Have you ever heard of Fandom? If you have not, then from now on you should concentrate on this talk show. This information might be useful to you. Fandom is a mixed word using “Fanatic” and “-dom.” The group of people who loves something or someone is called fandom. We also call their fan activities as “Fanjil.” Today, we invited four guests who are huge fans of idols, sports, marvel series and comics. We are going to introduce their stories about their fan culture. Please welcome our first guest Idol Choi.
What is the official fan club?
Hello! As you can guess from my name, I am a big fan of K-pop idols. Now, I am about to tell you how to be an idol fan in Korea. Each idol group has its own fan club and that club has its name, color, and symbol. For example, BTS’s fandom is called “Army” and the symbol of BTS is a bulletproof vest. Also, you cannot miss the cheer stick with diverse designs.
Joining the official fan club is the best option you can choose. There is an official fan club that an idol’s agency recruits in a limited period. If you join the official fan club, you can get some stuff like diary, key ring, and others. The products vary among agencies. However, none of the fans would join the fan club only to get some products. In Korea, official fans have a lot of benefits. They usually have a priority on booking a ticket for a concert and going to music broadcasting. I am not saying that you should all join the official fan club, but it is better to join it not to miss the benefits.
A cheer stick of Army, a fan of BTS.
/Extracted from Big Hit Shop
There are various ways of fan activities
Fan activities can be divided into two different styles. Some people use the Internet and some actually follow the idol’s schedule. Most of the fans participate in both activities. In my case, my fan activities consist of 80 percent online and 20 percent offline. I personally prefer to go to the concert and fan meeting but still, I think online activity is much more convenient way, even if I do not get any chance to meet my idol.
In Korea, we have five music programs such as Show Champion, M Countdown, Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo. When the idols release their albums, they mostly perform on those programs. You might have heard fans chanting while the idol is performing on the stage. They are lucky ones because the number of fans gaining entry to the fan section is limited.
Do you have any idea how to be like “those” fans? First, you should join the official fan club. If you already did that, then the entertainment agency will upload the post with the link of Google form or Naver form. You should input the information of what the form asks and submit it on time written in that post. Due to the first come first served system, it is hard to be in that limited number, especially when you are a fan of a popular idol.
The other ones are quite simple. When you want to go to the concert, buying a ticket is the only way. I know ticketing is the hardest thing to do. All you need is fast Internet access, watch, and a little bit of tension. How about festivals? Just go as quick as you can. Sometimes you need a ticket but usually it is first time first served without a ticket. It is not that difficult to see the fans staying all night to get closer seats to the idol. The last activity I want to talk about is fan signing event that major labels hold. I have never been there before because I need to spend much money to attend that event. You can get one coupon per one album, so you should buy albums as much as you can to get the chance to go. Even worse, only the minimum number of fans that range from 50 to 100 can attend. I have heard a case that Wannaone’s fan bought about 300 albums but failed to go. From that time, I actually gave up going there.
Online fans meet up with each other through representative Internet communities in Korea: Twitter, Daum Cafe, Instiz and DC Inside Gallery. However, it depends on the fan club whether the Internet communities are active or not. Now, let’s talk about the traits of these communities briefly.
Twitter is the most popular community here in Korea. I am certain that most of the information comes from twitter and fans mostly use twitter. Making twitter account is really easy so there are a lot of accounts made for pictures, videos, GIFs and all sorts of things. Further, the home master, often called “Homma,” are the ones who upload high quality pictures and videos on twitter. “Homma” not only upload photos but also host exhibitions of photos or raise funds to give presents to idols. To sum up, diversity, easy accessibility and abundant information are properties of twitter.
I would like to introduce other communities such as Daum Cafe, Instiz and DC Inside Gallery together because those have similar traits. Daum Cafe is kind of an Internet site but not the site only for fans. Among the boards on the site, there are boards for idol fans. Members who join the site can write any post they want related with idols. Since idols that users like are not the same, they include keywords like the name of the idol in the title of the post, so the other fans can read articles only which they are interested in. Different to this, Instiz and DC Inside Gallery have seperate board for each idol. You can choose the site as you want after you look on for several days to grasp the atmosphere of each site!
Now, it is my turn! I am a sports enthusiast, Sports Park. I love every sport, but today I will talk about my two favorite sports, soccer and baseball. The most important attitude of a sports fan is not to miss the live matches of my favorite team. I usually watch the games on TV. But, when I have some business and cannot watch the match, I use mobile application Live Score. This application gives me some information about the match such as real time score or the players who participte in the game.
I can be a soccer fan but also a player!
Since soccer is easier to play and rules are simpler than other sports, many fans enjoy playing this game in person. All we need is to gather other soccer players to participate in the game. There are various ways to gather them, but as for me, I use Naver Band. This is a mobile application by which people can join groups of their interests.
After I make a group for playing soccer, people who want to be members of this group would join it. Then, if the dates for practices or matches are scheduled, the members of the group vote a date on which they want to take part in the game. When I run on the ground with other players, I feel like I become a member of national team!
A logo of Bundesliga.
/Extracted from official Bundesliga Facebook
Dream of soccer fans, soccer tour
Every country has many professional soccer leagues. Especially, Europe has famous leagues such as Premier League of UK, Laliga of Spain, and Bundesliga of Germany. The teams from the same country participate in the country’s league and compete against each other. Actually, if we are fans of soccer teams that belong to foreign leagues such as Laliga, it is hard to attend a match. Therefore, some fans who can afford to visit foreign countries set out on “soccer tour.” It is literally a trip for watching soccer matches and people usually visit Europe. The difference to an ordinary travel is that they arrange the travel plan based on the schedule of their favorite team. For example, they access the official website of their favorite team and check the game schedule to attend the games while traveling. Also, they can experience a stadium tour. People can look around their favorite team’s home ground stadium by visiting the interview room or locker room.
I am captivated by Korean baseball cheer culture!
A uniform of SK WYVERNS.
/Photograph by Yu Na-kyung
Korea has famous professional baseball leagues, called KBO. There are ten teams in the KBO like DOOSAN BEARS, Hanwha Eagles, and KIA TIGERS. As a sports fan, it is a blessing that we can easily watch the baseball game at the stadium! Of course, I love to watch the baseball game on TV, but I prefer to attend the matches since Korean cheer culture of baseball is very attractive. First, unlike other countries, Korean professional baseball teams have cheer leader team. As they cheer for their base ball team dancing in front of the seats, the atmosphere of the stadium becomes more active. One of the most common cheering tools is balloon stick. When we hit two balloon sticks together, they sounds like a drum. So, they are useful for encouraging our favorite team. The color of the sticks is different for each team. This is because every team has its own signature colors. For example, Hanwha Eagles is orange and DOOSAN BEARS is white. Many fans support their team by wearing the team’s color T-shirts or favorite players’ uniform. In addition, we can enjoy different types of food like chicken and beer or hot dogs while watching the game. I am going to visit the stadium this week!
Korea, what a wonderful country to be a fan of Marvel. I think Koreans really like Marvel series among all the movies. Today, I just came here to tell you what I do as a Marvel fan.
Watching movie is the most important fan activity
Never ever think that watching a movie is just going to the movie theater and watching the movie. There are a lot of cinemas in Korea, but I would recommend CGV. It is like a heaven to me. CGV has two things that Marvel fans cannot ignore: Photo tickets and IMAX. CGV has a ticket machine which offers photo tickets instead of a typical paper ticket. So if you want to get it, you can simply make it through the mobile application called “CGV photo ticket” and print it out with the machine. I always choose the photo of the movie poster!
Two movie tickets and the poster of "Avengers Infinity War"
/Photograph by Seo Yoo-jeong
You might wonder what IMAX is. It is a system with high-resolution cameras and better surround sound. Marvel uses this system, which means that if the movie screens in the normal theater, then you are watching a cropped screen and cannot experience vivid sound. In Korea, only CGV has screens for IMAX. As a huge fan of Marvel, how could I miss it? However, movies are screened only for a few days on IMAX screens. That is the problem. Good ticketing ability is needed to get a ticket for an IMAX movie. Some people sell the tickets with the price of ten times more, but it is even hard to get. I watched recent movie “Avengers Infinity War” twice on IMAX screen and twice on original screen. We should keep in mind that movies do not screen all the time.
Variety of Marvel merchandise is my happiness
ENTER 6-mall is famous for diverse Marvel merchandise.
/Photograph by Yu Na-kyung
As Marvel series has fans all over the world, Marvel merchandise is diverse, too. I often buy goods in CGV’s Cineshop and ENTER-6 mall. These are all official products but I prefer unofficial merchandise. Unofficial merchandise is created by ordinary people and includes stationery, stickers or dolls in general. I can buy them at a cheaper price. Also, since there are a lot of competent Korean Marvel fans who create the merchandise, the quality of the goods is great. Recently I bought a set of stickers and postcards of Iron Man and Avengers members. Decorating my diary with those stickers became my hobby.
Finally, I am the last! Hello, I am Comics Lee who loves comic books so much. Do you want to know how I am fascinated by comics? For me, the reason of traveling to Japan is to visit comic books goods shops. As you know, Japan has a huge amount of comics goods shops and comics culture is developed very well. Especially whenever I visit Tokyo, the heaven for comics lovers, I sweep up diverse goods of famous comic books like Detective Conan, The Basket Ball Which Kuroko Plays, and Attack on Titan!
The best pleasure isto read comic books series
A series of comics, "One Piece," which has large fandom.
/Photograph by Yu Na-kyung
For many comics fans, the best joy is to read comics focusing on their favorite characters or story. As I already mentioned, Japanese comics have the largest fandom in Korea. But, it makes me sad that Korean versions of official comics are always published later than Japanese one. This is because it takes too much time to translate Japanese to Korean. So, in the case of the comics of which the story is not finished yet, many fans look forward to the next story. Some fans who are fluent in Japanese just read original comics without waiting Korean versions. But, fans who are not good at Japanese have no choice but to wait for Korean versions. When official comic books are released in Korea, they run to the book store and read them all.
There are two ways of reading comics, e-book and paper book. It has pros and cons to each way. First, paper books are released faster than e-books and we can collect the comic books if we buy them. However, they take up too much space. On the other hand, e-books are easy to access whenever we want to read, but sometimes it makes my eyes feel tired. Therefore, many fans including me use both ways! Giving more details, we buy paper comic books which are worth collecting and read the other comics in e-book.
Comics festival can be escape way from stressful life
A poster which promotes the 149th Seoul Comic World.
/Extracted from Comic World World (made by Nardack)
Sometimes I want to immerse myself in comics world just to forget about my stressful real life. That is why I enjoy visiting comics festivals. One of the famous comics festivals in Korea is Comic World, which is held in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. In the festival, anybody can hold their own selling or exhibition booths related to the comics. In addition, there are OST singing contest and costume contests, where people show off themselves dressed up like comics characters. Seeing many people who wear their favorite character’s costume in the festival, I feel like I am in the comics world! There are also beautiful goods and illustrations, so I cannot stop buying them all. This always make me spend too much money. Therefore, to prevent me from overspending in the festivals, I search twitter before I go to the festival. In twitter, people who plan to hold the booths in the festival upload the list of goods that will be sold. It helps me to choose some items that I really need in advance. I hope the day I can buy every goods will come sooner!
Did you enjoy our first DGU POST Talk Show? It was interesting that each of the guests has their own “Fanjil” style. We are glad that these wonderful people are our first guests. We want to thank all of you for visiting our show. Well, we are also curious about our viewers’ fan activities. So, we made special photo event! Send us pictures about your fan activity, then we will select the best photo and send you gifticon. It does not matter what kind of fandoms you are in. We have attached details about how to participate in the event on the right side. See you on the next show, bye!
Photo Event for Readers
1. Take some pictures related to your fan activities.
2. Send five photos to Kakao Talk ID “nk1116”
3. If your photos are selected as the best photo, we will send you Starbucks gifticon.
* Event will be ended on November 11th. Do not miss the chance!
Yu Na-kyung, Seo Yoo-jeong firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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