After a viral tweet provoked a sci-fi book in 2019 jump to number six on Amazon’s bestseller list, everyone involved was shocked. Not only were the authors confused (but grateful!)but the young artist, whose previous social media presence consisted mostly of retweeting anime fanart, was also amazed.
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Here is the tweet:
“It was spurred in large part by my passion for both good anime And good literaturesaid the author of that fateful tweet—@maskofbun, aka “Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood” – in a direct message exchange with io9. They had finished This is how you lose the time war, of Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, in the early morning after getting up very late, and they “just needed to talk to someone about it. I had already tweeted to my followers about other non-Triangle media that I liked that got moderate traction, like the afterword of Hibari No Asa, so I felt comfortable sharing more stuff. (For those who don’t know, Triangle is an anime/manga series featuring a character named Nicholas D. Wolfwood.) In fact, the tweet “didn’t even explode on day one!” It took about 2 days and suddenly my mentions were only about this tweet!
When Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood – a young artist who asked to be called “Bun” or “Mr. Bigolas” in order to maintain their anonymity – went viral because they tweeted how much they loved a sci-fi book that I also desperately loved, I knew I had to talk to them. They were excited, overwhelmingly positive, and approached the whole thing with a sense of humor, clearly making fun of the whole situation, despite their sincere and deep love for what they were talking about.
When asked what they liked time war, Mr. Bigolas said, “I think what I really liked about the book was not just the tenderness that Red and Blue had, but also the carnality and violence that came with love. One of my favorite quotes was, “I want to be a body for you. I want to hunt you, to find you, I want to be eluded and teased and adored; I want to be defeated and victorious – I want you to cut me, to sharpen me. I want to drink tea next to you in ten or a thousand years. To like time war is not always nice, but also torturous. Something that consumes both participants over multiple timeframes.
Mr. Bigolas continued. “I like it when love is all-consuming like that. Holding you isn’t enough. I need to devour you…I find I like these portrayals of romance more than those that are too tender and flowery, in particular in WLW relationships [an acronym for Women Loving Women relationships that can include lesbian and sapphic depictions of love]– where often the two girls are reduced to sweet, innocent creatures who can only hold hands. WLW relationships can be extremely intense, and I love seeing that in fiction.
As I was trying to explain to a few co-workers exactly what was going on on Twitter, and specifically in my DMs, one of them told me to stop and literally analyze every word for her. The fandom incomprehensibilities, the sheer messy nature of what happened on Twitter, was simply beyond immediate normal human comprehension. I hate to say it – who am I kidding, I love it here – but I’m a weird fandom, sci-fi nerd, and part-time anime weeb. When I say “A fan of manga and anime Triangle, using a name indicating the size of the fictional dick of the main character and which expedites the couple of slashes known in Triangle circles like ‘Vashwood’ (a coat rack by Vash the Stampede and Nicholas Wolfwood, the latter of which inspired their username), tweeted about This is how you lose the time war with such intensity that it went viral and helped push time war at the top of Amazon’s bestseller charts for fiction,” I realize how less damaged people online can only make sense of three sequential words of this sentence at a time.
So why is it important? The little story is this: A fan tweeted about a book and went viral, helping to elevate the book to Amazon’s bestseller list. They were so serious, so unbalanced, so fantastically passionate that they inspired other people to buy the book. Then more people started tweeting their love for This is how you lose the time war– which was critically acclaimed and highly successful when first published in 2019 – and more people bought the book. Despite the piles of data research that says Twitter doesn’t sell books…this time it sold the fucking book.
“Fandom is powerful primarily through collective enthusiasm,” Bigolas said. “It can be a very dangerous thing but also a lot of fun, depending on how you use it. I think the energy created when tons of like-minded people get together is amazing! Mr. Bigolas’ impact is hard to underestimate. Other authors do Triangle summoning circles in hopes of finding their own Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood.
Mr. Bigolas was “thrilled that tweeting about anime characters sticking their tongues in each other’s mouths actually amounted to something? I am so, so happy to have been able to give well-deserved publicity not only to Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, but also to Triangular Stampede.”
There is also an aspect of this is where Mr. Bigolas appealed directly to fandom and meme accounts. In order to underline how much Mr. Bigolas appreciated this book, they tweeted: “*takes you personally by the throat* you will do this. for me. you will go to the counter at Barnes and Noble. you will buy this. I will be greatly rewarded.
It’s this kind of messy fandom talk – overselling of things people love – that Twitter is designed to respond to. Marketing can get as expansive as it wants, but it won’t, can’t compare to the wild reaction a fan will have to something they really, deeply love. And word of mouth, as many authors will tell you, is everything. BookTok should shake.
When asked about other speculative media they valued, Mr. Bigolas recommended Oshi no Ko. “The first episode was amazing, and I’m curious to see how it’s going to go!” They are also enthusiastic about the audio drama The silt worms. “It focuses on a world where deities are exploited for capitalist purposes. For example, do you want your fast food restaurant to sell more chicken sandwiches? Make a sacrifice to the one who utters a thousand giggles! Now your business has its own successful (and possibly violent) patron! »
Mr Bigolas explained that “the story revolves around Carpenter, a follower of the Trawler-man, who is considered an ‘illegal’ backwater god, and her journey with Faulkner, a devout believer who is still green around the gills. . This is a must, MUST listen for anyone who loves the kind of “New Weird” that time war belongs to.”
New Weird has gained popularity as a speculative novel subgenre. It’s also called wake, and some of the most requested examples include Annihilation the work of author Jeff VanderMeer, Perdido Street Station by China Miéville, and cloud atlas by David Mitchell. time war checks a lot of boxes from New Weird, while also leaning into Romance, a distinction that sets it apart from many other books in the genre.
When it comes to TriangleMr. Bigolas was happy to share what they love about the manga, anime and now, the new show Triangular Stampede. “I like, first of all, that we have multiple media—Rumble of the Badlands, Trigun Maximum, Trigun (1998), and Trigun Stampede—constantly discussing and sorting. The debate on [Twitter] is always amazing, and I love how many interpretations people can get from a single scene or line. The manga in particular is filled to the brim with details that we miss. I love talking about it with everyone, really, and I hope good media like this always gets more attention. The highlight is definitely constantly talking about how much I want to fold Vash in half like a lawn chair, though. He’s just the best! I can’t get enough of him!
When asked if there were any details they would be willing to share with the world, they replied that they were “trying to become a [comics] artist… but I don’t think I’m quite ready to go public just yet, but please stay tuned! One day I will be the greatest artist in the world, just look. I didn’t insist on more; Mr. Bigolas is 22 years old (according to their bio on Twitter) and their tweet has gone very very viral, attracting the attention of Simon & Schuster, Crunchyroll and even Yoshihiro Watanabethe producer of Triangular Stampede. They want people to “always remember that this world is made of love and peace!” (Trigun’s main character, Vash the Stampede, is a pacifist—kind of-which often says “love and peace”.)
Regardless of whether or not Mr. Bigolas is having fun at my expense (I don’t mind, Twitter is lawless and this was a fun interview), it’s clear they care. Triangle a lot a lot. When asked about their favorite lines, they initially said there were “so many” and most of them were “very silly”, but their favorite quote is from Trigun Maximus, when Vash says, “Only the victims of violence can describe its essence. Only those who have suffered can spit out words of truth that will stop the fighting.
Mr. Bigolas desperately wants this manga to be reprinted and hopes to use their newfound viral fame to achieve this. “It is still relevant to this day,” Mr. Bigolas said. “[Trigun Maximum] deals with topics such as environmentalism, systematic violence, and the morality of pacifism in a world that rejects it. It’s an amazing manga that isn’t just a fight seinen. Please read it! And thank you very much !”
You heard them.
This is how you lose the time war is, at the time of this article’s publication, at number six on Amazon’s bestseller list, behind Dr. Seuss Oh, the places you’ll go and 2023 Pulizer Prize winner, demon copper head by Barbara Kingslover.
The original manga, triangular maximum, is available from Dark Horse Comics; the original anime, Triangle (1998) is available on Hulu and Crunchyroll; Triangle: Badlands Rumble (2010) is available to stream on Hulu; And the new seriesStampede Trigun is on Crunchyroll And Hulu.
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