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Topic: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

This is something I've been wondering about for a good while so I thought that I'd create a new thread on it as it doesn't seem to have been discussed here before. I'd, of course, like to get the perspective of other fans on this issue as well. The idea behind this thread concerns how we James Bond fans are perceived by others outside of Bondom around the world. For example, Star Trek fans (and probably Star Wars fan too) are perceived as very obsessive people who dress up a lot as aliens or members of the spaceship crew. Star Trek fans are either Trekkies or Trekkers; I believe there is a difference. Perhaps fans of Doctor Who could be included in this group too. The watchword here is geekiness and nerdiness.

Another type of obsessive fan is, of course, those who follow the late Elvis Presley. I'm thinking especially here of the countless Elvis impersonators who, as at least one commentator said, do more harm than good to Elvis' image around the world and to the perception others have of Elvis fandom.

Besides these few examples of fandom and how it is perceived around the world by others, James Bond fans surely come across as a much more complex, harder to pigeonhole, even a more conservative lot. There isn't the geeky tag that attaches itself to fans of science fiction. There is no one typical type of Bond fan. Most likely, there is no one typical fan of anything, just a majority of fans who celebrate their fandom in a certain fashion. Many Bond fans (like myself) don't go to cosplay events or dress up in a tuxedo while posing with a Walther PPK (not that there is anything wrong with that). There may also be a split in Bond fandom between literary and cinematic fans, Fleming fans and fans of the literary Bond continuation etc.

So, those are my relatively brief views on how Bond fandom is perceived around the world by those outside of it. Of course, I'd also like to hear the views of Bond fans from within our common fandom. Are Bond fans considered less geeky and obsessive than, say, fans of science fiction? Is it actually impossible to pigeonhole any Bond fan into a particular group? Despite all of the new Bond lifestyle websites and forums out there nowadays, are Bond fans generally speaking more conservative in their Bond fandom?

I'd love to hear your views on this one, as always! ajb007/smile

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

I've always thought one on the great things about Bond fandom is that it crosses generations, perhaps more so than Star Wars or Doctor Who. Picture the scene, a nervous but excited teenage boy knocks on "the prettiest girl in school's" door to take her to the prom. He's invited in by an overtly-friendly mother, who ushers him into the waiting room while they both can hear "Mum, is that him? I'm not ready yet!"
Left alone in the waiting room, the boy admires himself in the reflection of the TV screen, straightening his dickie-bow. He catches himself humming the first few recognisable notes of the theme tune. There is a slight chuckle and the boy turns around, glimpsing at the Bond Blu-Ray collection next to the family photographs.
'You must be George,' the man remarked

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
-Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

I live in Australia, where it seems there isn't much of a Bond following in general. I don't know anyone offline who is remotely as interested as I am, it's very frustrating. I would love to have a long discussion about all things Bond in real-time and in person, but can only discuss Bond on forums such as this, where pretty much everything I want to say has already been discussed to death...

Usually when I mention to people that I'm a Bond fan, the average response is that they're not fazed. Some will say "Oh, okay.", and then that will be the end of the discussion, followed by two to three seconds of awkwardness before one of us changes the topic. Occasionally, I'll get a slightly better response to work with, like, "So what did you think of that blonde guy, whatshisname? He was pretty good."

There are indeed different types of Bond fans - I fall into the category of collector and sometimes-fan artist who doesn't dress like Bond/Craig in real life; loves all the films, but doesn't get involved in the behind-the-scenes studio/distribution trivia.

The range of different types of Bond fans and levels of obsessiveness compared to say, Trek, is partly due to all the individual elements that make up Bond's world - the cars, clothes, gizmos, locations etc. These things can be accessed in our real world by the fans. Whereas, a universe like Star Wars/Trek is more restricted - because it's science fiction and doesn't generally take place in our universe/time as we know it, any similar elements can be inaccessible to the fans, if that makes sense.

I think you'll find there are indeed non-Bond fans who consider us to be nerds, weird etc., but certainly not to the degree they would a Trekkie, and if so, they're not as vocal about it. However, I used to work with this girl who, when I mentioned that I love the Bond films and making the props, she just smiled and said I remind her of that guy from Big Bang Theory (Sheldon)... ajb007/rolleyes

Of course, I look, sound and act NOTHING like that guy, and am definitely (probably) not that obsessed about any one thing. Naturally, I was deeply offended.  ajb007/smile

Last edited by Quentin Quigley (13th Oct 2018 07:33)

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

well if we were all good secret agents, nobody should ever know

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

Quentin Quigley wrote:

I live in Australia, where it seems there isn't much of a Bond following in general. I don't know anyone offline who is remotely as interested as I am, it's very frustrating. I would love to have a long discussion about all things Bond in real-time and in person, but can only discuss Bond on forums such as this, where pretty much everything I want to say has already been discussed to death...

Usually when I mention to people that I'm a Bond fan, the average response is that they're not fazed. Some will say "Oh, okay.", and then that will be the end of the discussion, followed by two to three seconds of awkwardness before one of us changes the topic. Occasionally, I'll get a slightly better response to work with, like, "So what did you think of that blonde guy, whatshisname? He was pretty good."

There are indeed different types of Bond fans - I fall into the category of collector and sometimes-fan artist who doesn't dress like Bond/Craig in real life; loves all the films, but doesn't get involved in the behind-the-scenes studio/distribution trivia.

The range of different types of Bond fans and levels of obsessiveness compared to say, Trek, is partly due to all the individual elements that make up Bond's world - the cars, clothes, gizmos, locations etc. These things can be accessed in our real world by the fans. Whereas, a universe like Star Wars/Trek is more restricted - because it's science fiction and doesn't generally take place in our universe/time as we know it, any similar elements can be inaccessible to the fans, if that makes sense.

I think you'll find there are indeed non-Bond fans who consider us to be nerds, weird etc., but certainly not to the degree they would a Trekkie, and if so, they're not as vocal about it. However, I used to work with this girl who, when I mentioned that I love the Bond films and making the props, she just smiled and said I remind her of that guy from Big Bang Theory (Sheldon)... ajb007/rolleyes

Of course, I look, sound and act NOTHING like that guy, and am definitely (probably) not that obsessed about any one thing. Naturally, I was deeply offended.  ajb007/smile


What part of Aus are you from mate?

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

Considering my Bond blog’s traffic, I would have guessed that Bond was popular in Australia! A morning show there even spoke with me about having me to talk Bond on their show, but it didn’t pan out.

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Re: How are James Bond fans perceived around the world?

@Revolver66

Hi mate, I'm in Adelaide. Not sure there has ever been anything Bond-related come here, exhibits, museums etc. I know the 50 year celebrations made it down your way.

Andrew