Hello, Internet! On April 8, 2015, Lost fans, myself included, have rejoiced that our own holiday of sorts has come and gone.
What is Lost Day? You can find out over here at Entertainment Weekly.
Lost Day is unlike the “Star Wars Day” May 4th, which happens every year, Lost Day will only happen once. As far as I know, feel free to correct me Internet!
Today, I’m sharing my history with my most beloved show. It’s an unusual story of how one fan out in Nowheresville, Florida became an internet celebrity and then slowly faded away.
When Lost started, I’m not going to lie, it just wasn’t my thing. It was on at the wrong time, as I was taking night classes in graphic design, and those classes were two and a half hours long. So it was one of those things I let pass me by. So Season One hits episode 8, “Confidence Man” where we get Sawyer’s backstory. A buddy of mine in much of her fangirl flailings tells me “OMG YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS SHOW111!11!11!1!!!11” And I finally relented.
Back in the day, Bit Torrent was my best buddy in downloading the episodes. Watch full episodes on the website? Netflix Streaming? That stuff didn’t exist back then. Netflix even sent physical DVDs.
After I binge watched those eight episodes, I was a goner. I was a full on believer in the Castaway Crack. I was whole hog into the fandom. The theories, the conspiracies, not to mention slashing everyone with everyone else.
But Lost was different than a lot of stuff that was out at the time. Lost was a show that was very much a “Thinker’s Show” as I call it. It challenged a lot of what Americans thought of the world at the time. Case in point was Sayid Jarrah played by Naveen Andrews, it was unheard of to have a main character and a hero at that be an Iraqi soldier with the Republican Guard. Meanwhile, Iraq was on America’s shit list.
And speaking of Sayid, my buddy rather loved him so. I rather loved Sawyer so. One of the interesting jokes at the time was slashing them together. That met with a lot of WHAT WTF HOW WOULD THAT WORK?……….no really how would it work. no plz tell me. O_O Watch S1 EP8 and you will be on that boat. Believe me.
My buddy and I made a bet. She’d write a fanfic of such a pairing, and I’d illustrate it into a comic. Thinking pffft! There’s no way this would happen. Not a chance!
Well. She wrote it.
And I had to eat my words.
The fanfic in question was called Mechanical Rabbits, which I later made a comic as a final project for my graphic design class. Not only was working on Mechanical Rabbits challenging for me in many ways, but it was honestly my first experience with a slash story. Seems funny now, since, y’know. I write dudes that kiss and kick ass.
Mechanical Rabbits was my first full length comic, and it was my first illustrated sex scene. And I had to get up in front of my entire class and talk all about it with my head held high.
My professor told me it was brilliant, which coming from a straight dude at the time in Nowheresville, Florida that was a big deal. He suggested I send it to the actors. Like. Send a physical copy. Of a slash comic. To Hawaii. To Naveen Andrews and Josh Holloway.
To say I wanted to vomit from anxiety was an understatement.
But due to the glory of being able to find anything on the Internet if you knew the right keywords, I tracked down a callsheet one of the Lost extras scanned. On it was the address of the production company in Oahu. And I said, oh my god, now or never.
Fan letters composed, printed copies of the comic packaged, off they went. And off I went to hide my crippling shame.
But. But. There’s a plot twist.
So there I was, it was Thanksgiving Day, and I was depressed about something or other. And my Dad hands me an envelope with the address on it in my own handwriting. But the postmark says Hawaii. And I want to puke all over again. I opened the envelope and I find these.
Josh Holloway who plays Sawyer had the kindness to sign them and send them back. He doesn’t even know me. We’ve never met. But if we ever did, I’d tell him how much that meant to me on that very day. I later framed both and is currently sitting right behind me on my wall. And you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands.
But there’s more to this story. And you say, there’s more!
So, Mechanical Rabbits went viral. And at the time there was a website called Something Awful, which was basically a repository for people being trolls on the Internet. Someone had posted the comic pages in an effort to trash it. It backfired on him and ended up getting even more readers and a bigger following. But. It didn’t freaking stop there.
Nope. This train kept rolling on.
One day, the local paper called for an article about Lost fandom. So now I went from Internet Celebrity to Local Celebrity. They called back later for a second article. And I was a Local Celebrity again.
And then came the day that the producers of Lost called my house. And they wanted to talk to me about Mechanical Rabbits. And I said what any logical fan artist would say. “Holy fuck am I being sued?” Turns out, no. Not at all. In fact, they want me to appear on a bonus feature on the Season 2 DVDs.
The producers decided to make a day of it, which included being on a nationally broadcast radio talk show. And I was on it as the only guest. And I was not only a Local Celebrity again, I was now getting recognized on the damned street.
The years have gone by since then, my involvement with the Lost fandom has since faded away. But my passion for the show runs deep, and I’ll take anyone to the carpet that trashes on the ending. And since you can find anything on the Internet, I found the DVD feature I was in on YouTube. I also found some delightful trolling comments calling me an idiot for talking about a plot twist that hadn’t happened yet because people don’t understand the glory of filming things in advance.
In the end, here I am 100 pounds heavier, geeking the hell out about my beloved show. My art, and a couple of the comic pages appear right at the start with JJ Abrams’s intro. I’m in the middle of it, discussing the one thing that Lost Day is all about.