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August 09 2009

(SPOILER) Scott Allie's Slayalive Q/A For Buffy #27. Another issue of Buffy Season 8 means another monthly question and answer session with the Buffy editor.

Lots of cool new info and insight given in this month's Q/A.

"Season Eight is the only canonical work in comics" - is that strictly true?
Tales of the Slayers was supposed to be canon, too
I can't see how the revelation of Twilight's identity can be anything but a letdown, to some extent. We've been waiting so long that I can't imagine anything that could match the build-up we've given it. Kind of like the BSG final Cylon business - nothing wrong with the answer we got, but after all that time, my reaction to the revelation was just "Um, OK, I guess".
I really want to see that cover to the trade based on who Jo painted for it. Maybe the next Dark Horse solicits will have it in...Those should come out next week, right?
This quote pretty much makes Scott Allie my hero:

Bad storytelling to have characters sit around going, "Oh, I heard that you ran into Angel, who has nothing to do with our current story, in Italy a couple years ago." "Yes indeed, that happened."

I think if you're more worried about pointless details that are so specific you need to ask the creators about them than you are about the actual story that's being told, you kinda don't "get it". Enjoy it for what it is, don't get caught up in pointless minutia. It reminds me of all those Harry Potter fans who ask JK Rowling things like "OMG, what happens to Luna after the books?!?!" Uhh... nothing. She isn't real. The story's over.
I haven't read the Q&A yet, as I wanna read the issue first, but I just wanted to chip in to the whole Twilight thing: The only specific clue we've gotten as far as I remember is that Twilight anticipated and commented on Buffy's aiming for the crotch with the scythe, which seems to suggest that it's Caleb (who would have learned that by being split in half from the crotch up that one time). So that's either misdirection or it is indeed Caleb, in which case I want a cookie.
Angel was in that scene too.
It reminds me of all those Harry Potter fans who ask JK Rowling things like "OMG, what happens to Luna after the books?!?!" Uhh... nothing. She isn't real. The story's over.


But then JKR is perfectly happy to answer exactly those sort of questions, so maybe it's a good strategy for fans to ask them. (Would we even know that Dumbledore was gay without them?)
Off topic, but does it really matter that Dumbledore was gay? Isn't the fact that he was regarded the greatest wizard of his time more important? Or the fact that he was a kindly mentor to Harry? That he was a decent man who had made mistakes in the past but has worked to right the wrongs of his youth? Does all that pale in comparison to the fact that JK decided to divulge Dumbledore's sexual orientation? If it had been important enough, it would have been in the books.
dingoes8, I'm a bit confused by your statement that wanting to know an irrelevant detail is is missing the point or not "getting it." Can't people be curious? During BtVS S7, for instance, I would have loved to have the chance to ask Joss what was up with Drusilla. Or Oz. Or where the Sunnydale students had been going to school for the past few years before the new high school was built. None of those are at all relevant to the plot, but I still wondered, and that curiosity definitely didn't keep me from enjoying the sweep of the season. Sure, if you're hinging all your enjoyment on such a question, maybe the story isn't for you any longer, but I don't think that happens all that often amongst thoughtful fans.

And why shouldn't you ask those sorts of "what happens to ___" questions? It's proof that you've invested in the story, that you care about the world and characters the writer has created. I, for one, would be very flattered someday if someone who had read my books were to ask such a thing. Now, my answer might be anything from a detailed description to "You're free to decide on your own," but the question itself is a nice one. If the authors didn't ask those questions, we wouldn't have some awesome sequels or series of books. If nobody else asked those questions, we wouldn't have half as many awesome pieces of fanfiction as we do. We wouldn't have Wicked or Wide Sargasso Sea or probably even Paradise Lost, all of which can be viewed as a sort of fanfiction that crosses the line into literature.

Perhaps I have a different approach to literature, anyway, because I think that if put down the book once the story is over and move on, don't think about it anymore, that there probably wasn't any point in reading it in the first place. I want to take the characters I cared about, the lessons I learned, the insights I gained along with me. No, the story isn't real, but I learn so much truth through fictional characters, and I treasure that.

Plus, I derive a ton of joy from the "pointless minutiae" in stories. For me, Joss's stories aren't great because of plot. As a matter of fact, I've always found plot to be the weakest thing about his stories. It's about character, and little throwaway lines can be the best at divulging character moments. And then there are lines that are there just for sheer enjoyment. My favorite throwaway line on BtVS is Dawn's bit about the crossbow and Miss Kitty Fantastico at the end of S7. That has nothing to do with anything, but it's so fun. I wouldn't trade that line for anything. The minutiae creates texture, which is one of the things I most look for in a story.

WHOA! Holy tl;dr, Batman! Sorry for the rambling!
Off topic, but does it really matter that Dumbledore was gay? Isn't the fact that he was regarded the greatest wizard of his time more important? Or the fact that he was a kindly mentor to Harry? That he was a decent man who had made mistakes in the past but has worked to right the wrongs of his youth? Does all that pale in comparison to the fact that JK decided to divulge Dumbledore's sexual orientation? If it had been important enough, it would have been in the books.


Briefly: no, yes, yes, yes, no.

I don't have a problem with Dumbledore being gay, I was just using it as an example of something which caused a fair bit of discussion which only came about as a result of JKR's answering of fan questions.
I didn't find the Q&A very spoilery at all. Kind of disappointed.
dumbledore, wth? this is not a frakking harry potter blog, folks.

in other news, i think twilight is dumbledore.

-punches all of yous guys-

but seriously, okay, ish 27 was the most boring one yet to me. what happens in it? absolutely not one single thing that i hadnt already imagined in my head as the in-between matters after reading ish 26... seriously, could we not just pick up after twilight & co. were already tracking buffy & co.??? what a waste of pages. :\
I guess Faith getting a last name after S7 is meaningless as well- has nothing to do with the story.

As to Luna, there is always fanfic.
JK Rowling answered plenty of fan questions about what characters did after the series. But only after the last book was published. Until then her interactions with fans were remarkably engaging yet non-spoilery. I've enjoyed her Q&A sessions with fans as well as Scott Allie's. Both give some and hold back much, as it should be. Allie's dealing with a different set of constraints as the editor on an ongoing series, though.
wiqqido, tone it down, please, with the frakking and the punching. And try to use standard punctuation in your comments. Thanks.
Do people ask Quentin Tarantino about where Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction was the first time he kissed a girl? And even if some super-obsessed fan did ask him, would he have an answer? No, because it's irrelevant to the story that he was trying to tell, no matter how curious that one guy may be.

It's just weird that geeky things like Buffy and Harry Potter inspire fans to demand more make-believe information about make-believe characters than the creator deems necessary to know, but it's usually not so for other works of fiction.

It would be flattering to have people care about your writing in any way. But personally, I would rather people appreciated the story I was trying to tell, rather than get caught up in useless trivia that I didn't even bother to think up. You've got a ton of talented writers collaborating to bring you an intricate, original story, and people are still clamoring for bits of fanservice that a 14 year-old could write in study hall. It seems a little insulting to me.
The difference is that Pulp Fiction was created to tell a two-hour story, whereas Buffy and Harry were created (or at least developed into) to create a world.
It would be flattering to have people care about your writing in any way. But personally, I would rather people appreciated the story I was trying to tell, rather than get caught up in useless trivia that I didn't even bother to think up.

Amen.

Just a point here. Sometimes, details do make a difference in your storytelling. For instance, whether Buffy knows or not Spike is alive wouldn't be a detail for me but pure story line, as it affects _must affect, dammit! the character's emotions and the choices they make.

But yes, that's usually the writer's fate _your characters matter, you don't :)
Riker, I think the spoiler warning is more for the fact that the questions and content of the Q&A are all up-to-date with the current issue of Season 8. So anyone who hasn't read Retreat Pt. 2 would want to be forewarned that "here be spoilers". As for future spoilers within the Q&A, there seemed to be some broad hints mostly at Xander's future plot. We also learned that Harmony would be making another appearance. As for major spoilers? No, Allie didn't reveal Twilight's identity. ;)
What, Harmony is Twilight?

*reads Emmie's post again*

Oh wait, never mind...

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