Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Adjunct Interests

I know, stupid title. But...

One night a couple of weeks ago, I kept waking up with memories of odd dreams. I dreamed of this blogging and of my fellow SPN Sisters, and of some woman who wanted to blog here but I had to figure out how because we weren't going to make her a permanent member.

At one point--I think it was at 4:48 a.m. when I carried the door-scratching cat down to the bathroom--I thought, "Adjunct interests. I've got to blog about that!"

And guess what? When I went to log it on the schedule, I found I'd somehow skipped a week, and had no topic for today! How fortuitous!

I just love when things fall into place like that.

Okay. Adjunct interests. Like I said, weird title, but I felt I had to be true to the dream inspiration.

When fans are passionate about something like a TV show, they create a demand for more. Smart powers-that-be seek to fulfill that demand through tie-in products and events. Supernatural is no different.

Some official products include:

Supernatural Magazine

Each month, either in your mailbox or on the newsstand, you can find this big, glossy magazine full of interviews, articles, analysis, and reminders of past episodes. Lots of insider information. Lots of typos, too, but we won't mention that.

Tie-in novels

When you can't get enough of Sam and Dean's adventures, you can turn to these novels that describe some of the "episodes" that never make it to screen.

Official Season Companions

These are kind of like extended versions of the magazine. They break down each episode in a full season, talking about the legends that inspired the story, and interviewing all of the players--big and small--who build the Supernatural world. The Season 3 companion goes on sale next week.

John's Journal

This book is modeled after John Winchester's "real" journal (real in the context of the show) and has exorcisms, notes about jobs and monsters and the boys' childhoods. Talk about diving into the meaty details...

We've already talked about some of the other stuff spawned by Supernatural:

With a bit of investment, you can travel around the country to see our favorite stars and guest stars speak on stage, and get personal autographs and photos with them. Some conventions are specific to the show, some are more genre-oriented, with several fandoms intermingling, and some are gigantic fests, like Comic-Con.

There are two sets of comic book prequels so far: "Origins" and "Rising Son." Ask your local comic book store to order them, or find them online.

And, as discussed in yesterday's review, you can find fan-centric essays combined in such volumes as In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural.

Then, of course, there's actual merchandise. Some official, like mugs and calendars you can obtain via The WB, or posters, patches, and T-shirts offered by places like Creation Entertainment. Some unofficial, like you'll find at Zazzle and Café Press. There's some pretty clever stuff out there, and you can find everything from bumper stickers to thongs.

Sometimes, this demand for more leads fans to broader interests. My favorite, most personal example is Jason Manns. I don't spend a lot of time surfing for new stuff on the show and its people. But a while back, a friend linked me to a video that shows Jensen Ackles singing "Crazy Love" at a friend's wedding. The video was posted on the accompaniest's MySpace. Wondering how I knew the song, I went to iTunes to see who had also recorded it (turns out it's like, eleventy-hundred people) and saw that Jason Manns had an album. I listened, loved, and bought, and he quickly became my favorite singer/musician.

I'm not the only one. His popularity has grown since that video got passed around, and he's been asked to do concerts at Supernatural conventions (including the one I'm going to next week!). Steve Carlson is another singer/musician who has gained the same benefit of being friends with Jensen Ackles.

Trivia note: In the episode "Lazarus Rising," when Dean gets into the Impala and there's an iPod hooked up, the music playing is one of Jason's songs.

Another ripple in the pool of entertainment comes from the "six degrees" phenomenon. Casual watchers of any particular show might have a vague feeling that some guest star looks familiar, but passionate fans will recognize them right away:

"Hey, the son was Michael in 'Something Wicked,' season one! And his dad was in 'A Very Supernatural Christmas'!" (The Mentalist, 1.12)

"I'm so watching Leverage. The computer guru thief is played by Jake! You know, the guy who knifed Sam in the back!"

"I don't care if Kristin at E! Online can't recommend Harper's Island. Can you believe it's got Jim Beaver (Bobby) and Katie Cassidy (Ruby season 3) and Gina Holden (That Haley Girl, "Wendigo") and Chris Gauthier (Ronald Reznick, "we're not working for the Mandroid!") and Amber Borycki (Sophie Carlton, "Dead in the Water") and Julia Anderson (hooker at bar in "Sin City") and Ben Cotton (some Businessman in "The Magnificent Seven" I don't know) and Anna Mae Routledge ("we're walking, we're walking, and we're not touching that" in "Long-Distance Call") and Sean Rogerson (maybe fileted by a hooker from God in "Houses of the Holy," and can you believe I just looked all that up?"

Some upstart TV shows get a bigger percentage of their following than they know from people like us, who love a show so much we'll follow its stars and guest stars and even extras just to see what they're doing now.

It works for movies, too, as we've attested to before. How many of us would have seen Friday the 13th last week without the draw of Jared Padalecki, or even known about Ten Inch Hero (starring Jensen Ackles, now available for rent at Blockbuster and to preorder for purchase here)?

Because of my love of Supernatural, I wound up here!

So what "adjunct interests" have you developed due to your love of the show?