Fandom comes from within

Fandom

Over 20 years of being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan, many memories have filled my head, some of which I hold very close to my heart.  Even though time has changed, the memories I will never forget are of those who have touched me through the fandom.  I’ll always be thankful for any lessons learned, gifts given, or time spent with me.  This is a chance to share some of those times.  So I would like to share a story that dates back to before the internet, to a younger me reading the letter pages of the Mirage Comic Books, to a Turtle Fan who still thrives in the fandom to this day and the lesson I hold from meeting her online.

 

There was a letter in the back of the Mirage Comics from a girl my age.  She spoke of her fandom true in that letter and shared how much the Turtles had touched her life.  Her favorite Turtle was Michaelangelo and she had the plush Michaelangelo doll that she brought everywhere with her.  As my mom and I read this letter, it reminded us so much of me and how I felt with the fandom, that we even contacted Mirage to try and get a snail mail address so I could write her as a pen pal.  Of course, they could not give out that kind of information, so the young me felt that I would never meet her.

A few years had past since reading that letter, and at this time I realized that I was a big a Ninja Turtle fan.  I saw how much I still did, how much I still bought, and just how much I bent over backwards for Ninja Turtles.  Online, I would introduce myself in IRC channels as “The Biggest Turtle Fan, until I find someone bigger”.  While I had the golden rule in my head that no matter what you do, there is always someone better than you, I still felt that it had to be proven.  So when I was challenged on the TMNT-L Mailing list for the title, I jumped up and wrote out the Challenge.

The Challenge I came up with for TMNT Fans: Kevin Eastman owns a Museum in Northampton, MA called the “Words and Pictures Museum”. Once a year they hold a membership party and there is a 50/50 chance that Kevin Eastman might show up to this party.  Any true large TMNT fan would travel to this party for the chance to meet Kevin Eastman.  Show up to the Museum for this party.

To me I felt it was a no brainer challenge.  While I’m not rich, I still managed to be go to this party since 1994, as my mom would do the 12 to 13 hour drive to get us to Northampton.  I was sure it was a good challenge, because any Turtle fan should take the chance to meet Kevin Eastman, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.  So the challenge was in light heart, but something fans could enjoy.

Shortly after I posted the challenge, I got an email from a new member to TMNT-L.  She wrote me on how my challenge was unfair and that not every fan could travel or had the family that would travel with them for a challenge like this.  The fandom was not about how much you own, what you’ve done, or even in how much you’ve seen.  The fandom is in your heart and judging fans on something like this is unfair.  Her email touched me.  I wrote back saying sorry, about that and even wrote to TMNT-L saying the challenge was off.  Though if anyone wanted to still go, they could meet me there.

For a few years, I became friends with this girl who wrote me.  I learned that she was the same girl that wrote that letter in the back of the Mirage Comics all those years ago.  She sent me a video of a TV show she was on where she got to show her TMNT collection on TV.   I would find it funny, as I would read emails from her out loud to my mother and she would ask if it was her or me that wrote the email.  I felt at that time, the two of us were a lot alike.  While we both have taken new roads now, and it’s clear that we are not the same young girls who met online all those years ago, I will never forget that short span of our friendship and the fun we had together.

To this day I remember her original email to me about fans and how we’re all equal.  As long as there’s a spark of love for the Turtles within us, we are fans.  This is the reason why on TV shows, I refuse to say I am the #1 fan.  Instead, I will say I am one of the largest fans to work with the directors who try to coach me.  For I know she was right and is still right to this day.  Fandom is never about how much you own, where you’ve gone, who you know or what you know.  Fandom is what you make of it.  No one can say that you are any less than a fan than they are.

I know if she reads this, she’ll know who she is.  So I would like to say “Thank You” for that email all those years ago.  I have never forgotten.  And even though we are on new roads, I still respect your fandom.  Best of luck to you.

Do you feel there are different level of fans? Do you think fans should be compared like that?  Or do you agree that we should all be equal and just enjoy the fandom all around us?  Please share your thoughts, comments and questions below!

Entertainment Earth

 

Comments

Hi there,

I always read your posts but never really take the time to give you a reply (sorry about that). I agree with you that there isn't a biggest fan of anything. What if i buy a huge collection and go from nothing to allot of merchandise. Does that make me the biggest fan? I don't think so. I must say i am a turtles fan just like allot of other people around there. I am a nostalgia lover and the turtles are a part of my nostalgia needs I wish to remember and cherish that kid in 1990 who was the "biggest fan" ever at least that was what i told everyone. I don't think there are really different kinds of "levels" of fandom some people have more money to spend on merch than others thats all. It's about the amount of people that enjoy tmnt the more people the more for us to enjoy ( tv series, action figures etc) . One fan is more dedicated than the other that's all imo. Keep up the good work with the site and i love watching your show and reading your blogs!

Wow Michele, just Wow. Could you stroke your own TMNT-ego anymore? You were just dying to make sure that everyone knew you were better than some girl that also got published in the mailbag heavens forbid. Why didn't you ever get it on with Tokka, manhater? Phoenix does most of the work on this site seeing how poor your skills are at blogging.

Museum? Give it up, just drop the Turtles, eBay some of that stuff you wasted your Parent's and your own money on. Well now you're in dire straits and and have only government assistance to rely on yet still E-Beg on Kickstarter. You've chased the Turtles enough, Über geek. The themed bedroom isn't funny anymore.

You're homely and that's why you hide behind Turtles and still look for love at the cons bragging how some other geek thought you were cool. You say the Turtles don't exist. I think you're in denial because they seem to be the only "real" thing in your crazy fangirl life. You learned how to read from the Turtle comics that mommy bought you. Isn't that a touching story just like how they saved you from the bullies? Maybe you should have went on Dr. Phil and he could have helped you past your demons.

"Look at me I'm 'Iveytello' and I've made hundreds of other hardcore Turtle fans jealous because I made an absolute fool of myself in front of the world on VH1, Ripley's, and my neighborhood where I was the 5th Ninja Turtle 'Turtle Girl'." The money's run out, the TMNT 1984 is breaking down and mommy can only do so much for you now. Wouldn't she be better in adult care facilities? Your excuse for being homebound, jobless, and addicted at peril to a strange kid's show just gets you weird looks from your peers at this point.

Keep bragging about "The Sewer" and the one other guy who didn't know who you were at the comic book shop. You stalk everyone that had anything to do with the Turtles professing you know them. One of the first things you wanted to say was how bad you don't want explicit content about TMNT but no doubt you've probably gone there too, hypocrite!

So middle aged woman The Turtle Fandom is tired of seeing your butt, your bra straps, your goofy spectacled mug and the nerdiest Mikey voice that comes from your throat. You really are a character; one that Julia Sweeney portrayed on SNL, tomboy!

What are you gonna do use Turtle Power and Karate me gimpy! Straight girls only closet case. You just hate a male perspective, fat butt!

Michele Ivey's picture

I do find this funny. How little is known here and how much one assumes.

Sorry that you see a letter of showing that I appreciate a TMNT fan who has touched my life as an attack on that fan. If I trying to stroke an ego, I would not give credit to where credit is due. Thanks for you letter, and sorry you're so blind to what was said here.

This post was a brilliant and touching one, :) I agree with you 100%, Michele. And as for "Good Turtle Fan", you should not even bother replying to his or her post, it has got "troll" written all over it. It is one thing to try and make an argument or get a point across, but it is another thing altogether when you blatantly insult someone. Get a life. If you don't like the site or Michele, than stop coming here. In the time it took you to type those paragraphs, you could have found something more productive to do instead...

Hey kids! It's time for another exciting episode of "Trolling The Troll" !!! (applause) The show where we take a post from the studio audience and give it the "special" attention that it deserves! (applause)

Today's episode features a very heart felt and not to mention pathetic post from our very "special" guest "Good Turtle Fan"!! (booooooo... hsssssss...)

Let us begin :)

"Wow Michele, just Wow.

World Of Warcraft Michele, just World Of Warcraft.

"Could you stroke your own TMNT-ego anymore?"

I'm betting ya she could, but you'd have to pay to watch ;) (rim shot) (applause)

"You were just dying to make sure that everyone knew you were better than some girl that also got published in the mailbag heavens forbid."

um.. did you eat paint chips as a child? Her entire post was about how she finds the other fans to be her equal. Question, did you even read her post? I mean, I would just like to point out that it would appear, correct me if I'm wrong, that Michele is thanking that "girl that also got published in the mailbag" for the friendship they once had...

"Why didn’t you ever get it on with Tokka, manhater?"

Wait! Wait! Wait! So let me get this straight, if a woman doesn't have sex with every man that she meets she is a "manhater"? All your male friends must LOVE you! Unless you're a guy who feels that way, in that case you're a sexist fuck and you should fall off of something tall and land on something sharp!

" Phoenix does most of the work on this site seeing how poor your skills are at blogging."

You forgot a comma in that sentence. Perhaps you should get someone to do your trolling for you.

"Museum? Give it up, just drop the Turtles, eBay some of that stuff you wasted your Parent’s and your own money on."

Why? So you can spend your parent's money to buy if off of ebay and start your own Museum? Sounds to me like you are a sad, bitter, jealous, little person who thinks that they'll be bigger if they attempt to publicly stomp on someone else's dream. Do you need a hug?

" Well now you’re in dire straits and and have only government assistance to rely on yet still E-Beg on Kickstarter."

Well aren't we just the observant little stalker? Admit it! You're obsessed and head over heals in love with Michele! Now how about that hug?

"You’ve chased the Turtles enough, Über geek."

So I take that you've grown out of chasing the Turtles yourself, you've moved up to chasing Turtle fans? By the way, keep up with the times, being a geek is cool now. ;)

"The themed bedroom isn’t funny anymore."

Oh, it was supposed to be funny? Michele, you should put clown noses on all of the pictures of the turtles in your room to appease this twit!

"You’re homely and that’s why you hide behind Turtles and still look for love at the cons bragging how some other geek thought you were cool."

Excuse me "Good Turtle Fan" ( such a geektastic nickname), are you just upset that the "other geek" wasn't you? Nice run on sentence! You really need someone to do your trolling for you...

"You say the Turtles don’t exist."

Sounds legit....

" I think you’re in denial because they seem to be the only “real” thing in your crazy fangirl life."

Wait! What? So she says, according to you: "the Turtles don’t exist". Now you tell her that she's in denial about the turtle not existing, and that SHE'S crazy? I hate to brake it to you "Good Turtle Fan", but the Turtles don't really exist. They are fiction. Except and move on.

" You learned how to read from the Turtle comics that mommy bought you."

I learned how to read from "Thundercats" comics that my mommy bought me. What did your mommy buy you that would help you to read? Nothing? She didn't care and try to help you by getting you things that you might be interested in reading? You ready for that hug now?

"Isn’t that a touching story just like how they saved you from the bullies?"

Missed another comma there sport.

" Maybe you should have went on Dr. Phil and he could have helped you past your demons."

Maybe you should take a laxative and pass your demons.

“Look at me I’m ‘Iveytello’ and I’ve made hundreds of other hardcore Turtle fans jealous because I made an absolute fool of myself in front of the world on VH1, Ripley’s, and my neighborhood where I was the 5th Ninja Turtle ‘Turtle Girl’.”

Geez... that sentence just went on, and on, and on... So we're back to you being jealous? Was that supposed to be you on VH1? Was that supposed to be you on Ripley's? Is this how you feel that Michele has wronged you? Is this why you're stalking and trolling her? Want a cookie? NO! No cookie for you! Bad jealous stalker!

"The money’s run out, the TMNT 1984 is breaking down and mommy can only do so much for you now."

Geez god! You sound like some sort of crappy super villain! "It's no use now Superfriends!" (insert evil laugh).

"Wouldn’t she be better in adult care facilities?"

Wouldn't you be better off with a lobotomy?

"Your excuse for being homebound, jobless, and addicted at peril to a strange kid’s show just gets you weird looks from your peers at this point."

Is that why she keeps landing interviews with successful actors, writers, and artist? Our do you consider pathetic, judgemental, pessimistic, twats like yourself to be her "peers"?

"Keep bragging about “The Sewer” and the one other guy who didn’t know who you were at the comic book shop."

Are those your favorite stories?

"You stalk everyone that had anything to do with the Turtles professing you know them."

She's got video evidence to back that up... if you're gonna be stalking her, you need to brush up on your skills. I'll give you a hint to help ya out a bit... You'll find the video's of her talking to these people on this blog, you twit!

" One of the first things you wanted to say was how bad you don’t want explicit content about TMNT but no doubt you’ve probably gone there too, hypocrite!"

"Hypocrite" is a pretty strong word there, you got anything to back your assumption up? No? Didn't think so, numbskull.

"So middle aged woman The Turtle Fandom is tired of seeing your butt, your bra straps, your goofy spectacled mug and the nerdiest Mikey voice that comes from your throat. You really are a character; one that Julia Sweeney portrayed on SNL, tomboy!"

Holy crap! You must be the most beautiful person in the world! Only very pretty people hide behind computer screens and judge others on the way they look. Fact. You dog.

"What are you gonna do use Turtle Power and Karate me gimpy!"

Looks to me like she's gonna pretty much ignore you, but don't feel so all alone... I'm here for ya, now how about that hug dumbass!

"Straight girls only closet case."

Now Ninja Turtle fans are anti-gay? Shame... Bi chicks are so much more fun! Thanks, by the way for letting all the fans out there know that they have to be straight if they're gonna be fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm SURE you speak for every fan when you said that too. So tell me again who made that rule? You're "God"?

"You just hate a male perspective, fat butt!"

um... yeah, that's why she's way into what started off as a boys cartoon... ya tard.

This concludes today's episode of "Trolling The Troll"! We'd like to thank our lovely studio audience and all the viewers at home! Don't forget now, "Good Turtle Fan" is a no good, scum sucking, boot-licking, weasel toed, beer bellied, sniveling, snoveling, worthless hunk of slime!

Goodnight everybody!

This is lame. It's accept not except... you're the one obsessed with defending Michele when she just thought the post was funny anyway. Correcting me? Your queen's dyslexia caused a couple errors in her menial response. It was barely a troll post and more of a fan letter throwing dark.

You misunderstood my reply to your " fan letter throwing dark". It wasn't as much as me defending Michele, as it was me "throwing dark" at a dim witted troll (that's you) ;) How's it feel? Want some more?

As far as Michele's dyslexia goes, at least she has an excuse for her spelling errors and not so great grammar. What's your excuse for being a dumbass? I was only pointing out that while trolling someone and saying things like "Phoenix does most of the work on this site seeing how poor your skills are at blogging", you should stand back and take a look at your own grammar. Your " fan letter throwing dark" was a train wreck of countless run on sentences. Judge not lest ye be judged. Get gonorrhea and die!

Love always,

Dr. Peers

Get a life. No wait let me write a book to you first. Just leave. Die Die Die and all that stupid crap. You guys take stuff way too seriously. Michele didn't need your white knighting.

Michele Ivey's picture

Heh I still find all this of this funny, seeing as how this is even still going. But I do have to reply to this one. "Michele didn't need your white knighting", very true I don't need it. But if people want to come in and say their peace to your comment, they are more than welcome too. Just like I never needed your "throwing dark". I guess the lesson here is, if you can't take it. Don't dish it out.

BTW : You say you're not a troll. Your original comment had nothing to do with the topic of the post, which was treating everyone equal as fans. You attacked. And you hide behind a fake online name. That is trolling. Oh and being a bit weird for using so many subjects that are old from my life and acting as if you know me, if you hate me as much as your comment says. Than I find it very very funny that you read my posts so much and waste your time of life. Easy answer, if you don't want to see me... don't go to my sites ;)

Thanks for the laughs

I am going to have to use my hot nunchuck fury if you don't back off....

It pleases me that you're still responding :) I feel that I'm getting to know you better, almost like we're old friends! Say, you can be my new " Special Friend"! We can make sloppy joes and watch Don Knotts films! Can I call you "Dad-Doo"?! Wait, never mind, I think that "Dumbass" fits you better ;)

I agree, this was a good laugh. I still think that it takes someone with waaayyyy too much time on their hands to come up with something like that though...

How uncool hahaha!

Oh yes, thank god we have the authority on what's "cool" and what's "uncool" here! Please tell us more about how "cool" you are... Dumbass.

Sorry about the earlier comment Dr. Peers, I meant for that to be a reply to "Good Turtle Fan", not Michele. Anyways, I feel like this has dragged on long enough, I will not be replying to the troll anymore. I would advise that you do the same. Sorry about this whole thing Michele, it's a shame that such a nice and touching post had to be brought down by people like this.

Don't worry Spec, I knew who that comment was for ;) I'll keep feeding the troll, it's kinda like my new pet :) I named it "Dumbass"! I'm thinking of investing in a collar and water bowl for it! ;)

Hahahaha XD I can't stop laughing... man when I need help on how to handle a troll, I will refer back to your posts!

Oh wow, Ninja Turtles. Now that takes me back. Your site seems like a lot of fun. I remember.. Wait a minute.. Ugh.. What is that smell? Did I just step in something.. It smells like a Troll has been here. You can always tell when a troll has been around because they never bath. They spend all of their time hiding behind a keyboard waiting for the chance to pounce. They spew garbage everywhere and crap on the opinions of others. Then they roll around in that crap and cackle madly to themselves while enjoying the rush they get from their own filth. Thankfully Trolls have many weaknesses. Common sense confuses them. Logic causes them great pain. Bringing them into the light so everyone can see them as they really are causes them to shrivel up. And if all else fails, they are deathly allergic to soap.
Michele, you wrote a very touching post. It is obvious to me that you are passionate about the Turtles and a genuine fan. While I cannot say you are "The Greatest" after reading what you posted I can say that you are Great.
As for the Troll that calls itself "Good Turtle Fan", I wonder how it can call you a hypocrite when it obviously learned nothing from the Turtles.


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