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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Look, if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight, who would win?"
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September 06 2003

(SPOILER) Worlds of Whedon. Indepth FilmForce coverage of Joss' Q&A and the Angel writers' panel at Comic Con. Well worth reading (minor spoilers for Angel).

Obviously this has been covered before but there's some nice little insights.

Yes I do recall reading almost this same exact convention coverage, or perhaps whenever Whedon does these things he's got in his mind canned responses to everything so it always sounds improvised at the time but he just does it so often, asks stupid repeated questions from countless talking heads cuz hey! They watch the show they buy the paraphernalia so he answers with a smile but it's gotta be annoying to Whedon.

Still, this version of Whedon's convention appearance(s) may be the best, because the author is able to actually bring you into the scene visually and sit you down next to him and you get his running commentary the entire time. Like you're actually there. The definite sign of a well-heeled, talented writer. It's not just the crappy toss-off run-downs of daily events one reads from Reuters or CNN (who often just copypaste each other anyway). This piece reads almost like an email letter one friend would send another about this great day he had.

I guess whut ah'm tryin' tah say is thanks fer the link. =)
You are completely right, Zach. I was actually in attendance for this particular appearance and he wrote it exactly as it happened.

The San Diego Comic Con was the first one I had ever been to and it was after Joss's discussion and getting to meet him and so many other fans that inspired me to seek out little spots on the web like this one. Joss fans are really amazing.

After his discussion, he autographed both my first season DVD sets of Buffy and Angel, Fray #1, and one of those infamous Angel Season 5 posters. He's so generous with his fans! I apologize but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to do a bit of bragging =)!
Wonderful article. I've been waiting for an article to sum up the comic-con (although city of angel had a solid one) and this piece did a top notch job with both the Whedon & Angel staff panels. Even better was that the writer had some real insight & respect for Whedon's craft.

And Karen, brag all you want. Sounds like a great time. I would have loved to get Whedon to sign a Once More With Feeling poster.
I will begin with an excerpt:

I noticed during this Comic-Con that some panels' audiences policed their own kind, making their displeasure at certain inappropriate behavior quite clear. So it was when an insufficiently self-aware audience member began his question by thanking Whedon "for seven mostly great seasons of Buffy." The audience groaned at the faux pas.

Why is this a problem?

I am a huge Whedon fan but I have also come to realize that JW and ME are entirely fallible...But why is it that Buffy fans cannot accept or even begin to tolerate any notion or suggestion that the all-mighty Joss Whedon makes mistakes and drops the ball from time to time...I for one, enjoyed the sixth season in its entirety but there have been examples of gross errors and omissions...For example, take the whole Joyce/First Evil debate in Buffy's last season...I know that Martin Noxen came out and gave the definitive answer well AFTER the series finale, but lets face it...ME and Joss were too occupied with other storylines during the final season and simple forgot about the Joyce scene later in the season...

I'm not trying to start a fight or create a general discussion...I'm sorry that this doesn't fit with the thread...But I just dont understand why there is such intolerance for educated, and poignant diverging opinions...We can all like Joss's work but it doesn't mean we have to submit blind adulation upon him...Cherish the cynics and the academics!

BTW...I would love to go to such an event...Too bad New Mexico is nver on the list...LOL
Why is it a problem? Because it's rude.

Whedon is certainly fallible, as are all artists. I don't think criticism of him or his work is out of line in this or many other forums. However, the man has done nothing for the past seven years except try to entertain you. He has asked nothing of you except an hour of time every week which you submitted to freely. So, if this person is standing in front of you, willing to answer your questions & discuss his work. Then, insulting him is, well, just being an arrogant ass.

I wanted to add one more thing to this. The question concerning the attempted rape later on is controversial, even critical, question of Whedon which is justified and also provoking of an interesting answer. The remark about 'seven mostly great years' is just a rude remake, a spitball from the back of the class just to prove how cool you are.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-09-07 23:16 ]

[ edited by unitas on 2003-09-07 23:35 ]
Besides, the Joyce/First thing you referred to Simpleba? It's the "cheese guy" of season seven. I don't think Whedon EVER planned to explain it. Or use what Joyce said to Dawnie as prophecy for the end of the season. He purposefully kept it vague so that the viewer could decide for him or herself what Joyce's vision both for Dawnie and in Buffy's dreams meant. Was Joyce really TheFirstEvil in disguise? Or was it really Joyce? Or was it something else? Was Dawnie's battle with TheFirst in CwDP really just her playing tricks with her own mind? We'll never know. It could be any and all of those things or something else entirely.

There are some things a writer purposefully leaves open to conjecture, and never crystalizes, because deep down it's the author's hope that someday, somewhere, a bunch of people like ourselves will contemplate the frayed edges and try to figure them out. It's a sign of a good writer, who knows where and when to place such loose ends.

Whedon has admitted the Cheese Guy means absolutely nothing, and yet people still comptemplate it's purpose in "Restless." Whether it was purposeful or accidental, earlier in season four Willow tells Riley that Buffy loves cheese. He tries to use that knowledge as a way to break the ice with Buffy, and it backfires. So why did Whedon choose The Cheese Guy and not The Condiment Guy or The Household Appliance Salesman Guy? Why cheese? We'll never know. Not even he knows for sure so why should we? Yet it's still fun to contemplate.

And the same is true for Joyce's appearances in season seven. Or Dawn's arrival and presence in season five. Or Amy being turned into a rat for two years. Why does a writer do things? Sometimes it's just so people like us will talk about them. Nothing more.
Thanks unitas, for a very well put answer. I myself was wondering what the big deal was with what the guy said ('mostly great seasons'), but you answered very well and have changed my mind about it.
First, thanks foxcorreo for your reply.

Zachsmind - That is an very interesting reading of some of S7's 'loose ends' but I am afraid I have to disagree. The Cheese Man is a symbolic figure in a dream episode and, therefore open to numerous interpretations. However, Dawn's visitation, Buffy's dreams or Beliox's eye (pardon the spelling on that one) are pivotal plot points in the season that are never clearly explained or even touched on by Whedon & Co. Whedon has never been that interested in plot (David Fury said as much in a recent Dreamwatch interview), mostly Whedon uses plot to further thematic or character points but I thnk this lack of interest in plot clarification hurts S7. I've watched this season three times now and I still expect to see a five minute sequence in 'End of Days' where Giles clarifies it all.
If my memory serves me correctly the man who thanked Joss for the "seven mostly great seasons of Buffy" was the same man referred to in the article as the one who had the "mild case of hubris" who asked, "if Whedon and his writers read Internet discussions of his shows, 'because,' 'we've talked about stuff and then four weeks later it'll be on screen.'" He went on and on asking inane questions. He was at the mic so long that the audience started to moan everytime he would ask something else. So, unitas's "arrogant ass" comment fit this guy to a tee. I wasn't sure what his deal was but his tone of voice was extremely rude and and he acted as if he knew Joss's world far better than even Joss himself. So, his case hubris greatly exceeded mild, in my opinion.

Simpleba- I do see your point about "blind adulation". I think that the real fans of the show do question a bit of what is presented to us. Joss has often credited his fans as being highly intelligent and isn't that what smart fans should do? Question things? Some other people did question the darkness of Season Six (which is what I believe the "mostly" was intended for) but they did it in a respectful way, unlike "arrogent ass"-guy. On a side note, I also really enjoyed Season Six.
I've been reading this column -- Comics in Context -- by Peter Sanderson since he started it a couple of months ago, and it is well worth looking for at the beginning of each week. Click the Movies section of and scroll down and you can find it. I like it even though I disagree more and more each week with his assessments of the new Spider-Man and Teen Titans cartoons. I have been impressed with Spider-Man -- he wasn't -- and I thought that Teen Titans was awful in talking down to children, while he thought they pulled of the "Americanime" feel they were going for.

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