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July 28 2010

(SPOILER) Preview pages and discussion for today's Angel #35. The preview pages are up for a issue that has a big reveal. Mariah Huehner hinted at it at the IDW board on Sunday.

Spoiler text still gets picked by our RSS feed so that's what you said in the extended text box got deleted.
Ahh,got it.Didn't know that.

Here's the big spoiler in the invisible text.
Apparently it's only implied, not stated.
I don't have my copy yet.I'll have it tonight so I'm going off what I've read on slayalive.It sounds like it's the cliffhanger that ends the issue and next issue will get into what's going on.
I had a really long post going into detailed character analysis why this is silly and wrong, but I don't even have the will to post it and instead just deleted the entire thing now. More power to anyone who's still enjoying this, but mostly it makes me gnash my teeth and eye-roll at the same time (it's a talent, like walking and chewing gum, only with more rage/annoyance!).
Well I guess we'll have to till #36 comes out to see if it's true. Sounds like one of those cliffhangers worthy of the old Buck Rodgers serials. Or when the Bringer was about to chop off Giles' head.
Funny how even with that revelation he's still hugely OOC.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-07-28 21:48 ]
I haven't been reading the Angel comics. What has Spike been doing that he would be ?
Funny how even with that revelation he's still hugely OOC.

Perfectly put. Brilliant.
As Spike would so charmingly say "Bugger this." *g*
Wow, this storyline just seems to get more and more ridiculous, poorly characterized, and annoying as it goes. I'm so glad I dropped this book ages ago.
Does this need a spoiler warning so much as "IDW's book isn't canon" warning? This plot element means absolutely nothing unless or until it's referenced in one of the Whedon-sanctioned books, i.e. Dark Horse. Even the Lynch monthly sort of fits into the category of the adaptation of "Buffy: The Origin" -- it'll be a sort of quasi-canon.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-07-28 22:59 ]
More power to anyone who's still enjoying this

Yes, Emmie, they do still exist. *waves-hand* Although, I'm almost ashamed to admit it with everyone else hating it. Doesn't at least patxshand still like them?
"Doesn't at least patxshand still like them?"

Bwahaha. This made me chuckle a bit.

I love Angel, I love IDW just as much. But most of Willingham's run has been lacking, character-wise. Also, the misuse of simile and euphemism in #34 killed the English major in me. Illyria and Betta George dialogue is really rough...


That being said, #33 and #35 were good. I'm glad David and Mariah are taking the title, because they're excellent, but Willingham... SEEMS to be fixing his and Armstrong's mistakes.

What I'm looking forward to is November. Scott Tipton on Illyria, David and Mariah on Angel, Brian on Spike. Best line-up Buffyverse comics have *ever* seen.
Shand enjoys a lot of things that suck, though. He likes Angel's plan in "Not Fade Away", even :)

It's actually intrinsically bittersweet to have this compelling a line-up of talent working in the Buffyverse but essentially not working IN the Buffyverse.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-07-28 23:53 ]
...But they ARE working in the Buffyverse. That stuff builds toward Season Eight.

Also, everything I enjoy is amazing. Especially me. I enjoy the shit out of me, and I'm the best!

I do enjoy White Castle, though, and that food should suck. For some reason, it doesn't though. So your argument is sooooomewhat valid.
It builds toward Season 8, but I don't see it as wrapped in the warm fuzzy blanket anymore warmly or tightly than "Buffy: The Origin" is. Not without a much more definite statement by Joss, anyway.

The IDW titles are... and I say this without intentional disrespect... extremely well produced fanfiction at this point, at least insofar as the licensed novels are. Honestly, they got so far afield after "Angel: After the Fall" that it's no secret, even that series' canon credibility started to take a hit after the fact. You know this. You may not like it, but you can't pretend you haven't seen that happen over the couple years since Hell-A closed for business.
I don't know, good sir, Joss saying that he wouldn't contradict IDW, IDW saying Spike is canon... seems to at the VERY least end up on the ambiguous end. Definitely no definites.
I'll be candid, I haven't paid cash on an IDW book since the first part of the Drusilla two-shot and haven't glanced at it other than online previews or thumbing through back copies while waiting for the comic guy to finish his pull-outs on release day of Season 8. I had, though, formed the impression that the main title under IDW's banner had basically Jossed itself vis a vis Season 8 on at least a few occasions at this point. I'd be lying if I said I could cite an example, but it doesn't feel like the same world anymore. You say different?
I say different.

It's not consistent in quality, no way. But neither is Season Eight. Season Eight had #20-30, that... well. You know. On and off decent and terrifyingly bad. Since Willingham, Illyria and George have been off, but nothing separates in from Season Eight.

In fact, this most recent issue teases Twilight.

[ edited by patxshand on 2010-07-29 00:34 ]
Didn't say about quality -- that's not what I mean by the same world. I mean... the same world. That it's like watching an episode of "Heroes" and then an episode of "Supernatural".

If there's a Twilight tease, I almost have to read it. The IDW guys are, I'm assuming, not "in house" on the Season 8 process even now, so what they tease for Twilight is based on their impression. So, does it tease Twilight the Darth Vader misanthrope, or Twilight, the poor, hard-working savior of Slayerkind from itself that I've been seeing invented on so many threads?
Naw, they're definitely in house. Joss spoke to Brian and Mariah about building up to Season Eight in SPIKE.

And it teases, somewhat jokingly, at evil Twilight.

But wait... you didn't get Lynch's #26 and #27? Or Last Angel in Hell?

...But why?
My favorite line from the movie "The Siege" -- it's never the question that's indiscreet, it's the answer :) No, to be honest, it was that "Aftermath" was just atrociously bad, the first issue of Drusilla was a disappointment to me, and I just didn't bother at that point. I've probably read all the solicitations and that's it. It seems like a merry go round of OCs that don't sound interesting to me.

KoC stares dubiously at Eddie Hope and James and Random Movie Star Vamp.

So that brings the "Spike" title in, as far as what you say, but what of this very issue that includes a tease? Is there something that gives it a tie to actual plans for Angel's future or insight than, for instance, the joke cover of Spike burning the mask?
Spike is talking to a room of writers, trying to enlist someone to writer prophecies, after finding out that regular ass dudes are the ones who wrote all the previous ones. He says that, if they're going to mention Angel at all, make him a villain.

"Yes, that's it. Make [Angel] the villain. And give him some poncey, drama queen, prissy name like Dusk, or Sunset, or the Fall of Darkness."

It's light, and it's for sure a meta-tease.
This thread is so Summer 2008 cbox.
Pat, it hardly gives the impression that it's part of an integrated whole -- seems like open mocking of the unambiguously canon work by the highly tenuously canon work.

Emmie, it is indeed. I mean, could someone write a frontpage link worthy meta about Angel's plan in NFA, so we can really get it going?
"Naw, they're definitely in house. Joss spoke to Brian and Mariah about building up to Season Eight in SPIKE."

That is more that makes it seem like part of the integrated whole. That, and Joss saying he wouldn't contradict IDW. If it doesn't count, if it isn't in the same universe (whahuh?) then why even say or care about that?
We're mixing terms -- I'm talking about the Twilight tease you just cited. Doesn't feel like it's "in the loop", just seems sort of pithy. At best, it's the "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" joke that makes fun of the audience.
I'm just waiting for Wyndam to show up, forcing us to go OT and come up with creative nicknames.

My main complaint with the Shand's take is that he's sometimes too generous for bad development that's infinitesimally less bad than the month before. But hey, I'm a harsh mistress. If you're gonna slap someone for being bad, there's no point in going easy.

I place a lot of importance on characterization (characters actions, thought processes, voice) and that's what's really lacking for me in the IDW ANGEL run. The story doesn't work when the characters don't feel genuine. It's an all or nothing deal.

At least the art is better and Angel doesn't look like the Hulk. Huh, it's like IDW knew Joss was gonna be directing Avengers...

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-07-29 01:11 ]
I wasn't using that as an example of it being in the same 'verse. I gave you my reason "Naw, they're definitely in house. Joss spoke to Brian and Mariah about building up to Season Eight in SPIKE" (which is why I just repeated it, because it went ignored and my add on comment about the build up was oddly taken as my proof).

It definitely doesn't make fun of the audience. That just seems like a super defensive way to look at it. I dig what's going on with Twilight (because I trust Joss is going to make sense of what outright doesn't), and I wasn;t insulted at all. It's definitely a meta-tease.
But I'm not aruguing Willingham is good at this. No way. I'm arguing that IDW's ANGEL as a whole doesn't contradict continuity, that the Spike reveal is a good cover up, and that the book--though it still lacks in character--got better.
I think Pat's right. The meta-tease isn't making fun of the audience; it's making fun of Joss. But then King's right, it is pithy. It reminds me of Lynch taking a poke at Giant Dawn in AtF #16 when Illyria says, "I was a massive creature. It was a marginally successful attempt at humor." (Of course, Giant Dawn is more than just an attempt at humor. Say it with me now: metaphoooooooor.)

The joke works better when Lynch did it because it seemed less mean-spirited. Lynch and Joss have worked together and there's clearly a relationship built upon respect and humor. With Willingham, I still have his tantrum rant at Joss stuck in my head.

But I'm not arguing Willingham is good at this.

Well, okay, wait what were we talking about again? Aaanyways, I'll cross that off the list of points to argue. As for the book "got better"--it doesn't really seem like a good selling point to me. Something can get better and still be not worth reading. Has it gotten better or has it gotten good?

Care to elaborate on how you think the Spike reveal works well? Actually, care to comment on the Spike reveal? Because I'm not able to appreciate it because of all the white noise in my brain that keeps going "OOC OOC OOC."

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-07-29 01:12 ]
My initial reaction to the Spike reveal is actually something that does seem to Joss the book a little, especially when we've now been told that Willow was reacting to Spike's arrival. If she's hip enough to know Spike's on a spaceship, it stands to reason she'd know other vital facts about him, and it ceases to become good news that he's there at that point.
I've got my copy and for the most part have been enjoying Willingham's run although it's not without it's problems.
OK. I haven't read anything past the spoiler. Has someone read the comic yet? That isn't true, is it?
Emmie, in a rush, so I'll tackle your points--which intrigue me--when I have more time.

King. Who says this is going to last that long? No way it'll even go as far as the SPIKE series.
menomegirl,I've read the issue and it's true.I'm sure next issue will give more answers.That was the cliffhanger that ended the issue.

Pat,I'm figuring this plot line will be resolved by the end of Angel #38.I would be really shocked if it continued passed that or into the Spike monthly.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-07-29 01:59 ]
Dude. I can't even find the fucking words to express my extreme displeasure at that news.

Buffyfantic-Thanks. :)
Well it would explain away some of the numerous complaints from some fans about how OOC Spike had been acting. Could have been put in there FOR those complaining fans.
Well, I don't know what's worse-this or insane Angel.
As has already been said numerous times by several different people, it doesn't explain the OOC behavior.
You know, I'm actually starting to like this book. Starting to. The alst couple of issues weren't horrible, not even terrible, just awkward. Like meeting up with an ex after watching a car crash i.e. Aftermath. It feels like Willingham is finally finding the rhythm and the character voices. He hasn't gotten it yet, but he is getting there. He is juggaling a lot as a writer and these aren't his creations so he has to figure out how to write them. Also he's got a larger cast that I think really needs to be whittled down to the crew we know and love. Sparing, of course, Beta George cause I like him.

As far as the whole Spike and his soul issue I am intrigued. I did like the meta joke and the Eddie and Gunn backmatter is surprisingly interesting, just annoying in that it's only ever like four pages long so it's taking fooooooorever to tell.

I'm a Team Angel guy, so I'm gonna be holding out for my hero. And it's not as though Buffy at Darkhorse isn't without it's flaws and bad writing either. So, just give it time. This cookie dough just started to get formed.
You know, too much time makes cookie dough go rancid.
You've got to be f*cking kidding me. So Spike or just anybody can write prophecies? And Spike makes his writers create Angel as Twilight with Spike being the anti-Twilight? This does nothing but make him look selfish and petty. There is nothing redeeming about Spike in this.

And I thought they'd been talking about Spike moving on, becoming a hero in his own right. How is him whining about how everyone else gets all the cookies and he doesn't get anything and manipulating events so that he can look good (while shooting down Angel) set him on his own path? How does it separate him from Angel or make him a hero?

I hate this development. Oddly the "big reveal", I don't care much about. I see pros and cons of it. I wouldn't be surprised if it sticks or if it doesn't.
I think ultimately Spike is going to realize that he's in charge of his own future. I doubt he'll actually get to do the writing and living out his own prophecies. I'm sure that it does take a certain type of somebody to write prophecy. Being told he'll never even be mentioned as a foot note in the annals of history is kind of messing with his head. He's told he'll never ammount to anything. Hence we see in the ads and sum ups of the Spike mini-series that he's the master of his own destiny.

As far as the meta joke, I highly doubt he writes the Twilight prophecy. Giles had foreknowledge of the event that he revealed recently. Yes I know that buffy is set in the nowish and Angel is a few years behind that but Watchers knew of it before him. So maybe Spike tapped into a kind of ironic dues ex machina. But given that Spike knows Angel AND Angelus for a few hundred years he's bound to know what Angel would think was a cool name if he had to take an alias.

Wow ... am I defending Willingham? Gee whiz.

IDK. Just things to think about.

Also, menomegil, good point. But think more like, new chef with the recipie. He's got the cookie cutters but he's gotta figure out the secret ingredient.

[ edited by The Goose on 2010-07-29 04:26 ]
The Goose said:
But think more like, new chef with the recipie. He's got the cookie cutters but he's gotta figure out the secret ingredient.

And in answer to that, I'm going to quote my own self.

From my Twitter, just yesterday:
Things I really dislike about the Food Channel: every time I see something I think would be good, the cook ALWAYS adds something yucky..

I only read the preview and honestly, Spike in a room full of writers trying to get prophecies written about him seems more like he lost his brain than his soul. Idiotic. Still, not Spike.
Agree with most of you, the reveal does not explain Spike's character. Even with this 'shocking' reveal the character doesn't even come close to season 5,6 Spike.
But then i remember that this is a non-canon book so it doesn't matter.
I really do hope that they aren't going to try and link the Angel series to the Spike series. The Spike series deserves a fair chance at succeeding so hopefully it won't be linked up to a sinking ship.
Also can't Willingham come up with a new plot?

This story is practically a retelling of Jack in Hollywood with Buffyverse prophesy in place of Fables popularity (where it doesn't fit and it shows) and a short haired Jack with a ridiculous accent.

It's the exact same story. It's lazy writing on top of bad writing.

I don't really worry about the long term implications of this because by the end of the run the status quo will either be restored or the whole thing will be ignored anyway.
Mariah Huehner posted this tonight at the IDW board

Brian's Spike arc starts up around issue #38/39 of the main arc. So, technically "after" or during, depending on your point of view. We've been making sure things line up so you'll know why Spike goes off on his own, etc.

So it sounds like this storyline leads into the Spike monthly.The Spike series begins during or just after Angel 38/39.Bill Willingham's last issue is Angel #38.
Question is, which Spike goes off on his own? Hopefully not this joke of a character.
I figure that Spike will be re-souled by the end of Willingham's story and then go off to his series to find himself as it were.
Thanks patxshand for defending IDW/Angel. Knew I could count on you ;)

Yes, Angel has been hit and miss. First 17 issues with Brian though, not a single miss. It was largely miss during Aftermath and Willingham had a shaky start, but hits are becoming more and more frequent.

But, Buffy has ALSO been hit and miss. The Long Way Home was not very spectacular. But somehow in these kinds of discussions people tend to focus on the bad things of Angel and the good things of Buffy. We really ought to try a discussion the other way around. How great was True Form Illyria compared to Mecha-Dawn? Or how terrible is Angel's characterisation during this Twilight arc compared to Spike's characterisation during Lynch' run?

Anyway, can't wait to read this issue. Gonna pick it up in about 30 minutes.
What's hit or miss depends on what standards you use. AtF hasn't generated anything like the meta or discussion that season 8 has -- and that's because it was just a "this is what happens next" take on a body of work that's aspires to be a good deal more than just "this is what happened". Season 8 may fail -- but it's an interesting failure, and that's worth much more to me than a "success" at uncomplicated and uninteresting storytelling.

People like what they like, but I think it would help to acknowledge that very different standards are being used when people label something "good". Lynch is NOT good in my book, and the subsequent output from IDW strikes me as being pretty bad fanfic.
First 17 issues with Brian though, not a single miss.

That would be 'in your opinion', yes?

Because I beg to differ; I was so displeased that I stopped purchasing Angel: ATF after issue #6.
menomegirl, I'm decently sure that anything anyone says about fiction is pretty much a matter of opinion. No need to clarify.

That said, I completely disagree with Maggie's take. "After the Fall" is definitely complicated, interesting, and discussion generating. I think it came the closest of any of the comics to maintaining the wit, tone, humor, emotion, and intelligence of the TV show.
All previous comments were IMHO... guess I should've said that explicitly ^_^ Memonegirl and Maggie, I agree it's all about personal opinion, mine happens to like Angel. And to get back OT:

I liked this issue a lot. Ella's art has improved a lot since the last issue. (Maybe that was rushed a bit?) The Jaro Hull splash was great and so was the panel on the next page with the entire crew (sans Kate) in the lobby.

Storywise, some things are paying off. Spike's behaviour as of late is explained (or at least a start is made in that department). Laura seems nicer this issue and is starting to integrate into the group. Spike's attempt at having his own prophecy written is funny. I think he knows these prophecies won't actually come true, but being the star of them WILL probably get him recognised more and might even lead to more people asking him for help. If he then indeed does help, he might just step out of Angel's shadow.

I feel like the Eddie Hope back-up is getting close to a conclusion. I just wonder what that will be. Maybe Gunn will knock him out and take him to AI? And just who is his mystery contact? Could it be ?
patxshand, obviously I felt there was a need to clarify that blanket statement as just opinion or I wouldn't have asked.
Well detachable souls are not unique in the Buffyverse, so I'm not surprised IF Spike's is taken (however briefly) as well. Buffy was having her soul sucked out of her in season 4 "Living Conditions" by a demon who needed a soul to hide her and allow her to say in that dimension and attend college.

So I don't find the idea of Spike having lost his soul and not realizing it all that strange. Buffy didn't seem to think SHE was acting irrationally and certainly didn't notice she was missing part of her soul - though the people around her did.
From Mariah's post on IDW

So, without giving everything away, yes, the fact that Spike has not noticed nor has anyone else IS a very important point to keep in mind. It means this is not nearly as simple as the Soul Eater thinks and #36 deals with all of that directly. What's really going on is made clear in #37.

Seems to be some sort of spell/glamor involved also.
Well, Mariah just posted on IDW to say that the failure of Spike or anyone to notice the loss of soul was a plot point, so it shouldn't just make sense as written. Her post was in response to complaints that Spike would, in fact, notice seeing as how the soul was such a big part of his story.

I still don't trust IDW as far as I can throw them, but apparently even IDW resists the way the idea of Spike's loss of soul filters through to the parts of the fandom that seem so well-pleased by this development.

Pat, we obviously disagree -- but if you want to point me to a body of gripping meta on AtF I'd be happy to consider arguments that try to show that the work had any kind of deep meaning feel free. But speaking as someone who participated in the discussions when it came out -- the attempts at finding meaning petered out early on, and the rest was just breathless "oh I can't guess what's going to happen next stuff". And perhaps it's because of the places I visit on the net, but I've seen a ton of interesting meta (pro and con) for season 8, but nothing on AtF, save for some good commentaries by Emmie and Beer Good Foamy on how thin it was.

Here's a link to BGF's piece, which was tremendous and which link's to Emmie's (and mine):

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-07-29 20:11 ]
Maggie...why do you have such a hate for IDW? I really don't get it.
I like IDW. Willingham is marginally better than Armstrong. I love Lynch.

I'm taking it as a story, and seeing where it goes.

But then again, I still see TV canon as TV canon, DH canon as DH canon, IDW canon as IDW canon...
It's not a bad way of looking at it redeem!
Angelic, if we can agree on redeem's definition, I'm much less hostile to IDW. If people would talk about the IDW-verse and make it clear that they aren't talking about the Whedon-verse, then IDW can do whatever they want. I still won't read them, but I wouldn't be so vocal about it. My problem is that there are folks who want to see it as one canon, and I'm going to object as long as I see folks trying to make arguments about Whedon-verse Spike based on things that IDW-verse 'Spike' did. It was in the context of one of these bogus arguments that I first learned about the latest development in IDW's story. If you can keep that junk off of DH/Whedon turf, then I'll happily stop complaining about what IDW does with its turf.
Well I'm sorry....but I cannot agree with you then.

I am one of those people who sees what is going on in IDW as 'counting'. I do not see it as junk, and will defend it as much as you wish to deride it.

I'm with Pat:)
With all due respect, Maggie, individual people are going to see these verses the way they perceive them. Some are going to see all these stories as canon. Some (okay, most, as far as I can tell) are not. It's a useless argument to try and tell someone they are wrong for how they view canon.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-07-29 22:15 ]
You guys all know it's fiction, right?
Menomegirl, absolutely. People have different opinions. But general climates form based on what people say, and I express myself in order to have an impact on the general climate. I care about where the general consensus lies. Presumably that's why other people bother to argue in favor of their opinions as well.

Angelic, I'll make the same invitation to you as I did to Pat, show me the meta that makes a good case for AtF being a text worth pondering the same way Joss's work is worth pondering. If you don't want to use my standard (which is fair) then why not agree to have different verses with different standards? Or at least directly argue for what the standards should be? There is no real conversation as long as all we're saying is "it's good", and "no, it pretty much sucks beyond the telling of it". I see myself as having identified my standards (richness of text) and having linked to arguments explaining why AtF fails by that standard. I'm sure I could learn if you'd care to do the same to explain your position better than just "I like it and so does Pat".

Redeemed, it is fiction -- that doesn't mean it's not worth talking about in a serious way. I'd have thought that Whedonesque exists precisely because people do want to talk about it in a serious way. At least, the reason I come to the site is that there are enough people saying interesting things about the 'verse for me to think it's fun to engage the arguments.
I think it's fun too, Maggie. But I'm also pretty tired of canon arguments - hey, I'm a Doctor Who fan. I was tired of it before Buffy staked her first vampire. :)

A good story's a good story, on screen, in literature, in fan fiction.

This is what I think, though. That every adaptation of story to another medium transforms that story. A book is not a comic is not a movie is not a TV show. I think this is one reason discussions of canon are rarely productive.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2010-07-29 23:19 ]
There is no real conversation as long as all we're saying is "it's good", and "no, it pretty much sucks beyond the telling of it".

Agreed. I can't even count the times I've had to re-evaluate something just because I read someone else's thoughts on a subject or read a well-written piece of meta.
Maggie- For analysis of the plots, character arcs, and overall greatness of "After the Fall" (and "Season Eight," for that matter), you can go to my review blog, Buffyverse Comics.

Slay Alive.

Hell, here.

We're smart fans, us Whedonites. A LOT of us loved "After the Fall." If it's uninteresting and mindless in your opinion, you're entitled to that. Just as I'm entitled to think that opinion is wrong. Just as you are entitled to think that I'm wrong for thinking you're wrong. And on and on.

See, that's what's kind of awesome about fiction. No one is ever really definitively RIGHT because it's all about opinion. You, for some reason, think Season Eight is better than After the Fall. More power to you. I mean, you're clearly wrong. And I'm clearly wrong to you. Which is awesome.

But I'm a college graduate and I'm proud of how smart I am. Damn near pretentious about it. I'm so smart that I'm actually starting to accidentally develop a pompous English accent. I kid. Maybe.

But yes, I'm smart and proud of it. I studied English, and I love literature. Rand, Lee, Donne, Homer the Bad-Ass, Joyce, the list goes on and on. I love stories. Stories are the soul of the world, and I love to look into a story and understand what makes it tick. WHY it's good. I did that to "Angel: After the Fall." Love the shit out of it. A lot of fans do. Smart fans. You may think there's nothing to it, but there are many intelligent people who'd vehemently disagree. I don't know how this got brought back to the arc that started this series, which is now at #35, but I'm happy to talk about it. Because for every great work of literature, art, anything... there will be the folks that think it's shit and the ones that think it's Christ's pajamas.
patxshand-Nice posturing. But I don't see any meta or meta links. That's all Maggie was asking.
Oh, not posturing. I mean, thanks for saying that it was nice, but not at all posturing. I couldn't care less what you or anyone else thinks of me.

Watch this.

The first CD I ever bought, when I was eleven, was the Spice Girls. The fucking Spice Girls.

See, now everyone thinks I'm a loser.

Don't be hostile, enjoy this! It's fiction. It's debating about fiction. It's supposed to be fun.

And in response to the rest of your sentence, here:

" For analysis of the plots, character arcs, and overall greatness of "After the Fall" (and "Season Eight," for that matter), you can go to my review blog, Buffyverse Comics.

Slay Alive.

Hell, here."

I remember engaging in in depth discussions about the series on all of these sites. You or Maggie can go through them. Emmie, who Maggie mentioned before, has written super smart things about both ANGEL and SPIKE: ATF. One of the articles that Maggie posted AGAINST ATF is well written and insightful. Hell, I don't agree, not even close, but I'm willing to concede that there are a bunch of people who disagree with me who are well spoken and know how to analyze fiction.

What I don't understand is your use of "meta." Meta is when, in "Lord of the Rings," Frodo talks about how one day, folks will tell their story. Meta is when Spike, in #35, pokes fun at Angel becoming Twilight, which has yet to happen. Meta is "It must be Tuesday." It's when fiction refers to itself. Has the fandom scooped up the word and made it mean something else? I've seen it used in your context before, but I don't get what it means and why it's being used this way. Put the debate aside for a sec to clue me in, because I've been genuinely interested in this for a while. Forgot to ask anyone until now.

[ edited by patxshand on 2010-07-30 00:09 ]
Basically, "meta" in fandom in short for "meta-analyses".

Since you're so smart, I assume you know what meta-analyses is?
Yup! It just seemed strange, since meta-fiction is such a different concept, that it would be shortened to "meta." Because really it's literary analysis. Which sounds way less confusing.

BOB: Hey, did you see the meta on that episode of Buffy?
JEFF: HAH, yes! Andrew films Buffy, WATCHING her, just like WE are all watching her. That is so meta!
BOB: What?
JEFF: Whahuh?
BOB: I mean the analysis someone did of it. It's on Whedonesque.
JEFF: Oh. Well. That's confusing.
BOB: Just a bit.

I guess "meta" might work better than "literary," since Buffy and Angel sort of transcend genre now. But still, analyzing the writing is still literary analysis, so that still works better and is less confusing. Oh well.

[ edited by patxshand on 2010-07-30 04:08 ]
Actually, no I'm not going to continue. I usually stop conversing with someone when they are more interested in scoring points than actually discussing something in a reasonable manner.

I was hoping you were better than that. I'm sorry I was wrong.

I'm done with this thread.
I love the Spice Girls (and, sincerely, I do not consider myself a loser). But, as I've had to say too many times before, I do *not* love this continual unpleasantness that the comic books appear to provoke in some folks. If you want to discuss the issues raised by the books in a respectful way, please do so. If you want to accuse one another of posturing or snarking, take it elsewhere. Or find yourself losing posting privileges here. Thanks.
I just read the issue, and I thought that the Spike characterization was spot on. And funny. And I liked the most of it preeeety well.
Pat, for some reason "meta" is the term used in the fandom to refer to essays about the show. I have no idea why that's the term that's been converged on, but when in Rome. Am puzzled by your puzzlement, but whatever.

I've read most of what you point to, I think. But it doesn't really get at what I'm after. My basic point is that unlike AtF, season 8 has had a sustained and vigorous debate going since pretty much day one. Lots of pros, Lots and lots of cons. Lots of insights all around. Lots of different takes. When AtF was unspooling, there was some of that for about the first five issues, and then it all quietly faded away because there wasn't really much to discuss (judging from the lack of sustained conversation on the subject). Thanks for mentioning my anti-AtF piece. What I am hoping for, frankly, is any kind of reply to it. Point me to a place where there are layers, and room for disagreement about interpretation because the story is bigger than we are. As far as I can tell, there's no debate about how to interpret AtF, just a debate about whether to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It's the lack of that debate on interpretation that makes me as strongly committed to my thumbs down as I am. The glory of the 'verse is that we all have different takes on it, and not just in a thumbs up or thumbs down sort of a way. A friend of mine with whom I disagree about everything used BtVS season 4 in one of her classes to teach a set of themes that I would have used season 4 to teach against (or at least complicate a lot)! That's what's great about the best of Whedon. I don't see that Lynch has anything like that in him. Angel was in a tragic situation and he sacrificed his son. Cue emotional reaction. But nothing like the raging debates about what NFA really means, much less how we should react to it emotionally.
Maggie: Thanks for the thoughtful response. This is what I like. We all are in love with the same world and the same characters, so I think it's fun to debate like this instead of resorting to personal attacks. I really dug your analysis, because--despite how much I disagreed--it was well written and you gave enough of a shit to dissect the series. Despite how much we disagree on IDW (You don't like 'em, while they're by far my favorite comic company ever) it's actually conversations like this and essays like yours that kinda pull fans together. The common factor we have is that we both care passionately about the 'verse as a whole.

I'm sure there are things that get super insightful into ATF (I remember writing some of it myself on my blog), but I'm far too busy (read as: LAZY LAZY LAZY) to look into it. Instead, I'll take up the challenge and write my own literary analysis of the series as a part of the relaunch of Buffyverse Comics that's going on in September. I know it's a while off, but it should be cool. I hope you take my article as seriously as I did yours, and... I sort of have a feeling that you will.

And just to answer quickly on my puzzlement over the "meta" label, it's that when speaking about fiction as a whole, meta-fiction is such a distinct and different term that I found using "meta" for both analysis AND the true meaning to be slightly confusing. In short, you summed it up nicely: "I have no idea why that's the term that's been converged on." That's all it came down to.

SNT: Nah, I was joshing about the Spice Girls. Who doesn't love them? I spiced up my life, and you know what? I'm havin' a good time. Also, I know that I feel fine.
Maggie- just saw this post (Am in Europe so was in beddy-byes when you posted)

You say that Buffy Season 8 having more meta written about it means that it is better, or that it is more worthy. I disagree - there are just more people reading it. And there always will be because Buffy is more popular than Angel. Not for me...but thats the way it is.

I dont judge something based on how much is written about it. I have not found any depth at all in Season 8, but in the Angel I have found so many layers and enjoyment. This is because I prefer Angel. The people who prefer Buffy to Angel is about 10-1 (I'm guessing:)), so there will always be more meta/tshirts/posters/articles about Buffy because it is more popular. But just because it is more popular doesn't mean it is better. Look at Twilight for God's sake (and I am *not* comparing that to Buffy:))

So your argument that lots of fans write meta about Buffy means that it is a pretty loose one.
I don't think Maggie's argument is loose or weak and, like you, I'm one of the fans who prefer Angel to Buffy.
I don't think the argument Maggie making is that "more fans are writing about Buffy, therefore Buffy is better." Her argument I think is "I don't think After the Fall generates high-quality discussion. I have not felt any desire to generate discussion. And I have seen very little discussion. Season eight has generated high-quality discussion." She is specifically asking for high-quality meta discussion, so it doesn't seem like she's closed off to the possibility.

For my part, I feel pretty similarly--I haven't found that much to talk about in After the Fall. But it's always possible I am not looking in the right place. And that doesn't negate the enjoyment others get out of it. And patxshand, I look forward to your piece if you get a chance to write it!

On the current IDW line: the thing is, for many people, the 'verse is Joss and the people he specifically chose. It isn't like we're in Marvel, where it's assumed a priori that there are many different authors. This isn't to denigrate the considerable contributions of Noxon, Minear, Greenwalt, Espenson, Petrie, Goddard, DeKnight, Fury, Craft & Fain, Vaughan, Lynch et al. in making the stories happen, especially people like the first couple who were at the creation/planning stage. But still, there's at least some sense that the universe has some authorial direction that is really lost when you have radically different authors with no central story themes/directions. That in itself doesn't mean at all that the IDW line is bad at all, just because Joss didn't choose the post-Lynch writers or the storyline directions. It's just a matter of it being a different story to me than the central Mutant Enemy/season eight/AtF one. So I give it the same intrinsic weight as fan fiction. Which isn't a knock on either IDW or fan fiction. Anyway, I'm not reading IDW because I wasn't grabbed by AtF, and because some of the plotlines seem silly, though I can't make a judgement out of context.

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