7 Creators with Intriguing Fandom Pasts

It’s not much of a surprise that our favorite creators are often just as big geeks as we are. In fact, these days, it’s not uncommon to see someone go from writing fanfic and fanart to being a big deal fantasy writer or cartoon director. Some of these creators even caused huge fandom scandals- complete with making enemies and making all kinds of questionable choices. Some of them simply created some unexpectedly steamy stuff. Here’s a look at just a few of the fandom legacies some creators left. Who knows, you or someone you know might be the next fan turned pro!

  1. Rebecca Sugar

    It only takes watching a few episodes of Rebecca Sugar’s show Steven Universe to know she’s as much a nerd of any of us- there’s references all over the place, to anime and more. But how steamy her fanwork is may come as a surprise- she drew not safe for work comics of the boys from Ed, Ed n Eddy getting it on, as well as a few other cartoon characters. Here’s an article on the subject, though the livejournal it links to is now deleted. However, you can find the work if you Google at your own discretion.

  2. Cassandra Clare

    One of the more infamous stories of a fan author turned pro is the story of Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments Trilogy. Clare was very active in the Harry Potter fandom around the early 2000’s, though she went by Cassandra Claire back then. She was a huge deal, almost a fandom celebrity, Her most famous work was The Draco Trilogy, which characterizes Draco Malfoy as a tortured anti-hero. I remember reading some when I was 13 and not really liking it personally. (I was very passionate about how Hermione should be characterized and Clare’s damsel who pined after Harry didn’t cut it).

    But it was very influential and gained Clare a loyal following- and it was quite a thing when the work was banned from fanfiction.net because it turned out Clare plagiarized huge chunks of it. She already dumped random quotes all through the thing and included vague “hey there’s quotes in here from so and so” disclaimers- but one person eventually discovered she also ripped off huge passages, word-for-word, from Pamela Dean’s books without proper credit. So she was booted.

    Yet she still got a book deal. A really fun fact is that The Mortal Instruments trilogy shares a title with Ron x Ginny incest fic she wrote once. Many have maintained this is not the only similarity the series has to her fanfic. Many have accused Clare of basically reusing her Draco Trilogy for the book series, merely dressing it up with new names and what not. They also maintain she continues to rip off other sources. It’s up to anyone who wants to slog through both of the series to decide for themselves, but one thing’s for sure- Clare was really involved in some pretty interesting fandom scandals.

  3. Natasha Allegri

    Natasha Allegri, an artist on Adventure Time and the creator of Bee and Puppycat, is a huge fan of anime, particularly Sailor Moon. She admits to creating her own OC Sailor Soldiers as a kid and giving them out to her friends and says she grew up drawing fanart. Unsurprisingly, she managed to get a Sailor Moon reference in one of her Adventure Time episodes. In Fionna and Cake, Fionna can be seen wearing the dress of Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon in her past life). Natasha's also said that Bee and Puppycat owes some inspiration to the series.

  4. E.L. James

    Almost everyone is aware that E.L. James’ best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey series originally Twilight fanfic. However the gory details of her time in Twilight fandom are less well known- and man, does it get nasty. A livejournaler with the username angstgoddess003 revealed a lot about E.L. James’ attitude toward her fellow fans through chatlogs.

    James apparently repeatedly talked about how she didn’t want to be part of the Twilight fandom, considered herself above them and couldn’t wait to get her paycheck and leave them all in the dust. Pretty mean, considering how these were the people who heaped praise on her and supported her.

    But it gets much worse than that. When Twilight fandom decided to do a “fic for charity” type thing, E.L. James was so put off by being asked to donate her writing to a good cause that she repeatedly complained to the angstgodess, her friend who was running the website. She said she didn’t want to do it and felt “bullied into it”, despite the fact it was entirely optional. And then she used her huge sacrifice as justification for actually profiting off her fic. In addition to all this, James repeatedly rubbed it into her angstgoddess’ face how much wealthier she was than her.

    You can read the whole shebang here. E.L. James may have written fanfiction, but she appears to have little respect for fandom.

  5. Lois McMaster Bujold

    Lois McMaster Bujold is the celebrated author of sci-fi and fantasy series like the Vorkosigan saga and she was also a part of the foundation of modern fandom. You can find her work in the very first all-Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia. She also created and published her own Star Trek fanzine with another author and called it Star Date. There is even evidence that her very first novel started out as a Star Trek fic!

  6. Naomi Novik

    Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, might be the fantasy creator with the most prolific fandom presence and past. She’s made fanfic and videos for over forty-two founders, she created the archiving software many fanfiction sites use and has even founded viding conventions and story-exchange events. She’s been at it since 1994. Talk about a dedicated fan!

  7. Marjorie Liu

    Marjorie Liu went from writing romantic X-Men fanfic to writing official X-Men comics like NYX (and her own original stuff, including the Hunter Kiss series and her recent comic Monstress). It’s difficult to find the old stuff online, but she found the Wolverine and Jubilee fansite, talked about writing fanfic and she’s listed among “successful SF authors who have written racy fanfic”. 

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