Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?, by Allyson Beatrice

Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?: True Adventures in Cult Fandom, Allyson Beatrice’s collection of essays about her experiences as a hardcore Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, is a funny and insightful memoir, but it works far better as a love song to a particular online fan community than it does as a depiction of most cult fan experiences.

The book opens with Beatrice’s personal history of cult fandom: after an impulsive move to Los Angeles, she became intensely involved with online Buffy discussion. That lead to connections to some of the Buffy creative team, and she eventually took a leadership role in a variety of show-related crusades. Vampire People includes essays on the friends she made through her fandom, fan-based campaigns, and the difficulties she and her fellow Buffy junkies dealt with while trying to maintain a healthy online community—everything from trolls and garden-variety creeps to mentally ill con artists.

Some of Beatrice’s essays work better than others, and there are a few that could have been cut entirely. (The one about her concern over the “realness” of her friendships with people like Buffy/Angel/Firefly bigwig Tim Minear was painful, mostly because the idea of her calling him up to inquire if they were really friends was so excruciatingly middle school. I mean, what’s he gonna say? “Uh, no. Sorry. And by the way, please stop calling me.”)

Beatrice’s experiences are specific to a bygone time and television show—making friends online was an entirely different proposition ten years ago, when the Internet wasn’t overrun with millions of eleven-year-old MySpace users, and internet-savvy Buffy fans were an even more rarefied group. Beatrice’s intelligence and caustic sense of humor carry this book through its weak spots, but it would be interesting to see what she’d do with subject matter that wasn’t so limited.
Posted by: Julianka


30 Jul, 2007 07:10 PM @ version 0

I loved me some 'Buffy'... def. have to check this one out. And are you guys still liking the comic version? Should I brave my local comic store to check it out?

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