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October 11 2010

(SPOILER) Behind Buffy Season 8: "Home Sweet Hellmouth". The latest installment of CBR's ongoing coverage with Scott Allie. Spoilers for #37, of course.

Great insights into the issue.His comments on the Xander/Dawn scene has me hearing the tolling of those bells as I read it.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-10-12 01:23 ]
*sigh*
I don't remember ever having any real issues with stuff Scott's said in the past, but here he seems to be oversimplifying what Season 8 has done with/to Angel to a laughable degree. For one, he apparently doesn't see the distinction between the bad Angelus did (or Angel without a soul/conscience-nudger, if you're of the persuasion that believes Angel/Angelus are one and the same), and the choices an ensouled Angel (the way we usually know him) has made. Yes, even Angel of Seasons 2 through 5 has made some questionable, unfortunate, lesser-of-two-evils, and grey choices, but nothing even approaching what he's participated in and spurred on in Season 8.

More to the point, when Scott mentions how some readers think Angel's been ruined due to what he's done...for me, it's that he hasn't been given sufficient motivation for it. Or at the very least, the writers have not made clear, with believable character-motivating logic, why he would go about things in the fashion he did. I understand that a lot of readers would hate (or disagree that it could ever make sense) any situation in which Angel is responsible for the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands, but I could live with that if given an understandable throughline within the story. I don't need Angel to remain a hero, but it'd be great if his fall from championship would read smoothly. It doesn't sound like much further explanation is forthcoming in the remainder of Season 8.

Also, while I still enjoy other aspects of the character and his supporting cast, I'm bored of Angel's redemption arc, or the question of whether he can be redeemed. That plot point ain't gonna work for a whole lotta people in the end anyway, due to the subjectiveness of what qualifies an individual as redeemed, not to mention the huge factor of changing writers bringing their own conflicting and potentially contradicting ideas about morality, spirituality, and general judgeyness to the table.

Scott Allie said:
"But the "story for another time" that Spike tells Buffy about, that particularly is a spot where IDW pretty much should have paid us for an ad because that's the story that they're doing with Brian Lynch at IDW."

Heh, some folks are gonna take issue with that line, even if Allie was only poking fun.

Agreeing with Allie that everything doesn't need to be spelled out, every time gap and minor plot mystery filled(though that's kinda funny because, prior to the two shows continuing in comics, this is primarily what the complementary Buffyverse comics did while the shows were still airing, with the exception of Fray and a couple other things), but Angel going Twilight does require spelling out.

I didn't recognize the Twilight-griffin (haven't read the #37 thread yet, maybe you guys figured it out before this interview), will have to do that Season 8 re-read soon.
I can't believe that Scott Allie can in anyway compare what this character has done in the series to anything else, even the sending of LA into Hell. Angelus, making the choice to destroy Earth and send it off into the Acathla Hell Dimension, at least was still intelligent and made his choices without any friggin excuse of "the devil made me do it." This Angel seems to not only be getting the Goldenest Bestest Key of Clean Up, but may eventually also get his brain back. Talk about having complete faith in your guides of choice. Guess causing the destruction of Earth and the deaths of all those people is not such a terrible thing after all. Same for beating on Buffy and Satsu - No Biggie - guess Faith liked being punched out. Does this man have any idea how utterly offensive having women be his victims and not have anything in their story address that issue.

How many years has Angel been on his bloody road of redemption and he ends up at Crazy LaLaLoveLand and bringing on this war of conquest or annihilation. Pretty sure that, like Buffy said in the first part of the series, this will all end up being her fault or she will have been the original target or an equal target for this third party manipulation and control.

I wish Joss Whedon well with his Buffy and Angel creations, but I am personally going to have a really hard time finding my way back to caring at all about Angel/Agelus. His thinking he needs to join the fight, just like Buffy told him, feels a little like realizing you hate children and would make a miserable parent after having unprotected sex for months.
Wow, things are sounding bleak for Xander and Dawn.

Does that make him ruined? Does that make him irredeemable? I don't think so. It means he just has to work that harder.


It might help if he'd stop doing evil things while he's supposed to be seeking redemption. Just a thought.
I love season 8, and I still love Buffy and Angel as characters regardless of their actions in season 8...

...but in this interview, Scott seemed a bit...patronizing? Or something like that. Was it just me?
So the Seed is basically the reason why the Sunnydale Hellmouth is as important as it is. You don't just have this potentially really dangerous gateway to another world. You also have the source of all magic in the world and embodiment of the soul of the planet in this one little location.


The Seed is the soul of the planet? I guess that explains what the Master meant when he said the new world/universe is soulless, and why it wants the Seed for itself. And why Aluwyn said the world would be losing something it doesn't know it needs if the Seed was broken.
Probably the Seed was ill or something if it allowed humanity to love vampires and hate slayers.
Buffy knows what she knows, and Spike knows what he knows, but they didn't know the Master was down there. And now they know, and he holds different information than they hold. In some ways, he holds more information, though that doesn't necessarily mean that he's right and they're wrong.

Hmmm, anyone else reminded of this:

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know

;)
So the Seed is basically the reason why the Sunnydale Hellmouth is as important as it is.


That is awesome continuity. It explains why Sunnydale mattered more than the Hellmouth in Cleveland.

"This is just her, and following what goes on in her head is a little easier to do in the comic than in the TV show. And this is her genuine lustful relationship and feelings for him."

and

"[Buffy] could share things with [Spike] that she couldn't share with anybody else in part because she knew she wouldn't be judged. And it's not just that he's "the bad boy." There's a real level of understanding between the two of them."




That's the general who's been involved in things since pretty much the very beginning, and we will see more of him.


Uh oh, so the general will be involved in plotty stuff re: Xander and Dawn.

Because I came on as co-writer for the final arc, I really made a point to push that in the script and ask for things like "Georges, I want you with this monster to break away and do some things you've never done before."


If ever there was a time to get creative with the monsters, it would be now. That's an excellent storytelling choice.

Buffy knows what she knows, and Spike knows what he knows, but they didn't know the Master was down there.


I wonder if we're going to get some dialogue in #38 from Buffy and Spike wondering how the Master is back from the dust. It seems necessary to keep their reaction in character.

One thing I find kind of fun with the supernatural stuff is that it's just like religion.


Yeah, the season's resonance with religion is clear. The seed as "creation myth" and Twilight as the day of reckoning. Keats' Second Coming and the beast gryphon that slouches towards Bethlehem Sunnydale.
One of the major reasons that S8 has such a convoluted and sometimes illogical plot lays with the initial decision of making it an inverted mystery. Unlike in a regular mystery when the crime is committed and then the murderer is being puzzled out, we have a situation when the 'crime' is expected to be committed sometime during the season. We knew practically from the start that Buffy is going to be betrayed by somebody close to her - and the whole story was supposed to be about how this mystery is finally resolved. So, everybody is a suspect - and everybody loses part of their appeal as a 'good guy' because of it. As result, characters become less sympathetic to the reader as the major effort is spent on concealing their motivations. Same goes with Twilight's identity - so much stock was put into keeping it secret that in the end the baby was spilled out of the bathtub with the soapy water : Angel's motivations and evolution as a character remained something that does not have to be explained until 'later', and in the end of the game there was simply not enough room. The problem with these kind of decisions is that while it might work with a comic like Hellboy and a mystery like one of the dramatic personae having unusual bloodline - it does not work with a plot when the major established character's morality is at stake. You cannot turn them from being bwahaha evil to redeemable by flipping a plot switch then expect everybody believe it. Also, while the entire triangulation game ( or is it square ? ) around Buffy was designed to keep the suspense for as long as possible - in the end it began to backfire because characters motivations start to look absurd or supernatural - and it no longer matters whom Buffy likes most , because of the whole premise that the 'winner' gets the axe - becomes the closest the most unexpected - sort of like in the Mayan ball game - when the winner in the competition gets his head cut off to become the next incarnation of the fertility god - and the 'looser' gets Buffy by virtue of not betraying her. While the story is still fun it, because of all of the above it shifted into the territory of an abstract puzzle rather than dramatic conflict of good and evil, love and faith, etc.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-12 14:05 ]
the whole story was supposed to be about how this mystery is finally resolved

It was?
well, maybe it should have been *was not supposed to be about it* - but turned into it by virtue of its structure
Hey -

NICE POST dorotea
Emmie: That is awesome continuity. It explains why Sunnydale mattered more than the Hellmouth in Cleveland.

I thought so too. It also explains why Faith calls it a “second-rate Hellmouth” in NFFY because compared to Sunnydale it wasn’t as bad. This has always nagged at me since Chosen so it’s really nice that we now have an official explanation for why everything revolved around SunnyD.

I really liked this interview.
@ dorotea: your train of thoughts appears to me more traceable than Angels actions during season 8.
Yeah, the season's resonance with religion is clear. The seed as "creation myth" and Twilight as the day of reckoning. Keats' Second Coming and the beast gryphon that slouches towards Bethlehem Sunnydale.


Also, based an the last two pages of #37, Johnny Cash's When the man comes around:

"the father hen will call his chickens home."

Or the chickens will call him. It's as if they've given Angel the mystical pregnancy arc so many of the women on his show had to suffer through and I do respect the gender-bendiness of that.
I wish they'd just left Angel and Spike out of the whole thing and focussed on the actual Scooby gang.

I agree that Jeanty's monsters are great though.
Speaking of Jeanty's art, his Spike in 37 is one of the best I've ever seen in comics.
Doesn't spell good things for Xander and Dawn. A lot of people expect Xander to go to the Master in 38. But it could be that the old villian will be the general. Scott did just say that it will come up again.

About the triangle, i think it's rather pointless now. We've seen that whatever Angel does no matter how low,vile and disgusting. It never stops Buffy from loving him. I think Spike has made his piece with that, even the Spike fantasies she's having don't really matter. In the end she always chooses Angel and she promised him a great many things last time she saw him. Spike deserves better then being second in Buffy's heart so i'm hoping that he really has moved on like Xander did.

Angel's redemption? Well that's laughable, the word redemption is meaningless to the Angel character. It's become a parody with is usage.
I think the problem with this continuation is far more fundamental. But the problem is this: it is being run by a man whose expertise was built in the comics world, and who came to Buffy without any real knowledge of the characters involved. Yes, Joss is involved with this, but as so often happens, other work has taken him away from intimate involvement with the series, and he has farmed work out to others such as Scott Allie, who largely works in comic tropes and who in my estimation fails to understand these characters at the level long-time fans do. It is all about the story, nothing more. If that means Angel acts in ways that damage our perceptions of him- perceptions built up over years of intense discussion and analysis (hell, I am a relative newbie on this board, but I have a few thousand posts nonetheless)- so be it. The story is important, damn it! And the story has to meet, and falls into, comic tropes and conventions, not TV ones- nuance, particularly psychological nuance, is lost here in large measure. If, as noted by others above, the story is convoluted, it is only so because of a writing decision designed to hide from us what is going on; problem is, making a big reveal at the very end of the story ends up carrying no resonance because we all know it is coming, and they have sung that song from every place they can- big things coming in issue #39! Bad things! Buy the issue! Buy the issue! I loved discussing all things Buffy, but as I have said before this series has done something I thought would have been impossible- it has led me to stop caring (though obviously not enough to stop posting, though I think I post to see if other see the same concerns I do). I bought in in the beginning, and will get the final books of the series, but will not continue into S9 as I have little love for the entire Angel universe, don't want to see Buffy be "merged" with Fred, Illyria and others, don't need to see spin-off books capitalizing on the desire to sell product. Never thought I would see the day. I just don't see the cultural relevance of this comic- when Buffy the TV series was on, there was such rich text to discuss- you could read it so many ways beyond the simple tale- you could position it in terms of queer theory, postmodernism, etc. Not the comic- all the discussions here are about "what does it mean" speculation- what bad thing will happen in #39, will Dawn or Giles die, etc. But not, let's examine this from this lens, or from that lens. From the get-go I had this feeling that the comic was Joss' way of kissing the 'verse goodbye, that he needed to end it in order to get on with life without constant reference back to work completed years ago- but I also feel that the idea to bring the 'verse into line with the Fray storyline might be relatively new- maybe hanging at the back of his mind, but when Fray was written, the linkage between now and then might be tenuous, making Fray just another sandbox to play in. Only later did the desire to harmonize the lines get into play- and if that, why not merge the existing Angel line with Buffy since they both exist at the same time in the same place (earth, that is). Over the course of the 4 years we have been reading this, I've seen a higher level of negative discourse about Buffy, meaning I am not alone in my dismay. I am not going to hang around for 2 years past the end of this series to buy up the many variants and spin-offs they seem to want to sell during S9. I cannot fault a company that sells comic books for wishing to sel more comic books, but I sure don't need to buy them. Not when the selling is more important than honoring the fans who got you to the point where you can sell them. Character matters; you sort of dishonor your fans when you play fancy with characters that took years to develop and are better understood by your fans than by you. I realize that there are grounds for disagreement with my attitude here, but this is how I feel- I feel like I've been betrayed. This is not about me getting the story I want- because I can write that story for myself anyway- but about simply knowing the characters you write about and realizing that your fans know them as well- all this discussion about Angel shows how poorly this has been thought out, and no matter what happens in the remaining books, how likely is it we will all go- oh, I get it now? All is well, all is well.
Character matters; you sort of dishonor your fans when you play fancy with characters that took years to develop and are better understood by your fans than by you.


Dana5140, the fans have at various stages loathed every character on Buffy, complained about every plot arc on Buffy, wanted each TV season to be the last and most of the time got it completely wrong about where the show was heading. This idealised view that fans know best does not fit in with my recollections of what the online fandom was like when the show was on the air. I think the ones who know best are the ones who sweat blood and tears writing the characters.

I cannot fault a company that sells comic books for wishing to sel more comic books, but I sure don't need to buy them.


But then you argue that people shouldn't watch tv shows because they produce rating stuntings during sweeps to get more viewers and revenue. I would wager that if I checked airdates against sweep dates I would probably find several Buffy episodes that incorporated ratings stunts purely so the networks could get more ad revenue.

Over the course of the 4 years we have been reading this, I've seen a higher level of negative discourse about Buffy, meaning I am not alone in my dismay.


It's been like that since what, season 4 aired? Glee at the start of the season, grumblings and discontent gets louder as the season goes on and then at the end people see the bigger picture and how it all ties together. Some are satisfied, some aren't.

From the get-go I had this feeling that the comic was Joss' way of kissing the 'verse goodbye, that he needed to end it in order to get on with life without constant reference back to work completed years ago-


I think when we get to season 10, the Buffyverse as we know will be over. Then a radical reboot (but not by Joss).
Dana: You have some good points. I'm not enjoying the comic nearly as much as the show, but I still kind of like it (even if I don't always like to consider it canonical).

I wonder what will happen to my favorite comic (The Walking Dead) when it becomes a TV show. Reverse? I can't see that book getting any more awesome. Oh, Carl, Michonne, Andrea, Rick, Tyrese, Dale, Philip, Sophia, Glenn, Lori, Judith, Carol, Amy, Allen, Donna, Ben, Billy, Chris, Julie, Hershel, Lacey, Maggie, Billy, Alice, Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Gabriel, Douglas, Davidson, Axel...You follow me? I hope they do YOU all justice. (wow that was a seriously abridged character list, and only from memory!)
My take on things - the issue which has received the best feedback I've seen on Whedonesque in terms of writing was actually the last one. The one written between Scott Allie and joss.

There will always be people hatin' on a show/comic/webseries/whatever when it's in production. Then people will be excited for the next chapter. Then some people won't like it. And some REALLY won't like it. The last time this happened was a few weeks ago on Whedonesque where a handful of pages from Brian Lynch's SPIKE series were posted online - glorious joy from pretty much everybody in the thread. Then somebody posted a spoiler blow-by-blow of the comic - and the dreadin' began.

I think, personally, Buffy season 8 has been wildly out of control in a story narrative point-of-view at times, but overall it's also had some brilliant moments and a lot of the writing has actually been pretty superb.
God, our universe has a "soul?" What could that even mean? That's just...ugh...

Also what Kris said. And what Dana said about one of the biggest discontinuity between the comics and show the failure to be at meaningful in the context of larger themes. Dunno how meaningful I'd take "postmodernism" to be, but certainly the show's engagement with moral concepts is pretty sophisticated. The comics have been - well, I've read better high school student papers.
I actually think there's a lot going on in the comics. Emmie's written a lot of meta, as have I, as has Hayes. You can read it as a commentary on religion, or as a commentary on artistic creativity. I'm not sure if it will all hang together when all is said and done. But if you had as many folks interested in the comics as you did with the series, you'd be getting lots of commentary. The audience for the comics is just much smaller, orders of magnitude smaller, than the audience for the TV show. Ergo less total analysis.
I just wrote a longer comment but whedonesque ate it, and I don't have time to retype right now.

As a former English major, though, I feel compelled to point out that Yeats wrote "The Second Coming". Not Keats. (I expect you all know this anyway, and someone's fingers just slipped earlier; but if I hadn't said something it would have bothered me all day.)
You have me curious, Dana, why don't you like Angel as much?

I'm personally glad they're finally coming together, I've long wanted to see all the characters in the same stories together. I just wish it could be done in a better way...I don't have any great love for the comics :(

[ edited by GilesQueen on 2010-10-12 15:31 ]
I've just read what Scott Allie said about Angel in s8 and... what can I say? I give up. When a writer or whatever really doesn't understand where the problem is, why people can't recognize in this masquerade the character they deeply love... well, there's nothing to say.

Angel's journey isn't that sort of "always make up for his sins" a la push botton murder/release/feel sorry/push botton murder again... It is a compelling story of a manpire who's always tried hard to understand and live in a human world helping and not killing people (thousands neverless).

Scott Allie doesn't know Angel, the series and the character. He's a comic writer and for him it's all about the story, nothing more. And if it means to screw up a character for a twisted story line, fine.

Scott said "The Scoobies are going to have to decide if they can forgive him". Well I want to add "Well, we,the readers, also will have to decide if we can forgive Joss and the other writers for all the things they have done to Angel this time."
Dear god these comics are going to be the ruination of the Buffyverse If they're not careful. Imo I think they've managed to character assassinate so many key players in the series It's just not true.
Aradia...it's not just Angel, look at poor Buffy, who is being reduced to a thieving nymphomaniac. I think somebody might have forgotten that Faith, rather than Buffy, is the super sexually charged slayer.

I don't have a hard time forgiving Angel to this point, but Buffy is nearly unrecognizable. Is that intentional? We can only hope.
Buffy was always pretty sexual, in my mind.
There's is nothing wrong with Buffy's sexuality.
Stealing, hardly is comperable to Angel's killing.
Nymphomaniac? The only person Buffy shouldn't have slept with is Angel and that was in part because of the glow.
Sleeping with Satsu? Nothing wrong with that. Fantasizing about Spike,Xander? Equally nothing wrong with that.
Buffy for the last few seasons has accepted her sexuality(definitely after her sexual relationship with Spike) which in season 7 Faith was suprised about because she rememberd Buffy as an uptight prude.

[ edited by Vergil on 2010-10-12 17:58 ]
Well, there is a difference between being sexual, which is normal, and what is being said about Buffy this season, imo.

Just looking at Buffy's previous history...she usually has one sexual partner a season, if even that, season 7 she had no sexual partner. This season alone Buffy has had sex with Satsu and Angel, hit on Xander, and had a sex fantasy about Spike-
Buffy/Angel/Spike and had a sex dream about Xander. If this isn't meant to highlight Buffy's increased sex drive. Maybe the point is that Buffy has changed but with that, it's a change in what we knew of her.

Vergil...IMO, Buffy having sex with Angel was very in character, once the curse was off the table. Anything else, agree to disagree.
Remember how Buffy had invisible weird blowjobby sex with Spike in Gone? And then let him publicly masturbate her in the Bronze? That girls in touch with herself. You know, literally. Which I'm cool with, personally.
Yeah but Gossi that is still ONE guy, love it or hate it this season, you have to admit that Buffy having this much lust for this many people...it's different. It isn't what she does with a partner in question, it's in the how many partners does she want to do, lol. If you will.
You know, that's several times I've seen someone refer to Buffy as a nymphomaniac. I really take exception to that. I loathe the term; it's as bad or worse as calling someone a whore or a slut.
@Cheryl: I disagree that Buffy is a "thieving nymphomaniac". When she got hit with the glow, she was "drugged" (according to Allie) and she still can't switch it off.

As to her bank-robbing - yes, it was a crime; but you forgive Angel whose actions killed millions of people and can't forgive a crime in which nobody was killed? I don't understand your logic.
So Buffy has 3 sexual fantasies all season and that makes her a "nymphomaniac"? I have 3 sexual fantasies a day, for crying out loud.

Why would anyone "hate it" that Buffy has a completely natural and healthy sex drive?

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-10-12 18:12 ]
Angel was one guy, too.

Ultimately everybody will have different reactions to The Sex. And, well, everything. Is the nature of the game. I never thought of Buffy as nymphomaniac. I just think of her as sexual, and there's nothing wrong with that.
The difference is this is the first season where we actually see what Buffy is thinking. And nothing this season has even come close to the things she used to do as Gossi pointed out.
And to be categorized as a nympho Buffy would have to be a lot more sexually extreme. It's a serious condition that can ruin a person life in more ways then one.
And we know why Buffy has been thinking/fantasizing so much about sex. It was stated all the way back in issue 1 and 3, she misses sex and it had been a slow year.

Kind of weird then how there is nothing wrong with her having sex with Angel, except you know the whole world ending because of it. And that the glow was needed to make them perform at that time. But sure, agree to disagree.
Memomegirl...no, it's really not. A nymphomaniac is "a woman with abnormal sexual desires" A whore is " A prostitute" and a slut is " A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous"

Moscow...where did I say that I didn't or couldn't forgive Buffy of anything? I am talking about how different her character is this season. Don't read more into it than that.
Cheryl-Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior” (Alon Levy, Slut Shaming).

It is damaging not only to the girls and women targeted, but to women in general and society as a whole. It should be noted that slut-shaming can occur even if the term “slut” itself is not used.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-10-12 18:17 ]
Wow, over react much? I guess since I didn't attack or shame anyone, but rather offered an opinion, I'm in the clear, not guilty of "slut-shaming."
I think it's completely hysterical that anyone thinks Scott Allie has more sway and more say over Buffy S8 than Joss does.
@Cheryl: You just called her a nymphomaniac which means, according to your own definition, she has "abnormal" sexual desires. If that isn't shaming her I don't know what is. You’ve just accused her of having a disorder because she’s slept with 2 people and had a mere 3 sexual fantasies in a whole year.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-10-12 18:37 ]
Compared to what we know of her past sexual appetite and history, she is experiencing abnormal sexual desires, abnormal for her. That's my point. My ONLY point. You don't agree? That's your right, as is mine to have this opinion.
You can't shame a fictional character but you can question their motivations and actions within the story. Yeah.
Hmm, and why having abnormal sexual desires is necessarily shameful? Abnormal is a pretty broad definition for one, and I suspect there ain't a single person on this board who have not had something of a perverse dream ( perverse from their own perspective and by their own standards). Btw, Buffy is tormenting herself about her sex drive the entire S6 - and herself considers it abnormal, if going by her conversations with Tara about it.
cheryl-We know that at least once, she thought about Angel and Spike at the same time (with oil involved, even) so I wouldn't say it was abnormal for her, just rarely shown in the televised series.

She may be fictional but Buffy is a character that we all know and love. Calling her a nymphomaniac is a form of slut-shaming, fictional or no.
menomegirl, I disagree. Being a nymphomaniac is bloody inconvenient and distracting but it is not shameful.
Interesting question of "out of character" regarding Buffy's sexuality. Is it? Personally, I don't think so. There's a line early season four about her having "lusty wrong thoughts" (or something like that) regarding Parker. She sleeps with him. It ends. A couple months later, she hooks up with Riley. As Vergil says, before now we never saw into her head; crazy fantasies go through most normal people's head on a regular basis. And she hooks up with Satsu. It ends, a couple months later she sleeps with her ex. Under the power of magical roofies, no less.

I don't think that her sexuality is at all out of character this season. I *do* think that her behaviour in general has been drifting and slipping, due to external Twilight-y influence. An intentional dissonance, rather than failing to harmonize. It works for me; I'm more excited now than I was at the beginning of the series.
Well then Dorotea you clearly do not know how serious of a condition it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphomaniac

at a level that causes distress or serious problems for the person affected or to persons associated with them. It is considered to be a psychological disorder characterized by a hyperactive sex desire and an obsession with sex, and lowered sexual inhibitions.

@Cheryl: Was Buffy a nymphomaniac in #34, when her space-frak made the oceans boil and breached a hole between dimensions? Or she became a nymphomaniac only in #37 when she started daydreaming about sex in a missionary position?
dorotea-You obviously missed the demeaning insult to women behind the slut-shaming reference.
@Cheryl: You started your post with "poor" Buffy. If that's not a pretty telling choice of words I don't know what is. Why "poor Buffy", may I ask? What's so terrible about her having totally natural sexual fantasies? You obviously think there’s something negative about it or you wouldn’t have phrased it like you did.

You also called her a "nymphomaniac" which means you think she has a disorder. I don't think you realise just how offensive you're being when you throw those labels around like that. It's just complete and utter ignorance.

You also mentioned her "nymphomania" in the same breath you mentioned her bank robbery. In other words... “Poor Buffy, they’ve reduced you to an immoral nympho thief!”

So don't tell me there was no shaming or judging going on. There clearly was and you clearly believe her sexual fantasies reflect negatively on her.
Vergil,

Exactly my point actually - this is not something to shame other person with but rather to be concerned about them. And Buffy is/was in serious sex overdrive in S8 ever since that comment about churros. Maybe it was Twilight influence from the start of S8 - who knows?
Buffy missing sex back in The Long Way Home is indicative of being "in serious sex overdrive"? What? Hamnoo? Splainy? Sweet merciful ZEUS?
Yay! We've moved on from shipping insults to sex drive insults! This is fun!
It is indeed - the topic is quite entertaining it seems. What was that Dana was complaining about - no rich text to discuss?
For some reason, I feel like there's a proxy war being fought here by various factions. So if we could get back to the Q&A that would be lovely.
Well, I was being sarcastic. I can hardly wait to see what conversation wars season nine will create...
I would suspect complaints about too many spin-offs. It's not infeasible that we'll be getting four or five titles a month to buy. That adds up. Especially these days. However if Dark Horse can swing it that you can buy an issue digitally for half-price then that's a different story.
Simon, my comments had nothing to do with shipping or factions, proxy or otherwise.

But by all means, back to the Q & A.
'Kay, so despite my complaints/concerns above regarding character stuff, I do like Allie's call for more monstrous monsters (the TV shows did occasionally give 'em to us, like the spider-demons during the height of the Jasmine arc, for example). Too many bipedals, as Scott refers to 'em (also Star Trek-style bumpy-headed and/or rubber-suited humans, as that franchise usually treated its aliens), would be a waste of the freedom of comics, IMO, though I'm aware that it was budget/resource restrictions that resulted in mostly using them for the shows (plus, when it came to demons who were characters and not just mindless kills-of-the-week, it made sense to have human expressions behind them to make them feel more real, plus lessen the chances of having 'em laughed off the screen).

Also like that they're highlighting why Sunnydale's is the most significant Hellmouth in the world.

Does anyone remember the Lou Ferrigno Hercules sword-and-sandals films from the early-to-mid-`80s ? Near the end of the first one, there's a Seed/Soul of the World that looks a lot like and seems to perform the same function as the one in Buffy Season 8 (except the film's is white, instead of this comic's red). It's talked about in much the same way as well [briefly--the two Herc movies weren't exactly big on fleshed out plot].

The stuff Allie said about Spike and Buffy felt spot on.
The hints Allie is dropping in this interview just make me want to go re-read the Faith arc even more than I did after reading #37.
I'm gonna derail the sex drive debate for a sec, and just say that I agree with The One True b!X.

ETA: Apparently the page I was reading was hours old, and there is no more sex drive debate to derail. Shame on me. Still agree with TOTb though.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-10-12 22:20 ]
There is nothing much in Faith's arc about the winged lion thingy - it is a dream Buffy keeps having about the beastie catching up with her no matter how fast she runs and swallowing her whole - and just before it does it it says 'The Queen is dead , long live the Queen." One of her Slayer prophetic dreams supposedly. She tells it to Xander and forgets all about it soon as the dream stops once Gigi is dead. There was once a lively debate about it on one of the forums , but then it was dropped.

What I find much more frustrating about the current state of the plot is not the winged lion (aka Angel's tattoo) being supposedly the new avatar of the PtB's - but the fact that Chtulhu-thing demons that Georges is so perfectly drawing were send by it to destroy the Earth after it supposedly promised via various voices that it intent to save it from not having its intended future - and after it supposedly flipped Angel back from some place that is 'not time travel' where the Earth was already in ruins.
It's not the lion part I'm interested in revisiting, it's stuff Giles and Roden may have said. Or not, I just don't remember nowadays. The lion dream parts I do remember as you described.
"So Buffy has 3 sexual fantasies all season and that makes her a "nymphomaniac"? I have 3 sexual fantasies a day, for crying out loud."

Man I wish I hadn't taken a sip of coffee just before reading that! Poor keyboard.
Awesomely funny-yet-true-for-many comment vampmogs!
Sunfire- I went back, I reread, there was less than I'd hoped- but it was interesting... What I found the most interesting was that retrospectively, it seemed (to me) that what Roden was trying to do with Gigi was what Angel and Buffy did do...(the universe-birthing, that is, but I guess maybe the space frak too). Which at the time, of course, we didn't know what the heck he was talking about. And that Gigi was having the twilight-kitty dreams too, and she refers to Buffy as the Queen. If someone else can get more out of it, I wanna hear about it!
aphasia,

The reason Giles was trying to kill Gigi was because his sources had told him that she would "usher in the apocalypse." Basically, Roden was trying to train Gigi to be the "slayer to end all slayers" and thought she was the one the Twilight prophecies spoke about. What's interesting is that both Gigi and Buffy were having the dreams, as you say, and in 8.06 Gigi was able to kill a slayer with one punch. Whilst Buffy and Faith easily outclass her later on it's pretty clear that Gigi had the potential to be an amazing slayer and apparently was in the running to be the girl the universe rewards. Roden also refers to the world ending and says that Twilight has promised him “clemency from the coming purge” if he gets Gigi ready. What’s really dark is that Angel plotted to have them both killed most likely because he wanted to ensure that Buffy would be the one to ascend with him.

NFFY is great because it really is tied into the whole arc of S8 and it’s really rewarding to re-read it and see it in a totally new light.
What’s really dark is that Angel plotted to have them both killed most likely because he wanted to ensure that Buffy would be the one to ascend with him.

Not to rehash a tired old argument, but do we actually know Angel planned it? Haven't re-read it yet, but I do recall that line Angel makes to the army woman, something like "Roden/Gigi wasn't my subject, they were my target", but how did he make Giles go after her? It reads like Giles knew about the Twilight prophecy, went after Gigi on his own behest and then Angel took advantage of the situation to make it look like he was in control the whole time.

(For any of the haters, I'm not trying to whitewash Angel, just discussing plot points. So please don't jump down my throat. Thankyou.)
Kind of hard to swallow the idea of the council waiting centuries for the slayer to end all slayers and then either gigi or buffy could've been the one... just saying. I guess the explanation would be that with the spell there were a lot more slayers to choose from, which works I suppose. It just feels a little contrived. But good stuff to think about. Did Angel mastermind the killing? Good question- I don't think there's any way to tell from the existing text... Though I kind of think he did, personally. But not for any solid reason, so, who knows...

I suspect that after the next 1 or 2 comics it'll be worth re-reading the NFFY arc again, and it'll be new and rewarding again... Having long long ago little bitty things incorporated into the big story and mean a lot really makes it feel like buffy, more than anything else about season 8 so far, for me. It's one of the things I loved the most about the show, so it's making me happy!
For some reason, I feel like there's a proxy war being fought here by various factions.
Simon | October 12, 20:31 CET


Duuuh ;_) Therefore I lurk, but seldom comment.
Not to rehash a tired old argument, but do we actually know Angel planned it?

Roden is quite definitely working with Twilight, he talks about it and is carrying around that big book with the symbol on it. In hindsight, it makes sense as part of Angel's strategy to flush out potential threats to Buffy before they become too powerful and deal with them. The last scene is interesting in hindsight-- the woman who's very skeptical the outcome isn't better for Buffy is correct.
Actually, Twilight is an organization not just Angel. So, while Angel definitely might have been involved, it is also possible that a lot of their activities were started before he even donned the mask. As for Roden planning to do the deed with Gigi to open the Twilight - that would have been quite impossible because it is very clear the other participant was supposed to be a vampire, not human. Besides, from the PoV of how the new Uni avatar looks like - winged lion - it is also meant to be Angel, which he was told clearly in 36 by the PtB's

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-13 15:50 ]
As for Roden planning to do the deed with Gigi to open the Twilight - that would have been quite impossible because it is very clear the other participant was supposed to be a vampire, not human.


Or maybe Kitty was manipulating both Angel and Roden (and maybe other people with necessary potential) using the natural selection mechanism.
Where does it say that the other must be a vampire? Could have been anybody filled up with the "unholy power" by the DOG but he had must accepted dog's plan.
Where does it say that the other must be a vampire?

Issue 34. And its a winged kitty now, pretty much. :)

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-13 17:26 ]
Issue 34. And its a winged kitty now, pretty much. :)

You mean Giles and Willow said that. Are they sufficiently reliable?
May be I misremember but I thought Giles said it made sense that it would be Buffy and Angel because they were opposites or something, not that it HAD to be a vampire. Also, I don't agree that the gryphon is necessarily meant to be Angel's tattoo ( I assume that's what you mean by saying now we know it had was meant to be him). Plus, even if it is, the first time anyone sees the universe as that avatar is after he's started being Twilight. Not saying your POV isn't as likely to be right as not, just a little devil's advocacy...
It makes sense for it to be a demon - if only because the Universes need both Chaos and Order to exist. Check out Willow's one shot. As for the Winged Lion ( Angel's tattoo is not a gryphon - its St Mark's winged lion from the Book of Kells illustration - google it up) if Buffy saw it in her Slayer prophetic dreams back in issue 10 it was pretty much predestined.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-13 17:55 ]
I am sorry to have been away after posting, but a combination of stuff occurred, none good. All is again well. Simon:

"Dana5140, the fans have at various stages loathed every character on Buffy, complained about every plot arc on Buffy, wanted each TV season to be the last and most of the time got it completely wrong about where the show was heading. This idealised view that fans know best does not fit in with my recollections of what the online fandom was like when the show was on the air. I think the ones who know best are the ones who sweat blood and tears writing the characters."

Simon, I am not sure I agree with you on your final statement. I think the ones who write the story certainly are the ones determining the direction the story goes, but I would venture to guess that a good number of us here on this board could speak with some expertise about these characters, in far more detail than Scott Allie ever will be able to. He has not grown up with them, he cannot know when a character might do something, well, out of character. Witness his comments about Angel- which so many here disagree with.

"But then you argue that people shouldn't watch tv shows because they produce rating stuntings during sweeps to get more viewers and revenue. I would wager that if I checked airdates against sweep dates I would probably find several Buffy episodes that incorporated ratings stunts purely so the networks could get more ad revenue."

I am not sure where I did that. I know that I do have problems with some kinds of stuff like stunt-casting (ie. Justin Bieber on CSI recently), and with the idea of spectacle (lesbian relations on whatever that teen program was with Olivia Wilde and the skinny model lady whose name I forget), but I do understand TV.

"It's been like that since what, season 4 aired? Glee at the start of the season, grumblings and discontent gets louder as the season goes on and then at the end people see the bigger picture and how it all ties together. Some are satisfied, some aren't."

I get this, I do. I am simply speaking of this board, of these people, of the general love of Joss here. On this board, of late I see more criticism than I have in the past. I do not post on all threads, I cannot speak with complete and full and comprehensive knowledge of all posts on all subjects, but with regard to the S8, no denying a lot of criticsm and negativity. Heck, as far as I can see, some people here are even agreeing with me, and that ain't normal! :-)

"I think when we get to season 10, the Buffyverse as we know will be over. Then a radical reboot (but not by Joss)."

I completely agree with you on the first part of your comment. The second, not so much. But it could happen. JJ Abrams is sitting in the wings...
:-)

Gilesqueen:
I think there are a few reasons I have not been able to complete Angel. One is that I find the characters far less compelling than the ones on Buffy; I cannot care about Angel, I never cared for Wesley, and all the rest are just less interesting to me. Second, the overarching metaphor is far different. If Buffy began as "high school is hell," this seems to me to be "corporations are evil." Well, that is not the world I live in, is not the one I care about, and is not a part of my life. And in this story, there was never an end- you could kill Holland Manners, but it made no difference; he was still there doing all he did before he got killed. No real resolution, and Angel morphed from being bad to good to bad to good with no real rationale. Too many stories never added up, to me. I gave it up in some story about a man who traded bodies with Angel just as Angel was about to maybe enjoy a relation with some attractive women who was evil but could go good, and it was all so just perfectly coincidental that my willing suspension of disbelief got unwillingly suspended. At that episode, I stopped and I never went back. But you know, so what? I like Lie to Me, but don't like Grey's Anatomy and is there any reason I should? Should I love Angel because it is by Joss, just because it is by Joss? Or because it shares characters with Buffy? it never moved me, just the way it is, even if I cannot really articulate it well.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-10-13 18:53 ]
He has not grown up with them


I would doubt that very much. He's been editing the Buffy comics since '98, he's been a fan longer than most people here.

Witness his comments about Angel- which so many here disagree with.


And he could have said the exact opposite, and many would have disagree with him. That's the joy of living in a fractured fandom that analyses the public face of Season 8 has to say. Put two Buffy online fans in a room and odds on they'll disagree more than agree.

with regard to the S8, no denying a lot of criticsm and negativity


And no denying a lot of the criticism and negativity for previous seasons. 6 was loathed by many but in the last couple of years, it's had a criticial revaluation and got praised.

Let's look at the online fandom. After Buffy finished, casual fans slowly left online communities until the die-hards were left. And they set in their ways, they had their opinions and nothing would change their mind. Factions played in their own communities and more and more fans believed that they owned the characters. But along comes Joss and he picks up his toys and for the first time in four years, fans feel threatened. The shipping ceasefire goes out the window, fans get worried about how their favourite characters will get treated and for the first time the idea gets floated that Joss will provide definitive answers to the big questions. And a lot of fans don't like that, it's easier to be in a fandom where things won't get answered than to be in a fandom where things will. Because ultimately one side or another will lose. And I think lot of that is reflected in the criticism of 8.
@Dana5140: While Scott Allie's expertise on all things Buffy is debatable (though, to assume that a man whose career has largely been entwined with the series is so utterly clueless does reek a little of condescension), he's not the one who is shaping each and every one of these characters. That would be Joss' role, by far. He created these characters, and I think that if there's anyone out there who truly "gets" them, it would be him. His take may not resemble the take of any fan, but that doesn't mean he doesn't get them anymore, or has "lost it", as I have heard some people repeatedly lament. It just means that he doesn't think that they should develop in a certain way, for better or worse.
Allie on the other hand, is not the creator. His job is largely to edit the books, and in this rare instance, he's helping to co-plot the series finale. But the vision isn't his. So whether or not he truly understands these characters is a moot point; Joss doesn't think they're acting OOC. It's his story. Like it or hate it, I doubt he cares that much.
Wow, Simon. Not sure I ever nodded my head in agreement while reading a post so much. Now my neck hurts.
Sorry for the double post....

[ edited by buffyfest on 2010-10-13 20:41 ]
Nicely said Simon. Just wanted to add that 'the big questions' ain't all necessarily shippy. I 'ship' Fray future without magic and demons, for example, ( and yes I do ship other things too. )
"But along comes Joss and he picks up his toys and for the first time in four years, fans feel threatened. The shipping ceasefire goes out the window, fans get worried about how their favourite characters will get treated and for the first time the idea gets floated that Joss will provide definitive answers to the big questions."

I strongly agree with you on the first part of your comment, Simon. Very strongly. Not so much for the second, but I am not sure this is the most significant part of what you are saying. I am not a shipper here, in the sense that I am invested in whether Team Spuffy or Team Bangel rules, but I do think that the recreation of the verse in the comic has the potential- or has already- provided an answer to the shipping question. Any debate now seems past the point. But I also think that this means that you approach the story keeping that in mind- and truly, I know that people will say "Joss has to tell the story that Joss tells." My concern is that the story Joss is telling is one that is designed to do certain things: end the Buffyverse, mainly, but in doing so, close off interpretation of questions that have remained open. This is, in one sense, dangerous. Joss has indeed alienated people who have loved his work. Look, I'm 57, way too old to be invested in Buffy and her fictional world, but for some reason, I am. I'm not a kid, and I am not sure I look at this story, and at this comic, as a kid would- and the story has to appeal to kids as well as me- in fact, more to kids than me since I am way outside the demographic this comic is shooting for.

Wenxina- saying Joss does not care that much is, I think, incorrect. He has to care; otherwise, why spend any time at all on this? It is designed to appeal to people. That's why they invest and buy it. No more of this Sinead O'Connor stuff where she said she does not care if anyone buys her music- if so, go sing in the shower, but don't sell it. You sell it, you care.
Erm, labor of love, perhaps? I don't think that - giant skinless Warren-shaped plotholes aside - Joss was ignorant of the fact that he had kinda written himself into a weird continuity situation, where he ended his show with girls everywhere rising to power, AFTER the fact that he had just published a short series about a future Slayer, where there was only one (or half, if you count the halving of abilities).
S8 was designed to bridge that gap. Yeah, it was meant to appeal to people... the people that care. And we're getting his take on how to get from point A to B.

But anyway... I think the point I was trying to make in my previous post was the part BEFORE my last statement.
@Dana5140

it never moved me, just the way it is, even if I cannot really articulate it well.


AtS is a tragedy (see: Hegel) and Angel is a tragic hero (see: Lessing -> Aristotle) - while BtVS is a comedy (see: Aristotle; Aristophanes) and Buffy a (tragi)comic hero.

Both drama - but very different in character, metaphor, plot, (audience).

It will be interesting to see which one has to give when AtS and BtVS merge in season 9 & 10. (I hope it will be interesting - and not gruesome! ;-)

At the moment we cannot see if the merger already happened and if one genre "won out". To me, it seems that lot of frustration comes from exactly this spot (i really don't give too much mind to so-called "shipping preferences" muddling up the reception; in the end, the vast majority of the audience is moved by far deeper running issues than mere romance).
Pretty much what Simon said. That's why you end up with a situation of sudden 'this story might be considered canon to some, but it's not my canon'.

Obviously, I'm not actually ragging on any one person or group here. The truth is, we're all human, and as humans we have a tribe mentality. And, you know, we deny things. And our world views are usually pretty set. We're human; doesn't mean we're rational.

Some fans will always get hurt the longer a story goes on. If Firefly was still on the air now, I'm pretty sure we all think it would be OH MY GOD AMAZING BEST THING EVER. Except the show would have changed to something probably very, very different by now. Kaylee would quite possibly be burned alive by now. And Zoe's got a new boyfriend. Imagine the fan wars. It would also quite probably still be amazing drama.
Echoing Wenxnia here: this is definitely a labor of love for Joss.

As great as Dark Horse is, I'm fairly certain they're not paying Joss the kind of salary he'd be getting from other jobs. I mean, the man was producing Dollhouse and is now rewriting Captain America, directing The Avengers, and still tries (I assume) to have a family life.

I'm pretty certain Joss is telling this story because it's a story *he* wants to tell, not because he cares whether or not fans like it. I mean, at any point, he could have written down what was supposed to happen throughout the rest of the season and left the series in the (imo) very capable hands of the Dark Horse editors - but he didn't. He stayed on to executive produce the series even when he was stretched WAY thin for time.

Pure labor of love. Nothing else.
Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what the ultimate goal is, right?
Weighing in on the nod towards a labor of love for Joss. Buffy is his girl, his avitar. This is his story, love it or hate it. If fans want someone else's story, there is always fanfic but I think most of the Buffy/Angel fans want Joss's take on what's next. I know that I do.

Simon:
Because ultimately one side or another will lose. And I think lot of that is reflected in the criticism of 8.


I think it goes deeper. I think that deep inside fans understand that ultimately everybody will lose.

It doesn't help that Chosen has ended on a hopeful note. Bangels got their kiss and promise of the future and a perfect platform for ficwriters. Spuffies got "I love you", fiery hands, heroic sacrifice - epic conclusion of an epic love story and another perfect platform for ficwriters.

But now everything is destroyed. Angel is a megalomaniac who gets manipulated into unleashing the apocalypse. Buffy is a bank-robber and an involuntary accomplice on the apocalypse. Angel is positioned as "the closest" only to make the betrayal more painful.

Jossverse is like Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. The one who wins is stoned to death. So, like Shirley Jackson, Joss would better be prepared for hate mail and threats to cancel the subscription. Jackson published her story in a magazine, and many readers cancelled their subscriptions after the publication. Today The Lottery is considered classic.
Moscow,

I seriously doubt the scenario you've described will generate hate mail. For one, the Angel-centric part of the fandom is a resigned and mild one, not very much prone to aggression ( and relatively small). For another - the other part of the fandom would send 'thank you mails' and praises to Heaven for such development. True, the Angel title of the S9 is going to be the worst selling one - but I think they are prepared for this kind of development anyway - after what was done to the character. Maybe that's why they are splitting the story on so many titles - to quietly drop the ones that generate less sales.
Dorotea,

Believe me, it already has generated hate mail. But I don't think it's appropriate to discuss it here in details (as well as debating about fandom factions). If you're interested, we can take it to PM on LJ.

I don't understand why you think that Angel title will be the worst-selling one. Last year, IDW published a string of mediocre Angel mini-series, yet the title still draws interest in virtue of Angel's name alone. Just imagine how the franchise can bloom under Joss' tutelage. Of course, there will be a lot of GWA - oceans of GWA! - but that's what makes it so irresistible.

Right now Bangel fans get their own season 6 - with sex, degradation and angst. But we all know that Joss always drags a character through mud before redeeming him. I'm sure that Joss will come up with something to subvert season 8 finale. I don't know if I'll like how it will de done, but that's aт irrefutable fact, and Allie speaks about it in his interview.
"True, the Angel title of the S9 is going to be the worst selling one..."

It is? Because I was pretty sure that the season nine books hadn't been solicited yet (or even, you know, created...) so that's a pretty shaky "fact" you got there, dorotea!

And, gossi? Regarding the possibility that Firefly might have become something that none of us liked had it continued, assuming that would mean we were heading into season nine right about now, I'd have been more than happy to take that risk! ;)
I seem to recall Simon warning against this kind of argument pretty recently in this very thread.
No argument intended, Sunfire. I'm a Spike fan way before one of either Buffy or Angel so I've got no personal fandom-type axe to grind as far as defending the sales of Angel's future Dark Horse title is concerned. Just thought that dorotea's assumption was a little premature, is all.
@Highlander, I wasn't saying had Firefly continued nobody would have liked. I'm saying some people wouldn't have. I mean, Serenity had some people "burning their browncoats".

With regards to joss running the risk of getting 'hate mail' for season 8 - I mean, he got a death threat over season 6 of Buffy, because Tara died. If anybody listened to fans on Buffy, Willow and Xander would have got together and stayed together, so Tara wouldn't have even existed. Ultimately, if you get to the end of a season of something and some people didn't dislike something you've done, you're making comfort TV nobody really cares about. If you're pissed off about something, you're paying attention.

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