Before the Bronies

I’ve already talked about it before but it’s worth revisiting given that the Bronies have peaked almost coinciding with Riverdale airing on telly. I made a connection between them in the sense of Archie Comics, already having a substantial male readership in addition to the intended female one, being a precursor to Lauren Faust’s My Little Pony production.

Maybe not exactly but substantial and well-established enough to predate Bronies by decades. There was even an early 2000s study on male Archie Comics readers, especially with regards to their preferred female character again predating what the Bronies will do to the Mane Six. Not that there weren’t any Bronies before the 2010s but would’ve been fairly few and rather casual to boot.

In a chronologically weird way, male Archie fans still outnumbered those early Bronies back then. Again, I get the feeling that male Archie readers are essentially the true Proto-Bronies. Archie Comics is still in publication and that there are still male Archie readers around enough to draw odd comparisons. But it could also be me late in some regards.

If I had written it several years before, it would’ve provoked a wider discussion. The Brony fandom might be declining at this point but it would be amusing if Brony levels of drama were to be replicated in the Riverdale fandom (and probably already is to a degree).


Male fans of girl stuff

Like I said, the Brony fandom isn’t so much the first fandom around a girl franchise in general but the most publicised one so far. There were already (pervy, straight) male fans of Sailor Moon, Minky Momo, Winx, Totally Spies, Witch and Archie Comics before. But since their fixation involves 2D women, they would’ve ended up being more lowkey than Bronies, who are dangerously close to the dreaded furries of yore.

That is save for Minky Momo which attracted surprised its studio executives and producers once they found out about the programme’s other fans. That doesn’t stop women from enjoying MLP, Archie, Totally Spies, Winx, Sailor Moon and Witch and may even outnumber their male counterparts at least with some of these franchises but that also lends credence to the possibility of either one of them being a precursor to the Brony phenomenon.

Technically, Bronies should (and do) have more in common with the older Furry and Disney fandoms as these involve heavily merchandised anthropomorphic animals. In fact, it’s been suspected that Disney created the Furry fandom. Sailor Moon, Totally Spies and Kim Possible might be better precursors to the Brony fandom in that these involve female fighters and adventurers of sorts.

Archie Comics should stand out as one of the earlier franchises with a lasting mixed gender fandom despite being mostly aimed at girls. There are straight male fans who sexualise the likes of Betty and Veronica just as what Bronies do with the Mane Six. If Archie’s an older franchise (around since the 40s), then there’ll be a lot more older Archie fanboys than there are Bronies.

Most of the earlier Ponyfags, prior to the Bronies proper, were women. The fact that there were already male Archie fans prior to the Brony phenomenon shows much much of a harbinger Archie Comics was when it comes to men consuming female franchises like these.


That’s the weird thing about marriages and childrearing as these involve a considerable degree of interdependence between people for a long time. Not that independence isn’t allowed but I suspect with spouses, some interdependency is needed to keep the relationship around for long. Hence the old saying ’till death do us apart.’

It’s not just helping the spouse around but also talking to it a lot including bad feelings. It’s unsurprising that to marriage experts and the like, if a couple doesn’t talk to each other then it’s a sign that their relationship’s going to decline. Almost as if there’s some serious incompatibility building up. I suspect that’s the point with Robert Epstein’s research on arranged marriage.

According to his research there, love builds up gradually and it’s based on compatibility and doing favours for the in-law’s family. Not that lust is nonexistent as there are recorded cases of people courting their future spouses but it’s often done with permission so. I guess for people who tend to be very independent, a spouse being a lifelong partner tests the upper limits of their independence without even trying.

A human can live without much human interaction but then again as humans tend to be social, such a character is often seen as a weirdo. Plus, marriage is forming a lifelong bond between partners so some degree of interdependency is needed to maintain it. Otherwise the marriage will fall apart.

Old money and new money

There’s been some discussion between what’s old money and new money. New money people predictably get rich through effort and tend to flaunt it. That isn’t to say that old money don’t flaunt their wealth and if they did, it would’ve been different. They didn’t just flaunt wealth in having the nicest outfits and better education but also how much land they owned and power they have over their communities.

I suspect that though this isn’t always the case, people born into old money families tend to have well-documented family histories and a profound air of responsibility. The differences would be more profound in places where royalty and nobility are still part of the main government like in Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. In places that are now presidential republics, if chieftaincy and aristocracy still exist chieftains are now glorified mayors.

In European republics, some aristocrats maintain their riches through becoming businesspeople themselves but that’s due to them becoming very low key as their new money counterparts do everything to emulate the trappings of nobility. A good number of them simply live as humble upper-middle class families but arguably richer, they just don’t flaunt their wealth much so.

Some film predictions

Nigeria, China and India might surpass America in film-making quality and animation:

Given their economies are growing, it’s inevitable that their own film-making industries are going to grow proportionally too. I hardly ever watched any of those films but I get the feeling that they could have a big advantage over their American counterparts in some things, especially ethnic representation.

There’s a growing push for black representation in American media, especially non-stereotypical ones at that. Nigeria would have a big advantage over there, having the world’s largest black population followed by Brazil (could be misremembering). If it does improve a lot, I could see Nigeria partnering or helping with every other African production being the continent’s largest economy.

Logically, Chinese and Indian film industries do the same for Asian representation. To be fair, we already have had Chinese productions aired in the Philippines whether dubbed or accessed through cable channels (I know this from experience). I also get the feeling that both India and China could end up becoming big players in the animation industry.

It’s already happening with countries like Malaysia, China and India already having successful animated productions aired on television and in the theatres. China especially would take over Japan as Asia-Pacific’s leading animation hub, easily taking advantage of its substantial anime fandom and that both China and India have 1 billion people each.

But the same can be said of Nigeria and there are anime fans not just in Asia and Europe (Europe should count as part of Asia, geographically speaking) but also Africa. I even predicted before that the next Naruto phenomenon would actually be African assuming if an African nation were to take advantage of its folklore.

Some African productions are already doing this, but I suspect this is going to be the biggest one not just in Africa but also the entire planet.

Fandom and Organised Religion

I think there’s already an interesting correlation between the decline of organised religion and the rise of fandom. Virtually any fandom but it’s parsimonious that the earliest fiction fandom (that is people dressing up as a fictional character and making fan-made stories and items out of it as well as merchandise capitalising on that community) occurred during the Age of Enlightenment.

That was when secularisation happened en masse in Europe, especially with the strengthening of the sciences and stuff. Europe had been Christian for several centuries and few centuries of paganism. Secularism is apparently the third stage in European development whilst the same would’ve been accelerated and truncated in places like Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda.

This still isn’t always the case and it can be argued that idol worship (including celebrities) exists side by side with organised religion (especially Christianity and Islam). But I suspect the nerdier ones tend to occur more often in secular countries, especially if their economies are big and stable enough to encourage that scene.

Not always the case but often is so.



Uncertain around dogs

There was a study stating that people love dogs more than any other animal though I suspect that would’ve been based on a limited sample and might not be applicable to every other place or community. Though this might not always exactly be the case, there are instances, attitudes and beliefs that determine the degree of attachment.

If dogs were often meant for more practical purposes and allowed to stay outside longer, it should be generally inevitable that one would have to be less attached to dogs especially if certain situations arise. There was a study in Botoku, Ghana about hunters who were attached to dogs had to let them go and they did.

I do recall a Ugandan account of people who make their dogs hunt by starving them and similar things happened in the Beng community in Cote d’Ivoire. Then you have religious beliefs that control this. Like I said, it’s not just Muslims that are uncertain around dogs but also Christians and Jews.

In fact, the Catholic Church banned nuns from owning animals (save for cats at least in England) and they banned them from owning dogs in 18th century Naples. The Armenian church at some point abhorred both dogs and donkeys as well as Armenian beliefs of the Devil appearing as a dog (very common in Western Eurasia especially in tandem with witch dogs).

The belief in demonic and witch-dogs is still around in Pentecostal or African Initiated churches in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo. I remember a document where it mentions dogs being associated with hatred, prostitution and witchcraft.

Could be wrong though but there’s another document in that country where children accused of witchcraft were assumed to turn into dogs, alleged former witch-doctors using dogs and bewitching dogs biting people at least in Matadi. Similar beliefs occur in Cameroon and Ghana to whatever degree.

In that context, it makes sense why eighteenth century people were uncomfortable with owners who get too affectionate with their dogs, especially if they’re (made) useless almost as if the only real use for them at all is sexual. There’s the old stereotype of the old maid and her lapdog, probably best known to Hispanophones as Dona Clotilde from El Chavo del Ocho.

(There’s an earlier version of the stereotype where women are accused of witchcraft if they have sex with dogs, presumed to be demonic guises, at all.)

Keep in mind that in those days that even if dogs’ positive qualities were recognised, these were also equally undercut by beliefs in dogs being witches, demons or the Devil in disguise based on two French documents I’ve read. Dogs, like cats, arouse polarising attitudes in Abrahamic faiths best exemplified by that both clergy and witches own them.

Like I said, secularism has something to do with weakening negative attitudes to dogs. After all, European churches used to have the habit of driving away dogs by force and dogs are still forbidden in Orthodox churches. There’s an account where dogs are driven away in Pentecostal Ghanaian churches for fear that they’ll be demonically possessed.

Again this isn’t always the case depending on the individual itself but when taken as a whole there are glaring differences between how communities treat and view dogs. Christianity, like Islam, is rather ambivalent around dogs noting their positive qualities but still suspecting them of witchcraft and being in alliance with the Devil.