For many fans, "Lost" isn't just a television series, it's a way of life.
The story of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 has unfolded over the course of six seasons, but the legacy of "Lost" isn't relegated to the small screen. From inventive video mash-ups to expertly crafted art campaigns, "Lost" fans have become active participants in turning the TV show into the popular culture phenomenon it is today. Even as the series prepares for its final episode on Sunday, the sheer amount of fan-made material guarantees that "Lost" will live on long after it leaves the airwaves.
The ambitious mythology of "Lost" has prompted several fans to group together in order to decipher the show's greatest mysteries. One particularly useful resource is Lostpedia.org, an online encyclopedia chronicling the show's every detail. Fans have also flocked to websites such as Lost-Forum.com, DarkUFO and Jopinionated to discuss the series, puzzle out information from previews and spoilers, and engage in expert commentary.
But fans aren't just interested in the serious side of "Lost." Several cartoonists have poked fun at the series through comic strip parodies, such as the hilarious "Lost" comics drawn by "Nedroid" artist Anthony Clark and "Hark! A Vagrant" creator Kate Beaton.
Artists have exhibited their appreciation for the series in other ways, including the impressive Damon, Carlton and a Polar Bear art campaign that began as an online viral effort and culminated in the "Lost" Underground Art Show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles last year. The art project was recently re-launched with new prints, T-shirts and other "Lost" inspired merchandise available for purchase.
Beyond static images, some particularly creative fans have put their "Lost" appreciation in motion with videos on YouTube and other similar Web sites. Some of these videos fall in the realm of loving comedy, like Desmond's "brother" compilation, while others bring different popular culture influences into the fold, such as the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 retold using the real-time format of "24."
"Lost" has earned so many followers over the years that even noted celebrities such as novelist Stephen King and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel are members of the show's loyal fanbase. Recently, another highly successful entertainment professional unmasked himself as a "Lost" fan: none other than "Star Wars" creator George Lucas.
"In six seasons, you've managed to span both time and space, and I don't think I'm alone in saying that I never saw what was around the corner," Lucas praised "Lost" show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse in an open letter. "Now that it's all coming to an end, it's impressive to see how much was planned out in advance and how neatly you've wrapped up everything. You've created something really special."
Given the vast wealth of fan-made "Lost" material created over the last six years, it's safe to say that plenty of viewers share Lucas' sentiment: If nothing else, "Lost" is certainly special.
Stay tuned all week for more "Lost" coverage as MTV News counts down to the finale!
What's your favorite fan-made "Lost" site, video or work of art? Share them all in the comments.