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Birth of a 'Horrible' Fandom
August 31, 2008 9:32 AM   Subscribe

A brief look at the Big Bang birth of a fandom: the explosion of 'Dr. Horrible' fandom in just 47 days. Quite a lot of "more inside" follows.

First, there's the fanfic videos that try to expand the universe. Such as Dr. Horrible: the Early Years (1 2 3 4 5), and Dr. Dreadful's YouTube Riposte. There's applications for the Evil League of Evil as well, including Average, Yin and Yang, Short Change, the Allergen, the Parasite, the Horse Thief, Custodious Rex, Capt. Shrovewreaker (the Breakfast Pirate), Mistress Paragon, and the Death Giggle. (Ever wonder how Dr. Horrible's application was received at the League?) There's Evil Horse's rival, the Evil Germ-man; Dr. Horrible has the Weapon gunning for him; the Henchman's Union is recruiting; and catDWM's made a musical application to be Dr. Horrible's sidekick (her competition is puppetry).

Second, there's the fan creations that take the show and do something adorable or amazing or weird with it — always cute kid covers such as Laundry Day (aw!) or Bad Horse (Preschooler Mumbler Edition), not to mention a few good covers by adults, too. (Speaking of adult covers, rickrolls are so passé ... have you been Bad Horse'd? Felicia Day has. Although she wasn't Bad Horse'd in German.) There's the guy who plays a duet with himself on "My Eyes/On the Rise" — in character — as both the "Penny violin" and the "Dr. Horrible violin", playing his own piano backup as well. There's ringtones, limericks, HALO machinima (1 2 3 4 5), My Little Horrible Ponies (including Capt. Hammer) (which is almost as cute as a commercial L'il Kaylee), and karaoke tracks (soon to be officially touring as a singalong, although the show is already being Rocky Horror-ed). (And there's LibraryThing doing crowdsource research as to what's on Horrible's library shelf.)

And the world isn't lacking for official Dr. Horrible material, either. There's Felicia Day, with her own Twitter channel and her own excellent fan production, The Guild; she's caught "twittering under the table", requests that someone post it on Vimeo, and comments there. She does a duet with Jonathan Coulton on "Still Alive", and the Penny Arcade guys want to groom her. The Whedons aren't exactly naifs when it comes to an online presence either; they're Twittering as well (and even passed along this little off-topic gem to their followers) and the world now has a Capt. Hammer comic and the official Evil League of Evil website (e-mail Bad Horse). (Not to mention presences on MySpace and Facebook.)

If you've not been over-Horribled by now, you might want to sit down for the 53-minute Dr. Horrible ComicCon panel with Joss and the cast (1 2 3 4 5), read Entertainment Weekly's oral history, read Warren Ellis' comments on the musical, or muse upon what would happen if Capt. Hammer and Mal met. If you're still not over-Horribled, you could go to WhedonFilter (er, Whedonesque, but running MeFi software, I believe) or Wonderflonium (the latter of which was a great help with finding some of the videos), where there's a great deal more singing, fan art, and music videos.

All in just 47 days. That's a lot of Wikipedias, I imagine.
posted by WCityMike (42 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice post. Where's the part about Mythbusters?
posted by acro at 9:37 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and io9.
posted by WCityMike at 9:42 AM on August 31, 2008


Oh, and fanfiction.net.
posted by WCityMike at 9:45 AM on August 31, 2008


My God, it's full of fanfic!
posted by hellojed at 9:58 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


WCityMike, Whedonesque does not run on MeFi software. Milo V., also known as user/2167, built it, based on the code he uses to propel his own blog.
posted by prolific at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


hellojed: love your handle, man. Great book. prolific: I stand corrected.
posted by WCityMike at 10:02 AM on August 31, 2008


Go, online content, go! Go straight into the arms of independent profitability! *crossed fingers*
posted by batmonkey at 10:03 AM on August 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


Good heavens! Without a doubt, the morst horrible post of all time.
posted by mwhybark at 10:14 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this the advent of "release early, release often" applied to film making?
posted by sdodd at 10:19 AM on August 31, 2008


Not Horrible-related, but if you've already seen The Guild, you'll get a chuckle from this. Don't view it if you've not seen it yet, though.
posted by WCityMike at 10:29 AM on August 31, 2008


The last link of this post, the "a lot of Wikipedias" one, is highly recommended, and could serve as a whole FPP unto itself. As one who is not fussy on the rest of this topic, I'm glad I was intrigued enough to click it. Thanks!

(And ugh, I almost used the phrase "user-generated content" in this comment. Yuck!)
posted by roombythelake at 10:42 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wonderful post. I was seriously frozen in a permanent state of smit when Felicia Day sang on stage with Jonathan Coulton at PAX this year.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:42 AM on August 31, 2008


> The last link of this post, the "a lot of Wikipedias" one, is highly recommended, and could serve as a whole FPP unto itself.

It did.
posted by WCityMike at 10:43 AM on August 31, 2008


Dr. Horrible guitar tabs/chords with lyrics.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:05 AM on August 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


soon to be officially touring as a singalong

In the wake of that uncoolkids.org post, however, the Dr. Horrible twitter said "No official plans have been made for sing-alongs AT ALL. Not yet anyway..." and said "To clarify - yes, sing-alongs are in our future, but we have not made any solid arrangements as of yet. Talks, yes. Official plans, no."

So don't simply assume that one particular group has some sort of lock on making a nationally-touring show out of it.
posted by theonetruebix at 11:06 AM on August 31, 2008


I love the structure of this post. An explosion is promised and delivered.
posted by Free word order! at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, just wow. I had no idea Dr. Horrible had taken on such a life of it's own.

The guy astounds me. Someone explain to me again why the powers that be don't have Whedon working on at least two productions at all times.
posted by -t at 11:53 AM on August 31, 2008


I love that the audience is singing along the whole time on the JoCo and Felicia Day video.
posted by -t at 11:56 AM on August 31, 2008


Oh, those ponies are just too damned perfect.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:20 PM on August 31, 2008


I really want to see the whole thing re-enacted with ponies.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:28 PM on August 31, 2008


I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of high-school musical productions of this.
posted by empath at 2:02 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I feel like the only 'net geek who hasn't seen Dr. Horrible. And I'm generally a whedon fan, I just haven't gotten around to looking for the original. And now with all this fandom stff popping up I'll probably never find it, just a lot of fan vids.
posted by aclevername at 2:13 PM on August 31, 2008


aclevername: Original is here, or you can buy it from iTunes for a few dollars.
posted by teraflop at 2:38 PM on August 31, 2008


For some reason, I bought Dr. Horrible from iTunes. Which was annoying as I first watched it from a link on metafilter for free, and I don't generally have crappy iTunes installed on any computers. (Yea MediaMonkey!) Then it turned up for free again on Hulu. Yea Hulu [already linked above]!

Anyhow, re Dr. Horrible, someone did something right, because now I just sing, and sing, and sing!

"A maaaaan's got to do what a maaaan's got to do..." ad infinitum.

Worse, I have got all my friends at least to watch it if not hooked on doing the same thing.

Assimilation is merrily futile!
posted by humannaire at 3:56 PM on August 31, 2008


The guy astounds me. Someone explain to me again why the powers that be don't have Whedon working on at least two productions at all times.

This is contentious amongst the fandom (God do I hate that word - it seems to have lameness built into it) but when Mr Whedon spread his time between Buffy and Angel, both suffered. A bit.

I did, however, love the 'horsing' of Miss Day. Very clever, and done with such good voices.

Also, thanks for the chords, YoBananaBoy. I will have to buy another guitar soon so I'm not so embarrassed when drinking with Armoured Ant.
posted by Sparx at 4:03 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the thought, Teraflop, but alas, I am not American and cannot access hulu.com
posted by aclevername at 5:16 PM on August 31, 2008


Thanks for the link, teraflop. I had no idea what in the world this was about.
posted by waldo at 6:36 PM on August 31, 2008


Step 1: Have pre-existing cult-like fanabase.

Oh, you don't?
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show
posted by garlic at 12:17 AM on September 1, 2008


I love Dr Horrible, but strangely my Buffy Loving friend HATES it. It probably has to do with my crush on NPH from back when I was a kid.

It's semi-off topic, but someone explain to me why NPH is the one completely out gay man who's allowed to play straight roles? I mean, I can't think of another out actor who's played straight, rather than sexless, roles after being officially out. I mean, Harris is shilling Old Spice of all things, but at the same time playing the Shoe Fairy on Sesame Street.
posted by aristan at 2:30 AM on September 1, 2008


I feel like the only 'net geek who hasn't seen Dr. Horrible.

You aren't. Er, weren't; this post got me to watch it this morning. It's pitch-perfect Whedon, great story, lots of fun, with a beautiful, tragic heart. Wonderful.

Among the other links in this cornucopia so far, the Entertainment Weekly oral history, the little off-topic gem and Harris as the Sesame Street Shoe Fairy are keepers.
posted by mediareport at 8:14 AM on September 1, 2008


Step 1: Have pre-existing cult-like fanabase.

No, that's Step 2.

Step 1: Create brilliantly engaging content.
posted by mediareport at 8:17 AM on September 1, 2008


Step 1 needs to be done sometime in the mid 90s.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on September 1, 2008


Whatever. He's still creating uniquely great content. That *is* Step 1.
posted by mediareport at 9:29 AM on September 1, 2008


that's a pretty cool impact from a project.
Kneel before Joss!
posted by Busithoth at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2008


More (sort of) - the nervous circus YouTubes from Maurissa Tancharoen and her Whedon guy.
posted by DarbyMac at 2:02 PM on September 1, 2008


Busted link. It's this. (I'll refrain from lamenting the absence of the narrative-establishing first episode of Apartment 4B.)
posted by theonetruebix at 3:57 PM on September 1, 2008


Up above, there's a link to a Penny Arcade cartoon in which Tycho mentions how he wants to groom Felicia Day.

A follow-up:
I also saw Felicia Day at the show, who gave me a brush and told me to groom her. This is a thing that really happened, and it was bizarre, but not so bizarre that I wouldn't do it. It was like brushing a unicorn.
posted by WCityMike at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2008


With, uh, pic.
posted by WCityMike at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2008


One of the minor advantages to being me is that pretty much anyone I'd care to groom & curry, I can.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:12 AM on September 2, 2008


It's semi-off topic, but someone explain to me why NPH is the one completely out gay man who's allowed to play straight roles? I mean, I can't think of another out actor who's played straight, rather than sexless, roles after being officially out. I mean, Harris is shilling Old Spice of all things, but at the same time playing the Shoe Fairy on Sesame Street.

It's because NPH is made of pure awesome.

Also, the soundtrack is now available on iTunes. www.drhorrible.com has a direct link.
posted by Caduceus at 10:30 AM on September 2, 2008


ELE is taking applications now.

http://www.evilleagueofevil.com/
posted by theonetruebix at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2008


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