We love Canada. There’s a lot to love about it – free health care, poutine, a welcoming environment for refugees, maple syrup, equal rights for women, doughnuts, TV, the list goes on and on…
When we love something at Fangirl Shirts, we put it on a T-shirt. Behold our “Canada Fangirl” shirt! Get yours in plenty of time to wear it for Canada Day (July 1). This year is “Canada 150” – that’s right, this year is the 150th birthday of Canada.
While there are many things we love about the country of Canada as a whole, and we could devote an entire essay to that topic, you probably know us best as fangirls of strong female characters in TV shows and the movies. You’ll find a lot of strong, three-dimensional female characters in Canadian TV shows, so it’s no surprise that these are some of the shows we love so much we’ve made T-shirts about them:
For your enjoyment: here’s one of our favorite fanvids from 2013 about some of our favorite Canadian TV shows, created and expertly mashed up by SurrenderToRandomnness, set to “Canadian, Please” by gunnarolla and Julia Bentley.
Tell us YOUR favorite things about Canada in the comments! And get a Canada Fangirl shirt today and wear it proudly, eh?
Happy Spring! The return of spring every year is a renewal of life, a celebration of the abundance of beauty and bounty on Earth, and of course – SOFTBALL SEASON.
Both of your Fangirl Shirts co-founders have played and loved softball over the years, ranging from summer kids’ leagues in our youths to managing and playing on adult recreational teams. Now, we are excited to be teaming up with some super-cool and creative Earpers to bring you a new wicked cool design they came up with!
One of Fangirl Shirts’ nonprofit beneficiaries is the Women’s Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports. We believe that sports are fun and contribute to good health and confidence, and confer lifelong benefits for girls and women. We’re happy to be able to partner with the awesome creators of this shirt to bring you some sport-themed fangirl apparel.
We’ve done an interviewwith Coral, Carol and Dre, the fabulous minds who came up with the concept and artwork for the Purgatory Sheriff’s Department Softball team.
FGS: How did you hear about Wynonna Earp and start watching it?
Coral: A dear friend of mine who is also into SyFy as much as I am had been watching it. She called me and told me I needed to start watching because it was an amazing SyFy show that was cleverly written with a great lesbian storyline. We have the same taste in TV shows so I knew it had to be good.
Carol: I saw the ads for it, but the ads didn’t grab me. Syfy has some stinkers, and I thought Wynonna Earp was going to be a Sharknado Syfy-style stinker. Coral saw the show and told me to run, not walk to the nearest TV to see it. I did, and I lurve the show.
Dre: If I remember correctly, I think Coral and Carol told me about it. Since it’s filmed in Calgary, 2.5 hrs away from me, I thought, what the hell, right? WRONG!! You think I could find it ANYWHERE on TV?? NO ONE PICKED IT UP, except for this small Ontario channel that I couldn’t get access to so I had to stream it! It didn’t take me very long. I didn’t fall in love right away (don’t throw anything sharp), I did come to love it by the time it ended though. I’ve since watched it again and now that Space has picked it up, looks like I’ll be watching it one more time just in time for season 2! 🙂
FGS: What inspired you to design the Purgatory Softball Team shirt?
Coral: I will have to defer to Carol on this one. It was when she was here in Albuquerque, helping take care of me after my fourth shoulder surgery. I remember the discussions and brainstorming, but was taking a lot of pain meds.
Carol: I took time off work to fly out to help Coral after her shoulder surgery. We ended up watching Wynonna Earp reruns the entire time. Coral had the idea to make a T-shirt. The shirt is inspired by my love of the softball shirts I had as kid in the 70’s, and so the Purgatory Sheriff’s Department Softball Team was born.
FGS: What position do you think Nicole would play? Would Waverly join the team, or would she cheer from the sidelines? What about the others – Dolls, Doc, Wynonna, Nedley, Champ, Stupid Carl…?
We envisioned that the PSD softball team would play others such as the Fire Department. Also, the Revenants would have their own team with Bobo as captain. The Revenants would not stick to the rules and eventually try to kill someone, so the game would probably not make it to the 4th inning.
Wynonna as pitcher
Waverly as catcher or softball groupie
Doc at first base or right field
Nedley at second
Dolls at third
Nicole at shortstop
Emily Andras as coach
(FGS: maybe Champ and Gus could join the outfield? Clootie could be the umpire, as long as they dig up her salt flat and place her gently behind home plate. Agent Lucado could also help enforce the rules, as long as she doesn’t burn Purgatory down to the ground…)
FGS: Did/do you play softball? Tell us about that!
Coral: I played fast-pitch softball in high school at second base, then slowpitch for years after high school at shortstop until my shoulder surgeries. Fun fact: I did get a chance to play second base in 1996 for a semi-professional women’s baseball team, the Michigan Stars.
Here’s what happened: I was living in Tucson, Arizona, which hosted the national Women’s Semi-Professional Baseball Tournament. My roommate was friends with some of the players on the Michigan Stars. I went down to the baseball fields to do some lady watching lady baseball watching. While there, my roommate’s friends introduced me to the rest of the Michigan Stars players. We had a good time talking and they asked if I wanted to sit in their dugout.
One of their players broke her hand in last game of the first day of the tournament in the last inning. They needed another player or would have to forfeit the rest of the weekend. They didn’t have another player, so they asked me to fill in. I hadn’t played baseball since Carol and I played Little League when we were kids. They threw a uniform at me and the umpire told me I had five minutes to get it on or they would need to forfeit. I had to change quickly in a tiny Port-O-Pottie (I’m sure it was rocking back and forth with me trying to hurry and get dressed before the official called it).
They put me on second base and I was lucky enough to make all three outs (grounder turning a double play and then a pop up). Since their player was out the rest of the weekend, they needed me to play Saturday and Sunday. I was terrified of hitting. These girls pitched 47 miles an hour…I know this because our pitcher won the pitching speed competition.
That night I grabbed my softball bat (the only bat I had) and went to the batting cages to hit baseballs. It was not pretty. I did get one hit to center field off a fastball, and then the other pitchers figured out I really didn’t play baseball and threw curve balls, knuckle balls, anything but a fastball. After that, I never got on base again because I couldn’t read the pitches. It was one of the best experiences of my life, a fun bunch of mostly lesbian women.
Carol: Yes, Coral and I played. I played shortstop in high school. Our senior year, we won our conference championship, but lost in the quarter finals going for the state title. I played women’s slow pitch for years first at shortstop and then in left field. Now I play occasionally at second base.
Dre: I played softball back in the day when a bunch of friends from school convinced me to play with them. Loved it. I played catcher and then eventually left field. I played for about ten years, I think, but then went back to my first love, soccer. I played soccer all my life = at University for a year, and we went to western finals once. Never made nationals but oh well…
FGS: Dre, tell us about your work in T-shirts!
Dre: The company I work for is called Creative Giant, located in Edmonton, Alberta. We do all sorts of shirts, hoodies, sweats, jackets, towels, jerseys, etc. Whatever you want on it, as long as I have good art or a nice, clean picture to work with, I can put it on anything. I’ve made a few shirts for myself – never thought of actually doing anything above and beyond that until this happened. I have tons of ideas in my head. 🙂
FGS: How did you three meet each other?
Coral: We met Dre at the Xenite Retreat, I believe through our friend Sandy. Sandy is a Scottish Xenite I had met at the last Xena Convention. There are 5 of us that became great friends at the Xenite Retreat (Dre from Canada, Carol from California, Jess from California, Amy from England, and Sandy from Scotland). New technology has bridged distance and time to allow us to talk daily via Facebook messenger. I can’t imagine not talking with these ladies. I feel very grateful to have all of them in my life. We have celebrated triumphs and supported losses for and with each other. Carol and I have ladies from the original Xena days who are friends for life as well. This is what a fandom is about. The show is the common interest but the friendships are what last long after the show is over.
Carol: We met Dre last year through a friend at a Xenite Retreat. There are six of us that met and had a blast. We talk every day. We will be meeting back up shortly for the 2nd annual Xenite Retreat, and then in June we will all be vacationing together in Scotland. Our other friends are from England and Scotland. For me, the fandom is much more about the friendships you gain through a show or mutual interest. Priceless.
Dre: Yep, Xenite Retreat last year, and it still boggles my mind how I had never met them before since Sandy and I have known each other for seven years. Better late than never, though. We’ve got such a great year coming up for our group. It’s going to be spectacular and I’m pretty sure there will be many more adventures for us in the future.
FGS: What else do you fangirl over? What are your other fandoms?
Coral: Xena, Wonder Woman, Supergirl (love Sanvers!), Orphan Black, Buffy, Star Trek (especially Voyager), Star Wars, Killjoys, Dark Matter, anything comic book related especially with a strong female character, Person of Interest, and Mass Effect (a video game).
Carol: Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman were the first big ones as a kid. Xena was the first convention I had ever been to. That was 20 years ago and I still have great friends from those conventions. BUFFY!! Angel, Firefly, Carmilla, Lost Girl, Wynonna Earp, Supergirl, Orphan Black, Star Wars, Star Trek: Voyager, Warehouse 13, Legends of Tomorrow, Killjoys, Dark Matter, Battlestar Galactica, Underworld, and The L Word.
Dre: I don’t know if there is enough room in this email for my list, I’m quite ridiculous: The X-Files, Xena, Doctor Who, Farscape, Carmilla, Lost Girl, Wynonna Earp, Supergirl, Orphan Black, Star Wars, Star Trek: Voyager, Warehouse 13, Haven, Arrow, Penny Dreadful, 12 Monkeys, Killjoys, Dark Matter, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, Bionic Woman, Haven, Hannibal, The Fall, (literally ANYTHING with Gillian Anderson in it), WONDER WOMAN, omg.. it’s going to be EPIC!!! Oooo have you seen the trailer for Atomic Blonde??? GET ON IT!!
FGS: Anything else you wish we had asked you?
Coral: I make and sell Xeanies and Gabeanies (slouch beanies) at the Xenite retreat. They are grey with purple lettering that reads either Xeanie or Gabeanie. I have plans to make beanies for Wynonna Earp as well, (Wynonna, WayHaught, Dolls, and Doc).
Dre: I’m not just a geek, but a big sports fan too. Oilers and Eskimos are my local boys, Bayern Munchen, and German National team are my go-tos for football. Playoff hockey is happening right now and I couldn’t be more happy that my boys are in it.
FGS: Thank you so much for sharing your time for this blog post and your creative chops for the Purgatory Softball Team shirt!
Coral, Carol and Dre gifted Katherine Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley with shirts of their own at ClexaCon, and they gave us permission to share the videos with you here! Special thanks to Deb from AfterEarp for recording these videos and uploading them to YouTube!
Creative credit for the Purgatory Sheriff’s Department Softball Team: Coral, @coral2gem and Carol, @carolsno
Jo: In 2010, together with my friend and fellow LOST fan Jared, we started this little charitable endeavor because my dear friend Jackie had brain cancer (she was only 28 years old). I felt helpless, and wanted to figure out a way to channel my kind followers on Twitter and Facebook toward the greater good.
We knew that the amazing global LOST fan community would be supportive of fundraisers and auctions that benefited charities, so we started acquiring LOST related items and reaching out to both fans and cast/crew for input and contributions. Due to the proliferation of social media (for outreach and marketing), as well as good will and intent among all involved, we were able to amass a few hundred items and host a large online auction in 2012.
Thanks to incredible generosity from the fans, we were thrilled to raise over $60,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society in Jackie’s honor, which was bittersweet and lovely because she had passed away just a few weeks prior to the auction opening. Since that time, we have hosted 2 additional online auctions and many onsite silent auctions at fan events, where we raised a very large amount of money for selected cancer organizations! The widespread support has been nothing short of spectacular, and continues to be.
FGS: What initiatives does CGL have going on, and what cancer charities has CGL supported?
We are currently working on two major auctions: our onsite silent auction to benefit PanCAN at LOST 2017 in Hawaii (a fan event on Oahu in October) and our next big online auction (2018, date & charity of choice TBD)! Because CGL is run entirely in our spare time, we are only able to host massive online auctions every 2 years.
The small auction that I hosted with Eliza Taylor recently was a one-off; the rare opportunity to help a good friend when I had time and extra item inventory! Her little buddy Isla in Thailand has leukemia, and I offered to host the auction for her family fundraiser because if I can help one little girl with cancer right now, I can/should/will.
I am grateful to Eliza and the entire The 100 cast for their genuine support of CGL; they always sign and donate items! And honestly, this fandom tends to have a bad reputation at times, but in my experience – they can be the greatest. There are fans creating and donating beautiful fan art to CGL, as well as always willing to contribute what little money they have to causes supported by the cast…it is heartwarming and very appreciated.
Jo: Sadly, cancer touches every single one of us, whether family or friends. With each CGL auction/fundraiser, my choice of cancer charity to donate our proceeds to is personal. My mother-in-law, who has been like a wonderful second mom to me for the last 20 years, is bravely battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer right now. So it was an easy choice to pick PanCAN for this campaign.
In every fandom, the overwhelming majority of fans choose to be kind, supportive humans to one another. They just tend to be quieter online! I always try to encourage fans (online and in person) to change the conversation when faced with negativity or bullying in their communities; to channel that energy toward something more productive, like inspiring Tumblr posts or links to charities they support. It works more often than not. I strongly believe that most fans want to make an actual difference in the world, which is why I adopted this catchphrase and aim to continue inspiring others to choose kindness.
FGS: Tell us a little about Jo the person. What do you fangirl over? What do you do when you’re not channeling fandom toward the greater good?
Jo: The truth is that I have a regular desk job during the week, and run CGL in every moment of my spare time – which is my greatest joy and favorite hobby! I am a total fangirl, from LOST to Star Wars to Orphan Black (and so much more). Admittedly, I watch far too much television. [FGS editorial comment: whaaaaaat, is there any such thing as watching too much television???] But at least I am able to do so while working on CGL projects, and it ties in; I love knowing which shows the fans enjoy the most, and why. It informs where I set my acquisition and autograph goals each year. When I’m not working on CGL, my wife and I enjoy traveling and good wine (we don’t live far from Napa & Sonoma)!
This post doesn’t contain plot spoilers for Season One of Wynonna Earp, but it does contain discussion about the characters. If you haven’t yet seen Wynonna Earp Season One and want to remain 100% spoiler-free, then bookmark this post for later (but do check out all our Wynonna Earp gear!)
Wynonna Earp is coming to Netflix! That’s right, this Saturday, April 1 (no fooling!) you’ll be able to binge the entire season on Netflix in the USA. On April 15 in Canada, Season One will be re-airing on the Space Channel. If you haven’t seen it yet, but your friends have been constantly bugging you to watch, then make sure you do it right away. And take it from us – you’re in for a treat and so much awesome entertainment.
If you’ve already seen Season One but you’re in the mood for a rewatch with some pals, then join a large group of Earpers who will be doing a coordinated rewatch of the season, complete with live tweeting and post-episode video hangouts. Follow @WynonnaFans, @WynonnaEarpPod and @BridgetOnTV for the details. Earpers have redefined the idea of Polite #NoChill when it comes to supporting their beloved show, and new fans will be welcomed to a kind, supportive fandom with open arms.
In advance of this Earp-a-palooza that awaits, we wanted to share some thoughts about why we love the show.
We Love the Characters
Wynonna Earp herself, the titular character, is a damaged heart wrapped up in a hot mess of contradictions. She fled her hometown of Purgatory to escape her metaphorical demons, then returned years later to fight her literal demons. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, but she also subconsciously craves approval and validation. She wields a weapon that has chosen her, with which she caused a cataclysmic change in her family and destroyed her young life.
Maybe, possibly, she might drink too much sometimes.
And we love her. We love her brave heart, her honesty about her fears, and her ride-or-die commitment to keep her family safe and take up a legacy and responsibility that she spent most of her life running from. She is tough as nails. She feels things deeply but shrugs them off with a sarcastic comment. She doesn’t let people’s past impressions of her determine who she will be today. She is fierce, funny, brave and she takes risks. She likes doughnuts, and she really really likes motorcycles.
She loves her sister with her whole heart.
Waverly Earp is the little sister who was left behind when her family fell apart. Smart, curious and persistent, she hasn’t given up, even when everyone around her let her down and left her. She hasn’t become bitter and isn’t holding a grudge. She’s optimistic and welcoming without being anyone’s fool – and as a server at Shorty’s bar, she’s had to deal with her share of buffoons. Waverly lets herself be open to a whole new realization about herself, and along with it, a new relationship.
Xavier Dolls is a stern, by-the-book mysterious authority figure with a secret. If you look up “tough love” in the dictionary, you might find his picture there for all the times he prods Wynonna to overcome her reluctance to do what needs to be done. What is he hiding and what’s up with his eyes?
Doc Holliday is an old-timey down-home character who manages to shrug off the wonderment of the modern world and see people for who they are. Bent on revenge, he’s just as surprised as anyone when he really starts to care. He’s also possibly the snappiest dresser this side of the Rocky Mountains – paisley shirts and vests never go out of style.
Nicole Haught is a confident, swaggering-but-not-in-an-off-putting-way newcomer to the Purgatory scene, and her ignorance of the undercurrents of mystery and supernatural goings-on in town is our window as viewers into this mysterious tableau. Her self-knowledge and acceptance of her friends for who and where they are in their lives is a great model for all of us.
We Love the Relationships
Each person in the world is on their own journey. Along the way, we do our best to love each other and struggle through life together.
On TV, characters don’t exist in a vacuum. They interact with each other, learn from each other, and help each other. In doing so, they reveal and discover parts of who they are. The relationships between the characters on Wynonna Earp are one of the most delightful and satisfying facets of the show. We love watching the characters individually, but where they intersect to help, fight and love each other is one of the richest veins of story gold you’ll find.
Every character pair has something to offer, and no character is flat or exists only for one purpose.
Wynonna and Waverly and their sisterly love bond
Waverly and Nicole and the path they forge of new understanding
Wynonna and Nicole and their moment of bonding and shared experience
Wynonna and Dolls and their mentor/unwilling pupil relationship, along with Wynonna’s need for Dolls’ approval masked by disdain
Wynonna and Doc and their sparking chemistry
Doc and Waverly’s friendship based on caring and truth-telling
Doc and Dolls and their rivalry-turned-partnership
Nicole and Dolls and their grudgingly gained mutual respect
Nicole and Doc are getting there – he was the one who finally told Nicole the truth about Purgatory
We Love the Themes
Wynonna Earp is both a fun and serious show. It has hilarious and snappy dialogue, mysterious backstory and characters, lots of action, and occasional gore and scary moments. It also examines some big questions. Without giving away plot spoilers, we’ll say that we’re enjoying how the show explores the questions it’s asking.
Questions like: what does it mean to be family? Is anyone so broken that they’re not worth fixing? How can people forgive themselves for terrible things they’ve done, even and especially if those things aren’t directly their fault? What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to have a destiny, and do we really get to make all our own decisions? What does love look like? How can we save each other?
Sexual assault is a horrific crime. Survivors of sexual assault in the United States often have to navigate a legal system that is maddeningly inconsistent at best and hostile at worst. The founder of Rise, Amanda Nguyen, decided to do something about that when she experienced it firsthand. She started Rise, an organization working for the civil rights of sexual assault survivors, and wrote a bill with bipartisan lead sponsors Rep. Mimi Walters and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, that Congress passed unanimously in 2016 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 7, 2016.
As Amanda said last night at an event in Washington, DC, most rape cases are adjudicated at the state level. A federal civil rights bill for rape survivors is an excellent first step, but Rise’s goal now is to pass a similar bill in all 50 states. So far in 2017, they’ve helped pass 5 state bills already.
On March 22, 2017, Funny or Die and Rise premiered a video featuring Tatiana Maslany that highlights the absurdity of the legal and justice system that rape survivors must navigate to advocate for themselves after their assault.
Can a video about the aftermath of sexual assault be funny? If any video can do that, this one does. But it’s not all knee-slapping hilarity – in addition to exposing and highlighting the absurdity of what survivors sometimes must do to make sure evidence isn’t thrown away, there’s a stretch of several seconds of silence after a poignant statement that drives home the point. Just watch it.
Funny or Die made this video happen, so give them some clicks, share the video with your friends, and repost it on social media.
Tatiana Maslany appeared in this video, which would have been awesome enough in and of itself. But that’s not all. She also flew down to Washington, DC, from Toronto to attend the premiere on the same day she and the rest of the Orphan Black cast and crew wrapped on the series…at 4am.
We’ve been fans of Tatiana’s ever since we’ve watched Orphan Black. We’ve appreciated her portrayal of all the clones on the show, as well as video clips we’ve seen and interviews we’ve read. We think she’s awesome and have thought so for some time.
What has taken our fangirling to a new level is how Tatiana is lending her voice and her star power to this really important issue. She spoke with both passion and compassion about how Amanda’s story had stayed with her, and about how the system that strives to silence survivors of sexual assault needs to be changed. People who have met Tatiana have commented on how she is very genuine and nice, and we’re here to cosign that – it’s true. She didn’t have to, but she hung around the event to speak to fans and take pictures with them until the very last minute when the venue needed to clear the room, and all that despite having no sleep.
We have loved the show Orphan Black since its first season. It asks many important questions, like – who owns a woman’s body? Who has the right to make decisions about a woman’s body and her autonomy? And while those questions have been asked and explored through the lens of speculative fiction amid a gripping mystery plot and ongoing conspiracy to unravel, the message has been clear. Women own their bodies and have the right to make decisions about them without interference from outside agents – whether that is a fictional world domination shadow organization, or the real-life government.
We were inspired by Rise and by Tatiana’s support of their mission, and we’d like to help. We believe that women should be able to achieve their dreams on an equal playing field. Among the many components of that eventual vision is the right to live free of sexual violence, and the right to have a legal and criminal justice system that protects the civil rights of survivors. So we’re going to donate $1 directly to Rise for every item we sell that was inspired by Orphan Black. It’s one of the more subtle designs we have, but fellow Clone Club members will know exactly what it means.
Thank you so much to everyone who worked so hard to make this video and this event happen. It was an educational and inspiring night – and will hopefully lead quickly to more needed change.