This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 22 December 2014




Tweet







December 05 2008

Dark Horse's Scott Allie on Storytelling in Comics. The editor guest blogs on MTV about inspiration and the collaborative nature of working on comics - specifically Buffy S8.

This was better than the total lack of comments (prior to this one) indicates.
I generally just read the threads by 'Recent Comments' so if no-one does (comment) I may not even see it. Probably missed some good stuff that way, so it goes.

Jeez, he really does read the W'esque doesn't he ? That was a poster on here that made the "pay grade" comment.

I'm kind of a "behind the curtain" junkie so all this stuff interests me. My cynical hat says (yes, my hats can talk. And your point ? ;) that this also has a bit of the sales pitch about it but then those are among Dark Horse's biggest titles so probably also reflect Scott Allie's editorial impetus the most. Insighty stuff. It's hard, art is, that's what I reckon ;).
As the mean-spirited poster in question I was surprised to see that quote - though if memory serves, the full put-down was more charitable than the quoted section indicates. My understanding is that Allie can't stand to read message boards, as he's mentioned many times in appropriately disdainful terms - but then again I've vanity-Googled myself a few times, so...

And I wouldn't call myself 'disgruntled,' either - 'disdainful' is closer (to my discredit), 'dyspeptic' surely. My point was primarily that (1) Buffy S8 has been quite a strong book, (2) everyone involved with it has reason to be proud, but (3) I'd be willing to bet that Allie has done more publicity for that book than any other in ages or perhaps ever, even though (4) I'd also be willing to bet that he knows better than to take the red pen to Whedon's writing, so (5) I'm guessing his involvement is likely logistical/Project Management in nature, and (6) largely because of my own biases, I find it distasteful to hear PMs elide the distinction between their job and those of the creators they supervise. Having written for them and (in a shittier previous life) having been one for Flash developers and writers, I get persnickety about the limits of PMs' identity claims.

Plus Whedon fans have many, many reasons to be skeptical of anyone caught valorizing the Business of Art.

I have no opinion of Allie's writing, nor of his work on Mignola's books. Only of his interviews, really. It's just that self-justification from editors seems never to be a demonstration of importance, the recounting of specific actions; it's always 'the intangibles,' always 'I'm so very deeply interested in XYZ,' always 'I know what makes stories work.' Yes dear, I've no doubt! So where's the discussion of the craft? If S8 is Buffy with an unlimited FX budget and a much smaller audience, what is your role in making it so, beyond herding cats? How are you shaping this story? Is that the job description or not? Where are your fingerprints?

I want to be proud of Scott Allie's work and he makes it difficult for me to understand what exactly it might be (if it's not management). No reason he should care, but I do, and I don't like to think of that as my failing.

Perhaps my frustration comes from overprotectiveness or defensiveness w/r/t the title of 'writer' or 'creator' and I'm falsely ascribing to Allie the assumption of that title in this case (BtVS specifically), even though he's made no such claims. In which case I apologize for putting words in his mouth - and regardless, I apologize for going on at length. (I understand that he's been writing comics on and off for years - this isn't about that.)

Sidebar: Allie's comparison of The Umbrella Academy to Grant Morrison doesn't quite ring true to me; Um. Ac. is more-alluring-than-average pulp but the cleverness (and fantastic art) outweighs the 'meh'-eliciting prose, while Morrison is a larger-than-life writer, especially in his shortcomings (The Filth with its monkey assassin is no doubt a point of reference here, and The Filth is a pretentiously dull comic from a nonetheless obviously smart man - the same could be said of a lot of 'British invasion' bad-boy comics, but that's a complaint for another time...).

Still, Allie is right (not surprisingly!) about the strengths of the best Whedonverse artists - Jeanty and Moline do wonderfully expressive work, though Moline's spindlier, more stylized approach is a little jarring in a TV spinoff, especially compared to Jeanty's weightier realism. I still dream of seeing a Buffy comic drawn by Pia Guerra of Y: The Last Man fame, who draws better women's faces than any comix artist I know of. But I wonder if she'd be suited to (or interested in!) the silly pulpy fantasy side of Buffy. Who knows.

What the hell, who cares about any of this. It's the first snowfall in Cambridge so balls to the Internet!
Certainly not me, but that was still a riveting read. (apologies for the noise, Iíll be gone.)
What the hell, who cares about any of this.

Heh, that'd be more convincing if it was instead of rather than at the end of the 600+ words on the subject ;).

Perhaps my frustration comes from overprotectiveness or defensiveness w/r/t the title of 'writer' or 'creator' and I'm falsely ascribing to Allie the assumption of that title in this case (BtVS specifically), even though he's made no such claims.

I think you may have hit the nail on the head there waxbanks. Personally I don't really get the impression that he's trying to claim credit where it's not due, especially when your initial criticism of him was due to his admission that he pretty much gets out of Joss' way when it comes to "season 8". Doesn't seem consistent to damn him for admitting he gets out of the way and then damn him for apparently trying to claim too much credit, seems contradictory. But whatever, we all carry baggage, sometimes from previous, shittier lives ;).
I think you may have hit the nail on the head there waxbanks. Personally I don't really get the impression that he's trying to claim credit where it's not due, especially when your initial criticism of him was due to his admission that he pretty much gets out of Joss' way when it comes to "season 8". Doesn't seem consistent to damn him for admitting he gets out of the way and then damn him for apparently trying to claim too much credit, seems contradictory. But whatever, we all carry baggage, sometimes from previous, shittier lives ;).


Thanks for this, though I think what I said was all of a piece. (I don't care what Mary Parent has to say about Firefly, even if she's a nice person great mom swell partner even creatively talented in her own right.) I wrote a long thing here but there's just no point. Suffice it to say if Allie's a genuine co-creator I wish he sounded less like a PR man, and if he's the organizational intermediary he comes off as - if self-aware 'celebrity name dropping' is still PR on MTV's website for god's sake - then why are we wasting our time reading this publicity crap?

And that's the real anxiety undergirding all this noise I make here at the site. Every single one of us would, I suspect, be better off doing something else. Instead we read the line-editor's promotional interviews and blog posts. (That wasn't 'behind the curtain' material at all, it was a personal apologia - stick to your Dave Sim 'From the President' columns if you want to know about the art and science of comics-making.)

This rubbish mattered to me for an entire hour this morning and I want it back. And that's the task for the rest of the day I guess!

[ edited by waxbanks on 2008-12-07 20:16 ]
The irony is that waxbanks, who wonders why we waste our time on this, seems to waste more of their time than any of the rest of us do. Heh.

(To be clear, that isn't me saying waxbanks should be quiet, because that's not what I'm saying. I just find it amusing.)
Can't be too far off the same number of words in the posts here and Allie's blog post too. It's like waste squared ;).

... then why are we wasting our time reading this publicity crap?

And that's the real anxiety undergirding all this noise I make here at the site. Every single one of us would, I suspect, be better off doing something else.


Err, no-one's making us "waste our time", surely ? No-one makes us read any of the links on here. If you don't like it then don't read it, simple as that.

Reckon we just have a difference of perspective. When they see something they don't like on TV for instance, some folk write letters of complaint or phone up or whatever - me, I just change the channel, each to their own.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home