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A Fanboy Field Guide

The movie Fanboys and the New York Comic Con (both opening Friday) are only the tip of the nerd iceberg. Below, we identify the most obsessive tribes.


The Tribe Supreme Geek
Star Wars
Philosophy: Jediism
Accessory: iPhone lisghtsaber app
Fetish: Princess
Online Habitat:
Fanboys follows four Star Wars geeks as they try to break into Skywalker Ranch. In the slightly more real world, Shane Turgeon compiles Star Wars tats (Boba Fett as Virgin Mary) at and in his self-published book The Force in the Flesh.
Star Trek
Philosophy: Utopian relativism
Accessory: Fake ears
Fetish: Unitards; speaking in Klingon
Online Habitat:
For the absurdly dedicated (and wealthy) Trekkie, fanboy Tony Alleyne of 24th Century Interior Design ( remodels apartments to look like exact replicas of rooms on the Starship Enterprise.
Harry Potter
Philosophy: Magic
Accessory: Crimson scarves
Fetish: School uniforms
Online Habitat:
At, fan-fiction writer Sparx has earned a spot as the site’s most-read and highest-rated author (among thousands of slash-fic contributors) for his story “The Unseemly Proposal,” in which Hermione is almost married off to evildoer Draco.
Philosophy: Nietzschean
Accessory: Collectible lunch box
Fetish: Underoos
Online Habitat:
Kingmaker Harry Knowles (who has a cameo in Fanboys) is the buzz master before whom Marvel and DC tremble. The Ain’t It Cool News founder is fan-cult forefather, Comic Con royalty, and master of the icky rave: “Hot Fuzz trailer will make your balls sweat.”
Joss Whedon
Philosophy: Feminist mythopoeia
Accessory: Show-cancellation protest letters
Fetish: Demonic hate sex
Online Habitat:
Caroline van Oosten de Boer co-founded Whedonesque, one of the Net’s most powerful online fan communities, where Whedon is a regular guest and fans keep the kaput Buffy and Firefly alive, made Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog a hit, and may save Dollhouse.
Philosophy: Edwardian romance
Accessory: Replica Cullen-family jewelry from Hot Topic
Fetish: Pallid flesh
Online Habitat:
In this most-democratic fandom, every girl and woman is a leader. See, where members describe such qualifications as “You occasionally bite yourself” and “You love your husband a little less because ‘he’s just not Edward.’”
Philosophy: Baffling
Accessory: Plaster Virgin Mary
Fetish: Shirtless ex-con rednecks
Online Habitat:
For insanely hyperspecific analysis of flashbacks, literary references, and philosophical name-checks, you can’t beat Entertainment Weekly’s Doc Jensen, for whom no detail is accidental. Perhaps the last true believer in a Grand Unified Theory of Lost.
Philosophy: Cyber-Taoism
Accessory: Vinyl, vaguely pornographic figurines
Fetish: Machine-on-human copulation
Online Habitat:
Godfather of fandom Forrest J. Ackerman, who died in December, was Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine’s founder and, in 1939, half of the first duo to dress weird for a sci-fi convention, making him the progenitor of anime cosplay (costume play)


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