Sarah Buck has filmed a documentary about the sudden increase of Tardis’ on people’s lawns in Eugene, Ore.
“I love Doctor Who myself. It’s a show when I started watching it that gave me a lot of hope in humanity during a time when I lost all hope in humanity.”
Studying folklore is usually equated to traditional topics such as stories handed down over generations, the myths, legends and beliefs that children are taught from an early age. Eugene, Ore. resident Sarah Buck however is more interested in studying the new folklore that popular culture has spawned in recent decades. For her, these are our new stories.
“More and more, we don’t have this nucleus of a traditional family, that the things we’ve grown up on, pop culture has now become a part of our tradition.”
A lifetime Doctor Who fan, Buck noticed an increasing odd phenomenon in her adopted home of Eugene, people were building and displaying Doctor Who’s Tardis on their lawns. As any good student of folklore would do, she began to research just what was going on, first writing a paper and then filming a documentary called INSIDE A BLUE BOX.
“In recent years I started seeing Tardis’ in people’s front yards. I thought this is crazy that people are actually building this. If it were like one person in Kentucky, that’s one thing. But in Eugene alone I met so many people who have built it.”
Discovering a joy in all aspects of the documentary film process, Buck may have just found her calling in life. In the meantime however, she will continue to pursue her doctorate and teach people how folklore affects all aspect of our lives.
READ SARAH’S INTERVIEW BELOW
FOLLOW SARAH ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, ON PINK COFFEE GAMES AND ON HER WEBSITE
READ THE BRONZE REVIEW OF INSIDE A BOX
WHAT DOES A FOLKLORE/COMIC AT OREGON UNIVERSITY DEGREE PROGRAM ENTAIL?
They are separate parts of the University, but I think they overlap nicely. It’s a newer movement in academia. Most folklore students are still studying traditional folklore.
I was adopted and it was hard for me to talk about family history. People would ask if I was blood related to my parents and I would get judged for my answer. The easiest thing for me to do was to talk about popular culture. My family and I would sit down and watch STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION. How many families watch STAR WARS at Christmas now? More and more, we don’t have this nucleus of a traditional family, that the things we’ve grown up on, pop culture has now become a part of our tradition.
There is so much to study. If aliens came to Earth in a couple thousand years and dug up the remains of our civilization, they would think we worshipped a tall guy in a blue shirt with pointed ears. They would think Wonder Woman is our christ figure. Fifty to 100 years from now, people will wish we have documented all of this.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO WITH YOUR DEGREE?
I found out i really liked making documentary films, so hopefully there will be more of them in my future. I am going to continue and get my doctorate and teach people about folklore how it affects us all.
WHAT IS TARDIS BUILDERS AND WHERE DID YOU GET THE INSPIRATION?
This past spring I made a film called INSIDE A BLUE BOX. It is a short documentary and it’s the first time I ever made a movie. I wrote, directed, filmed, edited, I did everything on it. It was intense. I did it in about two months from concept to finished product. We have screenings coming up for that this fall.
The documentary is all about why people love Doctor Who so much that they are building Tardis’ on their lawns. In recent years I started seeing Tardis’ in people’s front yards. I thought this is crazy that people are actually building this. If it were like one person in Kentucky, that’s one thing. But in Eugene alone I met so many people who have built it. I decided since I was a folklore student that I would look into it. I definitely think that modern folklore today that we are making is coming from popular culture. People are taking it and are turning it into art.
This not only transcends generation but also is transnational. It is amazing the effect it has had all over the globe. Unfortunately, I had a lot of people I wanted to interview but due to time constraints was not able to. People who built a Tardis are everywhere.
WHAT IS THE SPACE CATS SIM?
In June, my friend and I, Aenne and Amanda, made a dating sim called PINK COFFEE. Our first game is date cats in space. It’s fun because there is sort of this movement of people who love dating sims, and there are a lot of them that are not the most female forward. So we are taking that genre and creating something more inclusive and good. We have the playable concept down right now and it’s up there for people to play.
WHEN DO YOU HAVE TIME TO RELAX?
I also co-host FANGIRLRADIO, which is a podcast on FANGIRLMAG.COM.
ON SCALE OF 1-10, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU RANK AS A COMIC BOOK FAN?
What I like is pretty varied so I would say probably a seven
HOW MANY COMIC TITLES ARE YOU READING A MONTH?
I’ve gotten to the point where I get them every week. Once you are into comics it’s like they pile up in stacks everywhere around your house.
HOW DO YOU PREFER TO READ YOUR COMICS?
I like to read them in print. I think there really is a lot of digital comics and it is a fun way to read them. I must be old. I just want to sit here with my book and the smell of the comic pages.
I definitely don’t want to be sassed for being a woman. I also don’t want to be ignored. A lot of the times that’s the experience I have had. People say it’s gotten better and it doesn’t happen anymore, but I’m here to tell you it still does. Just treat everyone the same. Comics are becoming so big now, with all the movies and the attention and people everyday walk into stores that have no idea what they are looking for. You have to be able go up to customers and ask them what they are looking for.
IF YOU COULD MAKE ONE CHANGE TO THE COMIC STORE EXPERIENCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would say stores need to stop hiring part-time employees who just sit there and talk to their friends. I see a lot of people who think it’s just cool to hang out and work at a comic book store. At one store, one employee told me there was no such comic book called CHEW. He’d never heard of it and therefore it didn’t exists.
The other thing that has happened to me and I don’t want to hear ever again is store owners talk to me about a girl’s weight when they walk out of the store. I never want to hear that. Or they’ll say, ‘what happened to women wearing makeup, they’re not even trying anymore.’ It is so rude and happens more than people think or admit.
WHAT COMICS ARE YOU MOST EXCITED FOR EACH WEEK?
BITCH PLANET and ODY-C, both Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s indie projects. UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, LUMBERJANES and MS. MARVEL are others.
WHAT IS THE FIRST COMIC THAT YOU READ OR BOUGHT?
It was an X-MEN comic I found at my cousin’s house. He let me have it because I liked it. I don’t remember much about it because I was so little. It had Wolverine and Rogue on the cover. X-Men was a staple for me growing up because they were different and I felt there was something different about me and nobody understood me. Just like the X-Men.
WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE COMIC?
It’s AMERICAN VAMPIRE. I love, love, love, love that comic. Did I mention I love it? It’s so dynamic. The plot varies so much and the setting, there are in a different decade every month. It is such a genius way to approach it with all of the variation. Pearl is so bad ass, I love her. I went as Pearl for Halloween in 2010. I did the long fingernails. Scott Snyder saw the photo and remembers me as the girl who dressed as Pearl.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COMIC-RELATED COLLECTIBLE?
Probably the Francavilla drawing I have. It was just a quick Sharpie drawing, but it meant so much to me. I was sitting with him at a signing; I was volunteering for COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. It was on the night he won his first EISNER for cover art. He just sat there at the table, hung out and talked. Before he left, he drew it quick for me. He had a good signing and we had a nice chat. It meant a lot to me that he liked me so much as a person that he drew me Wonder Woman. I have always loved his artwork. He is amazing, fantastic and really unique in the comic book realm.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF DAY TO READ COMICS?
Either really early in the a.m. or really late at night. That’s the only time it’s quiet in my house. The phone is not going off and I don’t have to clean. My husband doesn’t need me, my daughter doesn’t need my attention. I am terrible about being interrupted when I read my comics.
WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE GREATEST TIME TO BE A FAN?
That’s where all the money’s going. You can get anime t-shirts at Hot Topic, dressed with the Tardis on them. We can talk about the evil corporate merchandising scene, but how cool it is that Cover Girl is coming out with a line of Star Wars makeup? We now have actual makeup inspired by Star Wars.
IF YOU COULD BE GUARANTEED TO CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would make it easier to make people become natural citizens of the United States. I honestly feel it would change our country for the better. I think we shouldn’t look down on people for wanting to change their lives. Allow for people to realize their dreams and that snowballs to a lot of different areas of our society that would be better.
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