I remember when I was little and I loved Tiny Toons. I bought the magazine, sent away from merchandise in catalogs, recorded every episode on a clunky VCR, all by myself with no friends or acquaintances who shared my obsession. Later it was trading anime tapes and corresponding through the USPS with pen pals, sharing hand drawn art and long letters with folks in other states and countries. In college I attended my first horror convention and was overwhelmed by the amount of merchandise, fan art, tee shirts, I got to talk with other fans and attend panels and screenings with them. Through all of this, I never came across the actual term "fandom". These were just things I enjoyed, hobbies. It wasn't until My Little Pony (Friendship is Magic) came along post-college that I really came to understand what fandom is- a focused and dedicated group of people coalescing around a common passion.
Fandom can be wonderful and the people I've met, the