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December 13 2007

Shepherd Book's story will get told. Ron Glass announced at the Browncoat Cruise that Dark Horse will be bringing out a graphic novel called "A Shepherd's Tale".

This got discussed in the comments section of a previous entry but this news item deserves a front page entry of its own.

Woot! I want this for Xmas....if only it would be ready on time.....
I was at the cruise last week, and someone told me there were rumours that this would happen, In any case, it looks like we'll get two new "Serenity" series in 2008. With the details we got from Ron, it looks very intriguing.
Yes, oh, thank you God! FINALLY! I'm going to have to get four copies of this. One for me, one that my friends can read (assuming that they are wearing latex gloves), one that shall never be exposed to oxygen and one to be signed by everybody involved plus Ron Glass. I have waited LONG for this day!
Ooooh. Yes, please.
There were more details than that, four in all I think, but I forget what they were.
I asked Joss at the ME picnic if Ron really had his permission to leak the information. He said that he gave Ron permission to give one little tidbit per day and asked if that's what he did. Joss had to fax the details to Ron because he doesn't "do email."
Keep in mind that we don't know how much, if any, of Book's past will actually be told. Joss is a wily one, he is...
It's a one page graphic novel that says; see also The Operative :) KIDDING! Can't wait for this awesomeness. Wonder who will be on the hook to write it (Joss Joss Joss!)...
Oh, this kicks all kinds of ass.

On preview:
zeitgeist: boooo.
Dear Dark Horse,

Please let Tim Bradstreet do another cover. As his Shepherd Book artwork for Serenity: Those Left Behind #2 was stunning.
And so Joss is writing it? I read the link but it didn't specify. This is exciting, though of course I'd've preferred a movie, but cool nonetheless. Does this mean we might get more of Inara's backstory too?
Dear SantaJoss,

Hey, you already figured out what I wanted! That's so creepy.

As one who has periodically, publicly and profusely pined that the shepherd's tale be told, thank you.

Your fan,

The Sharper Stick

PS. Book's Catholic, right?

PPS. Just kidding. Looking forward to your Ultimate Catholic Nightcrawler.

PPPS. Hey, why don't you resurrect Tara, but in a strange, unexpected twist, she comes back completely Catholic.

PPPPS. Be true to your Judeopiscopatheist self. Happy New Year!

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-12-13 21:36 ]
Does this mean we might get more of Inara's backstory too?

This was the whole running issue at Serenity LA last month. Jewel and Morena kept discussing on stage whether or not the latter could reveal Inara's secret. In the end, the last day, Nathan called Joss and asked. Joss said no. Joss then called back and said that Morena could reveal Book's secret instead. Which she then did, after Nathan reminded her of WTF it was.

So he's still holding on to Inara's secret. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that he told Morena that he'd make it up to her, the fact that she suffered the most under the editor's knife in Serenity.
"A Shepherd's Tale"... sounds like it'll be a story about Book tending the garden at the Southdown Abbey. We'll finally know what he was growing other than strawberries and tomatoes!
The other tidbits:

A part of Book is artificial.

Book is best known for his greatest failure.

And Joss will be writing it, but possibly the same way he did for Those Left Behind. Joss plot, Brett script. I did see Ron chatting a bit with Brett at ME day.

Ron positively glowed with happiness at finally being able to give us something about Book's past. I'm sure he is relieved to never have to answer "I don't know" to that question again :)
There were more details than that, four in all I think, but I forget what they were.

This news is incredibly awesome! But we've only heard 2 of the 4 tidbits? What else did he say?

[ edited by Succatash on 2007-12-13 21:50 ]
I'd rather have a full on novel. I hate comics/graphic novels no matter how long they are they seem too short. I will say that Fray worked asoundingly well Those Left Behind did not.
Thank you for more crunchy tidbits, danregal!
I'd rather have a novel, but I'd settle for comics.
I want to know!!! But...I kinda don't wanna know, y'know?
My guess is that Book was one of the last members of a secretive society like the Jedi's or Green Lantern Corp. and his monumental failure led to their downfall.

Either that or he was a pimp. (I seem to recall Book telling Inara that "she better make that money or he'd raise his pimp hand!")
Well, what was said at Serenity LA was that Book was a "dirty cop".
The last thing Ron mentioned about Shepherd Book involves, and I think this will go into spoiler mode...
I'm with zeitgeist. :)
"A part of Book is artificial."

Ah, so he IS more or less intact.

This is going to be so great!
The last thing Ron mentioned about Shepherd Book involves, and I think this will go into spoiler mode... HE'S A ROBOT!

No? Oh. Okay.

You know, it occurs to me that the longer you let speculation percolate, the more people expect. This comic better be good, or we're all going to be so let down after our imaginings of Book's dark past. Dark, non-Operative past.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-12-13 23:41 ]
Shepherd Book has a robotic sex organ (and not the kind with keys... well, maybe!)! That is totally not true, but you heard the rumor here first :) We all know that its his hair thats bionic!
Heh, Zeitgeist, Ron actually said that the only part he knew for sure was not artificial was his hair.
This is the Whedon story I'm most looking forward to. Throughout Firefly, Ron did such a good job portraying Book's changing expressions and hesitations, implying whole worlds of background to which we were not privy. I know it's "only" a comic, but this is probably the first comic where I'll be standing in the store waiting for it.

Perhaps his belly organs were artificial and he's not really dead... O.o
This is one comic I don't think I will be able to accept if it isn't 100% Joss' writing. I know that's closed-minded of me (especially since I'm such a big fan of the current Buffy/Angel comics), but THIS story needs JOSS only as far as I'm concerned.
Shepherd Book has a glass eye!
How fantastic. I'm really looking forward to this.

I wonder if it will be out on my birthday. Hmmmm...
So freakin' awesome!! Looking forward to it! Yes! I kind of hope we don't find out everything though. Just in case we get that sequel.
I agree Daburcor, this is one i'd love (by which I mean need in an obsessive yet simultaneously healthy way) Joss to write his own self, actual and, above all, whole.

I'll take it any way I can get it though and gladly.

(and does anyone think first of J.B. Book from 'The Shootist' when they hear the name 'Book' and that it's not his ?)
Interesting connection there, Saje.

And I'm just overjoyed by this news. I would prefer for it to be 100% Joss scripting, but I wouldn't mind if it was Brett. I know that I'm in the minority, but I thought Those Left Behind was fantastic.

Also, great tidbits Ron doled out.
A planet, more moonish than planet, was burned. In the fire's light Shadow was erased. The intended outcome of this was, unlike William Wallace's quartering, what was expected: a fast, cohesive revealing of the resistance. Galvanization occurred. It's exactly what the Alliance wanted.

Who was the man in the class that taught generals how to wage war? Not Ender Wiggin, no.

Who was the genius strategist that came up with the plan to force the Independents from their far-flung holes?

And who now feels guilty for the success of that decision?

Isn't it interesting that, on one ship, you've got the man that indirectly slayed Captain Reynolds' family and is now a part of Captain Reynolds' family?

That, friends, makes for compelling television.

But none if it's true, of course.
Speaking of Ron's hair, I thought it was sweet when during one of the panels where he gave away a tidbit, he said one of the things he misses most about Book is the long hair. As my friend Michele keeps saying, "That man is fine." So is Book.
Did Ron reveal this tidbit before Dec. 1? Because that's when I inadvertently came up with the same title.

(Yup, I picked up the Norton Critical Edition of the Canterbury Tales at a library book sale.)
Chaucer makes me pucker. Miller's Tale, 'nuff said ;).
Obviously I'll grab the GN... but I'd grab an audio version read by Mr. Glass too...
Chaucer makes me pucker. Miller's Tale, 'nuff said ;).

Nuff? "Picked up" doesn't mean "read." Skimmed the titles, though.

Gar, now I'm going to have to get all literate and cultured. In the new year, maybe.
For some reason, I just can't get behind Serenity comics the same way I can get behind Buffy and Angel ones.

With that said I can't wait to read this story.
You so hit the nail on the head, Zeitgeist. I always thought we were seeing Book's past through The Operative's present. But I'm really looking forward to the specific story of Book. The Book of Book, so to speak.

[ edited by batmarlowe on 2007-12-14 15:18 ]
Shepherd Book has a glass eye!
Does this mean we might get more of Inara's backstory too?

Now that's what I want. The secrets of Book's past has been hinted at enough for me to feel satisfied with my own drawn conclusions. But Inara is more of a mystery, and I want a movie focusing on her, and her and Mal's relationship. It can be a Space-Western-Romance. A chick flick with guns. And horses.

(Still bummed that the Mal/Inara almost-kissing scene was cut out of even the advanced screenings of Serenity, not in the DVDs as an extra feature, and only described in the Virtual Companion. I want that scene so much.)

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2007-12-14 20:20 ]
Me too ESG!! I wanted to see more of Mal and Inara and hope we someday get to see more and on the big screen too! But, that said, I'm looking forward to reading about Book's background but also wish it was a novel and not a comic book.
Personally, I'd much prefer to see a serialisation of 1.5 hour TV movies covering each and every one of the Serenifly crew, independently, where we'd be introduced to their lives before they all met on Serenity. Perhaps since some of the characters' past are closely attached to each other (Simon and River, Mal and Zoe) their stories can be told together which would be logical and reduce production costs.

So, essentially what we'd see are stories of Mal and Zoe, Wash, Jayne, Simon and River, Kaylee, Inara, Shepherd Book as well as one episode of the ship (because I'd like to know about her pre-Serenity exploits too).

Albeit Firefly didn't attract too many viewers (for whatever reason) back in 2002 and the Serenity Movie didn't break even during its run at the movie theatres, I'd like to think that the DVD sales of both Firefly and Serenity have done sufficiently well over the years to increase the fan base and justify producing a mini-TV series. The popularity of this proposed mini-TV series venture could be used to determine if Universal would be willing to give Serenity II another shot. I'd even go as far as to say that this suggestion (above) would lead perfectly to a Serenity II Prequel/Sequel since a Sequel alone would leave out two of the main characters. The production costs would perhaps be a lot less via the idea of a mini-TV series than a fully-fledged movie.
I never posted this stuff- because I thought surely it had been leaked while we were still on the cruise ship! Since y'all are discussing it here- I'll put in my two cents:

The first tidbit was shared with us at the opening ceremony. The second and third were given to us during our dinner table conversation (we had bought dinners with Ron). Ron then shared these with the entire convention later in the evening and added tidbit #4.

The fifth and final secret was something Ron revealed in the closing ceremony on Wed. night.

I sent the audio recording of the opening ceremony to Firefly Talk, so they should have some of this in their next show.

1) There will be a new Dark Horse comic about Book's backstory called "The Shepherd's Tale"

2) Joss told Ron that the Shepherd is someone who "found God in a bowl of soup"

3) Book is partially artificial (which part unknown)

4) Book is best known for his greatest failure.

5) The name Derrial is not his given name. Joss told Ron that he took the name of the man he killed... (I can't remember if he said took or stole. The consensus among folks I asked is stole)
We were joking around about the fact that Book got excellent medical care on the Magellan because either a) the identity he'd assumed had great health insurance, or b) they realized his nuclear core was going to explode if they didn't fix him! (grin)
It wasn't clear to me that it was just the name Derrial that he took. I took it as a bit of a tangent, as an aside of Ron's asking himself and us "What kind of name is Derrial anyway?". I thought the entire name might have been taking from the man he killed.
Lioness- I didn't mean to imply that he only took the first name... I'm sure you're right.

The reason I was trying to determine the "took" versus "stole" context was to try and glean any additional meaning that might be present in the hint.

Taking the name could equal a gesture of atonement for the murder and might be part of his conversion to the role of Shepherd. Stealing the name would more likely as a way to escape some of that "infamy" of his own name and that of his greatest failure...

All I know for sure is I want to taste that soup! (grin)

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