[Trendzilla] That's Why the Ladies Like Vamps

The Ladies Into Vamps

Vampires, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, are definitely cool.

And not cool like zombies are cool (see: World War Z, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, et al.), or even cool like wizardry is cool, but cool in the sense that even grown women are fawning all over some books on PG teenage love affairs written by a grown, female, Mormon author. So cool, in fact, that in the months following the mega-explosion of Edward Cullen all over your local mall and cineplex, CW’s Vampire Diaries and the hit HBO series True Blood (Sookeh!) have also come about, reallocating your Sunday focus from Mad Men to the town of Bon Temps.

Of course, as with any pop-culture sensation, the Twilight love has sparked much more than talks of sequels and prequels: It has started yet another branch of fandom—Twilight fandom. The ones developing an undying obsession with vampires, werewolves and inconvenient love, snatching up any crap with the Twilight name slapped on it (Edward Cullen body glitter? The pictured DuWop Twilight Lip Venom V?), and most likely all with gals who haven’t even heard of Anne Rice or Bram Stoker

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the line for the Twilight panel was the longest—and also the most laughed-at. In an environment where everyone’s supposed to be embracing geekiness to an extreme, there was talk of Twilight “ruining” Comic-Con, transforming the annual nerd pilgrimage into something for people who don’t even read comic books.

It really was something: The “true” nerds versus those into “chick lit”—the very ones who write fanfic, have an apple tattoo, and “squee” at the extremely dapper English gent playing Edward Cullen in the movies and the not-exactly-Pulitzer words that started it all. Nerds versus nerds, nerds judging nerds, and, worst of all, nerds being sexist fucking jerks—as if we needed more evidence on top of the Leia-Jabba-bikini fantasy.

Director Kevin Smith was quoted at a Comic-Con panel, saying, “People will come to a convention, stand there in a Spock costume, look at someone in a Chewie costume, and say, ‘Look at that fuckin’ geek.’ How dare you pass judgment on those 12-year-old girls who like vampires.” Smith has addressed the male/female conundrum of the fandom world before—most notably in 1997’s Chasing Amy, an ode to love lost, comic books, and, above all, stifled homosexual urges between Banky and Holden.

So while Dracula, Lestat and Nosferatu were, in most respects, unfathomable amounts cooler than sparkly New Age vamp Edward Cullen, let’s just be satiated by the fact that both kids and grown-ups are getting excited about reading again. Harry Potter did it, and Twilight is doing it again.

Let us also be satiated by the razor-sharp cheek bones of one Robert Pattinson. Amen.

vchang@ocweekly.com

 
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