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August 13 2009

(SPOILER) New Harmony comic on MySpace Dark Horse Presents. It's titled "Harmony Comes to the Nation." Written by Jane Espenson, art by Karl Moline.

Kinda weird take on the Colbert Report. Hard to tell just by reading it (though I'm a big enough fan of Harmony and Stephen that I could imagine their voices easily), but neither sounds "in-character." This didn't really add much besides Harmony's stance on no-magic could become Buffy's attitude in the near future.
This could be the best story I have never seen.
The Dark Horse Present page won't even load for me.
It just defaults to the MySpace home page for me. I shall sulk as as a result.
It's working for me.I thought it was a fun little story.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-08-13 22:27 ]
It just defaults to the MySpace home page for me. I shall sulk as as a result.

Same here ... I wonder if it's a DNS issue related to re-launching the site. Hopefully it'll be accessible later!
There's also more than one server involved and sometimes they do not appear to be in sync, so some people see it an some people don't. It's the same thing that happened last time MSDHP was actually on MySpace, for the last Dr. Horrible comic.
Just defaults to the MySpace main page for me too.
And I wanna smash the site am not happy about it..
If anybody finds the way to reach the darn page from humble Europe too, please let me know..
It's the same thing that happened last time MSDHP was actually on MySpace, for the last Dr. Horrible comic.

I'm not so sure it's the same thing this time around. Are any Americans having trouble seeing it?
Is everyone actually just being redirected? Or are people getting the page but this issue's stories aren't coming up?
Here in England it's redirecting me straight away to the Myspace home page.
This actually reminds me of the time when I nearly met Mercedes McNab.
"Bloodsuckery." A new word I'm going to have to start using. ;)
If the page is not loading for you, try these links: page 1, page 2.
And if you're feeling pdf-y, email moi & I shall not fail you.

This (very short) comic is odd but not unpleasing.
I think it's great. But I really liked the print one-shot with Harmony, and this is very similar.
I love it, because I know how big a fan Jane is of Colbert, so I think it's great that she got to write him. Kudos!
Thanks for the links, Sunfire. If I remove it from the context of season 8, it is pretty fun. However, amongst other things, the world is under the impression that vampires are good, but Harmony's on TV admitting they drink blood and kill people. Huh?
I thought Stephen's voice was right-on. Now, of course, he is likely to mention Dark Horse Presents on the air, giving Buffy Season 8 the "Colbert Bump" (great line by Harmony)
Sorry I didn't like that at all. It's too surreal to see Harmony on Colbert. When Harmony is around we get endless pop culture references and actual appearances of real celebs. Just one of those things that wouldn't of happened on the show, and really takes me out of the story. Loving the Retreat arc though.

I can't get my head around vampires being beloved and accepted by society and slayers being villains to the public. Why? I didn't like the outing of vampires to begin with, but it'd be nice if there was an explanation to it at least.
The only thing that makes sense, GhostsWatcher, is probably Twilight, both the movie and whoever is behind this. Maybe Slayers have been identified as Obama suporters, so certain AM talk show shosts can exploit that too. I just wonder how humans in general will feel when they realize who's really good and bad when this series is over.
I think it's the other way around. The pro-vampires people have all been Obama-loving Democrats so far (and it's hard to miss). Hannity would definitely be anti-vampire.

I don't think the writers quite intended that, but it's definitely how it reads. The liberal mainstream media and Hollywood are all on Harmony's side and we haven't seen the other side saying that vampires are evil (and we are even told here that there is "another side").

Nice little gift to us Republicans.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-08-14 01:26 ]
Brilliant! Thanks for the links, Sunfire.

I really hope they collect all of the season eight related side-stories eventually. I'll probably buy all of the MSDHP collections anyway.
I agree w/impalergeneral: the comic book Twilight has been trying to discredit Slayers and have them viewed as a menace (while Slayers can't really go public to defend themselves). But also in RL the Twilight books and movie have been all about how sweet and cuddly (and sparkly) vampires are, where readers & viewers over look the fact that the teenage girl is wanting to die and be a vampire in order to fulfill 'true love'. I think the real life love of the books and movie is weirder than the comic book plot could ever be!

I hope Stephen Colbert does see this, it is awfully cute.
It wins for Harmony's comment about replacing someone on The View:
"Barbara is fairly old, Stephen. Her death would not be unexpected."

And then I imagine Barbara Walters being some closet-Buffy fan, reading this comic, and either laughing her ass off or having some kind of mortified and/or bewildered expression.

As for Harmony not sounding like Harmony...I could still hear her in this. Just read it as if she's trying too hard to sound smart (which she would attempt, given all the media exposure). Stephen Colbert definitely reads like himself though.

Having said all that, I'm not sure how I feel about all the celebrity appearances either. But let's put it in perspective--the TV series name-dropped like crazy. A whole lotta real-life celebs exist in the Buffyverse (same as dead ones like Shakespeare and many rock stars). The show couldn't have afforded even a quarter of some of the people it mentioned for guest appearances. Buffy's Daniel Craig/James Bond dream almost for sure would not have happened visually, except on the slim chance that he decided to do it for scale because he was a fan of the series/Joss' other work or a niece/nephew or child was(I dunno, lotta actors seem to mention doing certain projects for kids in their families). So are the celebrity appearances a new trend for the franchise purely driven by the freedom of comics ? Or would the writers have jumped at the chances to include some popular faces (Sunnydale is near LA and Angel could've been full of 'em) if they had the budget during the TV days ?

Too-quick-vamp-popularity is still a problem with Season 8. Especially when we're not shown any of the dissenters who aren't buying into it all--assuming there are any (the only two have been the latina gang slayer and Alex the highschool slayer from the newest Tales of the Vampires, but they were both slayers and are expected to know better). Check out Scott Allie's comments regarding this in the Q&A for issue #26 or #27, I forget which. I don't know if he's got a pulse on how Joss and the other writers feel about the issue, but he believes the vast majority of the public have lapped up the media hype. As some of the posters on SlayAlive have brought up though, maybe this vamp-popularity aspect is still a work in progress and we'll get more on it eventually. I guess we were just expected to take it on faith after "Harmonic Divergence" for a while, or the writers simply weren't aware that the execution wasn't working for a lot of the [online, at least] fandom ?

Overall, this was a nice bit of fluff and it'd be cool to see more (non-Harmony, maybe even non-vamp-reveal-related) side-stories outside the main book to flesh Season 8 and the Buffyverse out even better. The comics have been doing this for years, I've felt, even before Season 8 and while the shows were still on TV (from Fray to Tales of the Slayer, to Jane Espenson's in-between-Season 3/4 mini-series Buffy: The Haunted), expanding on the 'verse in often satisfying and exciting ways. I don't want them to risk things getting diluted(*glares at IDW*), but the occasional one-shot (Tales of the Vamps, the upcoming Willow one-off) is fine to ask of the reader and I'll always happily accept freebies like the MySpace Presents bits (of course we'll still tear them to shreds if they suck or contradict continuity, but y'know--we'll do it gratefully).

[ edited by Kris on 2009-08-14 06:47 ]
Thanks for the links Sunfire.
Yep, it just keeps redirecting me back to the myspace main page.
As soem people here have told me, trying to draw straight lines between joss's fiction and his politics is inaccurate. So beyond his perhaps satirizing "The Twilight Phenomenon" we can't assume much.

There might just be a practical reason for this. I don't know anything about Scott's politics, but Joss has established his pedigree as part of media liberalism, whatever that really is. So (unless they've actually gone and gotten permission from Dick, Cooper, King, Colbert, etc., and who says they didn't) I guess he's figuring they'll all eb good sports about it and chalk it up to being public figures. Wehreas if he featured O'Reilly, Liddy, etc, ie. people who'd regard him as an "enemy" even beforehand he might be asking for it.

Plus, more story-internal; what Willow, Buffy, and Faith did with unlocking the Scythe's power to empower all the SLayers world-wide was not, whatever else it was, a conservative act. So retro-righties like me would not be the first faction Buffy could look to for validation in this.
Can't believe that this is still not fixed. That's pretty bad.
That's odd, because the header link takes me straight to the correct page.
So, uh, yeah. It's the "Superstar" spell. Jane Espenson is a fan of that one, isn't she? I mean, she wrote the episode "Superstar" and the possibly-canon "Jonathan" comic? Superstar. Or a similar spell + Twilight allegiance. It's clearly intentionally implausible and I'm disappointed that fans at SlayAlive don't actually pick up on that and are complaining about the lack of realism.

[ edited by Liam Mars on 2009-08-14 23:48 ]

[ edited by Liam Mars on 2009-08-14 23:48 ]
Liam Mars, good theory. Jonathan was the reality/appearances manipulation expert in the trio (changing either his surroundings, or his own appearance), but there's no reason someone more widely proficient in magic like Amy couldn't have performed the same kind of spell with vamp awareness/acceptance.

Hadn't considered. It's almost as outlandish as Twilight being Buffy's dad/Hank Summers though (and if that turns out to be the case, I dunno, do we have to get that much more into father issues where Buffy has to slay or at least thwart her biological father ?).
If it's a "Superstar" type spell to convince the public that vampires are good, how is Stephen Colbert able to suggest (on TV) that vampires are evil by definition?
i enjoyed this. can't wait to have it in print.
NotaViking, also a good point. If it's a spell, maybe it still allows some dissent, but doesn't allow for enough fervor that someone like Colbert could rile up the masses to rebel against the vampire-sympathizing sentiment ?

There are probably giant holes of story logic in their theory though. Like why aren't Buffy and her friends effected ? (well, I guess maybe it just wouldn't work on those already aware of the existence of vamps and knowledgable about their ill will toward humanity)
Yeah, I was assuming those with knowledge of vampires are unaffected by the spell, as otherwise the idea fails straight away. However, my question remains - if everyone else is brainwashed into thinking vampires are the good guys, why isn't Colbert?

I suppose the only answer is that he has prior knowledge of vampires as well. This is just explaining away the events in the story though, rather than a likely scenario. Plus, if Twilight has the ability to alter peoples' perception through magic, why is he (and why are the writers) messing around with Harmony? And her confessing to being evil on TV still makes no sense.

Going with magic is usually the simple and safe option, but here it's either going to be a convoluted explanation or one with holes in it. But without magic the whole situation seems way too ludicrous. Wish I could say that it'll all make sense in the end, but ever since "Harmonic Divergence" I've been disappointed with the comic.
I don't think it takes magic to convince people that vampires are the good guys. Just PR. Which is Colbert in his element, after all.
I'd say there's a pretty good chance that the only reason is PR, but the magic option is worth thinking about, if only to show that it doesn't work easily either. Personally, I can't get my head around the public accepting vampires through PR alone. Even ignoring all the arguments I'd have made before reading this story, here we have Harmony on TV actually admitting that vampires are evil and that they kill people. How can the public. . . makes no sense. . . (head explodes).
PR alone makes total sense to me, especially given that all the Harmony story bits read to me as commentary on reality tv and talk tv. There are some good jabs in there. I don't find it difficult at all to believe people could be easily misled through such completely mundane tactics. Because it already happens all the time.
I'd agree with what you say above 100%, if the PR was only being used to convince the public that the slayers are dangerous.

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