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April 12 2010

(SPOILER) Full Georges Jeanty Slayalive Q/A for Buffy #34 Some interesting hints at upcoming issues.

Georges got the Q/A done fast this month.

Reading his interview, I'm beginning to wonder if this is where little Dawns come from.
And if one follows redeem147's logic, Buffy and Angel could be Dawn's parents! Wow. I wish I could be certain that wasn't the case.
Hmm, seems Georges echoes my feelings on Cordelia, to soem limited extent.
Haven't finished yet but his comment about why Angel is 'becoming' says a lot I think. It has to do with Angel's past. We know Buffy's becoming because of her being the first slayer to x, y, z...Angel was the first vamp to get with a slayer and, more importantly, the first vamp to HAVE A KID. So hey, big bit of obviousness.
Well, Darla was right there with him, wasn't she? Granted she's dead now, but it'd be a weird story if the only reason this story isn't about Darla and Buffy is because Darla is the one who had to stake herself for her son and not Angel.

I'm going to go with Shanshu. Why the PtB's have such a big love affair with the vamp who was cursed with a soul has never been clear to me, but it obviously matters to them with all that higher wisdom they have and all. And Shanshu certainly fits with how things are playing out. Angel's in the middle of an apocalypse and it's not clear what role he's playing. Come to think of it, that might be why cursed with a soul is the right recipe for the guy who gets to play that role.
Also: Yay, I was right about the Sweeney Todd vamp.
Uh oh. Georges is stepping all over some pairings.
I'm really sick of all the pairing stuff that these interviews keep getting themselves into. I know they're entitled to their opinions I just feel like as part of the creative team they should be more sensitive to the fans and not state it as an absolute fact that Buffy loves one person more than another. Because I think she loves all her boyfriends in different ways and you can't really say that one is 'more' than the other, IMO.

I'm probably saying this wrong since I'm really tired and sick and un-eloquent but one of the things I love about the Buffyverse is that things like feelings and relationships aren't always straightforward and defined, they're complicated as they are in real-life. So, I suppose I tend to get a little touchy about stuff like this.

Also, Joss killed all my favorite I cling vainly to the one couple that isn't dead that I actually like. Whatever, don't mind me... I'm sick and on meds.....
I personally like that Jeanty gives an honest opinion and where he stands on issues, story, relationships, etc.
He isn't stating it as absolute fact. It's his opinion. As a fan.

I actually appreciate Jeanty's candor. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, which I find refreshing. I don't ship. I find shipping cumbersome, touchy, and way too personal for my personal tastes. That said, I'm cool with other people shipping. I'm sorry that some people are put off by the shipping, but guess what? The questions come from fans. Fans who are shippers. Shippers are a very vocal segment of the fanbase. And despite my nonshippiness, in a story that apparently will redefine one of the oldest and most popular ships of the Buffyverse, I see no reason to discard those questions.

But to reiterate, Jeanty isn't presenting his opinion as fact. I like to believe that the relationships in the Buffyverse are complex enough that fans can interpret them in a multitude of ways. Ships have been debated forever now, so what's new?

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-13 03:23 ]
Yeah, like I said, I think I kind of said what I was trying to say wrong.(Wow, was that sentence ever messy.) Ignore me,...I think all the medicine I took today has gone to my head.....I don't really know exactly what I was trying to say...hmmm.....whatever.....
Great interview, Georges!

Jeanty isn't presenting his opinion as fact.

That's a thin line you're drawing there, wenxina, considering that when responding to this question:

Should we read anything into your art showing Angel in the foreground versus Spike more behind Angel?

Jeanty said this:

I think you could read that in order of affection. I think Angel would be in front and Spike would be slightly behind to show their order in Buffy's heart. Spike knows that Buffy doesn't love him the way she loves Angel, he all but said it in Season 7 “Chosen."

So the art drawn in a canonical text is intended to convey a very specific message, backed up by a statement unhedged by any "I think" prevarication("Spike knows" rather than "I think Spike knows").

Now to me, this is primarily something of a difficult canon issue: how much does something like that quote matter in determining what's going on in the minds of the characters? Answer: I'm not sure. Canon rules are weird. But it does make it hard to say that Jeanty isn't presenting his opinion as fact when he's drawing it into the comic.

Edit: I should say this is not an attempt to trash Jeany - he seems great, and I loved the interview! Rather, I'm just trying to figure out what's going in the commentary here by getting feedback from y'all about how to interpret a canon issue.

[ edited by goingtowork on 2010-04-13 04:03 ]
Jeanty's comment isn't canon.

The picture is canon: but the picture is Jeanty's interpretation of Willow's interpretation of what's going on in Buffy's head. Which means there's still loads of room for our interpretations of Buffy's true feelings.

All IMO, of course. :-)
Aw, Georges, why'd you have to go ahead and call the issue "porn". After all my posts positing that it not necessarily be considered such. Oh well. There can still be well-written porn, it is possible (seriously, I saw some softcore/tameness that had Mark Pellegrino--who plays Jacob on Lost and played "Rita"/Julie Benz's ex-husband on Dexter, Paul--it was surprisingly well-done! I only rented it to see Mark 'cause I thought it was funny that Lost had a porn actor on it).

Who wants to bet, considering the comments from Brad Meltzer that there were much more risque drawings/sketches of Jeanty's that ended up on the cutting room floor, that Georges' Buffy sketch book sales go through the roof ?

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-13 04:18 ]
Kris, I think he was sort of kidding. If he wasn't, this would be the first porn I've seen that doesn't show, you know, anything that you couldn't see walking down a beach.

And erendis, your interpretation makes intuitive sense, but I'm still trying to figure out how the views of writers and artists on things like the emotional states of their subjects affect things. Like, if Joss comes out tomorrow and says "It's never clearly shown except by implication [like Jeonty's claim about Spike] in the comics, but Dawn has been trying to kill Andrew the whole time," would that make it canon?

I don't know. I'm usually not this engaged with stuff like this (I'm definitely not normally a comics person, which confuses more stuff with writer/artist relations), but this comic has stirred up so many of my attachments to the show's universe (and so frequently royally pissed me off) that I've started thinking about such things as canon rules.
I found this answer pretty funny:
9. bamph: What was your approach to drawing and handling Buffy/Angel in the next issue coming up? Would you say the Buffy/Angel interaction is different? A continuation of what we saw in this issue? More or less intense? Be as vague as you want.

Georges: This issue was the sex issue, no doubt about that. Next issue will be the talk issue. There are a lot of things going on on a few levels. When you read issue 35 feel free to 'read' into everything you see, chances are it's not random. All will become clear, well, more clear.

Just for that fact that when has this fandom ever NOT *read* into anything and everything we are given? Ha! It's what we do.

I'm looking forward to the talk issue. It better be a good one, cause after that it four months in the wilderness.
According to Jeanty, there really aren't that many drawings left on the cutting room floor. He just cropped them accordingly, but they remain mostly the same.

@goingtowork: I think it would be overzealous for Jeanty to have to preface not just his answer, but every sentence with an "I think..." qualifier. I mean, none of us feel the need to qualify our opinions that diligently. And given the context of the issue, the composition of the panel in question makes sense. Also, we don't know if there were specific directions on the positioning of the characters. We do know for a fact that in #3, Jeanty was under very specific instructions from Joss as to how that infamous menage a trois panel should turn out. Furthermore, all artwork has to be signed off by Joss and Scott Allie.
Well the season has turned out to be pretty B/A positive so this interview didn't surprise in that respect. I think there has already been an issue where Joss spoke out to Jeanty on exactly this but I can't remember where it was posted..?

I am also looking forward to the talk issue set to occur next, Kaan. Maybe we will finally learn how Angel learned about this prophecy. I like it very much that Angel's past is going to come into play here. I'm also very curious about other characters who might be appearing.
Interview got me thinking a bit more about what's going on...

Someone posted in the issue thread that they think, for an atheist, it's weird that Joss is so into all the prophecy, evolving-into-gods, and universe-with-a-consciousness elements (I don't think it's strange at all, because this is storytelling, and Joss has said in the past that despite being a non-theist, he's very interested in what makes humanity tick/what we obsess over). Someone on a Buffy mailing list once told me that they thought it was weird that my favorite Tolkien book is The Silmarillion, because that prequel to The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings is essentially Middle Earth's version of The Bible and they assumed that I wouldn't like it best because I'm an atheist (or was a very skeptical agnostic at the time). But, y''s fiction, it's fantasy, it's fun. I don't need my fictional universes to play by the same rules as reality, unless we're talking straight-up, non-genre dramas. And besides, gods and monsters can be pretty fucking cool, both as characters and as plot devices.

Maybe Joss is making a statement by potentially getting the Buffyverse to the point where all demons (which would include slayers, presumably) and magic[k] are banished from Earth. They can go exist off in their own separate dimension, whereas Earth is finally left alone, left to the purely physical/non-mystical (for a couple hundred years, at least, until Fray).

In short, it's Joss saying that the Earth in the Buffyverse is ready to be left alone by God/gods/religion/superstition already, much in the same way he and a whole lotta other non-believers on the planet wish humanity would step up/wake up and decide to stand on its own already. I doubt he'll make a point about logic/reason/science trumping blind faith/the irrational/superstition within the book, but maybe it'll be implied. Hey, some folks want the clear-cut metaphors to be more common and apparent in the Buffyverse again, that'd bring them back in a huge and potentially controversial, worth-discussing fashion.
In short, it's Joss saying that the Earth in the Buffyverse is ready to be left alone by God/gods/religion/superstition already, much in the same way he and a whole lotta other non-believers on the planet wish humanity would step up/wake up and decide to stand on its own already.

I just don't get what anything about this whole "Universe/Nature/Balance/Whatever-The-Hells-Going-On" has to do with 'growing up', which I thought was the fundamental theme of Buffy. I know it'll piss a lot of people off, and has already, for being too wishy-washy but this new mythology seems pretty weak and I can't really see Joss trying to talk about such huge theological issue's like this. Not in Buffy anyway. Joss is a writer that drives for the *key moment* in everything that he does, and a lot of the time the stuff he comes up with to get there is almost throwaway-able, which I think all this will be. Could be wrong though. Wouldn't be the first time. Or the second :p
Jeanty can ship Bangel all he wants. It doesn't change the show I watched. It doesn't make me think he's right. Nothing he nor Allie nor Joss himself can change what I saw happen over 7 seasons. These drawings, opinions, porny things, just can't change that. Thank god!
Wow, more shipper talk from George. Now there's a surprise. The poor devil really seems to make a habit of being herded into answering these very loaded shipper questions, doesn't he.

Oh well. The shows finished and the comics are easy enough to ignore If you feel the need to. *goes off clutching her DVD's*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-13 10:09 ]
Another great Q&A. I appreciate his candour on giving his opinions about things, even though I dont necessarily agree (esp: re the Buffy/Angel/Spike stuff, but that's personal OP).

I should probably stop reading these interviews though, they raise more questions than they answer about what the frak is going on, and hurt my brain! :D

And the posssibility that Buffy/Angel are Dawns parents? Plausible....but please, a thousand gallons of no. I do think that some of these possibilities are veering into bad fanfic, and the S8 comics are already a bit OTT for me.

Still, I'll keep reading......
Jeanty comes across as a likeable fellow in these Q&As. I liked his candor about the porn.

As for the dreaded shipping, I'm not sure how many different ways the guy can be asked the same question, but apparently it's a lot. Jeanty has made it clear that he ships B/A. I don't think he's an authoritative voice on how to interpret things. Here he clearly says that one *could* interpret the panel in a given way. He's talking one B/A fan to another, and that's what it would look like in that circle. But Joss's work has *always* sustained multiple interpretations, and I'd find it odd if Joss decided to deliver a less layered and complex story in his latest chapter. I do think the text is showing that Buffy has stronger feelings for Angel. What that means or what we make of it is wide open, though. Jeanty's particular spin on that fact doesn't do much for me, but that's not a big deal. By all accounts we're going to be walking away with the usual ambiguous mush so I'm pretty sure people vested in the shipping questions one way or another will find something to hang their hat on.

For me I'm mostly interested in why the shipping is such a big plot element when the PtBs (especially Allie) keep saying shipping is not the point. The ships always work as metaphors for what's going on with Buffy, and I look forward to seeing how that works once we've got all the pieces of the puzzle set in. It's pointing to something, and I look forward to finding out what that is.
If the comics are so easy to ignore, then why aren't you? I don't see the reason to come into every comic-based thread and repeatedly dismiss them.
Matt Are you addressing me perchance?
Since I read "Fray" years ago I desparately want to learn about Buffy's fate in the very end. Those images cited by bamph bothered me since then. Georges answered "interesting" to bamph's suggestion and now I'm very hopeful that this is the direction in which the story goes.
I also appreciate Jeanty’s honesty (in regards to his shipping preferences and his issues with the sex) and he sounds like a very nice guy. Until people stop asking him shipper-related questions (and I agree with Maggie that the guy seems to get asked the same question again and again) he’s going to keep offering his opinion and he’s more than entitled to do that. After all, isn’t that why Slayalive has these Q/As in the first place?

I wouldn’t call the sex in Issue #34 “porn” though. Sex scenes in shows such as True Blood, Sex and the City or Six Feet Under are still far more graphic and they wouldn’t be considered “porn,” so why would this? I definitely think it was unnecessarily gratuitous at points but not “porn” when there’s no real nudity to speak of, and even if there was, there is a difference. Nevertheless, I appreciated Jeanty’s candour and I’m always happy to hear what goes on behind the scenes.

And cleveland, I'm also excited to see how we end up with Fray. I loved reading the CBR interview with Meltzer and hearing how one of the fried fish was meant to vaguely represent Gunther (Fray's fish-mutant boss) as I thought that was a clever hint. Perhaps a little too clever, as I don't think anyone would have got it without him pointing out, but great nonetheless.
Cleaveland I think many of us suspected that's how this would go practically from the start.

I've felt for some time now that Joss wants to try and 'top and tale' the Buffyverse by paving the way to having it tied into the Frayverse future. This story seems to be the way he's going about it.

I hope it works out for him.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-13 11:38 ]
Just to split hairs for the sake of it, while Jeanty comes across as genuinely believing that Buffy feels more for Angel I don't get the impression that he necessarily ships B/A in the sense of not only believing it but thinking it's a good and unchanging thing. I've not heard him say anything obviously pro-Angel or anti-Spike as individuals. If anything in this Q/A he seemed to be identifying with Spike.
I didn't think the issue was porn. I thought it was rather hot, then I just regressed to a 12 year old and giggled about it. (I don't know why. Maybe because I hadn't expected those scenes and because the sex just gets wilder and wilder. Cosmic sex - I just find it funny for some reason) I think the fact that it is in comic book form makes it easier to handle because they're just drawings and Jeanty's style does carry cartoonish elements. I'm pretty sure if it was live action, I'd find it more shocking and graphic. Strangely enough, the snippets that Jeanty gives of what was in the script are more graphic to me than the drawings (and this is coming from someone who has seen her fair share of fanfics), maybe because I don't really expect to see that written in a script.

I wouldn't say that Jeanty is a 'shipper in the active sense, as in he has his B/A flag to wave around from time to time. I just think he has a particular take on the relationships in the Buffyverse, just like everyone else and why shouldn't he? Even though he is part of the creative team, he can't be expected to remain completely neutral. Heck, I bet even Joss has (a) prefered pairing(s). As the creator, he knows where he wants to take the characters but he doesn't cling to the 'ship becuase the most important thing for him is to tell the story. He also likes to play with the fandom, leave things ambiguous and keep to his happiness=pain-and-impending-doom policy (although I hope he's going to turn this around). As long as people keep asking Jeanty 'ship related questions then he's going to tell us how he sees it, which I think is fine as long as he is respectful to other 'ships. Just because he says 'Spike knows' instead of 'I think Spike knows' doesn't necessarily make it official. Joss does have the last word after all. So I don't think B/S 'shippers should be making their way to the window ledge anytime soon!

"I'm still trying to figure out how the views of writers and artists on things like the emotional states of their subjects affect things." That's where the 'Death of the Author' debate comes in. At what point does the author lose authority over his work? Do his intentions really matter or is what matters is the way we as readers interpret it? In works as complex as Joss', does it matter how intends us to percieve Buffy, Angel, Spike etc..., should that affect how we view them? I think that's for each of us to decide for ourselves. What's great about Joss' characters is that he generally leaves them open to interpretation. There is so much ambiguity surrounding them that people can view them in so many different ways and every interpretation can be considered valid. For example, some people see Angel as evil-mass-murderer-who-is-beyond-hope-guy whereas others believe that there still is hope and that his actions can be explained.

I think that 'death of the author' can be applied to certain things in the Buffyverse but not to others. Regarding the mythology, I think Joss has full authority on that. He is presenting us with his vision and so the rules that he sets down are the ones we have to go by. You can't say 'He's wrong! vampires should have been created by pixies!'. If you think that then go read something in which vampires were created by pixies! We can only argue with the mythology when it doesn't seem to make sense, or when there seem to be holes (like this whole Universe-urging-them-on business)
With relationships, I think it's a mix. Joss has a clear idea of what he wants to do and where he wants to take the characters and he's right to: it's his story. If he wants Buffy and Angel together then he will put them together. We can't say that he is wrong, because it's his decision, however as fans we can feel that he is wrong because of personal attachments to characters and our emotional investments in certain relationships, which have always been encouraged.
In terms of how to view the characters, their morality and their decisions however, is up to the fans. We each have our personal views and that affects how we percieve the characters. Buffyverse, and indeed Whedonverse characters are so complex that there is no wrong interpretation (unless it goes too far i.e.'Joyce was evil', when she clearly was not). If a writer wants us to view characters in a particular way then s/he should be able to write well enough and guide us so that we will. Joss, I think is very aware of the complexities within his characters that have developed over 5-7 seasons, so that he will take them in the direction he wants to go, will validate their actions as much or as little as he wants to and in accordance with his views, but accepts that not everyone will agree.

God, I hope Buffy and Angel aren't Dawn's parents! That would just be too weird!

I'm excited for possible links to the Frayverse, too! I think the Gunther thing was a stretch - I don't see how I could possibly have seen anything other than catfish. But I can't believe I missed the Sweeney Todd reference.

[ edited by Shep on 2010-04-13 14:34 ]
So, Buffy and Angel. Which one will end up dead?

ETA: Yeah, Shep! Reader response!

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-04-13 12:56 ]
Jaysus, I thought there was rules against all this shipping talk on here. So tiresome, please stop.

Ineresting what he says about the key/gods thing and I had forgotten about that panel from Fray that someone posted. Very interesting. That Battle of Starbuck thing still drives me nuts. Also do you think this Giles is trying to find a way to kill Buffy is the great betrayal or is that Angel being Twilight (or something else)? I always forget to join up to Slayalive so never get the questions in!
@digupherbones: You don't have to be a member to participate. You can always e-mail me your questions, and I'll add them to the queue. Some of the questions from this round and the last were from people who e-mailed me their questions.

ETA: Not that we wouldn't appreciate your joining us. :)

Also, Georges' answer to #29, regarding the garb of the Watchers in 1680 has been added.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-13 13:59 ]
I just don't know why a guy being behind you in a three-way is any indication of emotional ties.

If memory serves me I think He's referring back to when he said in another Q&A that Joss had asked him to draw Buffy facing away from Spike because she felt more for Angel then him.

You have to wonder how many times do the people in these Q&A's need Jeanty to say that he thinks Buffy loves Angel more than Spike before they actually start believing him?

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-13 14:47 ]
I don't know how Jeanty even could be a 'shipper in any real sense -- he basically came into most of the televised seasons around the time he came into Season 8. His impressions and preferences from those seasons have all formed in the context of what he's doing for Season 8. I don't think he's ever really had much of an opinion -- at least not a public one -- that probably wasn't shaped, rather than by absorbing Joss' product, but by helping him create that product.

So, and I'll go ahead and say unfortunately, that says to me that when his opinions tend to favor any given 'ship, that's probably flowing more from the creator than the creation, because that's what his interaction is with.

EDIT: Sue, the people who are likely to actually have their opinion on the truth of Buffy's romantic feelings influenced by a Q&A answer probably came to the question with a fully formed opinion.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-04-13 14:49 ]
I sorta follow the comics from a distance, because I'm not fully on board with them. But I really kinda wish we could see where it's going already so we'd know if it was something that would work out in the end or if it really was just getting worse and worse LOL

I think there's a chance that other aspects of comments made could get heated, personally...not all of us think faith is irrational or that it can't coexist with reason, and some of us think that trying to explain a complex,intricate world without a designer is what's really irrational...that a creator is the only rational point of view. I'm going to quite down about it now, but I'm just hoping it doesn't get out of hand over what others may have to say.
But I really kinda wish we could see where it's going already so we'd know if it was something that would work out in the end

I think we'd all like that! :)
I wouldn’t call the sex in Issue #34 “porn” though. Sex scenes in shows such as True Blood, Sex and the City or Six Feet Under are still far more graphic and they wouldn’t be considered “porn,” so why would this?
vampmogs | April 13, 10:42 CET

That just cracked me up, only because I was watching my True Blood DVDs the other day, when my parents came over for a visit. They were Shocked-Appalled even-and wanted to know why I was watching the dirty porn?!

So probably this whole "was-it-or-was-it-not porn" thing is one of those things that just depends on a person's background or perspective. I personally thought it was a little more sexy than it needed to be to get the message across, but it's also entirely possible that I was raised by my parents to be a prude. Not saying that happened or anything...

Either way, I certainly wasn't offended by it. I'm invested in this story and I have every intention of seeing it through. Plus I like Jeanty's art. I'm still havin' fun.

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