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January 09 2009

(SPOILER) Jane Espenson interview about her Buffy Season 8 work. The interview is loaded with spoilers for this week's issue.

She does offer a few comments about her issue 26-30 arc but I think it's pretty common knowledge at this point.I put a spoiler warning to be safe though.

Weird how the "big change" that both Jane and the interviewer talk about this comic book issue bringing is humanity questioning and turning against the Slayers rather than humanity *finding out* about Slayers and vampires.
Wonderful interview. I really enjoyed what she did with that issue and look forward to future contributions from her.
I thought that the last issue was the weakest to date. The story seemed rushed, I didn't think that new slayers were still actively being called so the introduction of the new slayer (whose name I can't even remember) made me think I was all of a sudden thrown into a clumsy flashback, and I guess if you say you're a vampire, you're allowed to assault anybody you want in public with no charges brought upon you (see the Andy Dick intro scene). Also, the mockery of reality TV by saying "Even killing on-air for ratings is okay! (again, as long as you say you're a vampire)" was heavy-handed, awkward, and not even original at all. The whole storyline was unbelievable in the frame of the established Buffyverse, esp. the rest of the population's "Huh, how sort of interesting." response to it all. Sorry, Jane E.

[ edited by canaryfarmer on 2009-01-09 23:06 ]

[ edited by canaryfarmer on 2009-01-09 23:07 ]
This interview is as loaded with writing wisdom as Jane's blog. I took notes.
Ohh, that makes me want to go re-read the issue right this moment. Always glad to know that we aren't just devising all these layers; that they were actually there the whole time. Thank Joss (and Jane!) for that.
phlebotinin, exactly. EXACTLY. This issue is sloppy and confusing.
The latest Scott Allie Q&A at Slayalive says that Jane's scripts were "AWESOME" and just might come out as his favorite arc. I'm quite excited.
Unplugged, yeah, we agree on the oddness and vagueness of certain things. My feeling is that, as per usual with Ms. Espenson, there is some dark magic or magical hijinx going on that will ultimately explain what seems confusing now. I adore Jane Espenson and think extremely highly of her work. So while I'm confused by certain issues having to do with this, well, issue, I have great faith in the long-term payoffs. I always take a pretty patient long view with Whedonverse stories.
Thanks for mentioning the Scott Allie Q&A, tarabot, useful chance for those of us that think the issue was "sloppy and confusing" to try and get some clarification. I've asked about the whole slayer activation in the present day thing.

The answers to questions 15, 16 and 18 concern me somewhat. 15 and 18 because, to me, with that version of events, the reaction of the public and media is completely implausible. Which is a major problem for the credibility of the story. 16 because one sloppy mistake in the issue suggests that the probability of other things I'm worried about being mistakes too, is higher.
Sigh, I'm at kind of a loss. I have none of the problems with this issue that I've seen others have. To call this issue sloppy is, to me, quite an afront to the quality of it. On the flipside, while I wouldn't call it confusing in the least, if so many are confused and so many are calling it sloppy, there must certainly be confusing elements.

So fair enough, I'll accept that anyone who doesn't like the issue could say maybe Jane's storytelling wasn't terribly clear, and I'll attribute it to her self-admitted lack of experience with comic book writing. This is her first book, and she is aware that there are major differences in telling a story in this medium than in TV. She must not have gotten the translation through perfectly. While that is unfortunate, maybe the experience will ensure the quality of her OZ arc. I wait with hope. I am not defending the lack of clarity either. If you're confused (and it's not just one but many, so as to suggest it's the book, not the reader) you have a right to be less than satisfied, no matter the cause.

As an example not from here: One of the comments on that article thanks Jane for killing Andy Dick. Methinks that person didn't read the rest of the book. While not stated, it's pretty clear to me only one person died in the issue. But maybe that's the problem, it wasn't stated, only strongly implied.

Another commenter pointed out Andy likes boys, not so much girls. That is kinda funny actually, but I'll accept it as a difference between our world and the buffyverse, not to mention his name could be Allan Dick in the comic book for all we know. After all, in our world, SMG is not named Buffy Summers and does not fight vampires. Or does she...
I have to agree with the previous comment about typos, but I chose to ignore it because Jane Espenson is one of my favorite writers. She can take the weirdest episode and turn it into something good. I haven't had a chance to read Issue 21 yet, but I have to say that I'm intrigued by this "new Slayer" thing. It reminds me of a comment I wrote once to Dark Horse.
I'm with bobw1o - sometimes the flow of the story seemed unclear, but I had no problems at all with the plot itself, and the multiple layers made this a very strong episode.

Mind you, I'd assumed from the start that Willow's spell in 'Chosen' only affected those Potentials who were the right age, and so new Slayers will keep on appearing as younger Potentials pass puberty and become adult - so Jane's story only confirmed my opinion. Some people seem to be having big problems with that, but not me.

Another commenter pointed out Andy likes boys, not so much girls.

He describes himself as bisexual and is notorious, according to his Wikipedia entry at least, for several public incidents of making sexual advances to women (I hoped I phrased that delicately enough...).
Great interview with Jane. While I admit that the first few pages threw me with their narrative style, once the new slayer Soledad was introduced I was hooked into the story. Jane admits it's a new writing style for her and she struggled to adjust. I think we should take this as a lesson in appreciation for Joss and Goddard who transition so effortlessly. Okay, Joss has lots of practice but he still seemed to start off without a hitch writing Fray - a fantastic story (no doubt because of his comic fandom background). Perhaps Goddard fell into the rhythm so easily because he has directing experience while Jane admits to being more about the writing.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-01-11 19:42 ]
stormwreath: "Mind you, I'd assumed from the start that Willow's spell in 'Chosen' only affected those Potentials who were the right age, and so new Slayers will keep on appearing as younger Potentials pass puberty and become adult - so Jane's story only confirmed my opinion." Yes! Yes! Yes!

bobw10; Somehow I don't think that even in the Buffyverse a woman who's won a Daytime Emmy and makes Japanese horror remakes stakes vampires. I'm guessing the gang have just never watched anything with her in or investigated spooky doings on a set where she was working and so have never "notiffed" the remarkable resemblance. And never will :-).
stormwreath and DaddyCatALSO: you're forgetting about the young girl playing baseball in "Chosen" who is shown in the montage of potentials becoming slayers.
NotaV: Girls are starting menstruation younger and younger these days. Some are quite young, as young as 8. On the other hand, there are some girls who won't get their periods until much later. We don't know if the magic specified menarche as coming of age. Some girls may get their periods, but not come of age emotionally until later. Also, I'm not sure if the montage of potentials in Chosen meant that all of them became slayers at that moment, or if they were being shown as potentials who would become slayers.

I really enjoy Scott's interviews and I think he makes sense. And I loved this issue.

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