U.N.C.L.E. wins Mister 8′s May Madness

The results have not been declared official but it appears The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a TV series that went off the air in January 1968, won the May Madness competition of fellow COBRA Mister 8′s May Madness.

The website hasn’t declared a winner but the voting was supposed to end at midnight last night, and the vote was 395 for U.N.C.L.E. and 197 for Queen & Country’s Tara Chace.

Mister 8 patterned the competition after the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament, with James Bond and Jason Bourne being the “highest seeded” fictional spies. Tara Chace, created by writer Greg Rucka, defeated 007 in the first round. U.N.C.L.E., after narrowly defeating Get Smart in the initial round, knocked off Bourne.

UPDATE: Mister 8 on June 11 has officially declared The Man From U.N.C.L.E. the winner. We’ve alerted our headline as a result.

007′s defeat to Tara Chace, what it means

Yesterday, James Bond went down to defeat in a vote of fans at the Mister 8 Web site. It got us to thinking about the nature of fandom and how one fandom can vary to another.

For some fandoms, there’s a sort of intimacy. Tara Chance/Queen and Country writer Greg Rucka used Twitter.com to urge fans to vote for his character and it apparently contributed to Tara outpacing 007 258 votes to 56. It was a case of a creator reached out directly to his audience. There are other examples of this. The makers of the two Iron Man movies used comic book conventions to help sell the movie to fans, helping to create positive word of mouth before either film opened. This general model goes back to Gene Roddenberry talking to college audiences in the 1970s to keep Star Trek interest strong, eventually leading to production of new movies and television series.

Meanwhile, a post on this weblog got linked in some of the Twitter postings, which generated traffic for us. One tweet in particular said in part:

Bond fans predictably, “who cares?”

That’s a reference to one of the responses to our post from yesterday.

Bond fandom is more like a series of corporations, where some fans argue who was the first “professional fan” Eon Productions never went the fan convention route until 1994, part of an effort to revive fan interest after a hiatus in making 007 films that began in 1989. There’s never been a lot of direct outreach to fans. That doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, but Bond lacks the direct connection between creators and fans found elsewhere.

The creator of the Mister 8 site, in a response to one of our posts said his “May Madness” competition” among fictional spies is, “all a lark, in good fun.”

He’s right. It makes some amusing reading. But it also shows different fandoms operate, and that can be interesting to observe, as well.

UPDATE: For those unfamiliar with Tara Chace and Queen & Country, JUST CLICK HERE.

To view an article from the HMSS archives about The Sandbaggers, the inspiration for Queen & Country, CLICK HERE.

Things looking bad for 007 vs. Tara Chace in May Madness

Ernst Stavro Blofed couldn’t do it. Nor could Goldfinger, Dr. No, Scaramanga or Largo (both versions). But it appears James Bond is about to go down to defeat against Tara Chace in Mister 8′s May Madness.

With less than two hours to go before voting concludes, the Greg Rucka-created Chace leads 007 248-55, gleaning 82 percent of votes cast.

This may seem like a surprise but on reflection probably shouldn’t be viewed that way. Chace fans have responded to tweets and a blog message from Rucka. Many Bond fans, meanwhile, have always considered themselves above that sort of thing. Several years ago, another Web site had some kind of fan-favorite poll and fans of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. organized themselves to vote.

UPDATE: As of 6 p.m. on May 20 (presumably the final results but who knows?), the tally was 256-58 in favor of Tara Chace. We already have a “who gives a rat’s ass” response, which reinforces the previous statement that much of Bond fandom considers itself above this sort of thing.

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