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The Vocabulary of Fandom: C

This time, the vocabulary of fandom explores words beginning with the letter C. Let’s see if this letter surprises us as much as B did.

Canadian whites: (Canada) black & white comics published during WWII in Canada that had color covers but the interior pages were in black and white.

Canon: refers to the “established truth.” It’s composed of the elements that the source material established in the show, the film, the book, etc. Sometimes “canon” includes guides, interviews, and other official sources. There can be different canons for a given fandom. For example, the book-canon might be slightly different than the movie-canon.

Canon rape/ canonrape/ qanonreip: it happens when someone disregards aspects of the source materials when they write a work of fan fiction.

Cartoonist: visual artist who creates/draws/writes cartoons and/or comics.

Casefile: is a plot element in a storyline that involves a case, like a murder or an investigation. It’s mostly used in fact-based fandoms, like crime or medical shows.

Catgirl: usually a fourteen-year-old girl that has cat ears, and sometimes also paws and a tail. It also means ” a young female dressed in a cat costume.”

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Chan: from the Japanese language. Originally, it’s an honorific suffix. However, in fan fiction, it’s about sexual relationships that small children have.

Challenge: it refers to story ideas that authors can follow. They can involve either use suggested elements or following specific guidelines. These are similar to prompts.

Character Death: refers to a story in which a canon character dies during the story. Beware because stories could be squick (it might contain offensive elements). Thus, you should take care of the author’s warnings. Or, if you’re an author, you should warn readers about it.

Chiaroscuro: [from Italian, “light and dark”]. A strong contrast of light and dark.

Chibi: is a Japanese word that means small. It’s used to describe characters that are drawn with huge eyes and heads, and small and chubby bodies. They look like small children, but cute and do funny and cute things.

Clanslash: stories that usually have explicit graphic content, but not always. They involve characters in sexual or romantic relationships.

Cliché: refers to stereotypical elements of a plot, setting or characters. Clichés can be burdensome if used too often. But, since people like them, you’ll probably find lots everywhere. Using one might guarantee a wild success. Clichés and tropes are very connected to each other.

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Claims: means claiming an object, individual and concept from a particular fandom. Some communities online claim objects online. That can spark arguments on the property of the object. Mainly because anybody can claim it!

Closure: the “phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole” (McCloud, pg. 63).It is to apply one own’s background, knowledge and understanding of the relationships between encapsulated images to blend sequences of panels into events; hence, it means to “mentally filling the gaps of what one observes taking into account one own’s cultural background and personal experience.” Comics requires the reader to be constantly interacting with visual aspects and filling in the gaps between them.

Colorbar: it’s a LiveJournal phenomenon. The color-bar was invented by a user in LiveJournal to show support for gay marriage. You just copied and pasted a piece of HTML code, and it would show the rainbow bar with the words “marriage is love.” Now you can see that virtually everywhere, including Facebook and the profile pics. The text on the color bars usually links to the page where the bar can be obtained and use that on their LiveJournal page, website, etc.

Colorist: the artist who adds color to the finished artwork. They can work with paints but also with computers.

Comic book: a volume, in digital or analog form, which contains comics art, where all aspects of the narrative are presented by graphic and linguistic images encapsulated in a sequence of juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes and pages.

Comics: visual medium of juxtaposed images in a deliberate sequence.

Comics Code Authority: (US) an industry-sponsored board the task of which is to review the contents of comic books before approving them for distribution according to a code. It lasted until the early 21st century.

Comics Guaranty, LLC (CGC): (US) limited liability corporation that offers the services of a third-party evaluation of a comic book grading. It is the first independent and impartial third party grading service for comic books in the US.

Comment: the feedback written on the comment box at the end of any fan fiction piece, blog post, etc. A “comment-fic” is a short story written for another person, usually as a gift.

Con: is a short word for Convention. Conventions are fan gatherings. These can be official or not, with official guests or not. Fans meet and exchange experiences, merchandise, etc. Small Cons can be gatherings of no more than 25 people, and massive Cons can be attended by thousands. Some Cons are dedicated to a fandom in particular, while others are multi-fandom. One of the biggest Cons in existence is San Diego Comic Con.

Concrit: short for “constructive criticism.” It’s a piece of helpful advice that someone gives to a writer or artist so that they can improve their work. It’s often confused as “flaming” by authors who do not wish to improve. The reviewer provides friendly advice and well-reasoned arguments. Flaming consists only of attacking the author and their work.

Continuity: refers to being consistent with canon or a piece of fan fiction. Gaps to the continuity of a fanfic can be noticeable and might make the piece of fanfic less enjoyable. But, those gaps can be the foundation for other authors to go in and explain new stories. Established continuity can also be changed by original canon’s creators. That’s called “retconning.”

Corporal punishment: refers to the presence of mild or extreme corporal punishment by parents or caregivers. This can be abusive and might be a squick for many people. It should be listed in the author’s warnings.

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Cosplay: short for “Costume Play.” It’s the action of dressing as the character of a certain fandom. The word originated in Japan and was originally anime-specific. It has since moved to a wider audience, and even the word can be used as a verb! Some Cosplayers create their own outfits. It has become a big fandom community. There are contests and a wild variety of practices within the cosplay community. (It’s worth taking a look!)

Conventional relationship: (expression) a relationship with two characters that has taken place within the Canon.

Crack/ crack-fic: refers to stories that are ridiculous, insane, or without any logical explanation. These are enjoyable and are usually written just for fun. These are almost always humorous.

Creys: Synonym to “feels” but much darker. It’s like crying because they’re based on a very negative development in the plot of the story you’re fan of.

Crosscast: is a practice by which you insert characters from one story into the plot of another. The plot can be altered or not. Crosscasting can result in amazing fanart, but in fanfiction, it can be tiresome.

Crossover/ X-over: is a piece of fanart or a fanfiction story in which characters from two different sets of source material meet. Crossovers may consist of a complete blending of two distinct universes, or it can be a slight meeting or a passing connection. Readers don’t need to know by heart the crossover characters (or both fandoms in a meeting), but it’s always helpful to know what the crossover is about.

Crosspost/-ed/-ing: are stories that have been posted to different mailing lists, communities, or archives around the same time. This ensures maximum distribution of the story, and hence, it arrives to more potential readers.

Cultural Imperialism: the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between cultures favoring the more powerful one; the erosion of native cultures, value systems, language and traditions by an influence of more dominant/powerful cultures, value systems, language and traditions through the distribution of mass media.

Curtain-fic: it refers to stories with deeply established characters who have a healthy relationship. It usually showcases how they engage in casual domestic activities, like shopping. The word comes from the action of “picking out curtains together” for their house.

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Have I missed any words? Leave them in comments 🙂

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  • Mariah Kaercher

    I didn’t know canon rape was a thing. Interesting!