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"Since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."
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April 12 2010

(SPOILER) Buffyfest interview Bill Williams about Spike:The Devil You Know. Plus two pages of art.

What an engaging interview, really enjoyed reading that. Great quote "I think the most interesting incarnation of Spike is the next one."

On the fence about the artwork itself, but more Spike stories can only be a good thing in my opinion.

And I agree with him - Spike shouldn't Shansu.
i like what he has done so far,
and i think it will be good going forward.
If my reading of the fanbase is right, some of the fans want to see Spike the warrior poet who gets together with Buffy but not long enough to quash a Buffy and Angel reconciliation.

Anyone else care to comment on this logic!fail?

I'm getting tired of reading new writers to this 'verse so completely and utterly display how much they do not get it. It makes me leery of their work because good writers are supposed to be keen observers of human behavior. To so completely disconnect from the reality of the situation?

Well, it does explain why I find the characterization in the comics to be warped, sadly.

Is anyone else getting tired of writers telling us that we all want the same thing? And their identifying our desire as the exact opposite of the truth?

I'd never thought there'd come a day when I wished writers would stop talking and let the work stand on its own merit.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-04-12 18:58 ]
"Is anyone else getting tired of writers telling us that we all want something? And them identifying our desire as the exact opposite of the truth of the situation?"


Yup, but I dont think there's a damn thing we can do about it unfortunately!

As much as I enjoyed the interview, I dont agree with him on the Buffy/Angel thing, I've stated time and again they were done for me many many seasons ago. I see B/A parallels with Dawson/Joey, and I actually liked Angel with Nina in S5 of ATS, but hey, others for sure disagree with me on that. But I think the writers in comic Buffyverse, canon and non-canon, have their own take on things and will write their story regardless of what the readers might necessarily want to see. They want to tell their story I suppose.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that what I want for Spike aint gonna happen in Whedons plan, so I'm trying (but I confess, sometimes failing) to be grateful there's people still writing stories involving him.

I'm going with the glass half full on this one!

[ edited by shazzam on 2010-04-12 19:09 ]
Anyone else care to comment on this logic!fail?


Some of the fans want the best of both worlds. Or may the fandom hasn't been very good at articulating their views. It does happen from time to time.
If only! I remain frustrated with PTBs misinterpreting fandom and then feeling the need to display their oversimplified, incorrect diagnosis of something they're not a part of.
I'm getting tired of reading new writers to this 'verse so completely and utterly display how much they do not get it. It makes me leery of their work because good writers are supposed to be keen observers of human behavior. To so completely disconnect from the reality of the situation?


It's especially annoying when they state the equivical unequiically. He does get points for "If my reading of the fanbase..." One just wonders what fanbase he's reading and where.
I remain frustrated with PTBs misinterpreting fandom and then feeling the need to display their oversimplified, incorrect diagnosis of something they're not a part of.


Oversimplied and incorrect to you but give the diverse nature of our fandom, I could probably find people who agree with what he says.

When you boil it down, what people on the message boards want is... More. Fans don't want the story to end.


Word.
A generalization by saying all those who want Spike the Warrior Poet also want a Buffy/Angel reconciliation? Simon, his line about "warrior poet" was something I said to him in conversation on the IDW boards. I feel confident in saying that as one who enjoys Spike the Warrior Poet, that he misinterpreted my standing as a fan.

An accurate statement would be that many people want Spike the Warrior Poet and many people want him to not interfere with a Buffy/Angel reconciliation. These many people are not necessarily the same people.

I'm sure there are many people who could agree with him, but many (or some) is not all and his statement expresses a uniformity of opinion that denies the complexity of the situation.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-04-12 19:39 ]
If my reading of the fanbase is right, some of the fans want to see Spike the warrior poet who gets together with Buffy but not long enough to quash a Buffy and Angel reconciliation.

*CUSSES VERY LOUDLY AND IN AN UNLADYLIKE MANNER*

*throws tantrum*

*is FRUSTRATED*

William the bloody makes a pretty champion named Spike.

*unfortunately has to agree with bloody clueless man*

'cause spike is pretty and my kind of champion.

[ edited by tjbw on 2010-04-12 19:42 ]

[ edited by tjbw on 2010-04-13 03:54 ]
" 'cause Spike is pretty and my kind of champion".

Word.
Williams is only talking about what some fans want. He's not saying that all fans want Buffy/Angel. He never said anything about all fans. All fans are different and I think his answer expressed that fine.
Illustrating Simon's point about the diversity of fandom perfectly, I'm one of those people on the message boards who isn't sure if he wants more. I want the story to end some time soon. I was fine with the last episode of BtVS, but I also saw the Season 8 comics as a chance to coax out a better final season, overall, than what we got with Season 7. If Season 8 of Buffy ends well, I'll be looking forward to the much shorter and focused Season 9 they're intending to start by Summer 2011. It's hard to abandon a book/franchise when you really want to know the end, even if the middle sagged a bit. But I don't want this to become like Marvel or DC's ongoing superhero books, I don't want Buffy & Angel to last my entire lifetime and beyond, not in any "official"/canon capacity. For those who do, there's plenty of fanfic online that'll no doubt be continually generated for years to come. If Buffy and Angel do last for a few more years, I wish Joss, or other capable Mutant Enemy writers, would reign it back in (I'm not saying previously non-ME writers aren't able to write the 'verse--see Brian K. Vaughan and, so far, I think Brad Meltzer's doing a decent job--but to a fan, or at least to myself, I think it's reassuring to see a M.E. writer executive producing of the comic).

Fans on this message board definitely want to see more Joss Whedon and related Mutant Enemy writer material, but it's been apparent for years now that not all of us want more Buffyverse. Hey, it's there, I'll take it, as long as it's still ranging from decent to excellent, but at the end of the day, I'd like new stuff from Joss (or more material from his younger creations, like Dr. Horrible and Firefly/Serenity).
A generalization by saying all those who want Spike the Warrior Poet also want a Buffy/Angel reconciliation?


No, I think he saying those who Spike the Warrior Poet and who also want a B/A reconcilation. As opposed to those who want SWP but not BA. But you know words, fans will argue over them.

*unfortunately has to agree with bloddy clueless man.


tjbw: play the ball not the man. If I see any more stuff like this, posts will get nixed.
Emmie as far as I can makeout reading your posts on various forums *nothing* any writer says in an interview regarding Spike will please you-He was just expressing an opinion.It does not reflect on him as a writer.I think it would help your enjoymet of these thingsif you dint read any Spike related interviww as it just seems to upset you-
Um, I might be wrong here, but I'm decently sure Bill Williams said "some of the fans want."

How that equates to a sweeping statement about the fandom, I have no idea. I think we're picking here, people.

[ edited by patxshand on 2010-04-12 20:56 ]
Gotta say....I haven't loved the recent IDW Angel issues, and the characterisation of Spike has been a major reason, so I'm all for criticism of IDW and Willingham's current take. HOWEVER...in this interview Williams, who's Spike we've yet to see published, seems to have a better handle on him than Willingham does, so will see what happens. And I dig ChrisCross' art.

As for his supposed missing the point....not saying I agree or disagree with his assessment, but he quite clearly says 'SOME fans' [emphasis added]. Feels a bit unfair that that doesn't seem to be being taken into account here.
I do think he seems to have a very good grasp of Spike's character, and that bodes well for me.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2010-04-12 20:51 ]
angeliclestat: I'd rather we didn't have a go at other posters.
Fans don't want the story to end

If Joss wants to keep telling the story, I'll keep listening. But I'm happy for the story to end when he feels like he's done.

The story told by IDW? I couldn't care less. It's not 'more' of the story I care about. It's a different story told by different people, and if they can generate a fan base to care about it more power to them. But it's not 'more' of the story I care enough about to participate on fanboards.
Apologies-its just a reaction to fans

[deleted by Simon]

[ edited by Simon on 2010-04-12 21:47 ]
I would count your latest missive as fan bashing. That's the final friendly warning.
Ok fair enough,I'll stop with proper apologies this time-but it is something that bugs me about that particuar faction of fans.Will keep it to myself on here in future.
Sure, he says If my reading of the fanbase is right, some of the fans want to see Spike the warrior poet who gets together with Buffy but not long enough to quash a Buffy and Angel reconciliation.

He then immediately goes on to say Some want more fighting and some want more relationships. Some fans want to see more of the Fearsome Foursome (Darla & Angel & Dru & Spike) in their cravats having Vampire Victorian Adventures.

i.e., lots of people want lots of different things! When he says "What fans want is simple", it's his point that of all the numerous, and some mutually exclusive, desires out there, what it boils down to is that we want "More. Fans don't want the story to end."*

* - ok, ok, yes some fans want the story to end. :)
Actually on that point, more of the fearsome foursome would be kinda cool....have we seen much of Darla in comic verse?

Nitpicking aside though, I still enjoyed reading this interview a lot. One of the better ones we've had of late, and looking forward to getting my hands on it. No doubt the artwork will grow on me once I've seen in its full glory.
.have we seen much of Darla in comic verse?


She was in Spike vs Dracula, I can't think of any other stories. That mini-series is worth picking up for the story. They had two (or three?) different artists working on it which diluted some of the enjoyment. But not that much.
Cheers Simon. I've just realised I have a hell of a lot of catching up to do on the all the various comics for both Spike & Angel post series. :(
Peter David (of Spike vs Dracula) was an excellent writer of the 'verse. His were the first IDW books I felt capture the 'voice' of the shows properly. Loved the resolution of Spike and Dracula's beef, and would be very pleased if someone picked up on the story thread it set-up.

I'd strongly recommend his 'X-Factor' from Marvel. With a nice mix of genres (noir and superheroes), unexpected twists and witty dialogue, Whedon fans might find a lot to love.
I'd also recommend Peter David's Fallen Angel. I'd say 'no relation' but then Illyria showed up.
Things I like that Williams had to say:

"Spike is clever and that side of him needs a good airing."

"What I wanted to show with this mini-series is that Spike no longer just measures himself against Angel. Spikeís only real competition is with Spike."

"I think the most interesting incarnation of Spike is the next one."


Things I remain very not keen on:

"What fans want is simple. If my reading of the fanbase is right, some of the fans want to see Spike the warrior poet who gets together with Buffy but not long enough to quash a Buffy and Angel reconciliation."

"I think the most interesting incarnation of Spike is the next one. I canít wait to see what Brian Lynch has in store for half of fandomís favorite vampire with a soul."


Why not keen? Because generalizations about fandom aren't the best idea. I was venting in my earlier post so my tone was aggressive, but I'll rephrase now. The phrase "warrior poet" was used in a discussion on IDW forums by a number of fans who follow the comics (a discussion that included Mr. Williams). In that discussion, "warrior poet" was only used to encourage that this aspect of Spike's character be considered after Williams' comment that poetry doesn't sell comics. The discussion had nothing to do with Spike's relationship with Buffy or Buffy and Angel. It was purely about Spike's characterization as an individual.

The urging for the "Warrior Poet" was about Spike's character alone and the example for how this was done to great effect was the final scene of Not Fade Away where Spike recited poetry in a bar before heading off to battle. So that this entire extensive discussion was reduced to shipper considerations? Why yes, it does irk. Because that scene in Not Fade Away had nothing to do with romantic relationships and Spike as a Warrior Poet is not contingent on romantic relationships either.

I don't like these statements because they're generalizations of fandom that I find worrisome (I'm imagining a writer ticking off a box in his head "Oh, I'll throw in this to appease them here and then this for those folks over there"). Half of fandom has Spike as their favorite vampire? Sorry, but did we take a poll to figure out exactly how many people in fandom like Spike best? Why not just say he's incredibly popular and be done with it. And that those who want Warrior Spike want him to have a fling with Buffy but not get in the way of Buffy and Angel? The last statement is describing a Spike/Spuffy fan, as I take it. And I'll just firmly say that I find this reading of that segment of fandom is offbase. Now, I could take a poll to confirm this, though I doubt I could get more than 300 people and I'm sure it'd be painful to have Simon discount the figures. ;-) (I could probably get 100 respondents...)

I'd like to read less of what writers assume segments of fandom want and more about the writer's process and story construction. Which Williams does go into, as he goes into his view of the character and his favorite highlights of Spike's history. And those are all good. So more of that please and less generalizations about fandom (which I'm afraid still make no sense to me).

As Williams tentatively said "If my reading of the fanbase is right" and I was one of a few directly in discussion with him expressing an ardent desire that Spike as a "Warrior Poet" be depicted, then I'm part of who he's basing his reading on and I'm here to attest that his reading of me is incorrect. I'm sure Williams himself gets frustrated when he's misunderstood or misquoted.
I have to agree with Emmie here. I doubt if there are any fans who count Spike as their favorite character, who don't want him to get in the way of the Buffy/Angel relationship. It's somewhat absurd to think so.

[ edited by Xane on 2010-04-13 07:28 ]
Actually, I think I recall coming across one fan's profile somewhere online in which she stated her favourite character was Spike, but she shipped B/A! Maybe she prefers Spike as a solo character or something. And why shouldn't she, it's entirely up to her.

[ edited by Shep on 2010-04-13 13:10 ]
Shep, there are plenty of Spike fans that want to see Spike solo and Buffy with Angel(also plenty of bangels that claim this). It is not the same as saying that a spuffy fan wants it to end as bangel. And even so i doubt these fans hold any majority infact i think they might be the smallest group if they even excist. Spuffy is the biggest shippers group that involves Spike.

Outside of the above, i think the interview was solid. Look forward to this mini-series. I am a little worried about what comes next for Spike, which will be from Brian Lynch. He'll be going up against Joss's Spike in season8(and maybe season9) so it will have to be pretty amazing.
I do agree with Williams about the Shanshu. I never thought that Spike would want it seriously, nor do I want him to have it. He wouldn't be Spike anymore.
I think Spike only wanted it because Angel wanted it. No, it's more than that. He wanted to know why Angel would be the shoe-in for it.
As Spike said, "A bit of both." I think he wanted it to spite Angel, but also because he's always looking to prove himself, to test his limits. I don't think he'd want to be part of the prophecy for the reward, but for the glory of it. For Angel, his fixation was largely about being human. I imagine Spike would see humanity as the gift with purchase he gets for doubling down on glory and sod all else.

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