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March 02 2009

(SPOILER) Scott Allie talks about slayers and submarines. Scott addresses a controversy (read down) and discusses upcoming arcs and characters.

wasn't this interview already posted on the site? kinda old news now
I think Dark Horse may need to start giving out No-Prizes.

Seriously, I've never spent a moment considering the logistics of the slayer submarine. Besides, to (loosely) quote Joss and Tim on the commmentary for "The Message": Breaking rules is okay, as long as it's funny. Or, in this case, cool.

And surprise submarines are always cool. Except on land. They're kind of awkward, then.

[ edited by Winther on 2009-03-02 21:34 ]
Okay, so there's a plethora of demons roaming the earth with superpowered women and men fighting them and the problem we have with the story is SUBMARINES??

Suspension of disbelief, folks. Look into it.
I did not see an earlier link to this, but if I missed it, I apologize.
I agree Winther. And I'm usually ready to nitpick about various stuffs, continuity and whatnot. Such as how in the tv-series Buffy pretty much fought the same way against one human, 3 humans, 1 vampire, or 7 vampires/demons. Or the ybervamp army vs. humans. But the submarine, it was just excellent. And I bet there are tons of ways to explain that, starting from capturing the crew and either forcing them to teach or drive the sub, or whatnot. Honestly though, I didn't really think of that before reading about the complaints...
As far as I make out this has not been posted here before.
... Where is this interview with Mr. Shakespeare?
Very eager to read the arc following the one-offs. Only two more one-offs to go, right ? I'm not spoiled for anything, outside of seeing the covers in the pre-order catalogue Previews and knowing about one character returning. Glad that Q&A session didn't give anything away, despite deciding to read it anyway knowning the risk.

The "green"/environmentally conscious question was cool to see included in a Q&A like this. I've thought about it...I can't deny I like having the book in my hands and sitting in a comfortable chair to read it (and I hear some of you thinking at me, "Get a laptop!" as solution, but I have no desire or need for one at the moment and I don't feel like dropping the cash on it). I stare at this screen enough for e-mail checking, the occasional chat, and more message board involvement than is probably healthy, my eyes need a break.

But I know it wastes a ton of trees (regardless of whether a certain portion of the paper pulp is made up of recycled matter), maybe the printing/inking process is labor intensive and results in bad waste and emissions, plus the delivery of the books is unnecessarily using gas...but then the person who asked the question also points out that there's the problem of putting comic retailers out of business (and giving printers and delivery trucks less business) if everything went digital and that's a huge concern too. Always, but especially in the current job climate. Kind of a tough call.

More important to some individuals, a lot of great comics are currently aren't online-available. So it's either deprive yourself of reading them, sure save some cash and potentially help the environment, but also miss out and not support an artist you like or might potentially like...or continue to read paper comics and contribute to all that (not to mention possibly end up with something that stays in a box gathering dust in your closet, for those purchases which turned out to be not so great).
I read all of Warren Ellis's Freak Angels on my iPod touch and it was fantastic
I would like to see the first issue put online for free as a taster for potential newcomers.
For potentials, eh? :-)
Wow...

As much as I'd love to do his job, I pity Allie for the obsessive, pointless questions he has to deal with.

Who cares how they learned to operate a sub? We used to get 42 minutes a week, now we get 22 pages a MONTH. Does anyone really want panels wasted on things that don't contribute to the story at all?

I honestly don't understand what people are going for when they make stinks about stuff like this. Do they want the issue rewritten? Do they expect the creators to just give in, admit the random fan is a much better writer, and hand over the reigns? Or do they honestly not realize they're reading a piece of fiction, so they need to have every little thing explained away so that their own lives make sense?

Whatever happened to sitting back and enjoying a story?
Kris: Thanks for appreciating my question about saving the trees. :)
Do they expect the creators to just give in, admit the random fan is a much better writer, and hand over the reigns?
Actually, I've seen at least one person suggesting exactly that (to be precise, that someone should take the 'verses away.) And I really wish I could say what I think about that, but I'm trying to be good. Really, I am...
I honestly don't understand what people are going for when they make stinks about stuff like this. Do they want the issue rewritten?


Just wanted to pop in and add that we do these Q&A's with Scott every month upon the release of a new issue. While it may seem nit-picky to outsiders, this was just one topic that seemed to peek curiosity from the members of my forum. So a few questions last month revolved around that. I'm sure that it may happen again in the future, but I don't think it's a "nitpick" problem and neither does Mr. Allie. Coming up with new and different questions every month with so little new material to base them on is a challenge, so a few were curious about the back-story of the sub and how the Slayers acquired it!
... Where is this interview with Mr. Shakespeare?

"Next up on Entertainment Tonight: Will Shakespeare's dissin' on cross gartering and the fashionistas are fighting back!"

Whatever happened to sitting back and enjoying a story?

Isn't that the sort of thing you say until something comes along that strikes you as horribly implausible?
Slayalive will probably have another one of these starting on Wed. when issue 23 comes out.
The submarine doesn't bother me in the slightest. I try not to think about Lorelahn and the magical forest army though.

Too. Much. Weirdness.
Funny how many people seem nonplussed by the submarine issue in this thread. In the discussion thread for #22, it seemed to be the only thing that some people could talk about.
Isn't that the sort of thing you say until something comes along that strikes you as horribly implausible?

The whole universe is pretty implausible. And I know there's such a thing as internal logic and so on and so on. Even though Spider-Man is impossible, if he suddenly started shooting lasers from his eyes, it would be bogus. I know that.

But really... the Buffy comic is a very tiny part of my life. The issues come out, I read it, then I wait for the next. The story will be told with or without me, I'm not a part of it. So I read it, I browse this site, and that's pretty much it. If anything strikes me as too implausible, I'll probably forget about it by the time the next issue comes along.

And as long as Buffy doesn't start shooting lasers out of her eyes, I don't think any tiny little plot point along the way is going to be so implausible that it'll ruin the story for me, someone who spends 15 minutes a month reading it. Because if it makes sense to Joss, Scott Allie, the issue's writer, and everyone else who spends days and weeks putting it together... who am I to say any differently?

[ edited by dingoes8 on 2009-03-03 06:37 ]
Sigh.

It's "reins," folks. No one is trying to get the reign, since that's Joss's kingdom and he's not likely to give it up any time soon.

rein - a narrow strap of leather attached in pairs to a horse's bit and manipulated to control the animal: usually used in plural

reins - a means of controlling, etc

give rein to - to free from restraint

reign - 1) royal power 2) dominance or sway 3) the period of dominance, rule, etc - vi 1) to rule as a sovereign 2) to prevail

Although one could possibly try to make an argument that Joss is holding sway over the comics and someone might want to get that reign from him, I'm fairly certain the poster meant getting the "thin straps of leather" away from the writers.

And, while curiosity may lead you to peek in windows where you're not supposed to, it would have to be piqued first.

piqued - to arouse; provoke

piquant - 2) exciting interest; stimulating

And the submarine makes as much as sense as the high-tech castle, helicopters, SWAT-Slayers, Giant/Centaur Dawn, thin Xander, bi-curious Buffy, skinless Warren, revengeful Amy and everything else Joss has thrown at the faithful since this "season" started.
Reins/reigns, peek/pique--irregardless, to all intensive purposes this just begs the question of why you want us to tow the line when most of us could care less.

ETA: I think Shakespeare said something very like this in one of his interviews...

[ edited by snot monster from outer space on 2009-03-03 07:02 ]
Hah! That last one is my biggest pet peeve, as far as incorrect sayings go. It's "couldn't care less". I don't get how people miss that, right after they've said it. If you say "Man, I could care less about that", it's like...okay, so why don't you ?

Wasn't "for all intensive purposes" in the Harmony issue, said by or written by her ? Or on her actual blog tie-in written by Jane ? I liked that, very in-character.

From what ShadowQuest mentioned, only skinless Warren being alive doesn't make sense to me. I know, Joss admitted to the gaff. It really wouldn't be such a problem, Buffyverse-logic-wise, if he just gave a Buffy-death explanation to it, like Amy was watching from the bushes or telepathically or something, and Warren did die, but she brought him back somehow, restarted his heart and magically eased the shock to his body or something. Then it would still make sense that The First Evil was able to appear as him during Season 7, 'cause he died and came back just like Buffy. Oh and as ridiculous as it seems to have had Amy observing the events of "Villains", it sorta fits with how she was a bad influence on Willow in early-to-mid Season 6 and even came to visit her before Buffy shut the door on her that one time and we didn't get any more of her until "The Killer in Me". Which is kinda disturbing when you think about, skinless Warren was alive and kicking still since "Villains". I still don't think it was a good idea to bring back Warren, he seems like he'll just fulfill the lacky role and that really isn't enough to justify his resurrection, but I'm cool with Amy being back. I'd like her fleshed out a bit better. The suddenly going bad with pretty much nothing in the way of an explanation doesn't add up. It can't have just been the magic drugs. Write something about feeling ripped off of 3 years of her life, maybe some sort of misguided vengeance over Willow seemingly not doing enough to turn her back during that period. Or that 3 years in rat mode made her nuts. Something, otherwise just kill her off 'cause she's a constant bad reminder of poor villain creation.

Folks are just mean about the more in-shape Xander thing (and I never thought Nick got "fat" like a lotta viewers pointed out in the later seasons...he was in his early `30s, lotta dudes fill out and become more man-sized, less model-built). Allie gave a plausible explanation in this recent Q&A anyway, he was training alongside the girls. Nothing much else constructive he can do in his spare time without a regular job and (until Renee, but also post-Renee, ouch) no girlfriend.

How does bi-curious Buffy make no sense ? People are. So...Buffy at 25/26 isn't allowed to be ? Not everyone figures themselves out in their highschool and college years.
Kris I simply meant that a lot of things were thrown at the fans w/out any explanation (Xander suddenly in shape, Dawn a giant, etc) so why should the submarine be the sticking point? (As to Nick's weight gain...just gonna leave it alone.)

And Buffy's sudden bi-curiousness came out of nowhere, as well. If it'd been sort of hinted at earlier then it wouldn't have been so hard for a lot of folks to swallow. I've got nothing against it, because I'm not reading the comics. Joss can do whatever he darn well likes to his characters. But I think a lot of the fans who are reading them would like to know why he's doing what he's doing. How come they're living in a castle in Scotland and everyone's suddenly very high-tech? How come Ethan showed up in Buffy's dream, and why did a neo-Slayer love her more than any of her friends, or her sister, to bring her back from that state?

Etc et bloody cetera.
Fair enough on that last point (though maybe it had to be romantic love, so familial and friendship love wouldn't work, I'd have to go back and re-read what they said about the spell in that first arc).

It is a very outlandish season, even compared to most of the TV seasons, that's undeniable (mecha-Dawn, for starters...I'm way cooler with mecha-Dawn than the stupid forest sprites and chickens and whatnot recently). I dunno, most of it's not hard to accept. The time lapse kinda lets Joss get away with a lot (maybe explanations are forthcoming, but I won't hold my breath seeing as Joss is almost always more interested in the characters than he is at making sure he explains the mythology to a tee), just like the summer vacations did in the first seven seasons.

I ask only out of curiosity, I'm not gonna go annoying rabid fanboy on you and try to talk you back into it, but at which issue or story arc did you give up on Season 8 ?
4.

I had a friend who was buying them & then sending them to me when she finished, and we both agreed we didn't like where things were going, so she stopped investing in them. Too many unanswered questions and too much happening that we didn't like to the characters we loved.

Oh well. I still write fanfic. I've got a series going that starts the Memorial Day after they destroy Sunnydale, and another series set...well, to be blunt, after everyone dies.
Well, since the sub questions are taking quite a bit of flak here, I'll just say that the sub itself didn't bother me that much either (I didn't complain about it at all in my comments in the issue's thread here). It was Scott Allie's inaccurate exaggeration to support his argument in answering the previous sub question that bugged me and prompted me to ask the question.
The sub bothered me. Warren really bothered me, and I see no way to resolve his appearance and what it could mean for Willow's redemption arc. Y'know, if she never actually killed him, that is... but overall this season has really disappointed me and it really seems I am reading a kid's comic series rather than a hard continuation of the TV show. But that's me, ymm and does V.
Kris:
It really wouldn't be such a problem, Buffyverse-logic-wise, if he just gave a Buffy-death explanation to it, like Amy was watching from the bushes or telepathically or something, and Warren did die, but she brought him back somehow, restarted his heart and magically eased the shock to his body or something.

But that's exactly the explanation Joss did give, in the same comment where he admitted his mistake. So, problem solved, yeah?

He's not mentioned exactly how Amy was watching, mind you, but I think 'by magic' is a lot more plausible than her physically hiding in the bushes. We see in a more recent episode of the comics that Amy can watch events at the castle in Scotland magically from Twilight's base, so logic suggests she was doing the same thing back in Season 6.

Shadowquest:
Buffy's sudden bi-curiousness came out of nowhere.

Ever listened to Doug Petrie's commentary on 'Bad Girls' way back in Season 3? Plenty of foreshadowing was going on there.

[ edited by stormwreath on 2009-03-03 13:48 ]
I'll also add that the "Amy was watching" thing probably had its origins way back, and I wish this had actually made it into the finished episode: in the shooting script for "The Killer In Me", Amy tells Kennedy that she planted the "penance malediction" sometime back in Season Six. I forget exactly when, and don't have the script handy to check, but it was soon after Willow gave Amy her walking papers at the end of "Doublemeat Palace".
Dana5140 said:
"Warren really bothered me, and I see no way to resolve his appearance and what it could mean for Willow's redemption arc. Y'know, if she never actually killed him, that is...

Like I said before, really not a fan of Warren being back, but on Willow's part there was still the intent to kill and at the time she and everyone else who witnessed the flaying/burning thought she had killed him (not that I had a problem with it in the Buffyverse--not condoning vigilante justice, but I might've done the same thing if I was her and all-powerful). So I don't see how it changes Willow's arc at all, so-called "redemption" or otherwise. I don't think we need that to be the thrust of her arc from here on out or even for a little while, she's not Angel. Yes, she almost killed her friends and a whole lot of other people while dark, but...Xander brought her back from it, she was in immense pain--not that that ever justifies killing a whole buncha innocent folks--and personally I give her a pass at this point for all the good she's done since. And simply from an audience weariness standpoint (again, IMO), does so much in the Buffyverse need to be about atoning ? There are other "pain and growth" angles you can use to come at the characters and provide obstacles/internal conflict.

stormwreath said:
"But that's exactly the explanation Joss did give, in the same comment where he admitted his mistake. So, problem solved, yeah?"

You're right, I forgot. I was thinking of the earlier explanation, about how Amy kept Warren alive even though he was four seconds away from his body shutting down from the shock, but I just checked and that's from issue #4 itself, Warren's dialogue. My memory had it that they kept it much more vague in that issue and didn't explain it until a later issue.

Then Joss replied to a reader in issue #6's letters column:

"He was legally dead for like a second. Amy didn't tell him 'cause she didn't want to upset him. I forgot okay ?!"

Fine, it works. Unless they come up with something that really makes him worthwhile though, still not a great move.
why did a neo-Slayer love her more than any of her friends, or her sister, to bring her back from that state?

I'm pretty sure that it was explicitly stated that it had to be romantic love.

And the submarine makes as much as sense as the high-tech castle, helicopters, SWAT-Slayers, Giant/Centaur Dawn, thin Xander, bi-curious Buffy, skinless Warren, revengeful Amy and everything else Joss has thrown at the faithful since this "season" started.

high-tech castle: how does that not make sense? We know that Buffy and the slayers have a huge budget to play with. Why can't they buy a castle in Scotland and stock it with cool tech?

helicopters: um...those things exist. Again--money explains anything that can be bought.

SWAT-Slayers: that's a complaint about a change in tone or philosophy, but not a complaint about plausibility.

Giant/Centaur Dawn: magic. Geez, Dawn herself was made by monks out of pure energy and her existence retconned into the memories and documentation of the entire world. And her being transformed into a centaur is the problem?

thin Xander: an enchanted gnome from the planet mars gave him the mystic health secret of the Grobal Underlords: "eat less and exercise more." Geez, people, time has passed, people go up and down in size. That one's just silly.

bi-curious Buffy: see "time has passed" and "people change" (and, as someone says above, see 'Bad Girls').

skinless Warren: again, magic. Magic--and this is why it's a dangerous thing to bring into a story--explains anything, ultimately. The only real problem here was Joss dropping the ball on Warren having actually died. The "he died but only for a second" thing would have been an easy, easy fix.

revengeful Amy: yeah, I've never understood Amy's motives, but this ain't a S8 thing, it's a S7 thing. Amy is set on doing in Willow in S7, and the reasons never made a lick of sense to me.

There's really not much there to complain about in terms of simple "plausibility"--now, if you don't like the kind of story that features submarines rather than crossbows, that's simply a matter of personal taste. You can't be wrong about that.
What was the announcement at NY Comic Con?
As several of us have said before, sus[pension of disbelief 1- about 1 thing doesn't cause suspension about another thing to automatically follow 2- suspension about the supernatural doesn't extend to suspension regarding real things.

However, I did like his quote about how not everything that b goes on off-stgae is interesting. That justifes logical fan wanks, I think.
As several of us have said before, sus[pension of disbelief 1- about 1 thing doesn't cause suspension about another thing to automatically follow

Well, sure. I mean, there can always be a point where you say "this is silly"--maybe you buy a vampire story, but when werewolves and orcs join in, you just can't stay interested. I had that problem with the Rambaldi device in Alias. Essentially it was "magic" to start with, so if I could buy it once, why not buy anything it did. It just began to seem silly.

But it's one thing to say "I just found they went to that well so often that the story felt shapeless and I could no longer believe in it" and another thing to say "but how would that happen?" or "but that doesn't make sense!"

If you accept that the slayers have extraordinary amounts of money, then you can't say that anything purchasable is an "unrealistic" thing for them to have. If you accept that Willow has remarkable magical powers, then you can't say that any magical effect that she wreaks is "unrealistic." If you accept that they live in a world of magic, you can't say that Willow becoming a centaur or a giant is "implausible." You can say "they're letting the magic/science stuff get in the way of the character-driven stories that I want them to tell," but that's a different complaint.

I suspect that the real reason fans don't like the sub is that it takes the Slayers further and further away from being the tight-knit family-scale operation we can easily identify with and closer to being a kind of faceless "army." Complaining about "implausibility" just leaves the writer thinking "oh, these tedious nit-pickers want everything spelled out"--which is not the point.

2- suspension about the supernatural doesn't extend to suspension regarding real things.

I don't think I made that argument anywhere. Of course you're right that accepting the existence of vampires wouldn't at all imply an acceptance of, say, flying cars.
smfos; Buffy the Slayer Layer classified "operating the sub" under "suspension of disbelief."

I can't see that. Okay, we suspend belief to accept that the show's set ina sueprnatural universe to begin with. From there, itestablishes parameters as to how vampires impinge on normal society, where they came from, that other demons exist. It arises from the premise.

(Questions of whether the Western folkloric creatures appearing now fit with that is a question of taste, I agree.)

But a submarine is a known quanityt; it exists in the Buffyverse the same way it exists in the 90210verse or the Cosbyverse or the whathaveyouverse. People learn how to oeprate subs under such and such circumstances. So just like you couldn't expect Brenda or Rudi to oeprate sub innately, the same question arises.

But Scott's explanationw as essentially the same as some of us here had already wanked; that some of the "Activateds" had Navy experience. Should it have bene shown? Wwould that have been "interesting?" Maybe.

(as oppsoed to the old favorite; how did the warp in "The Gift" get fooled into msitkaign buffy's blood for Dawn's? That left mroe room for wankign than was really proper, ebcause it was aprt of the premise. I'd say.)
But a submarine is a known quanityt; it exists in the Buffyverse the same way it exists in the 90210verse or the Cosbyverse or the whathaveyouverse. People learn how to oeprate subs under such and such circumstances. So just like you couldn't expect Brenda or Rudi to oeprate sub innately, the same question arises.

Well, had Buffy leapt onto a sub in, say, S4 and been capable of operating it, we'd all be right to say "no, that's a bridge too far, I can't suspend my disbelief to the extent that the Buffy we have come to know pretty well is capable of suddenly having sub-driving skills."

But a lot of time as passed, there are a lot of people at work in this organization we know nothing about, there are a lot of magical powers at work that we know nothing about. It simply isn't true to say that the mere fact of them being able to acquire and drive a sub is inherently inconsistent with things we know to be true about the world of S.8. Any specific account of how the sub factors in would be fanwank, to be sure, but it's not a thing that demands that we bring in extraneous factors to explain (as would the S4 sub-driving Buffy, where we'd have to resort to "a demon gave her magical powers but they didn't bother to show him" or some such).

But Scott's explanationw as essentially the same as some of us here had already wanked; that some of the "Activateds" had Navy experience. Should it have bene shown? Wwould that have been "interesting?" Maybe.

Well, I would have preferred them not to bring the sub in, myself. It was overkill (all they needed was to blow up the ship--a helicopter or a torpedo boat would have been enough for the purpose). Or if they were going to bring it in, just have Willow magically taking over the crew of a US navy sub and directing them to blow the boat up or something.

And here I think I do perhaps reach a point where the sub does begin to strain my suspension of disbelief. It's not so much that they could acquire it or that the could drive it, but the problem of why they would bother to? I mean, are we ever going to see the Slayer Squad want to repel a naval menace again? It must be a huge drain on resources, and it was a million to one shot that it would ever be used; and almost vanishingly unlikely that it will be used for anything that couldn't be done by more elegant means.

I think giving us the sub backstory would raise too many of those kinds of questions.
to all intensive purposes

snot monster, sorry, couldn't let this one pass - it is "for all intents and purposes".
snot monster, sorry, couldn't let this one pass - it is "for all intents and purposes".

But you have no problem with "irregardless," "tow the line," the misused "begging the question," and "could care less" huh?
Eh, we each have our own pet peeves. :-)
zaphod, I really can't tell if you're joking or not. Kudos.

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