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May 06 2010

(SPOILER) Jo Chen cover and solicitation for Buffy Season 8 #36. This'll be out in September. And MTV's Splash Page has the Georges Jeanty cover.

It's a beautiful cover. Very nice likeness. And I like the simplicity of it.
Very very nice indeed. Me likey. Is it September yet?
Is that a teaser cover? Surely they didn't want to spoiler anything more.
I think it's the full monty.
Ooooooooohhhh.

Oh, Simon. Don't get me excited. ;)
Excuse me while I shout out "SPIKE!" gleefully. Can't wait for this issue!
Love the depiction, agree that it's a little too portraity and I'd have liked to see Chen depict Spike as doing something active that portrays something about his character. Even having him pose deliberately would've worked because that's something Spike definitely does. The outlandish posing of Restless and the playing-it-up for the camera in Storyteller.

The cover's style is kinda bland for my tastes, but overall a beautiful likeness except... eyes. Not blue. Okay. I'd let this go if it were a long shot, but it's a close-up and Spike's uber-blue eyes are a huge facial feature. A close-up portrait of Spike's face is easy to hit all the major points: uber blue eyes, very obvious scar across the end tip of his left eyebrow, cutting cheekbones.

Seems like the cheekbones and most of the rest are well imagined in the art, but the two most obvious standouts, eye color and eyebrow scar, missed the finishing touch.

So while I'm absolutely happy to have a Spike cover, it's still a bit underwhelming.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-09 07:56 ]
I added the Georges cover art. Heh.
Wow, someone has a wicked awesome sense of humor.
Yeah, Jeanty's parody of Twilight would work better for me if the comics themselves didn't seem to be drowning in parody already (there's more energy being put into parody than genuine characterization). The problem with Buffy textually mocking Twilight the series directly was that BtVS was already making a mockery of Twilight by simply being BETTER. Now it's like BtVS has lowered itself to slinging nana-nana-boo-boo's at Twilight when it's frankly doing things that make it worse than Meyer's story. Hello, consent issues, rape metaphor and overwhelming male gaze of Season 8, how ya doin'?

It's hard to successfully subvert the trope when the story is actively (and seemingly inadvertently) perpetuating the trope.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-06 21:32 ]
Oh dear Lord. Jeanty just had to go there didnt he with that cover, the rabble rouser! :D

Can't stop looking at the Jo Chen one. I'm not underwhelmed by it at all, though agree blue eyes would be nice, its still gorgeous artwork and a bloody good likeness. I join Arison in the gleeful 'SPIKE' shouting.
Chen's Spike looks too young.
I'm not so worried -- the Jeanty cover makes me think they'll take it on Twilight in an interesting way. We'll see.

I really like Chen's cover. The expression is completely intriguing to me, and I prefer the idea of Spike as a personage in his own right than simply as one of Buffy's suitors. (And funny that at this point I see Angel as diminished to just that -- but that's pretty much what #35 did for me).

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-05-06 21:33 ]
LOL at the Jeanty one though I don't really like the Spike likeness in his. He just looks a bit off, but Jeanty has only just started drawing him and to me he always seemed like the hardest character to draw so w.e, hopefully it improves. Also, I hope the 'Twilight' reference doesn't signify anything about the relationships in the Buffyverse... just saying. I always hated Edward and Bella. Oh wait, I hate all of Twilight, and I have for a long time, long before it was actually cool to hate it.

Agree 100% with Emmie on the Chen cover! It's a nice enough likeness but I too wish it was more dynamic, etc. I am actually reluctantly excited for Season 8! But I guess the return of a favorite character will do that to you, =) Also, Joss! Yay Joss! I know, pointing out the obvious but still, SQUEE!


[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-09 07:56 ]
Emmie, Buffy would have to do a lot worse, and I mean a LOT worse, to even be nearly as bad as Twilight. I'm not entirely thrilled with the Buffy comics right now, but I haven't seen anything as abominable as Meyer's story. Not even the magic space sex.

Anyway, love Jo's cover and Georges' is indeed funny.
Oh man, Georges' cover. That's brilliant.
It's so popular to hate Twilight. Now, was I referring to their Twilight our our Twilight???

I like Jeanty's cover. It made me laugh. And I'm wondering about the symbolism of it considering Bella doesn't end up with Jacob who is blocking her from Edward (And Spike is blocking Buffy from Angel). But then, Jeanty has never been very literal with his covers.
Disagree. Space frakking compelled by the intelligent design of a sentient Universe is in a league of its own. Apparently, BtVS had to fly so high in order to fall so low.
As always,love the Jo Chen cover.I like the Jeanty one.I'm not into Twilight although I've seen the films but I just get a kick out of homage covers and this homage to the New Moon movie poster.
I'm still giggling at Jeanty's cover.
Emmie: Actually, when you describe it like that, the space frakking sounds a lot cooler than it was.
Sure, on opposite day. The fun thing about it is the Buffyverse is all about wordplay, so it's awesome we have our very own Buffyverse term for Jumping the Shark now. ;-)
I'm curious as to how it's rape. Yes, Buffy was being egged on by "the Universe," but she still made her own decision. There was total consent.
Jo's cover, amazing. I think it speaks volumes that Spike is allowed to have a cover all to himself. He isn't just connected to Buffy, he's also deeply connected to the scoobies. That's for me the big difference between Spike and Angel, Angel feels totally out of place on btvs, Spike doesn't. He is and always will be a Buffyverse character first.
I agree about the blue eyes and scar which he got from the Chinese slayer. I hope they can change it before it comes out, given that it's a 4 month wait i think it can be done. If not then, then atleast in the TPB of the final arc.
And i rather like the potrait appearence, we haven't gotten many or any of those in season8. And Spike's look just rocks, very menancing. Hopefully this anger will be targeted at the one that so very much deserves it, Twilight. The age bit is also right on the money, if i was really critical i would even say that those wrinkles weren't needed. Spike looked perfectly how he should look in Always darkest. Eternally young, vampire.
Best seasons to reference his look is season 5,6 of Buffy, the added advantage that James trained his body a lot in those seasons and it showed. Worst season, season 5 Angel.

Second cover, not a fan. Everything about Twilight bores me. I don't know if the cover is relevant in any way to the issue. Unless it's supposed to imply that Buffy will in the end choose Angel over Spike and Spike will fall in love with ...wel you know the rest, really really icky stuff.
The Dark Shape, first off, I said rape metaphor. And it's because of the questionable consent issues caused by glowhypnol. It's just like Buffy climbing on top of RJ in Him because of a love spell--if someone is not of sound mind and free will, then questionable consent enters the story. In #33/34, it's the 180 turnaround from Buffy trying to kill Angel to desperately needing to frak him and being so possessed by the frakking that she doesn't notice the world is falling apart. If anyone thinks that's not abnormal (and that clearly Buffy should've started making out with Angel after they both hit each other in Sanctuary amidst fighting about Faith's fate), then... well, you're not going to see the consent issues others do see.

When free will is violated by an outside force (even partially if not totally) that affects an individual's ability to consent and sex follows, you've entered into rape territory. In this case, I'm calling it rape metaphor. Not everybody sees it but I can find a lot of people who do see it this way--it's a legitimate reading.

Total consent is not possible when Buffy (and Angel even) has been slipped a mickey to "egg" her on. The Universe gave her an aphrodesiac to speed her getting over her murderous rage so she'd move on to the world-destroying frakking.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-06 22:13 ]
I went from hyperventilating (at the beauty of Jo's cover) to laughing hilariously at Georges' I love them both :)
I think this is my favorite Cover Set in forever. I love them both. xD One is totally great, and the other is hilarious.
Hey now, I read all the Twilight books. As hard as they were to get through at points, somehow I was compelled to keep going. I gave up on Buffy comics way back when she ended up in bed with Satsu. And then I didn't look at another one except to take a tiny peek recently because space sex had the morbid curiosity factor.

I would rather see a perfect shiny vampire hybrid baby rip its way out of Bella's abdomen than read the Buffy comics these days.
Agree with Vergil on everything about Chen's cover. Love the portrait, the simplicity of it. Awesome and gorgeous and just....Spike.

As for George's cover - I'm not reading anything into it. I think he's just having a bit of fun with the whole Twilight thing and its not meant to be taken seriously. It made me chuckle anyway!

Have to say, I detest Twilight and all its characters with a passion. I also think it has one of the worst love triangles ever created and I root for none of them. So I'm definitely not seeing any parallels or hidden metaphors between the two verses. Whedons characters, even in comic verse, are a hell of a lot more interesting and complex than Meyers. Just my opinion though.

Jeanty is a naughty man - that cover made my roll my eyes and chuckle at the same time. Tsk tsk.

[ edited by shazzam on 2010-05-06 22:43 ]
Where's his scarred eyebrow in Jo's cover?? (I think Georges had Spike's profile showing so he didn't have to draw it either!!)

Another month and two more wonderful covers!

I'm very excited to read the upcoming Joss-penned arc!!
Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Except, as Emmie has stated, the eye colour is a bit neutral, and the scar isn't there (although, in later seasons, the scar became less evident) but I'm gonna give it a pass. Drool.

George's cover is a great take to all this Twilight nonsense, and I like how Angel is back into his three belt gladiator costume. But, he and Spike look very rigid, almost like action figures. Eh bien. It's still pretty clever. Team Jacob!
Apparently the eye color for Chen's cover is going to be fixed before mass printing for the issue. Cool.
Will the scar also be added Emmie?
Completely over the shipping. We did Angel, now we have to bring in Spike to balance it out and appease both factions.

Not tipping my hand as to my preference - just disappointed with the state Buffy fandom, of which these two covers are a reflection and statement.
Love the Chen cover to pieces and even better knowing that the eye colour will be fixed! Is the scar going to be there too?

The Jeanty cover...ok...an hommage of a feminist franchise to the single most antifeminist frenchise of the decade. I really hope it's meant as a parody, else I'd not know for which of the three I would feel insulted for the most.
Joss. Doesn't. Care. About. Ships.
Except. When. He. Writes. Meta-Stories. About. Ships. In. Canon. To. Mock. Shipping. But. Yeah. He. So. Doesn't. Care.
When has Joss ever mocked the ships?
I'm being a bit nit-picky, but it doesn't quite look like James' nose.

Or is that being nose-picky?
I just conferred with Scott and the eye color will indeed be changed in time for print. I simply never noticed his eye color was anything other than brown or dark. All of the reference material I viewed was set at night or in dark places so that's how the eyes looked ot me.

So, worry not and look for uber-violet Liz Taylor eyes on Spike when the book hits shelves.
Thanks. And I assume by uber-violet you mean blue?
*Wants the Jo Chen cover with "ultra-[blue] [James Marsters] eyes" in poster size.*

Also, does anyone know when the 7th TPB comes out?

[ edited by tjbw on 2010-05-07 03:31 ]
*snort* that Jeanty cover made me spit out my tea. Literally.
I was just kidding about the Liz Taylor eyes...blue they will be.
Scott Allie said:

There are gonna be people angry over Jo's cover for #36 who'll blame me, but Joss told us exactly what #36 should be, described it pretty specifically. Georges's cover for #36 is fun, probably get reposted a lot, but not stir much controversy.



Last minute cover change? I can't really see this cover making people too angry.

Also, the lack of an arc title has me quite intrigued.

[ edited by MattManic7325 on 2010-05-07 05:13 ]

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-05-07 05:25 ]
@ailiel: Don't you mean a perfect shiny vampire hybrid baby getting CHEWED OUT OF THE WOMB BY ITS DAD?

(Its DAD!)

Say what you will about the direction of the Buffy comics, but I've never lost my appetite while reading them.

That was one ruined bowl of borscht...
I was always a little thrown off by complaints that Jo covers go a bit too pretty or young (sorry about making them some what synonymous there).

My slightly facetious counter-argument is that technically it's the actors that are flawed. What with how the people playing vampires age with with passing of time or how sometimes even the human actors are several years older than their characters so 23/24 year old Nick Fury Xander should hypothetically look more like Buffy season 1-ish Nicolas Brendon.

Incidentally, I think the New Moon cover is sort of hilarious in a benign way though I dig lush painted takes on parody covers. (Whether harlequin romances or like those Marvel Zombie ones.) Whatever we feel of the series itself the promotional materials for it just hit such a ridiculous saturation point that it can be recognized for the love triangle/three-way shorthand rather than the specifics of exactly how screwed up the three leads actually are to people more familiar with the series.
"Spike!"

:-) My girlfriend will be so happy!
When has Joss ever mocked the ships?

Some fans have expressed the opinion that The Girl In Question is a meta realization of the shipping argument of Angel and Spike arguing over who gets Buffy, who gets to win the prize. The episode makes the point of showing how it's not about Buffy at all though, it's about Angel and Spike's relationship along with their individual development. The idea is supposed to undercut how it's silly to fight over who wins--Angel or Spike--because that's not what matters in the end. It's individual character that's most important, that and friendship.
When has Joss ever mocked the ships?

How about more recently as in Always Darkest. In there Buffy dreams that she's no longer the "love of their lives". Her fears about Angel are removed, so next will be Spike?
I wonder If were only seeing a close up of the Chen cover, because at the moment I can't see what we're meant to be annoyed about.

Even allowing for the missing eyebrow scar and eye colour It's a lovely colour, miles better the Jeanty's imo, which as per just looks extremely crude and jarring in comparison.

And don't get me started on the shipper/fan baiting that appears to be going on in that cover. I mean is this all season 8 is going to boil down into? Joss and co taking cheap pot shots at his own readership/fanbase, because from where I'm standing it looks pretty much like it.

Weak.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
I think Georges' cover is hilarious on a lot of levels. I don't see a cheap pot shot, it's addressing the elephant in the corner - the Buffy/Angel/Spike triangle. It's the ultimate doublethink in the fandom.
Yay to the eye colour fixing!

And on the Jeanty cover: Man, are the siz screwed up. Spike is quite a bit shorter than Angel and has not nearly that much hight on Buffy.
Simon but it doesn't seem to be addressing anything apart from hard core fandom sh*t stirring does it? I mean what do we actually gleam from this? That Buffy really is like Bella? *shudder*

I know that Whedon isn't that daft, but hell, it adds nothing new or constructive to that very tired old avenue, does it? Or am I missing something subtle here?

Although who am I kidding, 'subtle' and 'Season 8' don't seem to be a mixey thing in this series so far.

Oh and Changeling the sizes are about right. SMG is of very small stature, and JM is a wee bloke as well I'm afraid. *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-05-07 09:41 ]
I think Jo's cover is sublime.
Actually Changeling you are wrong. Spike is only a little bit shorter then Angel, i'm not talking about James or David, i'm talking about their characters in the verse. And Spike is average height in the verse, not short. Buffy really was much shorter then the guys including Spike, on high heels(which she wore a lot) Buffy was closest to Spike's height.
I think you would be quite suprised checking out the rest of the cast's heights over at idmb, Alexis Denisof for example is 3cm taller then David which i didn't have a clue about. The creators used fantastic camera-tricks,use different angles so the viewers really wouldn't notice it.
The sex in issue33 was probably one of the worst size screw ups. Angel was drawn to be slightly taller then Buffy, which is all kinds of wrong. As it can be clearly seen in 'I will remember you', Buffy was tiny when she was with Angel.
I'm actually hoping Karl Moline will get a shot at drawing Spike, his body type for Icarus was perfect for Spike.
Excellent cover by Jo Chen - eye colour thing is a pain, I know when I do my meagre sketch efforts. I had a hell of time trying to see what colour eyes Tahmoh Penikett had the other day.

Did I mention I want to be Jo Chen when I grow up??
so excited for this! The Georges cover is simply parody (hilarious at that). It doesn't have to make a statement on the plot, or the motivations of the characters, all of the covers in season 8 have been pretty independent of specific events within the book, acting as more of a 'snap-shot' or evoking a feeling. Homage covers and now this parody one..... it just doesn't seem that out of line from what Georges has been doing with the covers lately.

side note: is it just me, or is it basically the same 5 or so people continually ragging on S8 in every thread dedicated to it?
Apparently Joss was very specific about the covers in his run, just like Meltzer was about having all comic book homage covers. So, Jeanty's just doing his job in terms of the cover work.
Some fans have expressed the opinion that The Girl In Question is a meta realization of the shipping argument of Angel and Spike arguing over who gets Buffy, who gets to win the prize.

Because Joss is obviously a Spangel.
I'm with Cazador on this one--the cover need not have any meaning to the plot, it's just a hilarious and awesome parody! Enough so that I may buy the Jeanty cover instead of the Chen because I'm so amused by it...or maybe I'll get both. I do love those painted covers!
Joss likes Twilight. Buffy has been constantly compared and contrasted to it since it entered pop culture. The love triangles have some parallels. It's both fitting and very funny. If it irks some of his fans... well, so do the less tongue in cheek covers.
Jo Chen's one is gorgeous. Actually, all her covers are - she just nails the likenesses every time.

I think what would have been good in Georges' cover was if Buffy was holding a weapon of some sort to highlight that she is the strong, active heroine: the complete opposite of the passive Bella.
I think Buffy shown as passive Bella is part of the joke. If you squash BtVS into the all-important question of who Buffy hearts the most, you've kind of missed the point of Buffy's story.
"When free will is violated by an outside force (even partially if not totally) that affects an individual's ability to consent and sex follows, you've entered into rape territory. In this case, I'm calling it rape metaphor." -Emmie

In my opinion, I think you've taken this train of thought a little too far, though I understand this is a very dark and very complex subject. This quote made me think of having sex while tipsy/drunk with someone you love. If my boyfriend and I split a bottle of wine, and the "outside influence" of the alcohol leads to fun times, I don't think this is rape in ANY way; nor do I think that either of us (both adults who are very much in love) was unable to provide informed consent.

The way I see it, Buffy and Angel love each other, and lust for each other. Their inhibitions were lowered, but neither party was forced against their will to magic space sex.

Just my two cents!
Their inhibitions were lowered, but neither party was forced against their will to magic space sex.

Giles and Joyce in Band Candy.
I'm curious as to how it's rape. Yes, Buffy was being egged on by "the Universe," but she still made her own decision. There was total consent.


Curious concept of consent, when something so severely distorting Angel's ethical judgment was also distorting Buffy's.

BUFFY: No -- the moment you look away -- the bad guy jumps out -- there's a bomb under the car . . . the apple's been poisoned.

ANGEL: Apple, maybe. Poison, no.

BUFFY: Well, SOMETHING was in that apple. 'Cause what I'm feeling is a whole lot weirder than 'afterglow'.

mean what do we actually gleam from this? That Buffy really is like Bella? *shudder* I know that Whedon isn't that daft, but hell, it adds nothing new or constructive to that very tired old avenue, does it? Or am I missing something subtle here?


Not at this juncture.
For those of you who don't like the homage covers, Georges has tweeted that this will be the last one.

@TheActionRoom Thanks! THat'll be that last tribute cover of the season. Oh wait there is one more but it's not comic related.


He's referring to the cover for #35 in the tweet.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-05-08 00:26 ]
In my opinion, I think you've taken this train of thought a little too far, though I understand this is a very dark and very complex subject.

Actually, 5x5B, I haven't taken it far enough. I'd like to offer you this post: "Sexuality, Consent and the Buffyverse". It's fine if you don't see it or agree with it, but the underlying meaning is there. Violation of consent and rape metaphors are not a rare occurrence in the Buffyverse, but a defining (and what to me tastes rank) flavor. When discussing these tropes, it's in light of the societal context of gender and women's issues at large and how women are portrayed in media.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-08 21:17 ]
Love the Twilight mock cover, even though I wasn't a fan of the comic book homages in the "Twilight" arc -- mostly because I didn't understand them or their purpose.

Emmie, the one thing I don't get about your consent/rape metaphor thing is that you're saying they were egged on by an intelligent, sentient Universe...but where in the text does it say the Universe is sentient? Because the Universe is the Universe, I would think that Buffy and Angel being "egged on" to have sex in issue #34 is the same thing as two people ANYWHERE feeling like they want to have sex with each other.

Edit: I also feel like Buffy and Angel could've done anything together -- painted a picture, watched a movie, go for a swim -- and the same thing would've happened. I feel that this Universe was encouraging them to be together, to be close, and they chose to have sex (and I don't blame them).

But that's just how I perceived it.

Also: "overwhelming male gaze of season 8"? What does that mean? Are you referring to a large number of male characters? Why is that a bad thing?

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2010-05-08 02:42 ]

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2010-05-08 02:50 ]
Waterkeeper511, male gaze is a huge and basic part of both feminist and film studies. It has nothing to do with whether there are even male characters at all--it's all about the audience, the camera (in this case: the art), the artist/director/etc. and society's concepts of sexuality. That link is very basic, but it should give you an idea of what Emmie is talking about. For a bit more, please go here.
Thanks for the link, Lirazel. I had no idea it was an actual term; I thought it was just a phrase Emmie created on the spot. This is really interesting. But I'm not a heterosexual man, nor am I trained in really seeing these things (I'm a bit dense, haha) -- I would love for Emmie to describe the male gaze in season 8, at least from her perspective. It might clue me in on her thoughts on season 8, which I'm really intrigued by (though I think I disagree with them).
If my boyfriend and I split a bottle of wine, and the "outside influence" of the alcohol leads to fun times, I don't think this is rape in ANY way; nor do I think that either of us (both adults who are very much in love) was unable to provide informed consent.


If he knew the wine was spiked, though, and kept putting a glass in your hand while you were engaged in animated conversations at a party & not suspecting that your will was being weakened, it would be. Buffy not only doesn't know that she's drinking something else -- she doesn't even know that it's Angel who keeps handing her the glass.

And if you found out that in between rounds, he'd been trotting outside while gang members were randomly shooting your dormmates, and excused it on the grounds that he had really been trying to misdirect their fire, I'm sure that it wouldn't seem like good lovin' anymore.
It feels like something's wrong with the field of gender studies when authors can't approach interesting consent issues without it translating so easily into rape terms in their theory. I'm on the same page as Waterkeeper511 in that the Sentient Universe "thing" was a metaphor for internal drives. The issues Emmie has raised are thought-provoking, at the very least, but like with special relativity there's a reference frame that gives the minimum number of virtual terms in the interpretation, and I believe that the issue of consent or motivation in this case was interesting enough without seeing rape anywhere near.
It feels to me like there's something wrong with a world in which questionable consent is used over and over again as a plot point and is rarely (nearly never) dealt with seriously. Especially when that world is created by someone who calls himself a feminist.

Look, you can't look at these issues in isolation. You can't. You have to look at them within the context of all the other times in the Buffyverse in which consent is questionable. I'm compiling a list here (Emmie's link above was broken) that lists all the times my friends and I can think of that depict either A) questionable consent or B) sex leading to horrible badness. Located within the context of an unfolding pattern of these things, the latest developments in S8 become incredibly problematic. And there are more suggestions in the comments that I haven't edited into the list yet. This is not a new development. The attitudes towards sex in the Buffyverse have long been shady. S8 has just been the tipping point for a lot of people.

And if you really can't see that, I wash my hands of the whole thing.

Also, feminism has long been of the Yes Means Yes opinion, not the No Means No one. The difference is a major and vital one.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-05-08 19:43 ]
If he knew the wine was spiked, though, and kept putting a glass in your hand while you were engaged in animated conversations at a party & not suspecting that your will was being weakened, it would be. Buffy not only doesn't know that she's drinking something else -- she doesn't even know that it's Angel who keeps handing her the glass.


But this analogy doesn't work because said wine would be a tangible object that was spiked (haha...okay, not the time for a pun). In Buffy and Angel's case, we're talking about the Universe -- all of EXISTENCE. It has both a tangible and an intangible form. It is just as much internal as, thanks to hence's interpretation, external. Buffy and Angel's feelings for each other are a part of the Universe, just as much as anything else is.

The spiked wine analogy works when you consider it on human terms. Right now, Angel and Buffy are beyond human (or, they are beyond Slayer and vampire) and therefore, these analogies and metaphors don't apply so easily. If you and a person (whom you love) were "influenced" to have sex by fate, is it rape?

"Universe" here refers to the internal drive, as hence explained, and it connects to the physical world. There isn't a physical being out there named Universe that sits on his couch and goes "Hmm, I think I'm gonna mess with Buffy's head today." The Universe is all that is and all that was and all that will be, and all that CAN POSSIBLY be. You can't turn it into a villain.
So are we jumping ship on Joss? I do not like everything JW has done, some of his story lines and character developments make me down right angry. But I still like him as a story teller. He elicits an emotional reaction from me whether that be anger, happiness, sadness, laughter etc I still find his work compelling. If I am no longer moved by his work I will stop watching/reading. Until then I choose to to think that his work brings more to the table than rape metaphors.
Look, you can't look at these issues in isolation.

Fair enough. I was focusing on this one instance. Less fair is the notion that those who criticize your criticism are automatically totally blind to what you’re pointing out. In my view: so what if it’s got consent issues in its metaphors? In most interpretations what you call rape will often turn into things like uncontrollable lust, etc.
Less fair is the notion that those who criticize your criticism are automatically totally blind to what you’re pointing out.

If you don't think that this sort of consistent thing is problematic, then, yes, I have a problem with that, and I'm not going to mince words about it. Just like I have a problem with those who dismiss my thoughts about his racial issues. Just like I have problems with those who act as though, say, Supernatural's unrelenting misogyny or the systemic racism we see on television is not a big deal. Like whatever you want--I still like BtVS, and I always will. I like a lot of things that are screwed up--sexist or racist or ableist or homophobic or whatever. It's impossible to live in such a profoundly screwed-up culture and not like some such things, especially considering if we waited for something that was perfect on every front, we'd have nothing to like.

But I acknowledge their problems, and I support those who can't overlook those things. Dismissing other people's genuine concerns about something that affects them (and yes, depictions of consent affect me, they most certainly do) as something that should be looked at in a vacuum or as someone just being overly emotional or just looking for things to be upset about (uh-huh), yeah, that pisses me off.

In my view: so what if it’s got consent issues in its metaphors? Because consent is a battle I fight daily. Daily. Trying to get people to understand this is nearly impossible in a cultural climate in which consent is assumed as the default ("She didn't say no!" "Look what she was wearing!" "She shouldn't have been there!"), and it is a daily battle for all of us who care about the fact that 1 in 4 women in America (1 in 3 African-American women, 1 in 2 Native American women, and 1 in 3 women in the UK) will be the victims of sexual assault in their lives (and that doesn't take into account the lesser numbers of men and boys who also suffer and who are also affected by this cultural attitude towards consent). Every story that involves questionable consent and doesn't deal with the ramifications of that in a responsible way just perpetuates the problem, creating an atmosphere that victim-blames and excuses rape. There's a reason we call it
Rape Culture.

You can like it. It can work for you. But above you virtually told us that we shouldn't see questionable consent there, and if you're dismissing other people's thoughtful feelings about it with a "So what?" then I'm not really interested in being "fair," by your definition of that word.

In most interpretations what you call rape will often turn into things like uncontrollable lust, etc. I have no idea what you're saying here, but I suspect I totally and vehemently disagree.

[eta] I also judge Joss more harshly because he describes himself as feminist. Embracing that term gives you more responsibility, not less, and I feel like a lot of people cut him a lot of slack that they shouldn't, simply because he has embraced that word. I'm much more concerned about what he actually shows in his work than I am about how he describes himself or what charities he gets involved in.

luv4whedon, I can't speak for anyone else about how to react to Whedon. I do think I may be jumping ship on him myself, unless someone whose opinions I value (on many things: I have other storytelling issues with him besides worldview ones) comes to me and tells me that his next project is more thoughtful and less blinded by his privilege. But I still care about Buffy, about its characters, about its story, so I'm going to keep critiquing him. Everyone has to determine how to prioritize things and how to weigh things in the balance. Do whatever you like!

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-05-08 21:07 ]
I agree that we should look at EVERYTHING with a critical eye. I do have issue with Whedon's use of Buffy's authority in her own love-life. It makes me sad/angry that he feels our hero cannot ever have a sound and meaningful romantic relationship. As flawed as I feel Joss's approach to Buffy is I cannot extend this frustration to other characters. When they are "influenced" my magic to have sex or drink or torment each other I see it as inherent in the metaphor of magic is power and can/does corrupt. At times it is only used for comedy but most of the time, in my opinion, the show does allow for it's character's to be critical. Buffy feels violated when Faith takes her body and Faith IS NOT cast in a good light for it. When Faith tries to rape Xander she is unsuccessful and those around her try to help. Willow is devastated when Tara leaves and I think she does realize what she's done to Tara is wrong.
Bravo, Lirazel! I want to frame your eloquent post above elucidating Male Gaze, Rape Culture and Consent Issues.

I also edited my link above to your "Sexuality, Consent and the Buffyverse". This is what happens when I'm not online 24/7. Yikes!
Everyone’s entitled to their interpretation, of course. If someone sees rape in theirs (or even questionable consent) and voices that as a critique then it should be fair for me to say that I have a different interpretation.

Just because there’s questionable elements in the metaphors doesn’t open up for very strong criticism. It would be like arguing that because the show has vampires biting humans it somehow condones dental violence :)
hence, is dental violence in a show something that echoes in the societal context the way questionable consent fires like a canon in our Rape Culture? That's the difference. Is there a Dental Violence Culture where wronged parties will be dismissed when they seek legal justice? No. The story's contextual relevance to the world we live in is what informs the importance and urgency of this discussion. That's what makes the questionable consent of #34 abhorrent to many readers.

Life imitates art. Art imitates life. Questionable Consent and the failure to properly address this issue with necessary import and attention is reflective of the Rape Culture we live in and is now seen as running rampant in the Whedonverse. What's disturbing is that Whedonverse art imitates life in perpetuating a blase attitude of sexuality consent issues.
With respect to all commentators and comments, which are both thoughtful and illuminating, perhaps we could shift this section of the discussion back on topic (Jo Chen/Georges Jeanty covers etc.). The issues of consent and so on are probably best addressed in the main discussion thread for the book. Cheers.
Happily, SNT.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-05-10 21:02 ]

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