Number One Fan, Or How Pop Culture Changed My Life, the handmade, third release from Vancouver-based independent publisher Smart Cookie Publishing, explores the various ways that “fandom” manifests itself, and the ways that being a “fan” can impact or even change one’s life.
The subjects up for discussion demonstrate the diversity of what people flock to. Besides the usual band worship and love letters to comics (both mainstream and independent), there are interviews with internet fan fiction authors, celebrity spotting in Hollywood (where I’m going to call shenanigans on any Gen X female raised in the North-Western Hemisphere who doesn’t know who John Taylor is), the philosophy of Don Knotts, Jane Austen gushing, lamentations on the cancellation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and an analysis of a James Spader cross-stitch portrait.
The result is an eclectic collection of love letters to what impacts us, shapes us, touches us. Each essay is united by the purity of fandom, demonstrating the side of fans that makes people rich instead of making headlines. It’s not about stalking, letter bombs, and restraining orders; it’s about community, identity, and the pure joy of celebrating art. Even the physical book itself is symbolic of fandom; only a true bibliophile would create each volume with her hands as well as her mind. Number One Fan is the ultimate expression of a fan's appreciation of and identifcation with other fans.