Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adjunct Interests

I know, stupid title. But...

One night a couple of weeks ago, I kept waking up with memories of odd dreams. I dreamed of this blogging and of my fellow SPN Sisters, and of some woman who wanted to blog here but I had to figure out how because we weren't going to make her a permanent member.

At one point--I think it was at 4:48 a.m. when I carried the door-scratching cat down to the bathroom--I thought, "Adjunct interests. I've got to blog about that!"

And guess what? When I went to log it on the schedule, I found I'd somehow skipped a week, and had no topic for today! How fortuitous!

I just love when things fall into place like that.

Okay. Adjunct interests. Like I said, weird title, but I felt I had to be true to the dream inspiration.

When fans are passionate about something like a TV show, they create a demand for more. Smart powers-that-be seek to fulfill that demand through tie-in products and events. Supernatural is no different.

Some official products include:

Supernatural Magazine

Each month, either in your mailbox or on the newsstand, you can find this big, glossy magazine full of interviews, articles, analysis, and reminders of past episodes. Lots of insider information. Lots of typos, too, but we won't mention that.

Tie-in novels

When you can't get enough of Sam and Dean's adventures, you can turn to these novels that describe some of the "episodes" that never make it to screen.

Official Season Companions

These are kind of like extended versions of the magazine. They break down each episode in a full season, talking about the legends that inspired the story, and interviewing all of the players--big and small--who build the Supernatural world. The Season 3 companion goes on sale next week.

John's Journal

This book is modeled after John Winchester's "real" journal (real in the context of the show) and has exorcisms, notes about jobs and monsters and the boys' childhoods. Talk about diving into the meaty details...

We've already talked about some of the other stuff spawned by Supernatural:

With a bit of investment, you can travel around the country to see our favorite stars and guest stars speak on stage, and get personal autographs and photos with them. Some conventions are specific to the show, some are more genre-oriented, with several fandoms intermingling, and some are gigantic fests, like Comic-Con.

There are two sets of comic book prequels so far: "Origins" and "Rising Son." Ask your local comic book store to order them, or find them online.

And, as discussed in yesterday's review, you can find fan-centric essays combined in such volumes as In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural.

Then, of course, there's actual merchandise. Some official, like mugs and calendars you can obtain via The WB, or posters, patches, and T-shirts offered by places like Creation Entertainment. Some unofficial, like you'll find at Zazzle and Café Press. There's some pretty clever stuff out there, and you can find everything from bumper stickers to thongs.

Sometimes, this demand for more leads fans to broader interests. My favorite, most personal example is Jason Manns. I don't spend a lot of time surfing for new stuff on the show and its people. But a while back, a friend linked me to a video that shows Jensen Ackles singing "Crazy Love" at a friend's wedding. The video was posted on the accompaniest's MySpace. Wondering how I knew the song, I went to iTunes to see who had also recorded it (turns out it's like, eleventy-hundred people) and saw that Jason Manns had an album. I listened, loved, and bought, and he quickly became my favorite singer/musician.

I'm not the only one. His popularity has grown since that video got passed around, and he's been asked to do concerts at Supernatural conventions (including the one I'm going to next week!). Steve Carlson is another singer/musician who has gained the same benefit of being friends with Jensen Ackles.

Trivia note: In the episode "Lazarus Rising," when Dean gets into the Impala and there's an iPod hooked up, the music playing is one of Jason's songs.

Another ripple in the pool of entertainment comes from the "six degrees" phenomenon. Casual watchers of any particular show might have a vague feeling that some guest star looks familiar, but passionate fans will recognize them right away:

"Hey, the son was Michael in 'Something Wicked,' season one! And his dad was in 'A Very Supernatural Christmas'!" (The Mentalist, 1.12)

"I'm so watching Leverage. The computer guru thief is played by Jake! You know, the guy who knifed Sam in the back!"

"I don't care if Kristin at E! Online can't recommend Harper's Island. Can you believe it's got Jim Beaver (Bobby) and Katie Cassidy (Ruby season 3) and Gina Holden (That Haley Girl, "Wendigo") and Chris Gauthier (Ronald Reznick, "we're not working for the Mandroid!") and Amber Borycki (Sophie Carlton, "Dead in the Water") and Julia Anderson (hooker at bar in "Sin City") and Ben Cotton (some Businessman in "The Magnificent Seven" I don't know) and Anna Mae Routledge ("we're walking, we're walking, and we're not touching that" in "Long-Distance Call") and Sean Rogerson (maybe fileted by a hooker from God in "Houses of the Holy," and can you believe I just looked all that up?"

Some upstart TV shows get a bigger percentage of their following than they know from people like us, who love a show so much we'll follow its stars and guest stars and even extras just to see what they're doing now.

It works for movies, too, as we've attested to before. How many of us would have seen Friday the 13th last week without the draw of Jared Padalecki, or even known about Ten Inch Hero (starring Jensen Ackles, now available for rent at Blockbuster and to preorder for purchase here)?

Because of my love of Supernatural, I wound up here!

So what "adjunct interests" have you developed due to your love of the show?


Anonymous said...

Oooh, must check out Jason's music--thanks for the recommend! Music definitely becomes an adjunct interest for fans. I have CDs like Radio Sunnydale, Veronica Mars and Grey's Anatomy (before I started my boycott) and the soudtracks to all 3 PotC movies. And while SPN may not have an official soundtrack, how many additional copies do you think iTunes has sold of Carry On My Wayward Son or (Don't Fear) the Reaper or Back in Black because of the Show?

It's funny that you talk about the guest/recurring stars being on other shows because as a total fangeek myself, one of the things I liked when I first got into SPN was how many guests there were from other fictional universes I frequent. (There have been two Cylons on the show and I think four women from the Whedonverse? Amy Acker, Julie Benz, Amber Benson and Mercedes It's 1:30 in the Morning and I Can't Think of Her Last Name. I think that's intelligent cross-marketing.)

I LOVE Cafe Press, btw. J caught me procrastinating there recently and asked if I was making purchases, I assured him I was only Microsoft Windows shopping.


PS I think there's also a Supernatural game (or games).

Anonymous said...


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

The other thing with the music is getting new fans of the classics. My 13-y-o loves Carry On... and ...the Reaper and, most of all, Renegade, because of the show. Oh, and Eye of the Tiger. :) She's always connecting songs to the episodes and buying new ones from iTunes.

With the guest stars, it's been mostly backward for me. Well, the first one was Amy Acker, but to me she was from Alias. I watched Buffy and Angel only this past summer, so a lot of crossover that happened before SPN, I experienced after.

That sentence makes no sense, but you know what I mean. :)

Anonymous said...

That was so fun. I loved all the Harper's ties you found! So, how much tie in stuff do you all own? I'm really curious.

Trish Milburn said...

Totally fun post! And I'm one of those who loves seeing all those crossovers of guest stars, and I love it when after a favorite show is canceled some of my fave stars get gigs elsewhere (like Tahmoh Penikett from BSG and Eliza Dushku from Buffy on Dollhouse).

I am a total soundtrack geek. I have tons of them -- everything from all the Buffy CDs to the three Pirates (sometimes Tanya and I are freakishly similar, as are MJ and I), to more instrumental ones like for House of Flying Daggers to really hard, dark soundtracks like for Underworld: Evolution.

phouse1964 said...

I own everything. I am bad. Thank God for renters insurance!

It started with a mug. Then a mousepad. Then the license plate thing. And trading cards (you forgot the fracking trading cards! I have Jensen Ackles pants on a card!) and banners and autographed pictures and books cons and all the other stuff I really shouldn't be spending money on. My apartment is a shrine to Supernatural.

I am really a 14 year old girl.

verification: ramingct - is that as dirty as I think it is?

Anonymous said...

>>>So, how much tie in stuff do you all own

Not that much, except for the songs I've purchased and downloaded :-) I would have bought In the Hunt even if I weren't in it and I plan to get a copy of John's journal and maybe some of the season companions. With shows I like, I'm more interested in the stuff like that than actual novelizations based on the characters. (Not sure why, since my love of TV is second only to my love of reading, but...)

I do have a shirt (Winchester Bros: Hunting Evil Since 1983) and will probably pick up another one or two at DCon this year. I covet Trish's "Winchester World Tour" concert style shirt with the names of places they've been!

Trish Milburn said...

Oh, yes, I have a collection of Supernatural and Buffy T-shirts, plus one from Twilight.

phouse1964 -- LOL on the really being a 14-year-old girl. I know that feeling. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I have movie soundtracks that I write to when I'm writing "out" somewhere (POTC, LOTR, Brokeback Mountain, and some other Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt scores).

Phouse, I could have listed stuff all day long. LOL I think this show makes us all 14-y-o girls. LOL on the WV! It does look dirty!

I have tons of stuff in my office, but not much SPN stuff--posters, signed photos, and yes, a trading card on display. :) I also have the first two season companion books, the comics, the magazine.

I could buy a year's supply of t-shirts from all the clever stuff out there! They tend to not fit me, though.

phouse1964 said...

Oh, and I got that blanket with the boys on it as a Christmas present (to myself)

WV: squie

^ they spelled it wrong!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...


MJFredrick said...

I have a poster that the dh got me, a calendar, a magnet that says, "Bitch-Jerk" with the boys' silhouettes, two long sleeved ts with the boys' silhouettes, a mug Trish got me that says "I full-on Swayzed that mother," stickers galore, a Metallicar T, a T that says, "My Winchester boys can kick your demon's ass," another that says "Winchester & Sons, Demon Hunters," all the songs Tanya mentioned, the Season 1 companion, the other book about demons, all the novels....I think that's it. I could spend a fortune at Cafe Press.

Anonymous said...

I would SO love to see all of your guy's stuff. PHouse, you should post pics. And I've seen that cool blanket. :) I don't have much. I have an 8x10 of the boys on my desk, an autographed pic of Jensen and an awesome fan made supernatural soundtrack that my BIL burned for me. I listen to it lots. Working at the library I make sure they order the books and I get them there. LOL. I would like to get a shirt or two.

phouse1964 said...

I know I have pics of some of my stuff. I will have to load them to my facebook or my space and let you guys see. Maybe that's a project for this weekend?

And I forgot about the calendars. I have those too. One at home and one at the office. Sammy is abotu to say bye bye and March is Happy!Dean!