A Stupendous Glimpse into Fan Clubs

In GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES, by Mike Jung and illustrated by Mike Maihack, middle-schooler Vincent Wu belongs to the best Captain Stupedous Fan Club in the world. While another, more inferior, group carries the title of Official Captain Stupendous Fan Club, Vincent and his friends are the most knowledgeable, and therefore, superior.

I was surprised to find that the “fan club” idea has been around forever. In fact, one site that hosts a bazillion fan clubs, fanpop.com, even has a Dinosaur Fan Club with 1600 members, although contrary to Flintstone reruns, people were not readily available to appreciate the object of their desire. Oh, wait, that’s not what they meant…Let’s rewind a hundred or so years ago, before the advent of social media (remember then?). According to Samantha Barbas’ book, MOVIE CRAZY, the first movie star fan club originated in 1910, almost as old as the movie star concept itself.

My favorite superhero, hands down! She rocks that patriotic bathing suit.

Boy, has idolatry changed over the years. Social media has increased interest in fan clubs, bringing together people from all over the world with similar interests. On Facebook, I searched for a Michael Jackson Fan Club and had to keep hitting See More Results until I got Carpool Syndrome. Oh wait, that’s from all those incessant trips back and forth to the kid’s gymnastics classes….sorry, Carpal Syndrome, I think it is. Anyway, I stopped counting after ninety. They came with all sorts of titles to differentiate themselves, such as the much smaller, but more serious Captain Stupedous-like fan club called The Michael Jackson Real Fan Club, boasting 39 members.

I know you really want to know what the largest fan club is at this time. Back in my day, not that I will tell you what day that was, David Cassidy held the honor of being the largest fan club in history with more members than the Beatles and Elvis Presley’s fan-base combined. No surprise there. (Yes, I did finally take down my Partridge Family poster.) Apparently, that honor may go to a Korean boy group called Dong Bang Shin Ki, with over 800,000 fans.

As Vincent Wu finds out, there are many benefits to forming a fan club. For instance, you might get to fly around, chasing gigantic robots or something. A current benefit to joining one today is that it’s the secret way to get concert tickets. While Miley Cyrus may be sold out in about negative-33 minutes after you call Ticketmaster, the members of her fan club get to buy them presale. Who knew? Also, by joining Miley’s club, you get access to over 120,000 photos. Didn’t realize there were 120,000 photos of her, so this comes as real news to me. You also receive live Twitter feeds, whereby Miley shares her philosophy, such as this gem:

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving.

Oh, wait, upon further research, that quote’s actually credited to Woody Allen’s film Love and Death. Never mind. Anyway, at least as a fan, you know that’s how Miley truly feels about love.

As you can see, the Captain Stupendous Fan Club originates from a rich and evolving history. You don’t have to be BIG to be important, you just need to have heart. And Vincent Wu, in GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES, has loads of that. Too bad it’s fiction or I’d join. Oh, wait, this just in: Mike Jung has a real Captain Stupendous Fan Club card!

Just print and cut out and you, too, can join the club

Like me…Apparently, Mike thought I was worthy, after all….

Oh, yeah, I’m one of the gang now

This makes me wonder, is it really fiction, or is Mike Jung actually Vincent Wu in disguise? Hmmm, do I smell sequel potential? One can hope….

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18 Comments

Filed under Book Promotion, Education, Research

18 responses to “A Stupendous Glimpse into Fan Clubs

  1. Fantastic post! You guys know I’ve been in the EMU fan club for a long time! 🙂

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  2. Joshua McCune

    120,000… My eyes, my eyes!

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  3. Once people have read GEEKS, GIRLS, and SECRET IDENTITIES, membership in the Captain Stupendous fan club is going to skyrocket. He’s going to take down that Korean boy band in minutes!

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  4. I am a LIFETIME member.

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  5. As members of the Captain Stupendous Fan Club, do we get the chance to pre-order concert tickets for Mike next ukelele gig?

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  6. Cynthia Levinson

    Fascinating! Only an EMU would think of giving us a history of fan clubs. And, by “us,” I mean members of the EMUs Debuts Fan Club, of which I am proud to be a charter member. I even have a cousin with his own thousands-member fan club. Check out The Grobanites. But, Mike’s–I mean, Vincent’s–is the best of them all!

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  7. So, this would be an excellent card to hand over if one of us ever got pulled over. Not like any of us would ever get pulled over.
    Lisa–LOVE this post. Really well done and fun to read.
    So, Cynthia I don’t want to win the gullible award or anything but is JB related to you? Or is your cousin a member of his fan club?
    In other news, my nickname in elem school was Wonder Woman. It was, however, short lived. And not because I could rock a patriotic bathing suit. The reason was my name–Lynda. Prior to this TV show, people used to say my name was weird. After that, not so much.
    HUGE CONGRAT’S to MIKE!!!

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  8. I cannot wait to flash my Captain Stupendous Fan Club card…I think I’ll try it tomorrow at Starbucks and see what it gets me. Or maybe at the grocery store, or the gas station. Does it work in traffic? I could use a Capt. Stupendous lift to work. Mike, can Vincent arrange that for me?

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