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March 11 2008

Superheroes: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films. Whedonverse scholar and frequent Slayage contributor (and an incredibly sweet and approachable person) Roz Kaveney talks about her latest book.

When I re-read my book on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” it hit me that one aspect of the show that I hadn't dealt with was the complex relationship between Joss Whedon's work and the comics on which he had grown up. When I was asked a few years later to be a keynote speaker at the Slayage academic conference on Buffy studies, it was a logical thing for me to write about and helped me refine my ideas for a book I was already by then writing.

Nice one, Haunt. I see Roz is not sparing of anyone's reputation later on the piece, when asked what she thinks of the "recent influx of TV and movie writers like Joss Whedon into writing comics":

I'm not disappointed by Joss's work exactly but I could have done with its being considerably more special than it is.


I don't entirely disagree, although I think Fray, some Tales, and most of BtVS Season 8 are pretty special. Not so big on AXM. Still haven't checked out his Runaways yet - too behind on much other stuff.
I've been disappointed by the character development in season 8. Buffy seemed a little off to me from the beginning, but it didn't really hit me until Faith's arc. What happened to saner Faith? And chastened Giles? I still haven't got the new issue, but the discussion I saw online is making me wonder what happened to more mature Buffy.

I didn't read many comic books as a child, and I only started again as an adult because Joss is writing them, but I have a vague notion that they do many versions of a character's development with just slight differences of fact or emphasis, and that is part of the form. Am I right about that? If so, it's a little hard to adapt to as a newbie. I want the characters to go from where I saw them last on the show.
"I want the characters to go from where I saw them last on the show."

Amen, dreamlogic, amen.

Have you heard of Willow's Promise?

[ edited by ShadowQuest on 2008-03-11 07:31 ]
Shadowquest, I followed your link but wasn't able to get to the story from it. I'm not a big fan of fanfic, anyway. I think that the creator of the fictional universe is the one who gets the say about it, whether I like it or not. And I'm still following the comic books. I am just fighting jet lag and work complications, and haven't made it to the store yet.
dreamlogic Hmm, that's odd. I just let her know that. Ok: "You should be able to get the prologue and first chapter from the sidebar links," she said.

I bought every single "Quantum Leap" novel that came out. Can't say I loved all of them, though - some of them felt like the author had no clue who the characters really were, just their names & the fact that Sam was time traveling. Same with some fanfic I've read - "Umm...did you even watch the show?"

Ahh, well. Shutting up now.
I loved Roz Kaveneys Superheroes. As with all her books, it draws you into a debate in the best way and suggests many interesting new avenues to explore. I wish they had included a bibliography.

In the Joss Whedon chapter there is a fascinating discussion of what the creation of Willow owes to Kitty Pryde.
This looks interesting. I suppose I'll add it to that endless list of books I want to read. If I could just have a few months off every year to catch up on reading...
In the Joss Whedon chapter there is a fascinating discussion of what the creation of Willow owes to Kitty Pryde.

That's interesting. I'd heard that she influenced Buffy but not Willow. Freshmeat ! ;)

Sounds like a good book, wishlisted it. And that's about the best, most succinct description of the difference between Marvel and the Distinguished Competition i've read. DC is kind of like 'Star Trek' to Marvel's 'Firefly' I reckon, personally I like both approaches for different reasons.

I'm not disappointed by Joss's work exactly but I could have done with its being considerably more special than it is.

The thing that strikes me about this is, I think people expected Joss to go in and change comics the way he changed TV with Buffy, subverting clichés and tropes left and right. But he's said all along that he actually prefers to tell a straight story rather than play with the post-modern stuff that Morrison and Ellis use so well (when their stuff works that is). What we've had from AXM is 4 great X-Men arcs IMO - it hasn't shaken the foundations of 616, hasn't changed the world, but they've been good stories.

Whereas at least some of his TV stuff transcends the medium, plays with its boundaries, I think Joss is happier in the comics playing within the existing Marvel sandpit.

Also, if there were any doubt remaining
My preference would be for no more Crises for a while.

shows that Roz Kaveney is One Smart Human, cos Amen, y'know ? ;)

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