As pop-culture editor, I feel like I should keep tabs on all of the rabid fan groups out there. You have your Trekkies, your comics addicts, wizard rock bands, and so on. Not that I belong to all of these groups. I just try to be aware of them the way ecologists might tag flocks of birds. I observe, and then move on.
Which is why I’m flabbergasted that one big fandom missed me completely: Twilight fans. If you’re unaware as I was, the Twilight series is a set of young-adult books by writer Stephenie Meyer. The books follow a star-crossed romance between Bella, a teen transplanted from Arizona to Washington State, and the dreamy Edward, a vampire who digs the smell of Bella’s blood. Drama ensues.
Now normally, I wouldn’t feel so bad about being blissfully unaware of a YA series. But apparently there are a lot of Twilight fans. (Going back to my ecologist metaphor, it’s like I’m an ornithologist who has never seen a pigeon.) Twilight fans bought 150,000 copies of Eclipse, the last book in the series, on its first day. They were the loudest fans at the San Diego Comic-Con, screaming like it was A Hard Day’s Night. They raised a ruckus when the Twilight cover of Entertainment Weekly didn’t meet expectations. (Check out the number of comments on that article.) They have a multitude of fan websites, many of which claim to be the fan site of note. They’re passionate, vocal, and move in large numbers. And I missed them completely.
What makes it worse is that it’s not just teens who are into the Twilight series. Apparently, there are quite a few Twilight Moms out there (“balancing family, work AND our Twilight addiction,” according to their website). That means many of you guys out there put down your copy of this magazine and pick up one of the Twilight books. Why didn’t any of you clue me in?
Now that I’m aware, though, I know exactly where these fans will be at midnight this Friday. The last book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, will be unveiled at a series of parties around the county similar to the Harry Potter soirees. Barnes and Noble and Borders are also holding such events. One B&N rep says that fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters. There will be games and prizes, and if you pre-order by noon on Friday you’ll be entered to win a free copy of the book at 11:30. Attendees of Borders’ “supernatural soiree” will get to participate in a debate about who is the best match for protagonist Bella, the heartthrob vampire Edward or the best-friend (and werewolf) Jacob. Visit the websites to find a party nearest to you, and then have fun walking among the fangirls.