Why Is E.L. James at Comic-Con?

Comic-Con is taking place this week in San Diego, and my understanding of the event is pretty minimal. I assumed it was for people who are into comics to get together and talk about comic stuff? And also monster movies, or something? But the cast of Twilight is a big draw, which makes some sense to me since it’s a series about vampires and werewolves and magic stuff. So here is my question: Why the hell is E.L. James at Comic-Con?

James is, of course, the author of the incredibly successful Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels, the names of which I forget but will now dub Fifty Shades of Greyer and Fifty Shades With a Vengeance. I haven’t read these books, clearly, but I get it: ladies want to fantasize about being tied up sometimes, too, I guess. But it’s my understanding that there are no vampires, werewolves, monsters, fairies, or any supernatural elements to the series, right? So what does that have to do with Comic-Con?

And then there’s this, which I find very confusing:

The last time E L James came to Comic-Con, she participated in a panel for fans who wrote fiction inspired by the hugely popular “Twilight” series.

Here’s where I actually had to look up on Wikipedia (which is always right, of course) that Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan-fiction, which seems pretty appropriate. (Little known fact: The Sun Also Rises was originally fan-fiction inspired by The Great Gatsby!)

Basically Comic-Con has turned into this weird thing, I guess, in which no-longer niche markets are represented becaue they make a ton of money and it’s fun to pretend that the people who are into them are super unique and weird. But if Fifty Shades of Grey, which doesn’t really count as genre fiction but not really as literature, either, is represented, what does that mean for the weirdos who want to dress up as, I dunno, villians from video games? Scratch that: I’m perfectly fine with my new fantasy, in which housewives who are into entry-level BDSM fall in love with guys clutching bagged X-Men comic books. That might not be what’s actually happening at Comic-Con, but a boy can dream. 

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