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March 03 2007

Joss Whedon - The L.A. Times interview. The Dark Horse PR offensive for the Buffy comic book rolls on. This feature is well worth reading. There's an excellent look at why season 8 came to be, comments from Jane Espenson and Joss touches upon those ill fated Buffyverse TV movies.

If you Sign Up and look at the photo gallery there is a new page we haven't seen yet, but too small to read, Photoshop anyone?
That was so interesting. I teared up when Joss talked about why he goes back "to that particular well," and mentioned his mom, and then that he wanted to work with people and characters he loved again. Illustrates once again why he is so special - because he cares so deeply.
Would someone give me a gist of the article? Clicking on the link caused me computer to freeze (I have dial up, which might be the problem).

Thanks.
Simon, hitnrun017, anybody--

I've got (most of) the dialogue from the new page, but wanna post it with "spoiler" background (so the text has to be highlighted)...quick advice?
annagranfors, there are directions for creating spoiler text in the 'How to' tips
I had trouble the first time too.

Go to the ('How to' tips) link next to "add a comment."Scroll down to,"How to make invisible text."
thanks, guys! text follows, invisible...


Thanks, Anna.

Great Odin, I hate dial up.
I frickin LOVE that third panel. the look on Buffy's face, the critique of Willow's expertise...suhWEET.

oh, lordy, is every issue gonna make me this goofy?
no prob, RG! :)
Thanks so much!

I loved this page, emotional and funny. Less then a week... oh wait. Gah! This is depressing.
Reddygirl--email me at annagranfors@sbcglobal.net and I'll copy/paste the article and send it back to you.
Will do, anna.
Well having read the Wonder Woman script that Silver replaced Joss's with, I can tell what they DID want:

A really bad, cartoonish rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steve Trevor running around the world fighting Nazis and this naive dipshit named Wonder Woman throwing her powers around while he calls the shots. They have to stop the Nazis and the evil renegade Amazon Galina from digging up Pandora's Box, ye old style doomsday device that causes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. Totally overwrought, reads like Joel Silver's usual unintentional parody of his 80s action pics, he's got dozens upon dozens of these laying around in development. Will never get made.
In other words a movie with no thought in it. Thanks for the summary mell. The character deserves better.

I loved this interview, and I'm glad that the developing possibilities of TV are intriguing Joss again. As a viewer I know I'm glad I can finally see the end of some stories as well. (Relatedly, just saw the last episode of "Daybreak" today and thought it was a terrific series.)
I sorta remembered having an LA Times account once, so I goofed about with former email addresses and yo, I did have one! When Buffy's picture came up I said, "Booyah!" out loud, and my wife looked up at me and snorted.
"a ghastly tale of female empowerment something new for me!"

What an interesting mood Jossir was in when he talked to the LA Times... but bring it on, ghastly or not.

"But because of the new media, because of DVDs, because of the Internet, there are so many new avenues that basically I feel like I can go back to TV when I have the power to set up a paradigm wherein I know I can complete a story."

Well, these channels have been suggested before, but this is very directly stated, and I found it exciting.

"I was like, 'Am I really an artist of integrity, or am I just grieving for my mom? What's going on here?' I have so many questions about why I do that why I go back to that well when I could be moving forward." He hesitated, then said: "But the fact of the matter is when you work with people you love, you want to work with them more. Same goes with characters."

Between this from Joss and the new-to-us Buffy panel where she says she misses her Mom - and the look on her face - my withers were wrung, both personally and for Joss.

*awkward comradely pat, pat, pat on Joss's shoulder, the one closest to the computer screen*

I hear you, Our Jossir of Artistic Integrity. But I don't think that this loss is your King Charles' head - just a defining moment that helped shape you. (If I might be so bold as to say...) And maybe you go back to that well 'cause it's not wrung dry.
Wait wait wait, they did NOT say:
Whedon the movie-TV-comics auteur behind ... the flop television show "Firefly"
I'm sorry? I think that that is harsh and un-called-for!
From the article:

Whedon is clearly unhappy about the experience and the time wasted: "You know, when you get into a giant thing like Wonder Woman, to add up to nothing it's going to be four years between projects. I don't have that many four years.

Man that hits hard when he says it like that.

Our lives aren't nearly long enough. Not long enough for many artists to explore and create as much as they can and wish to, not long enough for viewers, readers, listeners, and players to see every great TV series, movie and theatrical performance out there, plow through every worthwhile comic book and novel (fiction and non-fiction, yikes), hear more music, and play all the well-made games (books and games especially will never be gotten around to in any satisfactory amount, for me. Comics, movies, and TV series are less time-demanding to complete, IMO, and volumes of 'em can be devoured much more easily).

I'm sorry, I'm done complaining and possibly being a downer. I turn off internet now so I can stop using it as my personal therapist and go get some reading done. I have the last three days of newspapers--I skim, mostly--and the remainder of Runaways to catch up on before Joss' run starts in a couple months--issues #9-24. Oooh that reminds me, I need to go pick up that last issue of Vaughan's tomorrow. Or instead of reading, should I watch some TV-on-DVD, a movie, or crack open that God Of War 2 demo disc? Overload of entertainment--intimidating and a burden--see?!?

:)
Yeah, they did, embers - I thought it was a bit harsh myself.

Plus the L.A. Times should watch their flop-finger-pointing in this creaky period for newspaper and newspaper ad sales. Firefly and Serenity DVDs are selling pretty damn well these days...

Overall, though, I thought the article was fairly sympathetic and pretty well done - though only Joss himself knows if he said anything "wistfully" to the LA Times.

ETA: Kris, I felt a certain thunk myself when I read that bit about the limited number of four year spans he had left - and, of course, by extension, myself.

"But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near..."


Bugger.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-03-03 07:51 ]
...I don't really see the issues with calling Firefly a flop. I mean it was clearly intended on being a long running character study for seasons upon seasons, since in theory viewers would bond with all the characters over time. In practice it got cancelled, regardless of whether or not that was the fault of the series itself. Same with how Wonderfalls was levels upon levels of amazing, but the fact it didn't even get past four episodes on Fox made it into a flop by their standards since quality isn't much of an issue.

Firefly spawned a movie which was even better but that too could still possibly be considered a flop(-ish) since it was the pre-Snakes On A Plane where positive word of mouth and internet buzz didn't get to translate into immediate profit. They seem to use a lot of hyperbole to drive in their point in Hollywood.
I don't at all wish to deny the well-known and recorded history of the Serenifly project, or try to spin it completely differently when we all know most of its checkered past - it's just a harsh and rather B&W word choice - more brutal than the LA Times' usual style in such circumstances. It seems a tad unnecessary to me, is all, used just to be quick rather than careful...

It reminds me of those terse old-style Variety headers like "Hicks Nix Trix Pix" - you know, like "Top Cops Hops Flops" hollered by some loud-mouth in a fedora with a cigar clamped in his mouth. Um. Probably from some movie I've seen, and not actually from real life at all...
Excellent article, with the exception of the "Firefly flop" comment. But how likely is it that they'd give an accurate description, such as "the excellent cult favorite that was far too intelligent for Fox to appreciatre, so the clueless suits mishandled it's promotion and airing, then canceled it" :)
I loved Jane E's "Tell me what to do Joss, and I'll do it." And so say we all.
Flop does seem harsh, dictionary.com has it as just "a failure", i'd be happier with "a financial failure". Losing side remember, not necessarily the wrong one ('flop-esque' ? 'flop-ish' ? 'aspects of flop' ? ;).

it's going to be four years between projects. I don't have that many four years."

Yay, the weekend starts here ! Now pass the razorblades ;). Anyone wanna throw 20 minutes or so into the hat ? There're thousands of us, that has to add up (I have a lot of time at work i'm not really using for instance ;).

The TV landscape is definitely changing, as others on here have said, projects like the 'Stargate' straight to DVD movies could show how well that sort of thing sells (I don't mean just for a 'Firefly' or 'Buffy' revival, they seem kinda unlikely at the moment, but for any Whedon projects since a series of DVD movies would have fixed costs to keep the suits happy but still offer a - limited - version of the serial storytelling El Diablo Morado excels at).

And everyone's comments in the article gave me a warm fuzzy (especially Jane E's - had the feel of the Big Red Button about it). Not long now.
Anyone feel sad that 20th Century Fox doesn't want to pour money into the buffy tv movies? Considering how well dvd has done, and considering how popular the show is, it's so sad there's no new live action Buffy/Angel stuff.

Joss's time on Wonder Woman was wasted, he wants to do Buffy tv movies, but Fox isn't interested.

I like comics, but live action is always better and feels more real, if you have to choose between the two, it's a no biggie.
The quick way to describe Firefly is that it was a flop, quite simply. Of course, it's not a great representation of the facts, but hey. I'm not bothered about it in the context of this article, because this article is about Buffy Of The Vampires Slayer Las Lesbo.
I like comics, but live action is always better and feels more real, if you have to choose between the two, it's a no biggie.

SeanValen


Oh lord, same here. Much as I love the comic medium it can't hold a candle to live action. I know it's naive of me, but in my heart of hearts I can't but help wish that all this effort was going into a live action project, rather then a comic book.
In fairness, a fair amount of effort was put into the live action stuff by all accounts, but the usual problem happened: money. Nobody would pay for it.

Personally, I'd rather read something rather that nothin'. And comics have a certain charm -- no budget constraints for one thing, so people jumping out of helicopters is a-okay.
I agree with gossi, plus this: look how excited Joss is about this! Every interview, he sounds so proud and happy about having found a way to create an S8, plus the fun of working with the Dream Team of writers. The article even said that Joss was so eager that he sent the first script to Dark Horse practically before they even knew this was going to happen! If Joss is happy, gorramit, then me, too. ;-)

[ edited by billz on 2007-03-03 15:43 ]
Plus with comics he doesn't have to worry about actors who want to move on or vampires who age...
That "four years" remark really got to me, too. To think he spent all that time writing something we don't get to see. Grrrr!
I think Joss is right to be excited about this: I think it is going to be something new in the comic book world. Last night I got to hear Brian K. Vaughan speak at Wonder con (here in San Francisco) and I think most of his fans were surprised to learn that one of his up-coming projects is Buffy! This is going to be a brilliant story arc which will include some truly great writers. I'm really excited about it too.
Plus with comics he doesn't have to worry about actors who want to move on or vampires who age...jcs "


But you also loose out on what a live actor can bring to a performance, something that you just don't get in a comic.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2007-03-03 17:33 ]
Firefly: Fantastic Film, Financial Flop.

(Also, has anyone pointed out that whedonesque.com gets mentioned? That's pretty cool.)
I have enjoyed having so many interviews with Joss to read. Each and everytime I have my faith and respect in Joss validated. I have really noticed a change in tone from Joss compared to anything we heard from him prior to coming off the Wonder Women project. He sounds so much more content, pleased, at home in the Buffyverse than trying to please others. I know I LOVE pure unadulterated Joss. I just hope after he has revisited Buffy and set Season 8 in motion, he will want to revisit more characters and a verse he has repeatedly said were extremely close to his heart and ours. And the idea of seeing Goners come to life makes me simply giddy.
I just hope after he has revisited Buffy and set Season 8 in motion, he will want to revisit more characters and a verse he has repeatedly said were extremely close to his heart and ours

Well, he's got Runaways to do, but there is a Serenity comic scheduled for tail end of this year. As always, Serenify has the same status as his other stuff -- nobody wants to pay to do live action stuff, at least at the moment.

Goners makes me giddy. A lot. For many reasons.
In case your reading Joss, grieving for your mom isn't the wrong reason to make great art, in my humble opinion. Okay so maybe I'm talking to myself there - sorry. (Except, my art less great clearly!)

[ edited by ArielWillow on 2007-03-03 18:26 ]
What a beautiful page (the hard to read one)! And by that I mean the art and the text both. Some of the context in the other spoilers made me a little uneasy. That and the hints being dropped about the new possibilities in the comic medium led me to wonder if the story was going to pick up some of the comic elements that jar with me. Even knowing it's Joss's story.

But that page? Tv, comic, movie, animation, I don't think it's going to make any difference to me at all. Until he brings in mimes to act out the story, I'm in. After that... sorry, but I can't attend. It's a thing. (jibblies)
Hey, don't write it off prematurely. Walking against the wind, pretending to be in a clear box ? Can we say 'dramatic potential' ?

Will Xander get blown over, will Wil ever get out of the box ? What about her air supply ? I reckon there's a season in it at least.
I actually thought that interview went pretty well. Thanks for sharing, Simon!

Goners makes me giddy. A lot. For many reasons.

I couldn't agree more! Can't you feel it! I feel certain brews a'strewing. Hmm, could a thought be underway??
I think most fans would prefer to see the actors reprise their roles with Joss giving them voice again but hey, this Comic is totally wonderful. It has been a LONG time coming and I am dying to here from "Buffy" again. If Comic form is all we can get at this point, I'll take it and be thankful.

The easiest way to describe Firefly may be to say it was a flop but aren't people who make their living doing interviews supposed to be a little more versed than to take the cheap and easy route? Just sayin. Overall a good read despite the tacky and "easy" description of Firefly.
I think most fans would prefer to see the actors reprise their roles with Joss giving them voice again


Whilst no doubt there are fans who would much rather see their favourite actors on screen, some of the hesitation in accepting the Buffy season 8 comic books is due to the inner monologue thing. With the TV series, there was umpteen various opinions on why a character did what they did. We interpreted the facial movements, the stress the actors placed on certain words and indeed their body movements as well. And there was much fun to be had in debating why a certain character did what they did.

In a comic book, there's less ambiguity. More than often we read what they are thinking so there's less room for interpretation when discussing their actions.
"More than often we read what they are thinking so there's less room for interpretation when discussing their actions."

I guess I don't see that as a bad thing. :)
That's very true, Simon. There is also the fact that there is simply less talking, less action, less interaction to be had in a comic. I doubt that will stop us - we are known for chewing things pretty thoroughly, but it will be different and not quite as much fun.
The "Chicago Tribune" now has the LA Times article available without all he signing in hassle.
Also, it has just occurred to me when reading through this thread that some of you guys may not of read Issue #1 of these comics yet, there is <-snip -> if you wanna.

[ edited by Simon on 2007-03-04 01:47 ]
Whoops, The Tribune link comes up with a registration thing too now.
Gorram it! It still comes up for me, but that may be because I signed up at the LA Times and the sites are linked in some way. Sorry.
"But the fact of the matter is when you work with people you love, you want to work with them more. Same goes with characters."

wiiiiiii! :)
StevieB, that link was originally supposed to be super secret (i.e. for reviewers only) but word got out and Dark Horse have been sending emails to at least one person "chiding" them for posting the link. DH have changed the file to the first six pages anyhow but I doubt they would still want it linked to. God knows the link has been deleted at least twice from the front page of Whedonesque.

So I've slightly trimmed your comment but I appreciate that you were only trying to be nice and helpful.
StevieB, thanks for the link but you make it sound like you have the whole issue while it only the first few pages. All of which (but one) have been widely distributed already. I just don't want there to be any confusion and people think that the entire first issue was available.
Sorry Simon, I didn't post the actual link on this site as I wasn't 100% certain of the legalities of the download.
TamaraC, I made it sound as though the whole comic was there because it was, and I have it, but as Simon said, Dark Horse have since trimmed the file, but I hadn't checked it again today. Sorry about that.
My husband just picked up the LA Times for me because he saw Buffy on the cover. They put the teaser (incl. picture) for this article on the front page! And the article itself has a giant (and very sweet) picture of Joss above it. Great publicity!
Whilst no doubt there are fans who would much rather see their favourite actors on screen, some of the hesitation in accepting the Buffy season 8 comic books is due to the inner monologue thing

Hadn't thought of that but that's a pretty good point Simon. Normally in comics, as in novels, you pretty much know what the characters are thinking, in TV/films not so much. Also, thinking about it, I wonder if the epic 'canon' thread from a while back was related to the way comics readers see canonical events compared to interpretation since there's often less of a gap between and so less dissonance ? Wasn't a 100% match but it did seem as if the canon side had a lot of long time comics readers and the non-canon had comparatively fewer.

(and also true that, per issue, there's less dialogue than an episode to discuss/enjoy and probably fewer events too though there's no reason why those events can't be as intense)
Simon...You know I never struggled with the intent of the series, I always felt like I knew what the characters were saying. I guess maybe I have the exact opposite initial reaction to a Comic opposed to a series. In a Comic, the characters are pretty one dimensional. In a series, they are alive and multi layered.
Add in the actor influence...SMG IS Buffy, ASH IS Giles, and so on and so forth. While I adore Joss Whedon for bringing this wonderful Universe to us, I equally love the actors who brought them to life. I AM jazzed about this Comic though. It's like getting half of my dream come true. The other half would obviously be to see the actors, especially SMG as Buffy, reprise the role for Joss somewhere down the road. :)
In a Comic, the characters are pretty one dimensional

Could be you just haven't read the right comics cheryl ;).

(also, Simon is - I believe anyway, don't want to put words in anyone's mouth - talking about what the characters are thinking, not saying. Comics, as with novels, often have narration which means you can get right inside the character's mind in a definitive way. In a TV show this only usually* happens through the actor's interpretation of the script and subsequent vocal inflection, body language etc. Not better or worse IMO but less direct for sure)

* there are exceptions like 'Dexter' for instance where we sometimes hear an internal monologue in voice-over
Different medium, different kinds of ambiguities to interpret. It's got to be a jolt, because something you love is changing. No way you won't miss the physical presence, voices and individual interpretations of the exceptional actors who brought this world to life in the first place.
But there's all this great new stuff, it's so exciting...visual artists are individually interpretative too...design, color... the written word, and, very importantly, incredibly cool monster potential. Ack, I can't wait.
Saje...I really haven't read all that many Comics. Never thought I'd be reading any until this verse went strictly Comic.
Thanks for the link.
I do have to agree with Toast though, it IS wickedly exciting to be getting more of this Universe. The monster thing is a little different for me. The best villians on the series, imo, Angelus, The Mayor, Faith and Spike with Dru. I don't need the big snake to be afraid. LOL
I guess I liked the villians that created an emotional response from the leads the best. Chosen with all the Ubervamps was cool as hell though.
Does anyone else think in the future, if they ever get a Buffy movie/show green lighted, that Joss could pull a Sin City and translate the new comics to screen?

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