5W Holiday Panel: Thankful on Thanksgiving

At Fifth World Central we wanted to do a special holiday post for American Thanksgiving, talking about geek things that we're thankful for, so we did! We hope you'll enjoy everyone's thoughts, but we're especially thankful to those of you who are becoming our regular readers. We hope you'll stick with us and help spread the word as we continue to grow the Fifth World. 

And now, on with the thanks!


I am thankful that, despite the people in fandom who do embody its worst stereotypes, there continue to exist vibrant online communities that are made up of adults celebrating children's entertainment in ways that are true to the spirit of childlike wonder and excitement.  Communities that don't wallow in creepy stuff, or get into (too many) acrimonious flame wars, where it's possible to find like-minded fans more interested in enjoying things than tearing them down.  It takes a lot of work, both by moderators and by self-policing users, but it's worth it.

Chris Maka

I'm thankful for the ascendance of geek culture in general. We've still got a lot of growing up to do, but I'm thankful to the people who are fighting the good fight and trying to drag everything into the light.

I'm thankful for all of the wonderful indie comics I've discovered lately, and the incredibly talented creators I've had the good fortune to meet (such as this, that, and this, and this other, and this too, and I could go on). 

I'm thankful for the insane, genius manga that I've read recently, which have expanded my thinking on what comics can and should be (this, for instance, and this other one, and that, and also this, and also that). 

I'm still thankful for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They're still cranking stuff out in my wheelhouse (like this and this), and I'm stoked for the stuff that's coming

I'm thankful for all of the amazing television programming that's available to stream whenever we want. I could go on all day, but you get the idea

But most of all I'm thankful to my fellow Fifth Worlders who keep contributing amazing articles to the site and are a true pleasure to work with. You guys are the best!

Honor LaBerge

When Chris asked us to write about geeky things that we are thankful for I knew what I wanted to talk about but was extremely nervous. I could talk about how Princess Leia was the strongest female character I’d ever seen before as a kid. I could talk about anime and how I would watch it with my younger brother huddled in around our grandfather’s TV.  I could talk about how Harry Potter introduced me to my first fandom. There’s always that one thing I can think of when I people start talking about geek culture. I’ve never felt bolder than recently to talk about this. When I was 15 years old I was sexually assaulted, that same year I was introduced to Doctor Who, more specifically Matt Smith’s Doctor Who.

I don’t know what it was about it.

The writing. The acting. The music. But goddamn it helped.

It helped me learn that I wasn’t a broken human being and that there is still adventure out there.  I think back now is that I saw pieces of myself in each character, especially The Doctor. Introduced as a childish, curious, and fun-loving adventurous character but he has his own dark secrets to struggle with and didn’t want to burden anyone with them. Just like me.

You saw so many dynamic sides from the character from his angry outburst to his caring side even to depression when he lost his fellow companions. At the time I was going through a lot of emotions. To see some of them play it out on a television screen made me feel as if someone understood me even if that person was a fictional character. I saw myself in a show in a way I never thought possible and I haven’t found a television show to do it since. Doctor Who helped me transition and transform into a different person from a bitter lonely little girl that hated the world. I learned that it was okay to love and open up and talk about things. That sometimes it’s okay to be mad at the world but you have to realize it's not the end of it. That sometimes people you love leave you and that’s okay. I could go on forever about how important it was and still is to me today. I am so thankful for that. I truly think in a strange way Dr. Who saved me from the dark secrets I held inside to get help and to remaster myself into who I am after my incident.

Doctor Who taught me to be me again after I thought I had lost all everything that made me...well me. There aren't any words for me to say how thankful I am for that. As he said in his regeneration,

“We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”

I was the Doctor, in a strange kind of way and I am thankful for that.

I also want to say a special thank you to Richard Curtis who wrote the episode “Vincent and The Doctor” in season 5. I was given a glimmer of hope in this episode in the middle of suffering, and it was indeed a very real glimmer of hope. You, sir, helped me realize I was causing pain not only for me but others around me. I thought I was unimportant. I thought I didn’t matter and, if I disappeared it would be okay cause the world wouldn’t notice.

No,  It would be noticed. Again I wish I had more proper words to thank you but I really believe that is the episode that really changed my life. So, Thank you.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Honor LaBerge

Jason Tondro

For nerds, there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. Dr Strange and Wonder Woman both got movies, and they were pretty great! It’s a golden age for superhero television. Live-streaming has made D&D so successful that the 5th edition Player’s Handbook has outsold 3e and 3.5, combined, books that came out two decades ago and so have had a twenty year head start. But this is a place for us here at 5th World to get a little personal, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

This April, my biggest RPG project ever, Arthur Lives!, went to Kickstarter and we raised over $7,000 with the help of fans, friends, and family, some of whom will never play an RPG a day in their lives but who believe in me and want to help me succeed. I was overwhelmed by that love and support. At this point, I don’t even care if anybody buys it. Before the end of this year, I’ll be able to hold a copy of this book in my hands, a process that’s taken half my life.

And I’m thankful for Kara Hamilton, who is the graphic designer for Arthur Lives! It’s one thing to write a 150,000 word roleplaying game, but it’s something else entirely to see it on the printed page, looking amazing. Kara has brought her own creativity and personality to the project, which is exactly what it needed. Kara’s already going on to bigger projects, and I’m extraordinarily lucky to benefit from her experience and wisdom. I don’t know what this book would have looked like without her, and I don’t want to.

I’m thankful for my BAMF podcasting friends, who make me laugh, and teach me things, and who graciously put up with my pretentious ramblings: Mike Lafferty, Walt Robillard, Ade Smith, Chris McGlothlin, Chuck Rice, and Jacob Blackmun. And through this show, I’ve met so many more wonderful people in the RPG and comics business.

I’m thankful for my regular gaming groups, whether we’re playing Ars Magica, Star Trek, Song of Ice and Fire, Cypher, or something else: Garrett and Debra, Jeremiah and Shannon, Robert, Chad, Graydon, Tanner, Di, James Lee, Amber; my brief-but-happy live crew: Felicia, Robert, Bryan, Alex; and finally my brother-from-another-mother Jim Seals, who really needs to write more Star Trek stuff.

There’s a lot to be thankful for this year.

Sean Fields

There are many things I can be thankful for in regards to geek culture and that changes annually. So, to avoid the chapters I can write, I'm going to pick something fairly recent and brief. I'm thankful for the early 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica.

This show was the best. It was compelling with action, innovative with the depiction of camera moves in interstellar fights (reminiscent of World War II battles), relevant with the contemporary issues of the time (mainly democracy and war) and the characters were well-written and well-acted. That alone should be enough reasons for me to be thankful for the show but I'm really thankful for the show for the sense of connection it provided for me. BSG arrived at a time where I was living in Las Vegas and dealing with life issues. BSG was both an escape and a way to connect with folks. I made new friends online because of our shared love of this show, had weekly talks with my best friend back East about it and it was a subject of conversation during the times I actually spoke to my father in this time period. Additionally, I was able to introduce BSG into the life of a special friend and it made a stronger bond between us.

I'm thankful for Helo's relationship with Starbuck. I'm thankful for Roslin for being the badass president the survivors need. I'm thankful for Athena for stepping up and becoming the mother to us all. I'm thankful for Ronald D. Moore and company for creating this dynamic show that you should definitely watch.

Greg Morrow

I'm thankful for Squirrel Girl, which is simply brilliant -- literally unbeatable, but mostly not by fighting but by empathizing, talking, and understanding, but when necessary exceptional at fighting. Diverse cast, strong plots, clever writing, distinct art with effective storytelling.

I'm thankful for Breaking Cat News -- beautifully water-colored, gently humorous, personal voice with ept characterization.

I'm thankful for Questionable Content -- constantly evolving art style, engaging cast, fun and fascinating characterization. The background SF component is firmly backgrounded, but clearly has been thought about extensively; it's not an add-on.

I'm thankful for The Good Life -- fantastically smart writing that is fearless about using up plot elements out of confidence that there will be more, instead of milking the sad old premises and setups for a decade. Marvelous comic acting, beautiful production design.

I'm thankful for The Orville -- a Star Trek pastiche that manages to make me feel like I felt when I was watching Star Trek for the first time. It wants to be _like_ Star Trek, but it knows that it is _itself_ without any self-doubt.

JL Franke

At the risk of sounding maudlin, I am thankful for the entire Fifth World family, writers and readers alike. Starting this blog has reinvigorated my passion for geek culture.  I’d not stopped reading comics, and I’d still catch the periodic genre movie or show, but mostly they were just things I’d consume and move on with my life, as other priorities had taken hold. Reading the fine work of my fellow Fifth Worlders and participating in discussions on the blog and related social media has got me wanting to share my passions and joys with far more regularity. So I’m thankful for *you*.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” ~Lester Bangs
5W Holiday Panel: Thankful on Thanksgiving 5W Holiday Panel: Thankful on Thanksgiving Reviewed by Chris Maka on Thursday, November 23, 2017 Rating: 5
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