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October 12 2009

(SPOILER) Scott Allie's full Slayalive Q/A for Buffy #29. Another month,another issue and another great Q/A.

Kudos to Emmie for another well-organized session. :)
I'm not comfortable with this Slayalive Q/A. I wish we had gotten an answer about the animated trailer.
If it's nothing to do with Dark Horse then I don't think you will.
I still wonder what happened with those tarot cards. I don't like Allie's answer to the Monroe situation. Still intrigued by the animated feature, even though I have a feeling it won't be very good.
Allie said that Georges and Jo have finished their covers for the Twilight reveal issue. He said Jo's made it up to #33, and that the reveal happens in Metzler's arc. This means we should find out who Twilight is in 32 or 33.
I like Allie's answer to the Monroe situation, essentially "yep, we cocked up". I like Allie's on the Q&A's, he's honest, patient, and smart.
We have to wait until Brad's arc for the Twilight reveal?

Slightly miffed about this, I was hoping for it much sooner than that...
We may get the Twilight reveal by the end of "Retreat".
Jeanty assures us that we won't be disappointed with Twilight, when asked if there were any big moments to look out for in "Retreat" (Question #4) and that the showdown between Buffy and Twilight is what he views to be the climax of S8, which should happen in Meltzer's arc (Question #11).

But given the more recent news from Allie himself in this Q&A, look out for it in the next arc instead.

[ edited by wenxina on 2009-10-13 14:40 ]
And another session of him dodging anything spoilery and pulling answers out of his arse.
I was unaware of the homophobic letter in #27 (appologies if this has already been discussed). I dug out my copy and read it, and yeah, it isn't just homophobic, it's really offensive. Calling Buffy "lesbo-romp" Buffy is borderline, I suppose, but it goes farther. Some quotes:

In an instant Buffy's entire nature has been perverted. What, one gay character wasn't enough?


...she's been totally lost in some perverted shock factor.

The reoccurrence of the word "perverted" stood out to me, among other things.

Allie says he published it "So that everyone is heard", but, I don't think this is valid. Here's why:

If the letter was openly racist, would it have been published?

No, it wouldn't have.

I can pretty much guarantee that. If the rant was about, for example, the fact that Satsu was Asian and she had a problem with that, you can't tell me it would have been published. Or if the rant was about Willow being Jewish. It would have been thrown out.

Yet for some reason, doing the same thing to gay people is considered a "valid opinion".

It's not a valid opinion, it is as bad as racism, and I really hope that 10 years from now we won't even have to have this conversation. Allie defending it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Unless he really is willing to stand up and defend all of the racist and anti-Semitic letters too (and print them).
And another session of him dodging anything spoilery and pulling answers out of his arse.

Am I the only one who's glad he's not actually answering questions like "Who is Twilight?" Frankly, I'm grateful Allie put the kabosh on Chen and Jeanty accidentally revealing a big spoiler at the recent Panel. They both thought Issue 30 was already out and almost let loose a huge spoiler. Allie stopped that. And I'm grateful.


Scott's always been up front that he's not going to be revealing big spoilers. And yet people keep asking. Maybe the problem is people aren't asking the best questions when he has to say "No spoilers."

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-10-13 06:47 ]
Running the letter doesn't imply Allie is validating the opinion. Anti-Semitic and racist letters aren't really a fair comparison in this particular context since I doubt he gets much if any mail complaining about those things. Willow's Jewishness is a long established trait, and while I realize there are people out there who'd have something against the depiction of a Japanese Slayer, sexuality has a really intense cultural polarity right now (in the US anyway). Buffy sleeping with a woman was both new in the comics and touched a nerve with many people at a time when sexuality is on people's minds a lot. Which is part of the complaint, since some people think the comic is exploiting that very thing.

I disagree with the letter and do think it has some homophobic basis but I understand why he ran it. I've read similar comments elsewhere, including here. I don't think they were worded quite so strongly, but they all had the same underlying idea-- "this is not Buffy anymore, you have changed her in a bad way to sell more comics, and it was wrong." I do think that core idea is a valid opinion, even though I disagree with it.
Not the point, Simon. It's the way in which it was answered that irked me. Quite rude.

And another session of him dodging anything spoilery and pulling answers out of his arse.

Word. I'd prefer no Q & As at all to what we get.

[ edited by Riker on 2009-10-13 03:56 ]
I don't think they were worded quite so strongly, but they all had the same underlying idea-- "this is not Buffy anymore, you have changed her in a bad way to sell more comics, and it was wrong."

I've heard that a lot too, and thought it myself, but it's different. The repeated use of the word perverted makes it different. "Pervert" is the same thing people call child molesters. I think it's safe to call it a slur.

A letter saying someone didn't like the direction of Buffy's character, or that they didn't like her kissing a girl, is one thing. A letter calling gay people perverts (multiple times) is something else. That's hate speech. It's not ok.
In the interest of fairness...the quoted bits do not say that gay people are perverts (noun). Rather, the writer said that Buffy's character has been perverted (verb)--and as a verb the word can simply mean misinterpreted or distorted.

I realize the word as commonly used (particularly in the noun form) carries negative moral/sexual implications. And it's possible that there's some anti-gay sentiment in the subtext. But the sentences quoted above could simply be a (somewhat inept) way of expressing the opinion that Joss et al have changed or distorted Buffy's character to an upsetting degree. Which, as Sunfire said above, is a valid opinion.
You're expecting the editor of the book to be giving out spoilers? Really?
I'm sorry you prefer no Q&A to what we get, Riker, but quite frankly, I echo Emmie's sentiment that perhaps fans should stop begging for spoilers through this avenue. Allie isn't misleading anyone; he has always been pretty upfront about his "no spoiler" policy. If you, or anyone else here can come up with better questions to make these Q&A sessions better, I know for a fact that Emmie takes questions via e-mail. However, if all you want are spoilers, then I'm sorry you find these sessions disappointing. FYI, Gollum dies, Frodo loses a finger, Aragorn marries Arwen, Gandalf travels back to the West. And Soylent Green is people.
In the interest of fairness...the quoted bits do not say that gay people are perverts (noun). Rather, the writer said that Buffy's character has been perverted (verb)--and as a verb the word can simply mean misinterpreted or distorted.

Yeah, the word can mean distorted, but given the tone of the letter, and paired with other words like lesbo, I think we know what the author meant. It could be argued that it was just a bad choice of words, but I think that's being way too kind. There's a hundred words the author could have used but she picked that one, twice.

I think debating the noun and the verb gives bigots a loophole that they should not have.
I've seen a number of fans on the net come out with things likeÖ "Buffy's a f-g now?" or "She's a big lesbo?" or my favourite "What so she's gay now!?" The letter column only reflects what, unfortunately, a portion of the fanbase reacted like when the storyline first took place. That's fandom for ya.

Having issues with the plausibility of Buffy having sex with a woman sounds like a fair debate. But it's easy to get the impression from some comments that there was bigotry underneath it all. I think itís fine that the letter column for the actual comics reflect that because wasnít it encouraged from Issue #1 that itís a place for debate? The letter column is a reflection on the fan base, both the good and the bad comments. It just shows you how diverse Buffy fans are.
Riker, it's very easy for you to not have Q&A's - don't click the link. :)

There's no reason for you to suffer through it. And there are plenty of other people who do enjoy some of the bits we get from it.
And the Twilight reveal is rescheduled yet again. There's a surprise.
Yes, Buffy hooking up with a girl should be debated (in the context of the character), and was and is. But whether or not it's ok for two girls to hook up in general, that should not be up for debate, not in 2009, and that's what the letter is arguing. By using the language that it does, by using certain very specific phrases and words.

It's a problem of language. It's a problem of our national consciousness. If we treat it as something that's up for debate then it will continue to be up for debate. At some point we all need to put our feet down and say no, some things are not ok to say, not any more.

By printing that particular letter that used that particular language, Scott Allie validated it. He said "yes, this is worthy of printing in one of the most popular comic books in the country".

He wouldn't have printed it if it said "What, one black character wasn't enough?" But he decided it was ok to print "What, one gay character wasn't enough?"

[ edited by dispatch on 2009-10-13 11:36 ]
I think we're now moving into the area of playing the man, not the ball. If people want to slag off Scott Allie then I suggest they do so elsewhere.

I would like to see the curtailment of posters telling other posters wha they should or shouldn't look at.
I'm going to repeat it, if you read these Q&A's as an insight into comic books, Buffy, and how writing for Joss works, they're brilliant. If you read them as I want to know secret mystery knowledge about the future, then you'll always be disappointed, as you should be.
I'll withdraw that last paragraph if you want, Simon, because it doesn't have much to do with the issue. But I think the rest holds.

I disagree with the man and ball metaphor this time. Mel Gibson was outcast for making Jewish slurs. Michael Richards was outcast for making black slurs. For them, the man became the ball instantly, because as a society we agree that there is no ball there, anymore.

The editors of The New Yorker came under fire for this cover about President Obama. Same thing: the debate was over their decision to print it, not the cover itself. It's the editor's responsibility to back up what they print. Dark Horse is not The New Yorker but it's still a publication and Scott Allie is the editor. That responsibility is on him and I don't think he's done well with it.
I have no objection to discussing whether it was appropriate for Dark Horse to print the letter but I will raise a red flag if I see what I perceive to be negative comments about Scott as a person. If anyone wants to debate these terms of reference I will be more than happy to discuss them via email.
@Emmie and wenxina: Besides asking about things that weren't clear and pointing out mistakes (Which it seems Scott wont even admit to), what else is there to ask except spoilers?

Anyone can see that's the only reason people would want a Q&A.
DawnLover90: There are plenty of other subjects that can be covered, and in the past have been covered. For instance, these Q&As are usually where we first hear the titles of upcoming arcs. "Retreat" was revealed via Q&A. You may be inclined to group this under the "spoiler" tag, but there's a very fine line between throwing the audience a bone to gnaw on for several months and dropping intimate plot details. Thus, Allie refrained from giving us the titles for Joss' #31 as well as Meltzer's arc, as they are deemed too spoilerish. In fact, even the solicitations were released without the titles.

Other than that, confirmation questions are always welcome. Plenty of fans have used these Q&As to ask about the status of rumored projects. Allie's usually pretty gracious about answering these, as long as they're within his jurisdiction. His reluctance to talk about the animated Buffy thingamajig may pretty much be because he's not involved at all. But he's been happy to talk about the Shepherd Book series in the past. He's also usually pretty okay about sharing status updates on S8; which scripts have been finalized, which covers turned in, what to expect on some covers (if not too spoilery), etc.

There's also the category I like to label "camaraderie questions". His perspective of the Cons is different from a regular fan's, since he is involved in panels, signings, interviews, etc. It's good to hear about that some times. And really, Scott has a rather scathing sense of humor, which I personally enjoy, although I know some people here deem it a tad "rude".

And PS: He did admit to the mistake I pointed out, thank you very much. Not in his initial response, but in my follow-up question. It may be fixed... I hope it is, but oh well.
awwww it seems like such a long wait for the twilight reveal now!! I thought that it was so close but no I had the rug pulled from under my feet.
Makes you wonder if they're changing Twilight's identity if it's not revealed at the end of the next issue.
According to Jeanty, Twilight was pretty much set in stone from the beginning. Joss knew exactly who he wanted to be Twilight. Apparently the betrayer took a little more though, which leads me to the conclusion that Twilight and the betrayer may be separate characters.
wenxina: I just checked again, he didn't admit to it being a mistake...
What I find inconsistent is that they basically say "There are different opinions on the matter. We print them all of them, except the ones that call for groups of people to die (cause that's the line)." but, when criticized for some subjective offensiveness, it's suddenly "We stand up to the haters. We are clearly consistent, supportive and vocal on that matter." Those two just don't go together. :)

And that strange dance around the word "offensive"... Would he be more happy, if people were calling the letter col "asinine" than "offensive"?
DawnLover90: Yes, he did. In response to my first question:
"Shit. Yeah, he does look sort of dead there, huh? He wasn't supposed to be dead. He wasn't dead. Bay didn't kill him. But yeah, we got too nasty with the blood there, I guess."

He admits that they goofed up because there wasn't supposed to be as much blood. When I told him that it wasn't the blood so much as Bay's words directly after the fact, and asked if it would be something that they fix, he said:
"Yeah, that's worth revisiting with Jane. I didn't have it to look at when I answered before."

So yes, he did admit to being wrong. He didn't flat out say "I'm wrong!", but he did admit fault, and is considering a fix.
Following on, there was another letter printed calling the magazine homophobic because Buffy slept with Satsu but only as a "tourist." (Kissing Jessica Stein was involved thwe same kind of thing with the oen character; in Personal Best it was basically both of them; are those homphobic?) And also racist because Buffy played tourist with a non-Caucasian. (That's even harder to support than finding racism in The Lion King methinks.)

On the whole, I think he fields these things rather well. (Is a positive comment playing the man?)

Interesting to hear Scott tries to print as amny eltters as he can; maybe I will write to them. I'll even offer him a way out on "the Warren can't be alive thing." :-)
Twilight and the betrayer may be separate characters.

That's always been my theory.

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