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International Fanworks Day

While patiently waiting for the new Voltron series  by Dreamworks Animation to be aired on Netflix in 2016, whether you’re having a fandom high or low moment,  wherever you are in the world, fans come together like Voltron to celebrate International Fanworks Day.

VOLTRON Mousemania

It’s 2016, and it’s the best time to be a fan.

In Australia,  in a span of a few weeks, there was a flurry of discussion about FanFiction. Anne Jamison, author of  Fic: Why Fanficiton is Taking Over The World,  was interviewed at ABC Radio’s RN Drive.  The Conversation followed with an explainer about FanFiction. HuffingtonPost Australia also jumped aboard the bandwagon of FanFiction discussion.

If you’re new to the world of fandom (or keen to broaden your fandom knowledge), I’d like to share my personal list, a few resources to kickstart your journey down the rabbit hole.

Academic Fans

This is my favourite first stop.  To admonish that lifted brow from stuffy literary types, let me introduce you to Fan Studies Network.  All the way from the UK, they hold annual conferences where scholars from around the world share and present their research studies.

Platforms

Apart from FanFiction.Net, Archive of Our Own, and Wattpad, there are other platforms to share your stories.   Kindle Worlds, Inkitt, and Penned to name a few. I’m particularly fond of Kindle Worlds, stories are complete, well-written, and even have book covers.

Podcasts

As a Voltron fan, it is imperative to listen to Let’s Voltron.  Hosted by Marc Morrell of Toonbarn, every Voltron fan who is keen to rekindle their love for the giant robot must listen to the fandom podcast.

Screenshot_2014-01-01-11-46-43-1

On a broader discussion, Fansplaining is my personal favourite.  Hosted by  Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel,  I have never missed a podcast.

Fansplaining logo

Online Magazine

While we have Daily Dot and Medium for regular articles about fanfiction,  we welcome newcomer Fan/Fic Magazine  to the fray.

fanslashfic

Books

In 2015, I acquired two books that helped enrich my fangirl life.

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over The World by Anne Jamison 

FIC BOOK COVER

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

FangirlsGuideToTheGalaxy

 

Fangirl Therapy

Confused having all the fandom feeling wreaking havoc on your sanity? Devastated about your fandom? Fangirls need not fret anymore. We now have Fangirl Therapy to help sort out our feels.

fangirltherapy

 

 

Finally, if you’re still not convinced that FanFiction  is now mainstream with that literary high brow still arched,  I’d like to share this piece by Elizabeth Monier-Williams  to help you ditch your disdain for FanFiction.

 

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Medieval FanFiction

While The Powers That Be went off-tangent with a seasoned comics writer, creating another set of Voltron Force pilots,  among #KeithandAllura fanshippers, we continue our fan-ship adventure by looking for K/A in other realms of genre fiction.

When Voltron fanfiction writer Paulina Ann introduced fans to her fanfic arc Chivalry, where she sent K/A time-travelling back to medieval Arus, I was challenged to read more of knights, clad in suits of armour and wielding broadswords.  But I also wanted to read about kickass princesses / ladies of nobility wearing armour and wielding their own weapons to defend their realms and kingdoms.

While I had a blast reading sci-fi romance and regency romance through most of 2014, I decided to bravely step out of my comfort zone and read another romance sub-genre.  By the beginning of 2015, armed with my mobile Kindle app, I stumbled upon the ebooks of historical medieval romance author Kathryn Le Veque.

book cover

In Kathryn Le Veque’s medieval world, women are strong, smart, and capable of defending themselves.

Her medieval landscape was completely different to the polite society of Regency and Victorian historical romance. Her medieval world was bloody and brutal, which reminded me of Beast King GoLion, the original Japanese anime version of Voltron that was rife with blood, gore and dismemberment.   But once I got used to the medieval landscape, I was entranced, smitten even.

KA from nicktoons promotional pics

Keith and Allura from  Voltron Force 2011 animation version where their eye colour changed from the original 80s version

VF KA Elmer Damaso coloured eyes

One of Kathryn Le Veque’s novels I particularly loved was so close  to our favourite fandom couple. “Unending Love” is about a knight and his lady with physical attributes identical to Voltron Force Keith and Allura: handsome knight Maddoc du Bois had black hair and blue eyes;  And Adelind de Aston, an earl’s granddaughter with blonde hair and green eyes. The book cover had even a Black and Blue colour palette.

book cover of

Finding K/A-lookalike in medieval romance books

I loved the book so much, I even got the audiobook edition and would listen to it while doing the dishes or cooking dinner during arsenic hours. And yes, I even cried when I first read this book. (If this was a tweet I’d be hashtagging #hopelessromantic #sorrynotsorry).

Then, I realised, writing Voltron KA shippy fanfiction is indeed a mixture of sci-fi, romance, fantasy, paranormal, and even medieval.  Thus, my Voltron AU medieval KA fanfiction “Claiming His Princess Bride” was born as a reply to a KAEX Challenge raised by cheetoy called ‘Royal Twist’.  To date, the FanFic has grown to twenty-one chapters, and I will be adding the final set of chapters by the end of November 2015.

medieval KA book cover

New Cover Art by Artist Natalia Kuhta via @TheGeekiary

Coincidentally, on 29th October, Kathryn Le Veque is generously sharing her characters from one of her series The Wolfe Pack. She has opened the doors to writers who are keen to write and continue her characters’ journey through fanfiction on Kindle Worlds.


Wear Your Fandom

I have been following HerUniverse, GoldBubbleClothing, and FanAlley  on social media and I felt very envious of how much of their merchandise catered to geekgirls and fangirls.

Because of the ridiculously low number of Voltron merch for fangirls, since my last blog post I have been busy finding ways to use my creativity in order to express and show off my Voltron geekgirl / fangirl mode.

First, I had all my Voltron tees altered with shorter sleeves & tapered sides.  This was one of the tees I have had altered:
blogpost - Voltron keepcalm tee

Next, I bought a vintage bedsheet on etsy and had a seamstress turn it into a summer dress.
blogpost - Voltron summer dress

Finally, since I’m from Melbourne, Australia, I approached two Aussie custom crafters / upcyclers.

First was GlamComix, who used comic book covers and pages, repurposing them into useful fangirl items. Since we love #KeithandAllura, @Deensey hunted down old Voltron books and used pages from both Voltron DDP and Dynamite comics.
blogpost - GlamComix

Headband, Bangle, Notebook and Flask by GlamComix

Then, there’s @dspdavey from Two Cheeky Monkeys Jewellery. As a upcycler, crafter and jeweller, she has literature jewellery (lockets, pendants etc) on her etsy and madeit stores.
Using our commissioned artworks by Elmer Damaso, artist of the Voltron Robotech crossover comics, we now have these new gorgeous creations below:
blogpost - TwoCheekyMonkeys custom necklace

necklace watch with 80s Voltron Keith and Allura

blogpost - TwoCheekyMonkeys VF custom necklace

necklace locket with Voltron Force Keith and Allura

blogpost - TwoCheekyMonkeys custom magnets

magnets

Also, she featured the custom Voltron items on her blog.

And recently, for the first time ever, there is now a Voltron ladies t-shirt over at the official Voltron estore. They also have a new Blazing Sword pendant by Han Cholo, which IHMO would go well with the ladies tee.

blogpost - Voltron ladies tee

Voltron ladies t-shirt

blogpost - Voltron Blazing Sword

Voltron Blazing Sword by Han Cholo

But because our blog is mainly about the beloved canon couple, like Voltron, we’ve combined both pendant and locket to form one gorgeous fanship necklace.

Blogpost - Voltron fanship necklace1Blogpost - Voltron fanship necklace2

Perhaps one day, when DreamWorks Animation comes up with either a new Voltron series or the much-awaited Voltron movie,  Voltron will eventually have that ‘mega-fandom’ status with devoted fans and followers to rival fandoms like Harry Potter and Star Wars, and there would be more merchandise for Voltron fangirls.

For now, we want to show the world that there are devoted fangirls and shippers, who love our favourite giant robot, who would not only write FanFiction, or draw fanart, or cosplay Voltron and its characters, we want to wear our fandom for the world to see.

blogpost - Voltron summer dress with Tagabike

@cubbieberry with her Tagabike


Commissioned Artwork of #Voltron Force #KeithandAllura

Voltron Force Keith and Allura by Elmer Damaso

After listening to Let’s Voltron podcast #31, where podcast host Marc Morrell interviewed two Voltron comics artists N. Steven Harris and Jacob Chabot, two avid podcast listeners from Canada and Australia had a light-bulb idea.

Josette and cubbie, fangirls and shippers from completely opposite sides of the world, were blown away by Voltron’s latest completed five-part Robotech / Voltron crossover comic mini-series, where they saw ’80s Voltron and its beloved canon pair Keith and Allura make an amazing comeback with brilliant artistic precision based on the original Japanese animation or anime style. It was all thanks to the comics’ talented artist, Elmer Damaso.

Because these two shippers also fangirled the Voltron Force (VF) 2011 version of Keith and Allura, they decided to commission Mr Damaso to create a digital artwork of Keith and Allura from this specific version of Voltron.  Mr Damaso accepted the challenge, and after several exchanged emails that flew across several timezones, he sent first a rough pencil sketch, then an inked version, until finally, a fully rendered version…with a few minor… ah…changes *sheepish grin*.

Since this was Josette and cubbie’s first request for commissioned artwork,  they had a couple of hoops for Mr Damaso to jump through. First, they wanted the artwork to closely resemble Keith and Allura from the Nicktoons cartoons version; Second, there was a question about a ring. As VF KA shippers, they wanted to know whether Keith and Allura were engaged or married at the end of VF series? Since they requested the commission before the Voltron 30th Anniversary book was released, they wanted something…ambiguous perhaps? It could either be a wedding ring or an engagement ring; it would all depend on the viewer’s point of view. And finally, they had to figure out the hotly-debated and contested issue regarding eye colour.

To cut a long story short, we are happy to share that Mr Damaso was most patient with the two over-eager nutbrained fangirls-shippers (*waves hi to Elmer*). Josette and cubbie have a version of VF with coloured eyes in their private collection.  However, for the purpose of this blog where ALL versions of Voltron are loved and supported, they’ve decided to share the artwork where Keith and Allura’s eye colour remained unchanged from its inked version, hoping to appease the 80s Voltron fangirls who preferred Keith’s eyes either black or dark brown.  (yes, inside the kaex yahoogroup, among KA fans themselves, divisions exist regarding the different versions of K/A).

Anywhoooo….

Thank you Mr Elmer Damaso for an amazing commissioned artwork. Brilliant job. Two Thumbs Up.

We hope World Events Productions and Dreamworks Animation would re-hire you and the Digital Arts Chefs for Voltron’s next comics project.  We would love to see more of the Defender of the Universe and its beloved pilots, drawn faithfully from the classic 80s cartoons that we all grew up with.


Gingerbread Voltron

For this month’s blog post, let’s all welcome Voltron  #KeithandAllura fan, Josette Melanson from Canada, sharing her amazing story about Gingerbread (GB) Voltron.

GB Voltron and JM

xoxoxo

Right before Christmas, I stumbled upon a photo on Facebook and YouTube clip on how to make a gingerbread Voltron.  This blazing, edible artwork was made by cake artist Gonzuela Bastarache.

GB Voltron Gonzuela and Voltron

Ms Bastarache, whose confectionery creations were regularly featured in Cake Master magazine, was recently on Food Network’s Sugar Dome’s Halloween Wars, where she was member of a competing team called ‘Sweet Nightmares

What surprised me about the talented and popular cake artist Ms Bastarache was that she also lives in my city of Moncton, New Brunswick.  Located in east coast, Atlantic side of Canada, Moncton, known asCanada’s polite and honest city, is a small city with a population of 146,000.

After the Christmas holidays, back at work, my dear friend and fellow Voltron fan Stephen, (who shared the Voltron prize Memorabilia)  told me about GB Voltron.

GB Voltron and Voltron fan Stephen

He mentioned that, like most edible, freshly-made baked goods having short shelf lives, a close friend rescued a very special gingerbread confection from being tossed out, and had it delivered it to his house. 

Stephen generously offered to share the gingerbread robot creation.

GB Voltron Top Closeup

It was love at first bite…er…sight. We were in complete awe! I mean, how could two people in little old Moncton be in possession to what we thought was the greatest piece of edible art?

GB Voltron Stephen with lionhead attack

GB Voltron YummyEven though I am pictured taking a huge bite of the mighty robot, I honestly could not bring myself to eat it. This is Voltron after all! Since neither of us had any room in our freezer to store the two foot gingerbread man without it falling apart, we resolved ourselves to the unevitable. But before discarding the now stale cookie, my friend gave me the head of my beloved Blue Lion as a keepsake. Best gift ever!


Happy 1st Anniversary @LetsVoltron podcast!

LetsVoltronBlogpost-Logo

I’ve never religiously followed podcasts until the Let’s Voltron podcast came along.  Hearing 80’s Voltron Commander Keith Kogane shout out Voltron’s activation sequence, together with my favourite Voltron Force soundtrack as the podcast’s intro gives me goosebumps. Every. Single. Time.

Listening to the Let’s Voltron podcast became a more wholistic experience when podcaster Marc Morrell discussed Voltron stuff that I had purchased or was keen to purchase.  Having something tangible pushed the fangirl learning into an experiential level.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-RobotechVoltronCrossover

Podcast [002] Robotech / Voltron #1 with Tommy Yune gave a fantastic insight with regards to the crossover comics series.  As a newbie Voltron fan, I was eager to complete my first ever comic collection.  I am now the proud owner of both digital version and hard-copy of the Robotech / Voltron crossover series.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-Toynami30thAnniv

I never had my own Voltron action figure.  Back in the 80s, I wasn’t allowed to play with robots as they were “boys’ toys”.  After listening to Podcast [005] George Sohn & Toynami’s 30th Anniversary Voltron Collector’s Set  I wanted to save up for this beauty.  And on my 41st birthday, I finally had my wish fulfilled.  It’s never too late to own your own Voltron robot.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-Omnibus

As a late-comer to the Voltron fandom, one of the first items that seasoned fangirls told me to purchase was this hard-to-find Voltron Omnibus by Dan Jolley.  The Omnibus was published in 2008 and comprised the compilation of Devil’s Due comics that had started in 2003. This version of Voltron had also been the backbone of some of the Voltron fanfiction writers on FanFiction.Net.    Reading the book, the fanfiction stories, and hearing Podcast [007]: Voltron DDP Comics Author Dan Jolley‘s inputs completed the fangirl experience.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-VoltronForceComicNovels

As big fans of the Voltron Force version (Nicktoons 2011), my 8yo daughter and I totally geeked out when we listened to Marc Morrell interview Brian Smith, writer the Voltron Force comic novels, in Podcast [008]This podcast episode was also a kid-friendly episode with Marc Morrell’s son Lucas as his co-host.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-GoLionLV

Podcast episodes [006], [015], [022] and [030]  were in-depth discussion and comparison of Voltron episodes 1-16 both 80s Voltron and Go-Lion versions. And each time, after listening to each podcast episode, I wanted to pull out my DVD box sets and watch the cartoons straightaway.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-Dynamite

Voltron Dynamite Comics Issue #11 (with #KeithandAllura on the cover) was my very first Voltron comic book.  I was never into comic books before.  Until Voltron Dynamite.  The comics writer for this series was Brandon Thomas (Podcast [021]), who was the first Voltron comics writer I ‘met’ on Twitter and actively replied to Voltron fans’ queries on this social media platform.   The artist for Dynamite Voltron issues 6-12 was N.Steven Harris (Podcast [031]), who gave Voltron fans amazing preview pages via Deviantart.  During that time, I was in my first school term at the local community art school and I struggled with drawing different perspectives. N Steven Harris’ Voltron artwork was my inspiration during that school term in basic drawing and painting.

LetsVoltronBlogpost-AnnivBook

And the pièce de résistance, the highlight of the year, is this coffee-table book “From Days of Long Ago” where a group of people have come together to make Voltron’s 30th Anniversary very special.  It took three different podcasts to cover and discuss this awesome tome,  Podcast [029] with NYCC Preview,  Podcast [031] with Jacob Chabot’s interview, and Podcast [034]: “From Days of Long Ago”

LetsVoltronBlogpost-WEPLogo

Finally, the trifecta of all the Voltron podcast episodes is from the World Events Productions (WEP) team.  To hear Voltron stuff straight from WEP is pure gold for this fangirl who lives far, far away from Voltron HQ. Listen to Mr Bob Koplar in podcast episodes [012] [013] and [035];  Ms Tiffany Ilardi in Podcast [028] and Mr Ted Koplar in Podcast [019]

Thank you Marc Morrell for a fantastic 2014 with mind-blowing thirty-five podcasts.   Voltron fans around the world are so lucky and are very grateful for all the Voltron updates.   We look forward to more podcasts and we are keen to see what’s in store for Voltron in 2015.  In the meantime, we would to share our wishlist for future podcasts:

– Interview Dreamworks Animation

– Interview voice actors of Keith and Allura from Voltron Force

– Interview Tommy Yune and Elmer Damaso during TP release date of Robotech/Voltron crossover comics


Happy 30th Anniversary #Voltron!

blogpost updated on September 11, 2014 (Australian EST)

From Days of Long Ago…   

(30 years ago, to be precise, September 10, 1984)

From Uncharted Regions Of The Universe…  

(That started from WEP‘s office in St. Louis, Missouri USA)

Comes a Legend…

The Legend of VOLTRON !

And here we are, thirty years later,  September 10, 2014, we continue to cheer, swoon, tweet,  blog, write fanfiction and fangirl Voltron.

To celebrate #Voltron30, #KeithandAllura fans have dedicated their works months before the anniversary.  A big shoutout to Mertz (our most prolific KA fanfiction writer) and Paulina Ann (our fastest KA fanfiction writer) who dedicated their fanfics “Happily Ever After: Sodalis Vitae”  and “Part of Your World” respectively.  And a special mention to  Arus, for her special blogpost.

On behalf of fans who couldn’t make it to the 30th Anniversary’s Google hangout / event,  who are not on any social media platform, who continue to express their love for Voltron in their own way, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to World Events Productions (WEP) for Voltron!

Sending you virtual cake slice for this special day

 

Cake 1 watermark unboxing

Unboxing

Cake 2 watermark

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Fondant

Cake 3 watermark

(egg-free, dairy-free) chocolate cake

 

And finally, for the entire month of September, KA fans from KAEX Yahoogroup have raised a KAEX Challenge with the theme “Anniversary”.  Here are the replies from the challenge

 

Fanart

voltronmylari – Kiss

Fanfiction

cubbieBlueMako – A Casual Conversation Among Friends

Paulina Ann – Remembrance

Nerdmom1701 – Waiting for Now *new*

Cpt Kallan Beyda – To Love and Be Loved *new*

xoxo

xoxo

xoxo

xoxo


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