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Analysis: Running the Asylum

Running the Asylum and Tropes Are Tools

This is not inherently a bad thing. The alternative, hiring people who are not fans, also has its issues, as you risk someone who is unfamiliar or even contemptuous of the source material completely missing what makes the genre good or expanding the mythology only the way a fan could. Don Rosa, for example, produced brilliant fanboy Continuity Porn based on the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics of Carl Barks. Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman produced critically-acclaimed works by embracing the absurdity of the comic book superhero mythology; of Moore's best-known works, only V for Vendetta isn't any kind of adaptation of a previous franchise or character.

These are signs of some of the problems that can result:

Note that a lot of these tend to show up in fanfiction before this trope makes them canon, hence the axiom at the top of the page.

On the plus side, Running the Asylum can be a cure for stagnation of a series, with the fans bringing in a fresh perspective.