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May 30 2006

Forthcoming book by David Lavery: Joss Whedon: Wonder Boy. Prospectus for David Lavery's "comprehensive critical biography of Joss Whedon."

Lavery talked about his plan for this book at the Slayage conference.

That sounds awesome. And I love the funny pictures of Joss with longer hair. I was considering buying "Joss Whedon- The Genius Behind Buffy" but this sounds a little more comprehensive and up-to-date so I shall wait for this one.
Tons of respect for Lavery as an academic...this will be a must buy for me!
Maeve, did Lavery say at the conference that a publisher may be interested? Or is this still in the shopping-around proposal stage?

This would be a must-buy for me, too.
Hey phleb, I was at David's presentation for this book at Slayage and as I'm pretty sure it's a done deal. In fact he mentioned that the publisher insisted on putting Joss' name first in the title (I believe he was originally calling it "Wonder Boy: Joss Whedon" or something).

His presentation was hilarious and very interesting and I can't wait to buy this.
"Wonder Boy"?

Oh, I'm laughing. I'm laughing lots. He might have taken that term from Whedonesque..
I'm glad there's such a repoire, because the first thing I look at when I see biographies is the author's credentials, and the author's relationship with the subject. If there isn't any kind of communication, or relationship, I don't buy it. I'll definitely be getting Lavery's book.
For what it's worth, David was pretty clear in his presentation that this would NOT be a biography, at least not in the typical sense. His focus will be on tracing the creative process that Joss has followed throughout his career, looking to discover what origins all of his creations have, what events and experiences lead Joss to create the things he has in the way that he has.

Or something.
This is the guy who teaches Whedon as a course from what I remember. So I have high hopes it won't be a cut and paste job.

As a personal request, I'd like some examination of Joss' late 90s/early 00s projects (animated Dracula musical, the sitcom with James Gunn and the second Buffy movie) that didn't get off the ground. I think that's the one area that few if any writers have covered in profiles of Joss.
I read "Joss Whedon- The Genius Behind Buffy" and wasn't too impressed, hopefully this will be better.
Razor, the book you mentioned is particularly notable because it pulls together his posts from the Bronze and newspaper interviews and the like all into one place. As a biography, it isn't strong.
I remember Lavery trying to sell this a year or two ago. Glad it is a done deal.
How exciting that this may actually go somewhere. Thanks for that, Haunt. I've long followed Lavery's Whedonverse work on Slayage and in his co-edited books and I couldn't be more happy about his involvement in something like this.

Following Simon's personal request, I'd also like to know a little more about the Oliver North hearings musical Joss apparently wrote in his earlyish days in Hollywood after college. It was mentioned some years back in the New York Times "Must-See Metaphysics" article about Our Master (heh). It never got off the ground but it'd be sure interesting to read about his ideas for it. Maybe that's all it ever was - ideas. Don't know. Finding this out, among other things, would be why the Lavery book would be so interesting.

Edited to add: The Joss Whedon "Genius" book may be a hagiography and thus not a serious work, but I find it a useful collection of info from myriad interviews, etc. from over the years. I appreciated having it all in one place. Wesleyan Prof. Basinger's words about Joss were particularly interesting to read. I hadn't read them elsewhere.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2006-05-30 23:51 ]
Question: Second Buffy movie?

If this book is more focusing on the creative process, I'll buy it, definitely.
Question: Second Buffy movie?


Am I the only one that reads Variety back articles :P? Here. Go read.
Holy crap, that Variety link from 1998 was fascinating! Thank you so much, Simon. My wee mind is reeling from sudden knowledge about all these unproduced projects. Wow.
Thanks for that Variety link Simon. It mentioned ME and it's "New Santa Monica lot" which made me wonder if it's still there. It was due to be knocked down last summer and redeveloped, after The Inside had finished there.
Anyone know?
Let me add my thanks for the link, Simon. Fascinating.
Thanks, Simon. Although I'd heard about the animated Dracula musical and Grampire, I wasn't aware a second Buffy feature was on the cards. I'd have to say I'm glad that didn't happen and the TV show was let run its course.
Well, this sounds like a must buy, to be sure. The "Genius" book is okay, but a tad thin and a bit worshippy...hey, not being judgey, just observey.
Seems like it'll be worth picking up. Are there any dates being mooted for publication ?

Also, isn't the term 'Wonder Boy' from those dark times we might call pre-Whedon (or maybe Before Joss as opposed to After Joss or BJ as opposed ... OK, maybe not ;) ? There's the pluralised book and (underrated, IMO) film with Michael Douglas and Roy Hobbs' bat from 'The Natural' (originally published in about 1950) but I don't know about the specific JW connection gossi mentions. Could someone make with the enlightenment ? There could be a mini-Mars Bar in it for the lucky winner. But there isn't.

(BTW, it's clearly just a typo but does anyone else really want to see Joss write a musical Simpsons episode entitled "Once Moe with Feeling" ? ;)
Will buy!! Will buy!!!

"I intend in addition to interview many people who have worked with Whedon, including Jeanine Basinger and Richard Slotkin, his professors at Wesleyan,"

I work with one of his professors from Wesleyan. I wonder if he'll look him up? It's so funny, his wife and I are a big Buffy fans, and we're always asking him "so, what's he like???". He just rolls his eyes at me:)
I will definitely be picking up this book, but I still think that 42 (next month) is still very young for a definitive biography.
And TamaraC? No, I'm an idiot: I thought Simon was linking something new and that Joss had resurrected Mutant Enemy (one more disappointment of the day).

[ edited by embers on 2006-05-31 06:10 ]
zz9, I just drove by there last week, and its completely gone. Just old warehouses that look like... old warehouses. I saw it a few months before it was gone, about 9 months ago if I remember right.Kind of sad to drive by and not see downtown Sunnydale anymore.
I work with one of his professors from Wesleyan. I wonder if he'll look him up? It's so funny, his wife and I are a big Buffy fans, and we're always asking him "so, what's he like???". He just rolls his eyes at me:)

David had a funny little rant at about this point in his presentation over the fact that those professors (or at least Basinger) are also responsible for Michael Bay. He got sort of unleashed for a few minutes on Bay, and it was laugh-out-loud funny.
I have some pics of the sets being bulldozed:

Santa Monica sets
I consider it to be incredibly excitings news to know that there is a new Mutant Enemy, Inc in the world! I am VERY happy now



embers, that article was from 1998. You saw that. Right?
That is one impressive bibliography. Since I am shallow and suck, the main thing it made me wonder is - does Lavery have transcripts of all those Joss DVD commentaries he cites? And if so, would he be willing to share?

I am certainly looking forward to the book. I'm sure we would all be willing to help put the word out - for a certain amount of consideration.
BTW, it's clearly just a typo but does anyone else really want to see Joss write a musical Simpsons episode entitled "Once Moe with Feeling" ? ;)


Ah, Saje, I was about to point out that typo but you beat me to it with an even wittier comment. Once Moe With Feeling! I'd watch that.

I still laugh at the "Grampire" project. I want to see it!

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2006-05-31 09:27 ]
This is something I would be very interested in reading but honestly that "wonder boy" phrase has distracted me a little. It's a little to much like "boy wonder" and we all know that Joss is Batman rather than Robin.

Now all I can think of is Joss in form fitting black spandex, which isn't a bad thing....just different.
Rob, Allyson, thanks for the info. Sad to think it's gone.
I want to see this "Grampire" movie as well. The interesting thing about that article is that none of it makes any sense, all of its claims are ridiculous, and then there's the mention of an "Angel" spinoff. A diamond of truth in the rough of...rough.

Anyway, can't wait for the book. I was disappointed with "The Genius Behind Buffy" also (which had perhaps two small pieces of information I didn't already know), and would be interested in seeing a close look such as this. I hope the "auteur Joss" section talks about all of his episodes, though, and not jsut the most famous ones; I think examining an episode like "Family," which is in my opinion one of his "worst" episodes (worst of course being very relative!), could be instructive.
Does anybody know which song did Joss write for "The Lion King"?
Wonder Boy, what is the secret of your power??
Wonder Boy, won't you take me far away from the mucky-muck man.

High above the mucky-muck castle made of clouds
there sits Wonder Boy sitting oh so proudly
not much to say when your high above the mucky-muck.

Now it's time for me to tell you about young nastyman
arch-rival and nemesis of Wonder Boy
With powers comparable to Wonder Boy!
What powers you ask?

Well i have the power of flight, that do anything for ya? That's levitation holmes!
How 'bout the power to kill a yak rom two hundred yards away? With mind bullets!
That's telekinesis Kyle! How 'bout the power...to move you?

Tenacious D, said it best!
Sorry, just read the title and the song won't leave my brain now.

[ edited by nixygirl on 2006-06-01 05:41 ]

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