By Michael Mander

WARNING: This article is classified NSFW, and is not suitable for younger viewers.

Smythe Lorenz is the name of a homosexual humanised version of The Smiler and the star of a peculiar fandom created by Tumblr users.

If you dig a little deeper than Tumblr’s collection of rollercoaster gifs and pictures, you’ll find a rather unusual collection of sexualised coasters.

Many of Alton Tower’s popular rides have been given personalities and bodies and – in this fandom – many of them spend most of their time *ahem* enjoying each other’s company.

In this twisted world Smythe (The Smiler) has a sexual relationship with Willy Wonka (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Ride).

Graphic stories and drawings of the humanised versions of Alton’s newest coaster and the popular family ride can be found lurking around the social media site Tumblr.

“Needing no further encouragement, Smythe pulled Willy down into a ferocious kiss, sucking on his lower lip hard. In return, the confectioner grabbed the back of the equally eccentric man’s hair, pulling him in deeper into the kiss. Willy’s other leather-clad hand grabbed Smythe’s side.”

– From acks-gross-art. Smythe = The Smiler.

There is also a wealth of pictures:

Safe for work ... just about ... things get strange between Smythe and Jigsaw

Safe for work … just about …

One Tumblr user role-plays Smythe – answering anonymous questions in character (such as The Smiler’s choice of sex toy).

It's not just The Smiler with a personality of it's own....

It’s not just The Smiler with a personality of it’s own….

However, there is also a wealth of creative coaster characterisation on Tumblr – without the sex. Ask-The-Alton-Crew have drawn characters and written stories for Alton Tower’s main coasters.

Samuel The Smiler.

Every character has a detailed backstory. Rita is a short-tempered 19 year old with a passion for mechanics. She is highly protective of Tilly (Th13teen), a 13 year old girl who lived in a crypt for most of her life.

Oliver Oblivion

This is a factual article reporting on a lesser-known interpretation of roller-coasters. Many readers were interested in the imagery and asked for links to the blogs. Permission was sought before publishing any images but repeatedly ignored. No one in this fandom complained about the article and all comments were from people from other fandoms using fake e-mail addresses and names.


Michael Mander

I mainly cover Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Adventure Island, Paramount London and other attractions in the south of England. Contact me at: Michael@Airgates.co.uk

11 Comments

Meme · 29th April 2014 at 1:44 am

Did you even god damn ask before you posted this? All you do is write up about the sexual side of things, to try and make these people look like freaks. There are much worse things on the internet and this is harmless. So what if people like to humanise roller coasters, so what if NSFW things happen.

You could have written about the effort people put into these characters, the thought behind them and why they do this and are dedicated and passionate about it, but instead you just did this? What a terrible article.

You’ve a botch reporter and you should take this down, I hope you very much feel ashamed of yourself. I’m not even part of this personified roller coaster fandom, but it’s clear this article has upset the fans because of the terrible way you’ve ‘described’ them. Does that make you feel good? Making others feel bad for something they enjoy doing? This article needs to be taken down and anything that goes with it, tweets, facebook posts, etc… You should apologise to the people you took these images from without permission and think about redoing this article.

    Michael · 7th June 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I sought permission from all the blogs featured in this article but was repeatedly ignored. This article deals with both the sexual side of the imagery (which is of more interest to readers) but also the characterisation of the roller-coasters which I feel many other news sites would have ignored. No one in the article does it criticise the fandom or the people within, it is a light-hearted look at the alternative interpretation of roller-coasters.

    I did write about the effort that goes into the characters! If you read the article fully you will see a great deal of mention goes into the characterisation and back stories to the extent that many readers asked for links to see the blogs in full on Facebook. In fact, even one of my close friends (a devout hater of all coaster fandoms) said this was her favourite article on the site.

    I apologise for any offence caused by the article, which was far from the intention, but hope I can work with those offended to produce an informative and alternative version. Not one person from the actual fandom has complained about this article yet, but if you know of anyone that has a problem please encourage them to contact me at michael@airgates.co.uk and I will alter the article.

Julia · 29th April 2014 at 7:54 am

This article is pointlessly having a go at people who are doing nothing wrong. The internet has a lot weirder stuff in it’s ‘dark corners’ as you put it. This may well not be your or your readers cup of tea, but if you want to write about it, you should be speaking with the people involved and providing a balanced view and letting people make up their own minds.

Personally this is not part of my fandom but all you’ve served to do is upset a group of people harmlessly getting on with their niche hijinks on the internet…like so many of us do.

Articles like this just promote hate and intolerance for people doing something others see as ‘weird’. If you don’t like it….don’t look at it. And don’t draw people’s attention to something in a negative light, because you’ve already influenced their opinion. Yes it IS strange, but people are perfectly capable of making up their own minds.

    Michael · 7th June 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for your comments on the article. This article reveals an often unseen side of the coaster fandom. All the writers for Airgates, including myself, are coaster enthusiasts and are extremely interested by others who share this passion. The article is not intended to promote hate or intolerance, instead reports facts.

    I attempted to contact many people in the fandom about this but none responded. As far as I know, no one in said fandom has complained. It’s light-hearted and done with good intent.

    Our readers were interested in the artwork and the stories, with many asking for links.

AltTws_rep · 29th April 2014 at 8:16 am

Hmm, your obviously a soulless person picking on people and their interests Michael, I’m glad you put your full name on here for me and my friends and we would look forward to meeting you in person if you don’t apologise to the people you have hurt >:)
Or we could report you for internet bullying which is getting popular these days!

    Michael · 7th June 2014 at 5:28 pm

    As I’ve said, this article wasn’t written to pick on anyone or bully a select group. It was something I spotted after browsing Tumblr and decided it would be of interest to our readers. It was, some readers even asked to see the blogs.

    I am very sorry for any offence which has been caused, however the article was written to inform people in the coaster enthusiast community of an alternative interpretation and fandom. Comments from members of the fandom were seeked but ignored.

    Due to it’s threatening nature, your comment has also been reported to the police.

AnonyMouse · 30th April 2014 at 12:13 pm

As a furry, I’m on the recieving end of this same kind of abuse by the media, purely because you guys want to kick up a drama in a desperate attempt to try and drum up more readers because your journalism career has only landed you a spot on a second-rate website.

Thank you so very much for freak-shaming people for what was a harmless passtime, that was probably locked off by an age gate, as well as pulling images from said peoples blogs without actually asking them.

And thank you for showing us all how desperate you’ve become by posting this, you’ve not only made yourself look like a magnificent douche, you have also upset a group of people who thought what they’d started doing was harmless, which it is.

And you’ve upset one of my best friends, who was one of the targets of this shaming, he now feels paranoid about what else is being said about him, and that’s just not cool.

    Michael · 7th June 2014 at 5:31 pm

    This isn’t abuse or intended to bully any group in any way. The article was written to inform members of the coaster enthusiast community of an alternative interpretation and fandom. It is not an attempt to kick up drama, we received only positivity on publishing the article with some readers asking for links to the blogs and taking great interest in the imagery.

    The passtime is not displayed as anything but harmless. I seeked permission from the blogs that featured these images but was repeatedly ignored. If there are problems, please encourage them to get in touch.

    It is not our intention to upset anyone. As I’ve said, we are all members of the enthusiast community and took a great deal of interest in this alternative interpretation. If your friend would like to speak directly to me he can at michael@airgates.co.uk. I will remove or alter the article to his/her wishes.

      AnonyMouse · 7th June 2014 at 7:43 pm

      I have grown up not to trust the journalism community, I myself was offered a stand on which to defend my fandom and so many others warned me of the dangers of doing so, and my friend is probably wise not to either.

      The fact of the matter remains, a lot of these were used without permission, and non-reply to a request for permission is still a no, because either way, you haven’t been granted permission.

        Jack Gordon · 7th June 2014 at 7:49 pm

        I’m staying out of the ins and outs of the discussion but, to clarify, copyrighted material can be used to illustrate journalistic articles without permission as long as every effort has been made to seek such. If permission is later not granted then the items should be immediately removed from the article in question and, where appropriate, a suitable statement made. This is permitted under both UK and US copyright law, countries in which the servers that host Airgates are located.

        Jack Gordon
        Director, Aloud Media
        jack.gordon@aloudmedia.co.uk

        Michael Mander · 7th June 2014 at 11:02 pm

        Well, as I said, if your friend is offended and would like any parts of the article altered they are free to discuss that with me. Jack has addressed the issue of copyright. So for that reason I consider this matter closed.

Comments are closed.

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