Web Crush Wednesdays: Mystery Ben and the Ghost Fandom

web crush wednesdaysIn the past month, have you suddenly started seeing a lot of purple skeletons, blue-haired girls, and pink singing ghosts on your Tumblr dashboard? If so, you’ve probably run into the Ghost fandom. What is this fandom all about and how did it become such a thing? Find out in today’s web crush.

The newly-formed Ghost fandom centers around one very cute music video. Specifically, this music video. (There are quite a lot of flashes in the video, so, trigger warning for epilepsy before anyone watches it.)

About a week after the video hit YouTube, it had a million views. As of this writing, it has nearly three million. The catchy music, clever animation, and clear homages to Scooby-Doo and other popular cartoons and anime struck a chord with today’s internet, and Tumblr started churning out fanart, edits, theories, and even cosplay of the characters in record time.

So how did this all come about? Well, Mystery Ben has been an active participant in fandom for some time, and was largely known for his contributions to the My Little Pony and Phoenix Wright fandoms. In fact, it was a Phoenix Wright fanvid that got the attention of Mystery Skulls, a DJ and recording artist. In 2012, Ben set a Phoenix Wright video to Mystery Skulls’s song “Money”, and Mystery Skulls himself noticed the vid and commented on it. Eventually, when Mystery Skulls produced “Ghost”, he decided to commission Ben to make an animated music video for it. As Ben says on his Tumblr:

Luis [Mystery Skulls] was actually kind enough to send me a shirt, thanking me for the the Money video. A while later, we managed to meet each other in person, where we got to talk about my video, his music, getting the aforementioned shirt autographed, and discuss if I would ever want to do anything official for him.

While I could not agree to anything at the time, it was around December of last year where I was finally able to commit to an officially commissioned version of Ghost.

Considering the explosive popularity of said music video, Mystery Skulls must be pretty happy with his commission. What makes it even cooler is that this is not only an amazingly fruitful Internet collaboration, it’s a collaboration born out of love and appreciation for fandom and fan work. Ben loved Mystery Skulls’s song and set a fanvid to it; Mystery Skulls loved Ben’s fanvid and had him do official work on a new song; now Ben has his own fandom for his own work. Truly a feel-good story for the millennial age.

If you’re interested in the new Ghost fandom, you can check out Mystery Ben’s Tumblr and the Ghost fanart Tumblr tag. Ben has put up some character profiles for the characters, is incredibly welcoming of fanart, fanfic, and the like, and answers questions on his animation style for the animation-curious. He’s also hinted at possible official merchandise for Ghost in the future… so jump on the bandwagon today!

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