Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Minute Left in 2008!

Get ready for the ball to drop! Get ready to kiss! Get ready to....

...missed it.

Let's Hope 2009 Doesn't Suck

I'm not home at the moment, being out with family, so party on and don't get hurt. And don't give anyone cause to put a picture of you drunk and/or naked on the Internet, for God's sake.

Let's all hope that 2009 doesn't suck. Lots coming in the New Year. Be there.

Happy New, Yo!

Seven years ago, Daria appeared on MTV during its New Year's Eve celebration. A transcript of her resolutions is provided on Outpost Daria. Where the hell is she now?

As for me, I am on a short New Year's vacation and will be back in a day or so. Enjoy the new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And the winners are....

Remember to vote for your favorite visual and written fanworks! The 2008 Booties are yet to be awarded, but we need something to vote on first!

Make out your list of your favorite fanworks according to these instructions, and do it now! Or soon! Very soon. Or else I win everything by default. You don't want that.

Once again, vote for the 2008 Daria Fanworks Awards, for Written and Visual Works. The rules are here. They are very simple. Even you could do it. You! Srsly!


Here am the Art thingers, and here am the Word thingers. Thank you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Question of Altitude

Not to press the point too much about Daria being stumpy or anything, but this is another shot from Tainted Meat, part of the B&W class photo taken with Daria in the front row. Beavis is off-screen scratching himself. We have a nice shot of the two Kimberlys, Butt-head, and even part of Cassandra at left. Punk Kimberly is a head taller than Daria, who was probably about 5'1" here (she grew an inch in Lawndale, I assume). The Kimberly in back, and Butt-head too, are standing on risers so we can't tell how tall they are compared to Daria, exactly.

Anyway, just an interesting thought. Wonder what Daria thought about being shorter than everyone else. She looks like such a little thing. I don't recall much being said about this in fanfic.

You Probably Shouldn't Read This If You Have a Weak Stomach

The Beavis and Butt-head episode "Tainted Meat" premiered today 14 years ago on MTV. Daria appeared in two segments, not saying a word in either one. However, in this scene, she was working on a timed test in Mr. Van Dreissen's class when she heard something and turned around to see Beavis with his hand inside his pants, furiously scratching his crotch. Beavis's intimate hygiene issues are the focus of the episode, which can be in full on the MTV site at the above link. Be warned that it might be just a teeny weeny bit of a gross out. Srsly. You might never eat at a restaurant again.

Daria also appears in the front row of a class photo in the same episode, Beavis off to one side still scratching himself. Daria stands next to the punk girl Kimberly, who is far taller than stubby li'l Daria.

I honestly don't think that Daria ate at any Highland restaurant at which she knew either of these two worked. I just can't see it. It's incredible that the experience didn't turn her off to hamburgers, but you wonder if she used her knowledge of this episode's events to good effect later on in the Daria episode "Fat Like Me," when she tricks her father out of his hamburger (see the very end of the script). Clever little minx, isn't she?

Latest entry in DariaWiki is . . . oh, ha ha, very funny. Insult my true love, see if I care.

  • Arrival, by Legendeld (Part 6): “Shouldn’t we be cheering for the girls?” Jane asked. “No," said Quinn, "I want to see how he kills this one.”
  • Fundamental Daria: Indefinite Leave to Remain, by Disco316 (COMPLETE!): Daria heard a knock on her door. Crossing the living room to her front door, she narrowly avoided tripping over the ottoman. She opened the door and found her visitor smiling. “Hi Ja…Trent?”
  • Heartless (IC: Evil Jane), by NightGoblyn (COMPLETE!): Won't spoil it. Read it and marvel.
  • Invading, by Lorenzo Sauchelli (preview of Part 3): Donatello has done a very dumb thing....
  • Order and Chaos, by Legendeld (Part 17): Talk about your one-man armies!
  • Two Halves, by Dark Kuno (continued): “No,” yelled Jane. “I’m completely naked and helpless in here!”

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Topic for the Day: What If They Brought Daria Back?

Just suppose for a moment that, in response to all our cards, letters, e-mails, phone calls, pleading, and whining, MTV (or some other corporation with the proper license) decided to bring Daria back to TV. Ignoring the question of whether any of us would like the show, being as caught up in the old one as we are, how would you like to see the new show presented: live action, animation, or a combination of the two?

Beyond that, what should the show's setting be?

1. More high-school adventures with Daria and Jane in the late 1990s.

2. Daria and Jane in college, early 2000s.

3. Quinn and friends in high school after Daria leaves.

4. Trent and Mystik Spiral on the road across the U.S. after Daria and Jane go to college.

5. The whole cast in today's world, with Daria, Jane, and Quinn as 20-somethings out of college.

6. Focus on other students at Lawndale High in the late 1990s.

7. Daria and Jane in high school, but set in today's world.

8. Focus on other students who were in Lawndale High, in today's world as 20-somethings.

9. Brittany and the other cheerleaders in college.

10. Something else entirely.

Elaborate on your answers in the Comments section. Me, personally, I'll go for #5. Also in animated format, as writing stuff about live people is too weird for me.

Jokers Wild

For reasons we cannot fathom, someone once declared today was Card Playing Day (a.k.a. National Card Playing Day), and now it's all over the Internet like every other wacko meme ever invented. It's almost like there's a holiday version of Internet Rule 34, that there is a holiday for everything imaginable, no exceptions. Ah well, so be it. You got cards, go play a game.

Card games have a place in Daria fanfiction, as long as we're on the topic. Some of the fanfics I recall in which card games form a part of the plot include:

Anyone remember any others? Anyone know where Lawndale Stalker's "Once Upon a Time at College" went? Okay, I'm done embarrassing myself. Thanks, Richard.

OTHER NEWS: Farren O'Blivion has decided to keep writing "Daria: The College Years" on The nine chapters up so far have been revised, and chapter ten is on the way!

Problems still being noticed when uploading fanfiction to Lawndale Online. Awaiting fix.


Our guest star today is Stacy Rowe, the Unnoticeable Girl of the Fantastic Club, here to celebrate the 86th birthday of Marvel creator Stan Lee, who is directly responsible for the multitude of Daria superhero crossovers that have long plagued the fandom. Stacy of course is parodying Sue Richards, the Invisible Girl (now Invisible Woman) of the Fantastic Four. Stacy's on the left, Sue is on the right. Happy Birthday to Stan the Man! You rule, dude!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Five Is a Crowd

The only time in Daria that we hear Helen and Jake discuss having a third kid is in "Gifted," with fairly straightforward results.

Jake: Maybe I could talk Helen into having a boy.
Helen: Maybe I could talk you into letting me keep the house.

However, there is more. The MTV Daria site used to allow fans to send in questions to be answered by the voice actors playing their characters. This was about 1999-2000. Many of these priceless responses were saved at the Daria Sound Archive in its "Other Sound Files" section. One in particular is of interest: Jake and Helen discussing why they haven't had a third kid.

Sounds like neither parent is really up for it, after the double-barreled experience of Daria and Quinn. Which is why, in fanfic, Veronica simply happens and everyone has to deal with it.
  • The Young Switcheroo, by Smileyfax (Part 9): "Jane" and "Daria" continue to cause trouble for one and all, still unaware of their entwined pasts.
  • Arrival, by Legendeld (Part 5): “Excuse me, did you pass my friend on the stairs? Intense redhead, dressed up like a bum.”
  • Once Upon a Time in Lawndale, by Disco316 (Part 1): A retrofic that sends us back to the Wild, Wild West in this crossover with a movie whose name you can probably guess. Enjoy.
  • Order and Chaos, by Legendeld (Part 16): “You just started a holy war among the Sith.”

Fan-imation Free-for-all

A new webpage has been created for everyone interested in experimenting with actual animated Daria images. The page is largely based on an earlier post here, and it is called "The Art of Daria Fan-imation." That's animation for Daria fans, of course. The page is rather plain at present, but perhaps some of you will create entertaining images worthy of posting or linking there. I have other SMK files to upload there at a later time, but this batch should be a good starter set.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated and would make that page a lot more interesting and complete. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your new hobby!

LATE ADD: There, I've added a small special section for it in the Daria Directory, just below the sound files section. Cheers.

You're Going to Love This One

You have to sit down and wonder just who in the world came up with the whole alter-ego idea for Daria. If anyone gets to talk with Glenn Eichler or any other major hitter on the MTV animation team, that question should be asked first. The artists used enormous creativity in recasting familiar characters in startling roles pulled from every aspect of popular culture, from the instantly familiar to the obscure. Today's featured alter ego is one of the more "out there" examples.

Today happens to be the 107th anniversary of the birth of the German-born film star Marlene Dietrich (at right), who eventually came to the U.S. and became one of Hollywood's greatest screen icons. Her breakout role came in the movie Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) in 1930, in which she portrayed a cabaret singer for whom an esteemed schoolteacher destroys his career and loses his life. Ms. Dietrich's signature costume for this role involved a silk top hat and a man's tuxedo.

And that is what Ms. Barch is wearing in an early-series alter ego (at left), her brunette hair styled in the manner of Ms. Dietrich's, not necessarily from The Blue Angel. Even has the cigarette. I guess the artist picked Barch for the role because Lola-Lola (the cabaret singer) caused a respected man's downfall. Kinda fits with the misanthropy, you see. (Maybe Barch was cast as Monica Lewinsky in another alter ego for the same reason.)

This cultural reference is not exactly obscure, but only a nutbar film buff is going to look at that alter ego and instantly shout, "Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel!" Did any of you do that when you saw Ms. Barch like that? Many Daria alter egos are drawn from the mass media of the 1990s, but not from the German cinema of 1930. Perhaps the interest that Daria and Jane shared in "the cinema" was also shared by some of the Daria design team. This alter ego says more about the people who thought it up than anything else.

By the way, if you saw the movie Blazing Saddles (which I have, over 20 times), the role that Lili von Schtupp (Madeline Kahn) plays is basically Marlene Dietrich.

Amazing what you can learn from a cartoon, isn't it?


Now 1,080 fans in the Daria Fan Club, and loads of things to do there.

Most recent entry in DariaWiki.... what the hell?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quotations from Fashion Chairman Quinn

Why someone decided to put Quinn's face on the body of Mao Zedong is beyond me, but today's the 115th anniversary of Mao's birth, and superfan UU has stated that this would be the ideal Quinn doll, so here it is. No accounting for taste. I think Quinn would swoon to see her hair cut like this, on top of the flat gray outfit. If there is a Fashion Hell, this character is the doorman.

Today also marks the start of Kwanzaa, which made a momentary appearance in the episode "Pinch Sitter."

Here's a question: would either Mack or Jodie celebrate Kwanzaa? Would anyone in Lawndale do so? I find myself unable to answer that question. Comments, anyone?

Boxing Day! Woo-hoo!

It's Boxing Day once again, celebrated everywhere throughout the Commonwealth except in the U.S., which did not get the memo. I believe you are supposed to give little presents to all your house servants today, which is a good thing because I don't have any, so I don't have to spend anything. Everyone else, however, must spend the day inside a box.

This is also the second of the Twelve Days of Christmas, not celebrated everywhere but everyone knows the song, which is about the same thing.

Writers who want to create Steampunk Daria tales should take note that today is the 217th birthday of the esteemed Charles Babbage, who came THAT CLOSE to changing all history, starting the Computer Age a century before its regularly scheduled time.

A famous comedian and commentator, Steve Allen, was also born this day 87 years ago. Mr. Allen became a harsh critic of television after having long been one of its greatest promoters; he is today regarded as one of the most influential and important TV personalities ever. Daria may have found his writings and commentary of some interest, though she was quite a fan of the vulgarity that so appalled Mr. Allen.

Finally, today is the 117th birthday of U.S. author Henry Miller, who wrote a lot about sex, which we don't talk much about here. Did Daria read anything by Henry Miller? If she did, we won't talk about it here.

Wouter has some rather boobular Stacy artwork, though it is G rated (at least on PPMB).

The ultimate fate of a Daria serial hangs in the balance. Have you voted yet? (I'd like to see more of it.)

  • John Lane 38: Yeah, It's Summer, by Richard Lobinske (Part 3): ALISON!!! And now we just wait for the angst to hit the fan.
  • Two Halves, by Dark Kuno (Part 4): “Welcome to Casa de Morgendorffer. Please check your overhead baggage and remember to keep your arms and legs inside the house until the weekend has come to a complete stop,” intoned Alex as he began to climb the stairs.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Your Next Stop... The Twilight Zone

It is not well known that today, in addition to being Christmas, is the anniversary of the birth of Rod Serling, an award-winning screenwriter who created two enormously popular TV shows, The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. He would have been 84 today. The Twilight Zone (the early episodes are now online) has had an outrageous impact on mass-media presentations of science fiction and modern fantasy. It also had an effect on Daria.

In the 1997 Beavis and Butt-head book, The Butt-Files (later collected in Reading Sucks), we discover that Beavis and Butt-head once traveled into the Twilight Zone and met Rod Serling. They also met the Twilight Zone versions of Daria, Stewart, and teachers at Highland High. (Think of the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror." You've got it.) This two-page adventure is reproduced for your edification (it's a word, look it up) here and here. Start with the first "here," then move on to the second. For more atmosphere as you read, click here before going to the story.

Enjoy your nightmare.

Incidental Notes: "The Twilight Zone" is referenced many times in Daria fanfiction. Daria and Jane are both widely believed to be quite familiar with the show, despite it never being discussed in the Daria series. Some stories mention it in an offhand but relevant way (e.g., "Art Frieze" and "Fixing Dad"), but some weave the two shows together in a more intimate way, adding large doses of drama, horror, or startling change to the normal Daria presentation. Some of the most notable fanfics with clear Twilight Zone influence are named below.
The tale "Mirror, Mirror," a crossover with the Star Trek episode of the same name, appropriately offers homage to Rod Serling's landmark show at the end.

If you have some favorite Twilight Zone-style Daria tales, share them in the Comments section.

P.S. In an unrelated news story, Tom Sloane is still dead.

One Last Holiday Smooch

Did you ever wonder who Daria was about to kiss in this holiday picture? Post your best guess in the Comments section.

And what Christmas would be complete without Daria's final thoughts on the holiday.

Hope this day was a happy one!

LATE ADD: Alert fan Gene has pointed out that there is a MySpace page allegedly produced by a slightly off-canon Daria Morgendorffer. The page is amusing, but it also links to many screen captures from the show that fans might like to have. I found some nice ones there. Thank you, "Daria"!

Collectable Quinn

What could be better to find under your Christmas tree than this special item at right? (Me, I could think of lots of things, but some of you might want it for purposes that should never be confessed.) Interestingly, Quinn did not think much of this product, and said so.

Would you buy a Quinn doll? Assuming you did not want the Clambake Digging Quinn, which version of Q would you buy?

Who Did You Find Under Your Christmas Tree?

Yes, once again it is time to look under the Christmas tree and find nothing, but in the closet nearby are two guys into some kind of kinky bondage thing. All for you! Plus, these fanfics:

  • Murphy's Christmas, by Legendeld (COMPLETE!): It was a typical Texas Christmas.... not.
  • Quindy-Lou Who, by NightGoblyn (COMPLETE!): This is a Christmas party the Barksdale sisters are likely to remember always. Not fondly, however.
  • Scenes from a Lawndale Christmas, by undefinedlust (COMPLETE!): Jane certainly is a twisted little cruller, isn't she?

More words of Christmas wisdom from Daria can be heard right here. Enjoy!

Holiday Greetings from Daria Herself!

Another little surprise from Daria's Sick, Sad Life Planner: click here.

Merry X to All, and to All a Good Early Start to Christmas Day!

X sez: "Time to open presents! It's after midnight, it's Christmas, so it's legal! Go ahead!"

On Outpost Daria, web-maestro Martin Pollard has produced a collection of Christmas-themed fanfiction, with the bonus of New Year's Day fanfic as well. Huzzah! I was planning to list some Daria Christmas stories here, but now I can do other things. Thank you!

There were a couple of new X-Day tales freshly out of the box today. These will appear in a later post. Meanwhile, enjoy these holiday-spirited words from Daria herself, and.... PAR-TAY!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Won't You Guide My Sleigh Tonight?

Another of those curious alter egos that leave you scratching your head. Wonder if the outfit is used for the same role-playing purpose as that racehorse costume Helen has for those special bonding moments with Jake. Mrs. Bennett's husband would pretend to be a reindeer-friendly Santa Claus, and... oh, let's not take that any further. Sorry.

More soon.

Outpost Daria has updated for December 2008 with lots of new fanfiction.

Mike Xeno found a humorous article by the much-appreciated Glenn Eichler in the New York Times. Worth a read.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The One That Did Not Get Away

Exactly 70 years ago today, the first live coelacanth was caught off the coast of South Africa, where it was summertime (southern hemisphere, remember).

Today is HumanLight, the wintertime holiday for secular humanists. If you are one of them, party on.

Most importantly, however, today is FESTIVUS, FOR THE REST OF US!

Only I have no images from Daria to mark that occasion, which is why I used Mack and the fish instead. So it goes. Enjoy anyway.

Hey, here's an idea: Can anyone create a quickie Festivus pic for Daria? I might do this for fun.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Slightly over ten years ago....

... if you got into the MTV website to look for Daria stuff, this was your entry screen (missing two pictures I cannot restore). I was going to show this a few days ago on the 19th but forgot. The image was archived by the WayBack Machine on December 19th, 1998.

Anyone remember what the picture was for the RealVideo link?

Anyway, just thought you'd like to see it.

Don't You Love Winter?

The special magic of wintertime is everywhere, and everyone's favorite duo is freezing out in an unheated shack in the wilderness. What could be more fun than that?

Richard Lobinske is working on a LATIFA story. The teaser is posted here.

  • Arrival, by Legendeld (Part 4): “You have to stick to this diet, Quinn.” Jake Morgendorffer said firmly. “And you’re going to stop drinking until it’s not bleeding anymore.”
  • Cry for a Shadow, by thatLONERchick (COMPLETE!): “I’m.... kind of... dying. Slightly.”
  • Heartless (IC: Evil Jane), by NightGoblyn (continued): This multipart episode is named, "Die, Die My Darling!" for a reason.
  • Hell on Wheels, by Roxanne M (Part 4): Leo Archer tossed and turned in his bed. The thoughts of the Morgendorffer girl lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk haunted his memory.
  • John Lane 38: Yeah, It's Summer, by Richard Lobinske (Part 2): "Note to self, don't piss off your girlfriend."
  • Order and Chaos, by Legendeld (Part 15): Jane groaned loudly and dropped to the ground. “You’re a stone bitch.” Quinn nodded. “And you haven’t quit yet.”
  • Quinndy-Lou Who, by NightGoblyn (Parts 1, 2, and 3): This certainly didn't start the way I had expected! It also has a horrible horrible thing in Chapter 3, which I encourage you not to read, not ever.
  • Stacy Rowe, Seeker (Part II), by jtranser (continued): Contropolis, Kansas, has been described as a flat, arid two-dimensional form of Hell. As Hells go, it is very respectable.
  • Trent's Christmas Gig, by Psychotol (COMPLETE!): Just in time for the holidays!

I did finally finish the update for all 2008 fanfiction on PPMB and SFMB, for your reading pleasure. More soon, just got home.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chappy Chanukkah!

Rabbi Trent (how in the world did they come up with this alter ego?) says, "Like, oy, or something. Have a wonderful eight days and nights of celebration, everyone!" And we even have some bagels, drawn by the MTV staff long ago for background images that originated on Helen's webpage (something to do with the "That Was Then, This Is Dumb" episode).

Did manage to get through a lot of updating for the story list but it isn't done yet. More work to come. Not getting much of anything done. Apologies to all. Maybe tomorrow the list will get done.

Celebrate! Yule Be Glad You Did!

Still time for Northern Hemisphere Wiccan types to party it up for the winter solstice today. As long as there's no fruitcake involved, do it to it.

Kinda wondering where the idea for this alter ego came from. The text with the MTV flipbook (still up, but I would guess not for long) says merely, "Feathers, leather and braids." Anyone have any thoughts about this? I thought Quinn was a shaman or priestess here.

Not getting very much done myself, unfortunately. Antibiotic side effects are making me ridiculously sleepy. Still hoping to get fanfic list for 2008 updated soon today.

More read-worthy comments added to the PPMB thread on Jake as a good/bad father.

Yuletide Greetings Even to You, You Man You!

Mother Nature, here played by Janet Barch, is in a green mood with the arrival of Yule today. Hope her feet don't get cold.

Farren O'Blivion wants to know if she should continue with her serial story, "Daria: The College Years," on Read and vote on it.

Kara Wild brought up an interesting observation on PPMB about "feeling the effects of no new material," and asks, "Anyone else feel that way?" Read the thread and give your own thoughts.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Reminder: It's Still National Eggnog Month

Make up a batch with cinnamon and nutmeg, and enjoy. The low-fat variety of nog might be better, but do as you will. And remember what X said: Don't hog the nog. *

One more day until Hanukkah and Yule and Winter Solstice (Summer Solstice for the snow-deprived Southern Hemisphere), so start wrapping gifts now. Oh, wait, I have to wrap stuff, too.

I had something Daria-ish to say here, can't think of it now. Hmmm. Anyone know of a topic?

* This has been a Very Special Message from X, the Holiday Formerly Known as Christmas, still taking his senior year at Holiday Island High School. This message is not void even if prohibited by law. Don't Hog the Nog is a registered trademark of X. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some timely advice from Mr. O'Neill

The alter ego at left is what I felt like after taking the Graduate Record Examination this evening. Jeffy is of course Quasimodo from the 1996 Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (at right), complete with red hair, green tunic, and sock-like cloth shoes. I like Jeffy's nailed walking stick, however. Wicked. And he has a better haircut than the Disney guy.

Anyway, I finished the GRE and felt quite the abused soul, more to the point like a pinheaded Neanderthal moron, so I skulked back to my lair to lick my wounds (eww) and mourn my shattered dreams of world domination. And the words of the immortal Timothy O'Neill from Is It Fall Yet? rang in my mind:

"And for those with less, uh, robust scores,
there are still wonderful opportunities in
the food services sector."

Isn't it funny how something from Daria will come to you like that in those moments when you need comfort most? I love it.

More stuff to come. Hope to get all the fanfic listed and posted this weekend. See you at the Burger World drive-through window!

P.S. Queen Jossie finished "Y 2 Day?" nine years ago today.

My Heart Will Go On & On & On & On & On & On & On & On & On & On & On & On & etc.

Eleven years ago, Titanic was released and was never successfully recaged. I'm re-using the "Just Add Water" pic from a while ago because it is so appropriate.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rolling Stone cover, July 2000


i r0oL.

(Did you notice that Stacy is licking her lips?)


Christina Aguilera. Stacy Rowe. They go together like...

No they don't. Anyway, it's Ms. Aguilera's 28th birthday today, and I mention this only because of the alter ego. And Steven Spielberg turns 62 today, bless his heart for Jurassic Park, velociraptors, and, by extension, Decelaraptor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where does fanfiction wander when the show ends?

A blog is always a good place to put personal observations that, with luck, cannot be used against you later in court. Here are a few observations about the directions taken in Daria fanfiction since January 2002. You are as always free to argue at length in the Comments section. You are even encouraged to do so.

The fanfiction I've read that was written while the show was going on (which I almost completely missed) generally stuck to the setting and plot styles presented in the show. Teenager Daria Morgendorffer would face her daily trials at home and school with trusty Jane Lane at her side. There was a notable tendency to slide into wishful-thinking alternate universes, particularly where Daria/Trent shippers were concerned, even these remained close to canon in many respects. There was also a tendency to create original characters who would appear in stories as "partners in crime" with Daria and Jane, despite muttered comments about Mary Sues and so forth. We are all aware of these trends.

One thing that stands out about the AUs and original characters, however, is that they were almost always restricted to the use of the persons who created them. A strong proprietary sense was felt toward characters such as Lynn Cullen, with requests posted for no one else to use them. Few thought about writing within someone else's personal Dariaverse. Exceptions appeared but were rare (the Abruptly Amy shared universe, and at least one effort to string fanfics together as unofficial fanon).

Instead of sharing original characters, one saw fanon appear to fill in the spaces canon did not cover, to expand the selections in characters, plots, and settings offered by main Dariaverse. We got the name Tori Jericho for Popular Girl, and it stuck. Everyone used it. We got oddball stories that spun off from the wormhole behind that Chinese restaurant. The envelope was pushed outward by degrees in all directions by fanfic writers eager to tell new tales and new kinds of tales.

Then the show ended.

It has been noted by many (with either joy or sorrow) that since Is It College Yet? aired, Daria fanfiction has increasingly strayed from the old formulas of school and family situations. Science-fiction and superhero themes are more often seen, as are stories featuring situations unusual for Daria and Jane in the series (college, marriage, parenthood, nudist camps, etc.). Even the technique of writing fanfiction has changed, with serial stories now commonplace and beta-reading less often used (sometimes for the worst).

More importantly, the sharing of things has increased, gaining speed as time moves along. To my recollection, it was Veronica Morgendorffer that broke the barrier. Introduced in 2004, she is now seen in stories by many writers. She paved the way for Kyle Armalin and others: original characters who are freely used in common by all. The creator could, I assume, copyright the character for later non-Daria stories (it's been done; Lynn Cullen may have appeared in an RPG product by Canadibrit, and I recall a Star Wars fanfic that was successfully transformed into original science fiction), but more often the creator means for the created character to become universal within the fandom.

New characters have also been added by developing the wealth of background characters from the show, such as Jennifer and Scarlett. This "character mining" has even extended into the Beavis and Butt-head show, dragging out classmates Daria knew at Highland High (B&B, in particular) as well as individuals like Dallas Grimes (seen in Dervish's "Something to Shoot For").

The sharing of characters has led at last to the sharing of whole universes. The Legion of Lawndale Heroes series and the Ringbearers universe have numerous contributors and opened the doors to even more shared universes with their own internal logic and rules, all derived from the Daria series.

What the fandom is doing is creating its own reality or, rather, realities (apologies for using a phrase that originated during the W administration). The extensive use of alternate universes, I believe, was reinforced by the use of alter ego pictures with the end credits of the show, depicting characters in amusing and unusual set-ups. It was also reinforced by Daria's own daydreaming about her future, with or without Trent, and by the nature teenage ideal of trying on many roles to see which one fits best for later life. ("Daria!" and "Depth Takes a Holiday" probably pushed the AU idea further when some fans rejected them as canon, putting them off to the side, while other fans embraced them.)

The extensive use of AU set-ups and sharing of worlds and characters strengthens the fandom community and does not weaken it. It binds us together in new creative endeavors even as the days of new Daria episodes fade into the past. It even protects the fandom's many works from being "Jossed" and discarded as illegitimate should a new Daria-related series appear. As happens in many other fandoms in similar straits, Daria fans are taking charge of things. Unwilling to waste time crying about the show's end or why it hasn't appeared on DVD (okay, it really does need to be on DVD, uncut, but we aren't hamstrung without it), the fans carry Daria and company off in all directions at once.

Nothing stops the production of close-to-canon fanfiction, and some writers still go at it on a regular basis. Time moves on, though, and we move with it. Sharing creations and developing alternate worlds are two of the most durable glues holding our fandom together. I'm not inclined to see them disappear.

Anyone know how other fandoms cope with no new shows? Drop a note here about it. Maybe we could learn something.

When in Rome, Party Like the Romans Do

Today is the first day of Saturnalia, the ancient Roman midwinter festival of wackiness, when the low became high and high became low for a week (until December 23rd). That's why Daria gets an emperor's golden wreath today. It is also a day marked in a Daria story having to do with her diary. Do you know that not a single Daria story makes use of Saturnalia? What have we become to have missed this?

This is also Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first heavier-than-air powered flight at Kitty Hawk, during which no one served salted peanuts. Thanks to them, Daria and her father got a rare chance to bond on a passenger jet in the episode "Of Human Bonding," but they blew it. Of course.

Wouter offers some Sandi wallpaper for your computer on PPMB. Thank'ee kindly!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do Lawndaleans Dream of Electric Lawnmowers?

This is the 80th anniversary of the birthday of Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction writer whose wild visions, from our 20/20 backward perspective, came far out of his time. His stories have been adapted into a variety of movies that challenge our notions of reality, the universe, and self: Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Impostor, Screamers, Next. His strangely named stories were nominated for and won numerous awards: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; The Man in the High Castle; Ubik; A Scanner Darkly; Dr. Bloodmoney.

And he inspired me to write "Deus Jane," a poor homage to a transcendent genius. Thank you for that, man.

Anyone else remember this guy?

Anyone else think about writing a Daria fanfic with a PKD twist?

  • Yes, It's Summer, by Richard Lobinske (Part 1): The alternate-universe version of Is It Fall Yet? promises to be a killer. Best line so far: "But…Mr. O'Neill? All summer? What did I do that was so wrong?"

A day that will doubtless have its fans

Today is National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, and I discovered that there is such a thing as Daria Chocolate bedding (at right). Why did they call it that? I don't know. Weird stuff pops out of Google when you're searching for a chocolate cake with Daria's picture on it, or whatever. For bedding it isn't bad, but it isn't really chocolate, and Daria isn't on it, so that sounds like false advertising to me.

My advice is, find something you like, put chocolate on it, and eat it. Totally appropriate for the season.

Daria Chocolate bedding. What's with that?

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Spending, Everywhere You Go

Not many shopping days left for whatever December holiday you plan to celebrate. I did almost all of my shopping through Never left the house.

It was about this time of year that "Like Father, Like-" took place. Cold.

Will think of more exciting things as soon as I wake up.

LATE ADD: It is now 10 days until Christmas, but only a week until Hanukkah and Yule. If you ain't done your shoppin' yet, you are this close to FAILURE.

Today is Bill of Rights Day, so declared by FDR in 1941, and to mark that occasion you can read a fanfic from nine years ago with a related theme. If you can think of any other Daria fics about civil rights, name them in the Comments section.

  • Looking for a Bargain, by Katrina Medina (COMPLETE!): It's today, and Jane Lane needs a job and a new phone. Good thing Daria is there to help her. NOT!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back to the beginning

Let's see if this works.

This link connects to the first few days' posts on this blog. That would be November 23-25, 2007. From here, you can read how it all started and go through the blog in proper chronological order, all 900+ posts of it. You can kind of follow along from last year if you want to see how this has grown. I also need the link for fixing up some older posts that aren't as spiffy as the more recent ones.

Anyway, back in time you go. Funny, it seems like I wrote some of these posts only a couple weeks ago. Others I don't remember making at all. Weird how memory works.

EXTRA NOTE: In case newcomers have not noticed, this blog is searchable not only by using the search engine at top left, but by clicking on Labels below. If you see a label that looks interesting, clicking on it will drag up all other posts with the same label. Great shortcut for researching things for a story, if you are.


Okay, this is a new one on me. Today is Monkey Day. Well, sure, why not. We had World Turtle Day, may as well have Monkey Day, too. Whatever.

Actually I am very fond of gorillas, particularly the lowland variety with that coppery-red top. I don't mean I'm "fond" of them as in "fondle," or any other penguin-related matter, just fond. I like 'em. Being a silverback would be cool. Walk around, beat my chest now and then, eat bananas, frown at tourists, sit around on my butt all day. It's a guy kinda life.

On this day, too, 36 years ago, humans last walked on the Moon. Thirty-six years. Wow.

And Mike Quinn's Ladder Theory is ten years old today.

Anyway, there's Monkey Day for you, so party like apes. Which are not monkeys, yes, I know, but apparently the holiday isn't particular about that.

By popular demand (finally!), the entire Legion of Lawndale Heroes saga might be collected into one place and made available for everyone to enjoy. Unless the Internet crashes.

Napalm Kracken has assembled the character bible for his "Welcome Back, Daria" tale. It's a fun read.

Authors Legendeld and Lawndale Stalker/Lurker are back in business! Hooray!

  • Antiestablishmentarian Hikers, by Lawndale Lurker (continued!): “We've been abandoned. Marooned. Deliberately. And judging by the looks on Li's and Morris's faces as they drove away, they're not gonna be coming back in a few minutes to say 'April Fool' and pick us up."
  • Arrival, by Legendeld (Part 3): Jane Lane tossed out a wolf whistle as Quinn continued her dance on Brittany’s dining room table.
  • Daylight: Falling From Grace - The Road to Nowhere, by Disco316 (COMPLETE!): "Charles saved me from my own stupidity, and now he’s under my feet instead of me. Life’s just a peach.”
  • Heartless (Iron Chef: Evil Jane), by NightGoblyn (continued): The evilness rampages through season four, and we're almost to "DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE, My Darling."
  • Hell on Wheels, by Roxanne M (Part 3): The old car made an odd clunk, wheezed and then a resounding thud. Alarmed, Tom looked down at the dashboard and noticed a multitude of red lights. He attempted to restart the engine but no avail. The Pinto had breathed its last.
  • Order and Chaos, by Legendeld (Part 14): “I know how you get the paint to move the way it does on your canvas. I know how you seem to always know when something is about to happen. And I know why you can do these things.”
  • Two Halves, by Dark Kuno (Part 3): "And where does my back rest think he's going?" asked Daria.

Other Places
  • The Amputee Kiss, by ninetwelve, a.k.a. Michael Pallante (COMPLETE!): A startling and different story of Daria and Jane's future.