2007 Bigbang.
  11. WebCite for interactive sites through 2011.
  12. Based on a rough hand count using the 2010 Master Posting List the break down was: Wincest 2010: 62 vs. Wincest 2009: 49; Other Pairing 2010: 29 vs. Other Pairing 2009: 34; Gen 2010: 32 vs Gen 2009: 29; Het 2010: 9 vs. Het 2009: 3; and RPS 2010: 148 vs. RPS 2009: 138. There were 6 Art only posts.
  13. secretlytodream made a vid that mixes show footage with Big Bang art and story snippets from past years to promote the 2010 challenge. SPN J2 BigBang 2010 trailer, posted January 4, 2010, accessed August 2, 2010
  14. Need more background on why 2010 this became an issue...was there an event or series of events?
  15. a word about anonymous comments, posted by wendy on June 7, 2010; WebCite.
  16. are you excited?, posted by wendy, dated May 4, 1011; WebCite.
  17. Big Bang is over for another year, posted September 2, 2011; WebCite
  18. Big Bang is over for another year, posted September 2, 2011.
  19. As of August 29, 2012 the delicious Spn J2 bookmark lists have not been updated.