Altered States Magazine - June 2002

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    The History of Online TransFandom

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    By Philip N. Zeman

    Precursor to the List

    In my freshman year at college, I typed this command in my VAX account. The command was called "news". Without knowing what I was doing, I started poking around, being the typical newbie. Thankfully, my account was short on space and I had very little room to download posts or reply to them without filling up my tempspace. So I didnít do too much damage. (At least I hope not.)

    One day I was extremely bored, and I had more space on my account, so I typed "news" once again. I decided to go about the right way, this time, and I read the online help. I found out how to search for groups, and I spent the entire afternoon browsing something called rec.arts.comics and related groups.

    I had one thought: this news thing was pretty cool!

    Over the next few months I gained more knowledge about Usenet and the newsgroups (a-ha! They werenít called "bulletin boards"!), and tended to hang out in a Quantum Leap newsgroup, mostly lurking.

    But even among all these great topics, there was no group about Transformers. The closest thing we had was rec.arts.animation, and there were some occasional posts about Transformers. While not a great majority of the topics, the fan base was proud of their old series.

    The rumors of Generation 2 were getting hotter, and in fact, one day I posted a message asking about G2 (Feb. 13, 1993, see Usenet Message ID ). Over the next few weeks, more and more info about G2 was discovered, including that the cartoon wasnít new, but, rather, it was the old one with new graphics.

    Behind the scenes, though, there was another movement growing...

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5: The Transformers Mailing List is Born | 6 | 7

      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication