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July 01 2009

'Always Darkest' - A Buffy Season 8 Tale. The highly entertaining story by Joss and Jo is now available for your perusal.

haven't been following the comics, but that was pretty funny.
Slashy heck!

ETA: Why it's not on MySpace.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-07-01 17:08 ]
Very pretty. Short and sweet. Shipper hilarity.

I appreciated seeing Tara and what she said.
Sweet, The Judge and the the Gentleman! Oh my!

And Tara blaming Buffy for her death. Of course it's a nightmare.

How can one panel be so funny and heartbreaking at the same time?
What in the Slashy Heck indeed.

Interestingly the initial location seemed to be that from the future betrayal scene from "Anywhere but here" Buffy also seemed to be similarly injured as in that scene (cuts on her arms)
Buffy's face in the last panel is priceless.
And I want a nice big copy of the wedding scene. Hilarious.
Well, okay, that was kinda fun. I'm actually glad this wasn't the long-awaited reunion, because that is going to need more than three pages to cover (some of) the loose ends. (Also, this pretty much solidifies my belief that the final "'ship" is going to be Spike/Buffy/Angel, whether as a triangle or as a threesome. :P I don't mind; best of both worlds.)

Winning lines: "What in the slashy heck? I'm the love of your lives!" and "Everybody die always."

On a totally superficial note, Jo Chen's Spike is SO PRETTY.
Crazygolfa, I thought that Tara was directing her comment at Warren but I could be wrong
x_x I think that just killed my brain.
I agree that the scene is very similar to the one in "Anywhere But Here". Short of Buffy's pants being torn and the missing cross around her neck. But with dreams and magic things are never quite exact, I suppose. :)
I thought Tara was Anya, how blind am I!!
Oh, I'm not generally a comic fan but that ROCKED. The Art was outstanding! So My Space is crashing? Why doesn't Dark Horse just stay with there own site?
Hahaha, I just realized Warren's flipping Tara the bird. Awesome.
Spike and Angel. Together again. And yes, in that sense.

Mmmm-hmm.
Hehe. Just noticed Vamp Willow is sitting next to our Willow.
That's not Vamp Willow, that's Fray-verse Willow... I think.

Best wedding cameos: 1) SWEET, 2) The Gentlemen, 3) Clem. xD
I loved that! Awesome artwork and the best.lines.yet.

*glee*
Yes. Awesome. I was was scared that this was going to be an actual reunion, which could not have been done in four pages.

Hilarity.

It was obviously Tara, what with the shirt and the bullet wound, but her face looks so much more like Anya. Only complaint I have as far as the art goes.
omg

TOTALLY loved this!

Beautiful artwork, as always from Jo.
Enisy, you're probably right.

But damn they look similar.
"Betrayal, the closest, the most unexpected" ---> "Slashy heck!"
*Hoots* Spangel rules!! *g*
Love.

I really hope DH comes out with a nice, oversized hardcover of S8 that includes all the main issues, all the MySpace ones, the one shot "Tales..." because I really want all this in a pretty bound print form, and I'm not buying the MySpace volumes just for one short story per issue.
That was hilarious! The art was amazing.

'Slurp...glide...pant...tickle' - hahaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I can just hear the fanfics being typed!

Loved Buffy's face in that last panel!
Both Spike and Angel were very pretty - is it me or were their faces quite similar?

Thanks, Joss and Jo! Friggin' awesome!

[ edited by Shep on 2009-07-01 17:43 ]
My question is, who's fighting Clubber Lang (Mr. T) in that wedding panel? It's not Rocky. Could it be Ivan "I must break you" Drago?
I wish all the comics could be drawn that way...
My question is, who's fighting Clubber Lang (Mr. T) in that wedding panel? It's not Rocky. Could it be Ivan "I must break you" Drago?

I was thinking the same thing, but Drago wasn't bald, if I recall correctly.
That was pretty great.
What is that giant, purply squishy looking thing with the button eyes behind Elvis? I don't remember seeing it before.
I love it. Jo Chen's art is again, beyond exquisite (and as for Tara's line, I think she is talking to Buffy (chills), since she looks like she is the maid of honor type since she is holding the flowers--but the ambiguity works too.)

This is some great nightmare fuel. It is also at the same time great...non-nightmare fuel as well. That is excellent story telling.
(I also loved the pants flying towards Buffy in the wedding panel. Heee!)
Amazing, what prize, considering we won't have Jo around for a few covers before the final arcs.

I bet someone already twetted Nathan Fillion to tell him he's in it.
The giant purply squishy thing is Ratio the tooting puppet from Smile Time. Cameos:

Tara, The Gentlemen, Clem, Future Willow , Sweet, The Judge, Frankenstein (?), The Swell, Elvis, the puppet from Smile Time called Ratio, a mummy (?) and many more I can't identify.
Too much! Angel/Spike, just meant to be.
That was great. Loved it.
Ratio looked different - he didn't have the tentacle thingummys on his head and he had a yellow trumpet-horn. And how could Buffy have known about Ratio?
Tara saying she blames Warren doesn't make any sense. Why wouldn't she? He's the one who shot her. That line would be obvious and pointless.

It's Buffy's dream. Tara's talking to her.
I like how it's specifically older, heavier, jumpsuited Elvis. And a family of vampy cats! Buffy's dreaming brain is awesome.
Ratio looked different - he didn't have the tentacle thingummys on his head and he had a yellow trumpet-horn. And how could Buffy have known about Ratio?

It's the only character in the 'verse that looks remotely like that drawing though. And I think it's just in there for fun. And ya know, she could have seen Ratio on his TV cartoon. ;)
Sproing!!!!
Loved it. Might be good to note that its spoiler-free for those of us who wait on the S8 trade paperbacks (it is, right?)
Okay. That was awesome.

And chucklesome.
Or the purple squishy thing could be that gross monster holding a swooning Dawn from that one cover.
Can anyone make a photobucket or something for this? It's not working for me.
Full of win. I absolutely loved this!!! I'm not usually a fan of Spike/Angel, but they do look like a lovely couple.
Pat, check on my home front.
What number is this? I'm only up to 15, should I not read it? Or is it completely separate?
It doesn't really affect S8. Read it - it's worth it!
I wish Jo Chen was more than just he cover artist for Season 8. Her work is fantastic. She should draw an issue.
Spike and Angel - together as they were always meant to be!
I love Joss. I love Jo. I love the slashy heck. And I love Tara's-heartbreaking-and-chilly-return-in-a-three-page-box-of-giggly-deliciousness.

This short thingie rocks. Purple does whimsical like no other.
Interestingly the initial location seemed to be that from the future betrayal scene from "Anywhere but here" Buffy also seemed to be similarly injured as in that scene (cuts on her arms)

Yup, mgmn, and she's dressed mostly the same, too. So I'm guessing Caleb's first line is perhaps a bit more significant than the rest of this.

In my head, I heard James and David doing the dialogue for this one. You can tell Joss did the writing... I just hope that the "sparing" use of Spike and Angel doesn't limit them to dream-sequence cameos forever. I like that they're off-stage, and that Buffy's isolation is a main theme, but boy do I miss Spike's caustic commentary.

"Everyone die always" is an excellent retort.
I particularly love the two matching black trench coats being wildly flung through the corner of the wedding scene...
And Darkhorse said we'd "love and loath" this. They've gotta be kidding, it's love, love, love all the way as far as I'm concerned. *g*
I am mostly puzzled. Art shiny though.
Yes,the spangel shippers are going to love this.lol

The shippers who wanted real answers on the Angel and Spike stuff will probably loath it.lol

Okay,I got to admit that this was so absurd that I actually found it pretty funny myself.

Joss having some fun with the shippers,spangel included this time.

Once again it's a dream appearence of Angel and Spike and not the real thing.And once again Joss is still vague on if Buffy knows Spike is back although I get the impression after this that she does know.But still vague like the threesome in issue 3,the mention in issue 11 and 23.It can be argued both ways.That she know or dosen't.It's really vague acrossed the board on everything.It doesn't really tell us anything on the questions people wanted answered.You're sort of left to decide for yourself.

But after this story,I personally think she does unless it gets stated otherwise later in season 8 or an interview.

And my god,Jo Chen's art is wonderful.

I should have Buffy Season 8 #26 and Angel #23 in a little while.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-07-01 19:32 ]
Forgive me if I seem slow, but on the right side of the wedding tableau, is that the shedding of leather coats flung in the air to indicate other . . . um . . .disrobing? Hee
That made my day so much.
"It's the one lesson you always forget, girl. You can't kill what's inside you."

THIS. That line right there is why this ties in perfectly to the Retreat arc. Perfect.
Jo Chen is amazing! I wish I could have all of her panels as wall paper for my room. A little creep yes, but wow.
I loved the "shipping" coverage. Honestly, I don't think either one will ever come out on top. She loves them both in different ways.
Does anyone know where I can purchase a large print of Chen's covers?
And who's the green lady in front? Saga Vasuki?
My god, I want Jo Chen to do the entire issues! She's amazing!
And Joss, I'm speechless XD

I hope this will be on the TPB.
Does anyone know where I can purchase a large print of Chen's covers?


You could try contracting the artist herself(MySpace or her own site), see if your local comic book store has one or there's the Fox Studio Art Store but the posters there are very pricey indeed.
Holly balls, the Fox Art Store is expensive! I think I will visit my local Atomic Comics, I need to catch up on my season 8 anyway. Thanks for the tips Simon.
Keep an eye on eBay as well. Some of the promotional posters that Dark Horse send to comic book stores may well end up there.
I opened that link from work, and there should have been a warning not to do that, cause I literally jumped on my chair, and couldn't stop grinning and chuckling for 30 minutes..!
So made of win!
Awesome art, I want a poster with that first page (and the other two..)!!
Great, just great!
That was great! Also, there's a cameo from the little green hand-eating demon from "The Magic Bullet" (I think.)
Ridiculously made of awesome.
Looks like Tara was the embodiment and voice of Buffy's pain over what Willow said to her. Also, telling that Willow is NOT a bridesmaid but hanging in the pews with her darker self. I'm sad, I miss when they were best friends.
I'm coming round more to the theory that Caleb is Twilight. Is Joss using this strip to put it out in the open?
Caleb's been my pick since relatively early, which almost guarantees that it's completely wrong.
but isn't Caleb dead, or am I remembering wrong?

Also, I agree with Taaroko , I think the purple thingo on the left is the thricewice in his real form, not Ratio the puppet.
But the First impersonated Caleb! And he's in two pieces! And buried under bits of Sunnydale!
I wonder... perhaps Buffy's subconscious is thinking along the lines we were with the "I know that move" comment.

Either that or Caleb's standing in for something else that's similar. Could go either way. Can't wait until I read Jane's arc, and see just how this ties in.
Rofl. Seriously, the slashy-ness was hilarious. I was like Wait, WHAT? XD and I'm a slasher. Just never thought I'd see that like that. lol. XD

And am I the only one who loves the very clean boy line? XD
I'm just so glad Buffy still seems to know Spike exists! Its been unclear there for most of S8.
YAAAAY!
Seriously, how great that was? Such fun! Glorious Spangel! And Jo Chen draws VERY pretty Angel and Spike, I wish she could do it again.
Wedding cameos! Tara! Oh my. And the best part - it's all a nightmare. Great morning look on Buffy as well, heh.
Tara as Maid of Honor type? Shows how close Buffy really felt to her :-).

And heck Frankenstein's Monster is probably real in the Buffyverse, and I don't mean just my fic version either.

You can have Jumpsuit ELvis; I have the real version on my calendar in my office cubicle. (At home I have the Buffy calendar; this month is Emma making that chair feel lucky.)
Was the morning panel for Buffy supposed to be at the slayer layer? It looks like her mom's kitchen.
What makes the whole "Who is Twilight?" mystery so fun is the fact that it's hard to reconcile all of the facts on hand with any of the candidates. There's a case to be made for Caleb, but it somehow doesn't all add up -- yet. For example, looking back at Buffy's first encounter with Twilight in issue 11, I'm struck by Twilight's almost magnanimous tone ("I know you meant well"). Of course, that was mixed in with a good bit of sneering too, along with the "I know that move" line. But overall, the words don't sound to me like Caleb.

[ edited by topolino on 2009-07-01 22:14 ]
OK, a thing which I found interesting and subversive here was how slash was subtly linked to misogyny. As in excluding women even from women's fantasies ("you are a dirty girl" - "I am a clean boy"), judging them unworthy/uninteresting in pairing up with male heroes, and just hooking up male heroes exclusively.

Joss is not afraid to play with this can of worms, and all I can say is "respect" - because it's not an easy subject, maybe not as sticky for this fandom as we do have Buffy, Willow and other terrific female characters here, but for other fandoms... Hmm.

And boy does Buffy carry a lot inside her - and her inner demons are as scary as ever. I suspected as much in this season. Here's hoping for payoff!
I was totally onboard with Riley being Twilight untill Time of Your Life. Now...no clue. Caleb would be cool but I'm pretty sure he's toast.
I'm not reading the comics and have no real interest in them, but this totally made my day. Very, very fun.
Great little piece. Jo Chen's work is amazing.

But I am a little disappointed that this is at least the 3rd time we've seen Buffy's dreams in S8 so far, and despite all the weird, off-the-wall cameos, still no Cheese Man!
Jo's artwork is truly beautiful, when I was at Comic con two years ago they gave away some posters of her work for free, so I think it is worth hunting for this year. I'm surprised that Xander looks so cartoonish because he was very hot here.
Okay, as an Elvis fan apparently without a sense of humor, that's a frickin' impersonator with a really bad wig! And hey... Jumpsuit Junkie here. He was better-looking than that. But I must complain about the hair! For the last time, Elvis did not have a '50s pompadour in the '70s!

And that's not Frankenstein, it's Lurch from The Addams Family. The Mummy is a shout-out to the original Universal monster. Ratio/Kenny looks like a cross between the two. The demons in the bridesmaid outfits are funny.

I liked the "betrayal" set-up from Anywhere But Here. And this probably means we can cross off Caleb as a suspect.

As for the slashy stuff... Doesn't float my boat, but Jo Chen does draw pretty versions of them both.

Though I worry that Joss has so much fun with this comedy-heavy/taking-things-lightly stuff, that he's making this season significantly less hard-hitting and dramatic than the show was. I really am starting to miss the real dramatic stuff.

I still think Connor's death/comeback was the only thing that's even come close to moving me in these comics, which is a shame. Buffy season 8 needs to start dealing and get serious.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-07-01 23:04 ]
This is how I get to see Tara again? Jeebus. Sigh.
Though I worry that Joss has so much fun with this comedy-heavy/taking-things-lightly stuff, that he's making this season significantly less hard-hitting and dramatic than the show was. I really am starting to miss the real dramatic stuff.

Amen, bro.
I actually prefer the lighter tone for the comics. Maybe it's because I am not used to the medium but the drama does not resonate as much with me via the comics.
I second that, luv4whedon.
The web comic does IMO have a thematic tie to the Retreat arc.Having just read Retreat Part 1,Buffy's state of mind in issue 26 and the way that state of mind seems to be going based off the sollictations for issues 27 and 28 really do match her state of mind in this tie-in web story.I can see why Joss did this story and had it released the same day as issue 26.What's going on with Twilight,what happens in this issue and what Buffy asks towards the end of #26 just makes what we see in Buffy's subconscious in,"Always Darkest" go together.

This web comic was a comedic story but there is more going on underneath that ties into the Retreat arc in a big way.

Spoilers for issue 26.





[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-07-02 00:11 ]
What I can't see yet is how the writers are gonna link S08 with Angel's series, in case the reunion takes place. In After the Fall the characters still look a little like strangers to me.
I've done an in-depth analysis if anyone's interested in reading it here.

I have to say, this story reads as comedic fluff and hilarity, but it's a wacked out dream sequence which means that the source of all these situations in Buffy's mind is downright heartbreaking. If anyone was complaining about not understanding Buffy during Season 8, this 3-pager is the definition of insight into her fears and guilt complex.
Thanks Shep.

Ok, I think my head spun around several times after seeing it but.. I loved it! Please let this be in the paperback edition.

As for the comedy comic issue.. I do have a hard time reconciling the comics with the series. They may be the continuation but I still don't really think of them that way, mainly because of some of the sillier plot and character points, so I've decided to just sit back and enjoy. The medium isn't a problem for me though, I've found a few non-canon Buffy comics in the past moving, Night of a Thousand Vampires being the one that comes to mind at this second.
:O I've been dying to see a Jo Chen drawn comic since laying eyes on her gorgeous artwork but never thought it'd actually be done.

Having a total fanboy moment over the art alone right now. :P
OK, a thing which I found interesting and subversive here was how slash was subtly linked to misogyny. As in excluding women even from women's fantasies ("you are a dirty girl" - "I am a clean boy"), judging them unworthy/uninteresting in pairing up with male heroes, and just hooking up male heroes exclusively.

Nata,

That's an interesting point. I've long been curious why there are so many girls who write M/M slash. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great, and there is definitely the subtext to work with. But when I've asked girls who exclusively write M/M slash why they do it, they usually respond with things like "Well, this way the relationship is more about equality," or something to the effect of power dynamics.

I find these sorts of answers incredibly depressing - as though there could never be an equal dynamic between a male and female. I certainly don't think that's true.

Anyway, this was fun. I wish Jo Chen would illustrate every comic! I know it would be too much work, but gah. So beautiful!
ShanshuBugaboo, I actually read a thought-provoking piece about that very subject (M/M slash and misogyny) just the other day. You can find it here.
I totally forgot that the new issue was out today, but this made up for it. What brilliance.

Tara's inclusion is the best part.
I really liked that. :) Now I need to go out at some point to buy the new issue...

As a fan of M/M slash, I don't think it's about misogeny or excluding women, at least not to me. I often go for slash pairings because the characters have a tension and a history that hetero pairings don't so much. Because the characters haven't been presented as love interests in canon, their relationship has been developed in different ways, and has more to it that just the romantic side. The tension between a character and his best friend or enemy, for me at least, makes for a far more interesting story than one about two characters who canon presents as a one true pairing -- because it's possible to come up with complications that are less external or contrived. They already have a history that the story can be built from, that's something outside the romance. And I just find that more interesting to read (or write). That's not to say I don't enjoy some hetero pairings (or femslash pairings); it's just that, often, I find the slash pairing more interesting than the alternatives.
Lirazel, that's a fascinating link you put up. And, Emmie, I enjoyed your commentary, too.
ShanshuBugaboo-When I write slash, it's not because of equality or power dynamics. It's because I think it's hot. (And what snowinhell said.) Also, I've found that in well-written fics, even if the author has not written a female character in, you cannot help but be *aware* that there is a female character in the mix. If you're reading Angel/Xander or Spike/Xander, Buffy's there. If you're reading Lindsey/Angel, Darla's always going to be there. And if you're reading Angel/Spike, both Drusilla and Buffy are there.

Just like if you're reading Wesley/Lilah, Fred is always going to be there. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2009-07-02 04:53 ]
When I write slash, it's not because of equality or power dynamics. It's because I think it's hot.

I've no problem with that reason :)
I did find it very funny but count me in the camp that wants a serious cameo of Spike or Angel.
I mean we're almost at the finish and we still don't even know if Buffy knows that Spike's back.
I would like to atleast see Buffy in a happy relationship before the end comes.
Yeah, so that article is one of the silliest things I've read in some time. And the writer should look up 'canonical'
.As a fan of M/M slash, I don't think it's about misogyny or excluding women, at least not to me.
snowinhell | July 02, 03:52 CET


I don't doubt the "at least not for me" part, but have you ever spent any time on a site dedicated specifically to slash, especially in this 'verse? Not naming names because of the policy against trash-talking about other sites, but the open hatred for the women who come between the male pairings, is ... um, off-putting, to use the mildest term I can come up with.

And "hatred" (for the women) is definitely not overstating it. (I'm not talking about anyone who writes slash fic, I've read very little because it's not really my thing.)
It's a great shame that they didn't show Spike and Angel at least kissing in this. To quote a poster on another forum..

"Shipping wars and Deep Hidden Symbolism aside, this webcomic left me wondering one thing - why didn't we get to see the Spike/Angel kiss?

I know the point was Buffy's reaction to it, but it wouldn't have been hard to position them front and center, with her reaction in the background. Season Eight has already shown multiple times that it's okay, great, and even vitally important to the story to show two girls getting it on in sensuous detail. What's wrong with showing a little lip lock between two guys?

Or is this a double standard...?"

Gotta say that after thinking about it I agree with them.
Well the most sensuous detail was the Buffy / Spike / Angel 3-way which showed much more of Spike and Angel than was ever shown of Buffy or Satsu. Sometimes I think people are looking for things to find offensive ...

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-07-02 11:20 ]
I sort of wonder if the script specifically called for there to be only implicit kissing on part of Spike and Angel. While yes it does go on pretty evidently to also imply some slashy sproingy smooching going on, in mainstream superherodom (which Buffy pretty much does fall into) they seldom concretely show the "G" of LGBT[...IQIQA].

While yes, the reader can't help but fill in the obvious occurring off-panel, it's sorta weird in light of that time we saw Buffy and Satsu in bed. I know that was also mostly off-panel and I can't be sure they actually are shown kissing on page but in any case that was still more titillating than this is.


...Wow, that was sort of a tangent since I did dig even this short foray into Buffy's psyche. I was just momentarily distracted since I am aware of how Jo Chen has done some manhua-esque yaoi sketches. (Including one of characters rather similar to Nightwing and Robin with the most hilarious sketch of Batman).
Why after all these years does it still shock me when Joss takes a seemingly 'light' topic and proceeds to make my heart weep?

Oh, Buffy. All that dithering over Spike and Angel- just drove them together.
Hmm.
The perception of the homoerotic in this series seems to be
in large part led by what each veiwer would like to see.
Those that want the slashy stuff think this didn't show enough as compared to the two lesbian scenes. The lesbian scenes did not get the "smooch sproing ruba ruba glide[!] tickle".
Well perhaps we can give the benefit of the doubt and assume the "cartoonish" treatment of gay romance relative to lesbian romance by the author is because the former is identified as a dream whilst the latter was not. This, let is hope is signifies a construct of Buffy's imagination (she might find the idea sexy but she doesn't believe the boys would) rather than an indictment of the concept of genuine gay love by the author.
Thing is Joss hasn't exactly the greatest of track records with dealing with male gay characters. Unfortunately his most famous example is the awful Andrew (yes I know he's never been officially 'outed' by Joss), which is unfortunate to say the least.

Lord I wish his character been a dream instead of reality....:0
I wish, at some point, that Joss would utilize gay male characters the way he has female. Or is that more Fox/Dark Horse than Joss?

I'm a person who enjoys slash, and het, as long as it remains true to character.
I thought the point of having the kiss off screen was to be a big tease. Because it's funny.
redeem147, in fairness the Angel/Spike kiss in Buffy's dream is handled pretty much the same way that the Willow/Tara kiss was handled in Xander's dream back in Restless.

Still I too would have liked to see what was happening, especially as Jo Chen drew the two of them so beautifully
The double standard occurred to me too. I'm willing to give Joss and Dark Horse the benefit of the doubt here-- it was most likely an artistic choice made for the sake of tone and hilarity. And yet, it's a choice made within a larger context of romance between two men being mostly as absent in popular culture as strong women used to be and still are in a lot of situations.

So while the lack of a visual was disappointing here, in light of that larger cultural context, it does make sense in the specific context. The coats flying into frame and cartoony sound effects are tired-Buffy-brain-hilarious in a way that an actual smoldering make-out scene wouldn't accomplish.

I thought they did a really good job with the Satsu/Buffy romance. The absence of any gay guy romance in what we see of Buffy's universe is still pretty striking. I've been hoping to see better from Dollhouse.
Let Down:
Sometimes I think people are looking for things to find offensive ...

You gettin' those vibes, too, huh?
Trouble is Joss can't win. If he puts in a male/male relationship into Buffy season 8, a section of the fandom will turn around and say "you're just shoe horning one in for the sake of it". If he doesn't, other fans will say "aha despite all your fancy talk, you're no better than any other writer".

Whatever he does, he's going to piss people off.
Not necessarily, but I have to say that Joss's disinterest in dealing with male homosexual characters in a serious manner has been prevalent for some time now, and for some of us that grates somewhat.

The absence of any gay guy romance in what we see of Buffy's universe is still pretty striking. I've been hoping to see better from Dollhouse.


Oh I agree, but hey, it's his toys, his rules.
It isn't romance, but i thought Larry Bagby was realistic.
I just feel badly for Xander. I've read the fanfic where Spike wouldn't be "gliding" with Angel.

;)

*giggles*
What a hilarious few pages!
I really wish Jo Chen/Darkhorse would release a poster of that wedding scene. I'd proudly hang such a thing in my room. Or build a mantle, and place it on top. Or near the top. Somewhere up-like.
orange wax lion; Buffy and Satsu weren't shown kissign their first night. They were their last night.

mgmn; In "Resltess" Willow and tara had broken off the kiss before the camera got onto them. Nothing was actually shown.

As to waiting for joss to do serious m/m, we sure as shootin' won't settle it:-) :-) :-).
Joss's disinterest in dealing with male homosexual characters in a serious manner has been prevalent for some time now, and for some of us that grates somewhat.

Sue, I see how that can grate a bit. I understand. But what if it's just not his story to tell? Joss is clearly fascinated with writing women's issues. Strong female characters. The first lesbian kiss on television. And then he segues to more universal types of commentary - slavery, morality, family, friendship, sacrifice, heroism, villainy, corruption. Just because he did and continues to portray an important homosexual relationship between two women (Willow and Tara, now Willow and Kennedy), does this now mean he's obliged to also portray a homosexual relationship between two men? It feels like the fact that Joss did show a healthy lesbian relationship means he's automatically inherited the expectation from fans to do the same for homosexual male relationships.

The small ironic part of me wonders if expecting Joss to do this (portray a male homosexual relationship) is more likely to have him not do it (not that what we're expecting would really weigh that heavily). Because he seems to enjoy confounding expectations - e.g. the sleeper agent mislead in Dollhouse's Man on the Street. Whedon deliberately set that up to make us think 'oh god, Joss is about to kill this character because she's happy and had sex'. Essentially taking what we were expecting of him and turning it around for a powerful dramatic effect.

Not to say that Whedon portraying a male homosexual relationship in a story wouldn't be worthwhile (clearly it would be), but I don't understand how his not doing this can be judged as a failure on his part.

I'm a bit baffled by this feeling of fan entitlement to what Whedon chooses to tell in his stories. And the resulting disappointment and even resentment when he doesn't live up to specific fan expectations. His "disinterest" in telling the story - couldn't it just simply be it's not his story to tell? Why does it have to be his story to tell?

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-07-03 01:36 ]
the open hatred for the women who come between the male pairings, is ... um, off-putting, to use the mildest term I can come up with.


Character bashing is not limited to m/m slash. I frequently run across Bangel and Spuffy fanfiction that bash the character of Riley. There's also a lot of Kennedy-bashing among Willow/Tara shippers. (And those examples are just off the top of my head)

have you ever spent any time on a site dedicated specifically to slash, especially in this 'verse?


Have you ever visited an SPN slash site? Our 'verse is tame in comparison. :)
I think it’s very obvious that we didn’t see Angel/Spike kiss because it’s *Angel and Spike.* People wanted the subtext to suddenly become text and who on earth seriously thought that would ever happen? It ain’t gonna. Joss was poking fun at Spangel fans and teasing them that they’ll finally get their moment, but he cuts away so they don’t. It was being fun and light-hearted. Of course we aren’t going to see Angel/Spike kiss, that’s far too blatant and over the top. Exactly like how they chose not to have Buffy/Faith kiss on the lips in Enemies even though it was originally scripted that way.

I think people need their heads screwed on if they honestly thought they’d show Angel and Spike make-out. I mean c’mon? It was a bit of fun, a good romp. I’d think slash fans would consider themselves lucky that they got this much.

Joss shouldn’t have to tell a story about two homosexual males if he doesn’t want to. And I get the sneaking suspicion some people want him to just so they have something they consider nice to look at. I don't think it's a coincidence a lot of this sentiment comes from the slash portion of the audience. Ya know what, I’d love to see an Australian character pop up in this series but I’m not gonna be offended that it hasn’t, and probably never will happen.

Besides remember what Eliza said in that recent article about Dollhouse? Didn’t she say we’d have both gay and lesbian storylines this year?
I’d think slash fans would consider themselves lucky that they got this much.

Wow that was really condescending.
The tone's getting a bit personal in here. This is a reminder to discuss the comic and not individual posters.

vampmogs, I make joking references to slashy male subtext but I'm not really into the stuff myself. That said, Australians are a nationality and not what we'd call a special class here in the U.S. It's not really a fair comparison to make. It's not about a pretty thing to look at for me. It's about the dearth of gay relationships on tv. It's getting better but only by degrees, it seems.

Although Angel and Spike are, as always, very pretty.
It's not about a pretty thing to look at for me. It's about the dearth of gay relationships on tv. It's getting better but only by degrees, it seems.

Agreed. :)
Wow that was really condescending.

Why? If you're a slash fan and a fan of Angel/Spike in particular then why shouldn't you feel lucky you got something in the comic? I'm pretty interested in Buffy/Faith and if it had been them in the place of Angel/Spike I'd have been very chuffed. It's very rare slash fans get anything more than a comment or at best... a hand hold. The fact that they got this which was probably the slashiest thing ever in Buffyverse *canon*, should be something they’re happy about. I don’t feel it’s condescending at all to point that out.

It just feels like there's this "I want more, more, more" attitude. If we had seen them kiss would there have then been complaints we didn't see the sex that inevitably happened off to the side of the wedding scene? It’s just like whatever he does isn’t enough.

Sunfire- My point about the "Australian" thing was more to highlight that every fan probably has a type of character that they'd like to be represented. However, it's one thing to hope you'll get that and it's another to criticise Joss for not giving it to you. He doesn't have to explore every type of person there is in this world. When people say we haven't seen any gay characters in this verse, we have. We had Larry before any lesbian on the show. But then you hear people say that "he doesn't count" because he doesn't satisfy their expectations for how much focus should be placed on it. But he does count. He was male, he was gay and he was out there. He fits all the criteria.

The only reason Willow got more attention was because Willow was a main character on the show. Now people are wanting Joss to bring in a male gay character for the sole purpose of exploring those issues. It seems like a pretty flimsy reason to introduce a character to me. Surely they must have more of a basis and reason for being on the show other than their sexuality. Or to tick off some kind of checklist of all the things Joss must explore in Btvs.

I know that the show Brothers & Sisters has at least three gay male characters. Is it doing something wrong that it hasn't included a lesbian into the mix yet?

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-03 04:00 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-03 04:03 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-03 04:08 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-03 04:10 ]
I actually agree with you and Emmie, vampmogs. I don't think Joss should or expect Joss to write anything other than what he's moved to. (Just wanted to clarify that)

Back to the comic: these three pages are brilliant. Upon re-reading them, I have to say that I think they're the best thing to come out of S8 yet because (to me) for the first time, it felt like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" the series. Jo Chen's artwork is exquisite and the dialogue is Whedon at his best. It's extremely comical on the surface but there's a landmine of meaning underneath that. I can't wait to read the rest of the ecomics to come.
Well I apologise if I came off as patronising, I didn’t mean to. I’m working on it, I can get very passionate and carried away sometimes. :)

I agree with you about these three pages. I think they’re bloody brilliant. I’m a big fan of s8 but Always Darker has just moved up my personal ranks a lot. It’s easily in my top three “episodes” of the season now.

I love how this links up with Buffy’s threesome fantasy in The Long Way Home. And how now she doesn’t view it as a realistic dream. She’s so disappointed in herself and she feels so “dirty” that if Angel and Spike saw her now they’d want nothing to do with her. They’re “clean boys” opposed to her, who’s been guilty of bank robberies and the willingness to let innocents die for the bigger picture. She has no respect for herself right now and my heart breaks for her, but it’s brilliant storytelling.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-03 05:22 ]
It just feels like there's this "I want more, more, more" attitude.


So you say. But don't all fans have that attitude when it comes to their particular interests?

He doesn't have to explore every type of person there is in this world. When people say we haven't seen any gay characters in this verse, we have. We had Larry before any lesbian on the show. But then you hear people say that "he doesn't count" because he doesn't satisfy their expectations for how much focus should be placed on it. But he does count. He was male, he was gay and he was out there. He fits all the criteria.


No he doesn't imo. He was barely in the show before being killed off. He was hardly used let alone explored or central to any kind of plot the same way as the awful Andrew has been.

I'm afraid that It does matter how much screen time a characters got. Otherwise you really don't get the time to understand and explore whats going on there. Larry really didn't have that, and I'm afraid it also didn't help matters that a lot of his interactions onscreen were treated in a humorous manner so they could set up a joke for Xander.

I have a writer friend of mine who's gay and who's a big JW fan, but the one thing he finds disappointing about in Whedons stories it that he doesn't seem to treat gay men with the same seriousness as gay women, and I'm afraid I couldn't come up with any argument to say otherwise.
What about Lorne? He was treated seriously especially by the end of Angel season 5. Or as I know this could be seen as an enormous stretch, Spike and Angel as they are canonical bisexual.
Lorne is a Demon, and even then it was all about 'humorous hints'. Nothing has been established about his characters sexuality. Thats If he even has one of course. *g*

As to Spike and Angel nothing has been properly explored to say they are anything more then just hetro. One half finished sentence from Spike doesn't mean anything I'm afraid.

It seems Joss prefers to deal with these issues in either a humorous way, or as just coy hints.
I always took Lorne's leaving Pylea to be a metaphor about how backward some places can be about homosexuality. He became himself in a city that accepted him for what he is. If that's seen as coy or understated so be it but I prefer that approach rather than a show that trumpets "and here are two men kissing" just for the sake of it.
Why would it be for the sake of it anymore then a het couple kissing?

Whats wrong with having a male gay character treated the same as any other rather then just treated as a joke, or some thing 'special' to be hinted at.
Why would it be for the sake of it anymore then a het couple kissing?


I'm thinking specifically of Torchwood. I thought most of the same sex scenes came from the "will this do?" school of bad writing. The slash fan in me thinks that The Doctor/Jack scenes in Nu Who series 1 and 3 were far better written in terms of same sex relationships.
I have a lot of issues with TW writing, but the thing they really did get right was how they dealt with gay relationships on the show. Ianto/Jack was dealt with as just another love affair and nothing more special as that. So no treating it with kid gloves, or if they're freaks.
but the thing they really did get right was how they dealt with gay relationships on the show.


See I would disagree with that. I think the writers a lot of the time couldn't get past the "it's after 9pm, let's have two men snog for the sake of it" without any though of how it would impact on the characters or the plot. Torchwood should be praised for being a trailblazer for gay relationships in genre shows but damned for the implementation. Maybe this third series will be different but that fact that it's on BBC 1 makes me think not.

And in returning to Joss as I did hear that this is a blog about his work, I think the proof of the pudding will be in the next couple of seasons of Dollhouse. It will be interesting to see if male Clients order male Dolls.
Gotta say I disagree with your views of the TW relationships. I think they dealt with it all just fine, but then it did help that RTD is a gay man himself of course.

As to Dollhouse, well we'll see, but I for one won't be holding my breath I'm afraid.
I've reading your comments with a lot of interest, and must agree with Vergil. Besides _and please no offense meant here, I just don't see the point in all "take both Angel/Spike, gal!" opinions.

I'm trying to let down my personal preferences for Spike as a character in this topic, seriously, but a wrong choice here could affect even they way Buffy has grown up along the whole story. Even if she chose Angel eventually _I would see is as a mistake, but narratively honest and committed by the writers. Their girl, their choice. OK for me.


But anyway, as all I have seen of her, I just can't see Buffy just playing flirts. Not now, not after 'Chosen', not after S08 #2. Not after a year of relative freedom to think by herself.


By the way, Simon, on Dollhouse, I think they spoke once about two twin boys, offered to a male client. Dollhouse #2, maybe?
By the way, Simon, on Dollhouse, I think they spoke once about two twin boys, offered to a male client. Dollhouse #2, maybe?

I think it was in 1x03 "Stage Fright", and I think Adelle was just referring to "the twins", no gender specified. But Claire did mention that they have a lot of same sex engagements later. And Joss and Eliza have both mentioned that same sex relationships are something they wanted to do in S1. They didn't have the time to do it, so I guess it's very possible that we're gonna see something in season 2.
I have a writer friend of mine who's gay and who's a big JW fan, but the one thing he finds disappointing about in Whedons stories it that he doesn't seem to treat gay men with the same seriousness as gay women, and I'm afraid I couldn't come up with any argument to say otherwise.


Maybe a gay male couple just doesn't fit into the stories that Joss wants to tell, which are mainly centered around female empowerment.
Did anyone ever have issues with Alan Ball for featuring a gay male couple in a prominent role for the entire run of Six Feet Under, but no lesbian couples?

And to agree with the same person I disagreed with ;).....

I have a lot of issues with TW writing, but the thing they really did get right was how they dealt with gay relationships on the show. Ianto/Jack was dealt with as just another love affair and nothing more special as that. So no treating it with kid gloves, or if they're freaks.


Exactly .... I didn't ever feel that Jack/Ianto was gratuitous or any different than any other relationship/liaison on TW.
Character bashing is not limited to m/m slash. I frequently run across Bangel and Spuffy fanfiction that bash the character of Riley.

Have you ever visited an SPN slash site? Our 'verse is tame in comparison. :)

menomegirl | July 03, 01:39 CET


You clearly missed the part of my post that said "I'm not talking about fanfic". Rather, commenting on the hate talk about women, on websites devoted to slash.

And no - I've never heard of SPN. My point was that as someone who avoids sites where hate talk is allowed, the worst I've ever run across in my "perusing before crossing it off my list of places I want to visit", was the hate talk about hetro female characters, on a M/M slash site.
Which goes all the way back to an early comment about a link between M/M slash and misogyny.
Which is twisty-turney in the extreme, as a way of trying to clarify a point I was making. :_)
Did anyone ever have issues with Alan Ball for featuring a gay male couple in a prominent role for the entire run of Six Feet Under, but no lesbian couples?

Well, to be fair, in case of SFU we're talking about 63 episodes, while the Whedonverse comprises 269 episodes, at least 2 movies, and a pretty big bunch of comics. I think after a few years of True Blood without any lesbian relationships, people will start question Alan Ball too.

(Not that I am particularly annoyed by Joss' lack of gay male couples. I just don't think the lack of criticism towards Ball is playing on the same turf.)
Well, to be fair, in case of SFU we're talking about 63 episodes, while the Whedonverse comprises 269 episodes, at least 2 movies, and a pretty big bunch of comics.

True, and SFU also lacked the myriad of characers in the Whedonverse and did have a lesbian recurring character and did explore the possible lesbian feelings of one of the shows main characters. And I think there also was a lesbian wedding somewhere along the way. So I don't think the subject was in any way avoided.

Never felt Joss goes out of his way to avoid the subject either, but for Ball I think it's even less true.
I think Joss doesn't go out of his way to deal with male gays I'm afraid for all the reasons I've listed further up the thread.

Unless of course they're portrayed as a running joke=Andrew.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2009-07-04 22:43 ]
I don't consider Andrew's portrayal to be a problem in and of itself. He's always been pretty immature and he's been growing up by degrees lately. He feels very mid-long-arc to me so I think anything could happen with him still. He hasn't really landed yet. As part of the bigger pattern, yeah, it's an issue. I'd really like to see him come out of all of this even more developed as a character.
At least give him a boyfriend. *g*
Originally, Joss didn't know whether he wanted Xander or Willow to turn gay. He ended up choosing Willow largely because Seth Green wanted to leave the show. So, really, it was the luck of the draw whether Joss explored a male or female gay relationship.

And on the Lorne question I thought the Pylea stuff was a pretty blatant metaphor for him being gay
Again with the metaphor. Whats wrong with dropping that now and again and actually fleshing out a character beyond a coy hint or a joke?
There's nothing wrong with doing that but it's not the only way to go either. The perfectly obvious metaphor worked just fine for me. Anyway, I think this argument will be largely moot after a couple more seasons of Dollhouse. We'll see.
Interesting. I've rarely heard people on this forum say "Less with the metaphors, Joss!" I thought the multi-layered storytelling was why we were here.

Now that I think about it, however, it would be really intriguing to see a remake of an episode such as "Restless" with every previously subtle thing turned into fourth-wall-breaking exposition.

I would add a winking emoticon, but I've never gotten over the dislike of the things I developed when a BD bit me as a small child.
Anyway, I think this argument will be largely moot after a couple more seasons of Dollhouse.

That would be wonderful for Dollhouse fans. :)

Of course, not all of us are Dollhouse fans.
But since people were talking about Joss Whedon here, it isn't limited to "Buffy" :)

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-07-07 04:08 ]
Yeah, but I'm not holding my breath I'm afraid. I'll be very surprised If he seriously explores male gays in Dollhouse rather then lipstick lesbians.

The memory of some of Eco's costumes still haunt me to this day. *g*
While Lorne's sexual ambiguity ran throughout the entirety of his time on Angel, there were hints that he might be attracted to Cordelia in particular. I remember once in season three he made mention to Angel that if he thought 'green was her color...' But it's also important to remember that Lorne's mother had a beard. Gender in Pylea might not be strictly limited to male or female. Sexual orientation, then, could go far beyond GLBTQ.

As a gay male fan of everything Joss Whedon has ever created, I can say that while it is frustrating to realize there have been no lasting openly male homosexual characters in the 'verse, it's not something that greatly affects my experience. I like the subtle references to Spike and Angel's checkered past, or maybe it's more of a plaid. I was thrilled to learn that 'sly' was Firefly slang for 'gay' when the crew of Serenity stayed with Nandi. And I actually adore Andrew, even though his redemption has taken longer than Faith's, and somehow included making facetime with a couple of blonde ladies in Rome.

I'm optimistic for the storylines that will take place during Dollhouse's second season, especially since Eliza made a shout-out for gay and lesbian issues as well as child soldiers in Uganda. This show, especially since it's more grounded in the 'real' world and lacking in supernatural elements, is more likely to be seen as socio-political commentary than previous Whedon works because the parallels are more clear.

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