C.E. Forman is a Daria fanfiction author, best known for his influential series, The Lost Seasons. He was most active from late summer of 1998 until winter of 1999.
Forman is notably private about his life, declining even to reveal what the "E" in his name stands for (the "C" is for Christopher). It is known that for several years, he has lived in or around Peoria, Illinois.
Before Daria began as a series, Forman wrote some Beavis and Butt-head fanfiction during college that won praise from other fans for its likeness to the show. After Daria's second season aired, Forman was so eager for more episodes that he decided to write a Daria fanfic. He wound up writing "Lotto Nonsense" in three days. The positive feedback he received encouraged him to follow up with "To Helen Back". Before long, he had enough fanfic ideas for an entire season. "Lotto Nonsense" through "Alienation Legacy" are considered Lost Season One, or Season 1.5. "A Morgendorffer Scorned" through "Fireworks" are Lost Season Two, or Season 2.5.
Like his Beavis and Butt-head fanfics, Forman's Daria fics were praised for their fidelity to the show. Each fic was written in quasi-script format, with punchy dialogue and situations that rarely deviated from those of the show. The characterization also tended to stick closely to the show's, although one notable exception is his Sandi, who is nastier in than in the series. Forman has said in his defense that he only had the Sandi from Seasons One and Two work with, and didn't know which direction the show would take her in. Another exception to his fidelity to the show was the conscious choice to create a two-parter, "Rain on Your Parade"/"Quinntet". (Though one could argue that the series later did the same with "Fire!"/"Dye! Dye! My Darling.")
Otherwise, Forman's fanfics were very much in the spirit of Seasons One and Two. Daria was sarcastic and generally misanthropic, while Quinn was shallow and Helen and Jake were well meaning, but clueless. Daria faced numerous situations where she battled corrupt, unfair situations and often came out on top. Notable examples include Daria facing down a corrupt judge in "To Helen Back," battling censorship in "Accept No Substitutes", and getting the better of Sandi in "Taking Debate".
At the same time, Forman was not afraid to let Daria be vulnerable, especially when she was around Trent. Daria and Trent in the Lost Seasons never got together, but Forman did 'shipper teases throughout his Seasons, especially in "Lotto Nonsense," "All Washed Up", "Rain on Your Parade"/"Quinntet," "Daria vs. the IRS", and "Driven Wild".
Forman's first Lost Season ended right before the start of Season Three. During the summer, he collaborated with Peter Guerin and Danny Bronstein to write "My Stupid Date With Destiny" and "Thicker Than Water".
He began Lost Season Two in late summer of 1999, but stopped suddenly after "Fireworks." Forman later explained that he was feeling increasingly burnt out writing fanfic and did not want to go through the same grind he went through the previous fall, especially since he had another passion, computer game collection, that he wanted to focus on.
Fanon and Fan Culture Contributions
While other authors, like Invisigoth Gypsy, were writing in script form before Forman began, Forman's Lost Seasons popularized both script as a form of writing and a tone that was faithful to the show. His style became synonymous with "canon," which would spur vigorous debates about canon and off-canon as forms of acceptable fanfiction. (Forman himself read and enjoyed all types of fanfics.) Many contemporaries, like Peter Guerin, Michelle Klein-Hass, and Invisigoth Gypsy herself would cite him as an influence, as would authors soon to come, including John Berry, Kara Wild, Canadibrit, Admonisher, and Daniel Suni.
Forman adhered to canon strictly enough that he even created a "Daria Day" fanfic, in the style of the Daria Days that preceded each season, to introduce Lost Season Two. After surveying fans to find out which were his best-liked and least-liked fanfics, Forman inserted each of them in that order into his "Daria Day," so that fans could read the banter of Daria and Jane, then the fanfics ("Taking Debate" was the least popular, "Quinntet" the most popular), culminating in the premiere of "A Morgendorffer Scorned."
Forman is also credited with a couple of lasting fanfic characterizations. One is of Jodie stressing out and wrestling with the pressure to be perfect, leading to her blow up in "No Picnic". The other is of Saint Amy Barksdale. While Forman was not the first person to characterize Daria's aunt Amy as an older Daria and the only adult cool enough or mature enough to relate to her, his portrayal of her in "Quinntet" and "Alienation Legacy" influenced other fanfiction authors. Matt, for instance, used Amy and the Forman-created Aunt Eleanor as wise cynic "Jedi" figures in his Cynic Wars fanfiction. By contrast, Kara Wild was bothered by Forman's characterization and sought to present the downside in "The Tie That Chokes" and "None in the Family".
- C.E. Forman came up with the name "Marie" as Daria's middle name. It has been widely adopted by other fanfiction writers.
- Because Forman was so secretive about his identity, for a long time, many fans were convinced that he was a woman.
- Not long after Forman released "Rain on Your Parade," Planet Daria closed its doors forever. Devotees of Forman's fanfics feared that they would never get to read the conclusion, until Forman reestablished himself at a new website, Outpost Daria.
- When Forman premiered Lost Season Two, Martin J. Pollard announced it on the front page of Outpost Daria, an honor that he had not given anyone before or since.
- Forman entered an MTV "Cool Crap" auction in 1999 and won answering machine messages from Daria. Or rather, they were supposed to be from Daria, but Tracy Grandstaff kept breaking character and speaking in her normal voice.
Lost Season One
- Lotto Nonsense
- To Helen Back
- All Washed Up
- Good-Bye, Diarrhea
- Weighting to Exhale
- Accept No Substitutes
- Rain on Your Parade
- Daria vs the IRS
- Taking Debate
- No Picnic
- Driven Wild
- Alienation Legacy
Lost Season Two
- A Morgendorffer Scorned
- Cut Above
Abruptly Amy (as E. Charlton Fuhrmann)
- Corona, Corona
- Double in Paradise
- My Stupid Date with Destiny with Peter Guerin
- Thicker Than Water with Danny Bronstein
- Essay: Writing Where It Hurts
- Essay: This Show Sucks