Friday, July 31, 2009

Can we talk about True Blood for a moment?

Look, I like the show. I just really don't know what it's about. I must enjoy it to a certain extent because when it's on the DVR I think "Yay! True Blood! it's entertaining! Let's watch True Blood!" Yet every time I have the same basic questions I had from the beginning:

"Why does Sookie love Bill and vice versa?"

"Why are there vampires? Are they hell spawn?"

"Do they have a conscience, guilt and/or a care of consequences?"

These are the things that should've been covered in the first episode. I'm still wondering why I'm rooting for these damn vampires at all. They are straight up killers. Bill is a killer. Why has the world embraced them instead of banding together to rid the world of them? No explanation. We just get the constant parody of Jesus freaks, hicks and political bullshit. Sure, it's cute, it's funny, but it's getting a little empty. Maybe the accusations are true. That I'm tainting by the goodness of Whedon's vamp stories and can't see past them. Excuse me if I like substance.

Bottom line is this. These vamps are flippin' evil. In Buffy's world she'd have little choice but to band together with Pastor Steve and Sarah Newlin of the Friendship of the Sun church and combine her slayer army with the little vamp-killing army they're building. Sometimes I even find myself slightly rooting for them! Now that can't be right. Wonder if the Buffster would like FOS's wooden bullets, thoguh? Seems more like Faith's type of thing. zing!

Bitsy's take:
True Blood and Buffy Season 8 are very similar in that, in both cases, vampires have recently "outed" themselves. The difference, of course, lies in the perspective from which we see the story unfold. In the case of Buffy, it's primarily from the Slayers' perspective while in True Blood it's from the vampires'. What's so confusing is that yes, even though we are meant to see the True Blood vampires as being good guys, they never quite seem so innocent. In fact, it remains completely in their nature to use humans for their own amusement at best and as dinner at worst. Even Bill Compton who is meant to be reformed (Tara's note - for some unknown reason) has a tendency towards some rather violent and murderous behavior.

What's meant to be painted as a cultural difference still seems an awful lot like watching hunters and prey do their wild, one eats the other, sort of dance to me. Obviously the mythos of Buffy extends much further given far less wiggle room on the nature of vampires. They're evil and soulless monsters (except those two hot guys). I wonder what the Buffy story would look like if they spent an arc doing all the telling from the perspective of the vampires. I bet it'd look an awful lot like True Blood. That's my two cents on it anyway.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Amber Benson's Next Book Gets Release Date

It looks like the sequel to Amber's book Death's Daughter titled Cat's Clawhas been given a release date of February 23rd of next year! Click that link to pre-order on Amazon. Thanks to Adam Busch via twitter for the heads up!

oh, and click here to follow us on twitter too!

Pitch your Own Dollhouse Episode

It's a slow news day, Buffyfesters so I'm whipping out a question I asked on twitter: If you had one chance to write a Dollhouse episode, what would your episode be about. Bonus points if you can do it in 140 characters. My idea was: The dolls are imprinted with the personalities of characters from an unfinished story to help the author figure out his ending. What's yours?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christopher Golden joins Twitter

The title says it all. Well what are you waiting for, Buffyfesters? Follow him quick or he'll transfrom into OMG SAD PUPPY d'awe!

MSN Interviews The Guild

We got word that MSN did some very fine coverage of SDCC which included a few videos featuring our favorite kids from the Guild. Here's a video where they talk about the connection they've made with the fans thanks to the healing power of Twitter.

<a href=" video&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:449bfb75-5d95-4f31-8f57-00436e7bbcb0&showPlaylist=true&fg=MsnEntertainment_ComicCon_player" target="_new" title="Comic-Con 2009: &#39;The Guild&#39;">Video: Comic-Con 2009: &#39;The Guild&#39;</a>

I really agree that Twitter is a great invention. I feel like it's the modern version of answering fan letters not to mention it's just plain fun, kind of like crack! Too much? Anyhoo... check out the rest of the videos at Msn here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Preview of New Brian Lynch Angel Comics

Brian just posted a host of images for his upcoming Angel books and, while I won't post them all, I would like to show a few I kind of love. the rest can be viewed on Brian's page here.

First of all I just love how freakin' meta this is. I mean, Angel and Spike at SDCC? That's just too perfect for words. How many people cosplaying as them do you think they'll be? I bet it'll be like that last picture from Where's Waldo where everyone looks exactly like him. Too much? Hey, dude, come on... Where's Waldo is awesome and you know it. Could this be a little on the side of cheese? Sure. But Angel is nothing if not a little cheesetastic and this series certainly could use it after all the drama from AtF. The point is: excited bitsy is excited. Moving on...

I suppose I should simply say that I'm excited about Spike finally getting an ongoing of his very own but all I can think is WHO THE HECK IS THAT STANDING NEXT TO HIM??!?! Is it a straight-haired version of Spider? Illyria? Gwen? A really modernly dressed Drusilla? Or is it someone brand spanking new? EDIT: It's Beck and I should have known that. D'oh. Still, I'm wondering who else might turn up in this series? I'm assuming the always hilarious Betta George will be there but who else might we see? Ponderous, Buffyfesters. Once again: excited bitsy is excited. Woo!

SDCC recap, Heidi's notes and more!

If you haven't already been recapped on the events of the weekend, Heidi was nice enough to be our correspondent on the left coast and she gave us her SDCC show notes:

Chuck panel notes:

- website was launched.
- Adam Baldwin wants ANOTHER action figure. Lol. Kept mentioning Joss to get applause.
- Jeffster performed! Awesomeness.
- No real plans for season 3. Jotted down ideas from audience. Could come back sooner than we've heard.

Dollhouse panel notes:

- Alexis Denisof will be in some episodes in season 2.
- Felicia Day and the other two from Epitaph One will be back.
- Still trying to negotiate getting Summer Glau.
- Joss still likes to kill people.

- Time travel will not be used to change the events of EO, but they were memories which are subjective. Some things may not happen the way we think they will in those memories.

Jane Espenson (BSG) panel notes:

- Caprica will premiere Jan 22, 2010.
- Jane Espenson says to reach out to the Buffy fans to watch Caprica. Basically, there's an angry teenage girl and a robot. Buffy fans should find something to love.

Thanks a lot Heidi!

In other news, Newsarama did a fantastic recap of the IDW panel. Go over there to check it out. Some highlights include:

Chris Ryall  announced the release of a Fallen Angel - featuring Illyria - omnibus sometime in mid-2010 (the entire DC run of Fallen Angel along with the IDW run will be presented in the omnibus.)

Brian Lynch next informed readers of a new tongue-in-cheek two-part story where Angel and Spike actually infiltrate San Diego Comic-Con because a movie has been made (in the comic) about Angel and his heroics after saving Los Angeles from Hell in the aptly titled Last Angel in Hell. The movie itself will be depicted in the 40-page Angel Annual in December 2009; the annual boasts Angel-centric meta-fictional advertisements as well.

[We actually spoke to Brian about this back in February and he expanded on some of the scenes in our interview with him here.]

The launch of a Spike monthly title written by Brian Lynch with artwork by Urru in will be in 2010. It deals with the aftermath of After the Fall. 

Also upcoming is Angel: A Hole in the World, a five issue mini-series which adapts an episode of the original television show into comic book form. This announcement garnered a big response from the audience.

After his two-part project, Brian Lynch will be leaving the Angel title. Bill Willingham and Bill Williams will be taking over as writer for the Angel ongoing starting with issue #28. The two Bills discussed their plans, with Williams telling back-up character stories in each issue. Willingham confirmed that Angel would be disappearing from the pages of his own book and that Connor would be taking over in his dad’s place for a while.

Ryall called Scott Lobdell up to the panel and announced the release of a new five issue Illyria mini-series where she and Gunn go on a road trip together. Ryall notes that this is also a story that depicts Gunn’s struggles with not being a vampire any longer and it also explores his first encounter with a vampire.

And there you have it!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

fanvid sunday: sdcc edition

This is hardly the time for fanvids, not when there's a show a goin' on in the San to the D, right? No, sir. Posted late yesterday was the full length of the Dollhouse panel and I can think of nothing better to embed here today than that, honestly. Here's part one:

The rest can be found on ecsmith34's page. There's also video of the Bones panel for those of you who ship the Brennen/Booth. Happy Sunday, Buffyfesters!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Podcast interview with Scott Allie from SDCC

So we got the inside scoop about all things Dark Horse/Whedonverse from Scott Allie back on Thursday, prior to the major announcement panel at San Diego Comic Con (which actually is taking place as we write this.) When we spoke with Scott, he gave us all the news on what would be announced. You can listen to the full interview in the podcast link. Here's a rapid-fire rundown of what we talked about.

click play

There will be a program called One Shot Wonders - Joss has 3 things in this category:

1. A Sugarshock one shot.

2. Dr. Horrible for the first time in print full length 24 page. story. Zack is writing it, Joelle Jones is drawing it. It will take place prior (prequel) and the goal is later on when they move forward they'll do post-webisode stuff.

3. Willow one shot - Written by Joss and someone else. Drawn by Karl Moline (Fray/Buffy) with covers by Moline and Jo Chen. It will take place prior to season 8 and explain the Snake Woman back story. Here's how Scott explains it:
"The main story tells what happens before season 8, you know...what's going on with Willow and when you see the cover by Jo, it's a gorgeous cover with Willow and the Snake Woman all wrapped up on each other. So it's gonna fill in a bunch of their story.

There's potentially room for more Buffy one shots i.e., Tales of the Vampire and Willow. We needed a break and figured no one would complain with Willow..."
We also talked about Jane's arc, "Retreat", and beyond. At the end of Jane's arc 26-31, Joss will be kick-starting the next arc with one issue (31). Brad Meltzer is writing 32-35, the outline have been turned in to Joss (some was Brad's idea, some was Joss's). The first script has been done (32) but Scott hasn't seen it. And then all 5 finales will most likely be back to Joss.

Jane's arc really moves the story forward and actually the thing that happens at the end of her arc is what will be nuts. According to Scott:

"When Jane's arc wraps up, things will be significantly different for the organization. The slayer organization will be in really, really bad shape and it's going to bring about real, major transformational changes for Buffy herself

Joss will step back in for a single issue before Brad begins his arc. Digging a little deeper into why Joss was penning this particular issue Scott went on to say:

"When Joss comes in to write an issue, a lot of the times it's kinda to refocus the continuity to take everything we've done and kind of kick start into the next aspect of the story."

We also talked about the upcoming comic for Cabin in the Woods. The comic will be released after the movie is released. As to who will be writing the book, it's still looking pretty up in the air. Scott:

"Nobody's really decided who's going to write it, Joss or someone else. I suspect it will be someone else just because he's so busy."

We tried to get a little info about the potential animated series finally seeing it's release. Tight lipped on this, Scott could only answer:

"Nothing that I can say. We at Dark Horse have very little to do with that. Nope, that's not anything you're going to hear from us."

I found the "from us" part to be really telling. Could it be we'll be hearing news about a Buffy animated series elsewhere before the end of the con? Fingers crossed on that one, Buffyfesters!

We got the chance to nerd it up with Scott once all the big announcements were out of the way. We asked if Scott could pen a Buffy one-shot with no limitation to season or canon, what would it be? Here's what he had to say:

"I don' t know like, um...the 2 characters that come to mind that I'd really love to do something with would be Angel and Giles. I like horor stories set in the past, Not necessarily the distant past, but i think there's something about a horror story in the recent past where you can get a sense of nostalgia and mystery. To do a DH story with one of those guys....both of them have very, very dark pasts. That would be one the thing that would thrill me the most."

We also asked him what non-Buffy writer he'd love to see write a Buffy story. Scott, who is no stranger to the great masters of comics went for one of the biggest names of all.

"I mean the easy answer is Alan Moore because he's my hero and my favorite comic book writer of all time. "

Can you even imagine? A Buffy book by Alan Moore. Sick.

And there you have it. From Scott's mouth to our ears and now to you, our dearest Buffyfesters. Again, for the full interview, take a listen to the entire audio clip. It was great fun. Thanks, Scott!

Listen in the player above or:
Right click/save as here to download mp3

Friday, July 24, 2009

Scott Allie confirms "The Guild" Comic

So, hey, you like Felicia Day, right? You might even say you are super, crazy in love with her, yes? And, of course, you also has the Guild love, don't you? Uh huh... I thought so. Well, good news, Buffyfesters, Scott Allie confirmed to Buffyfest yesterday that there will be a Guild comic produced through Dark Horse. And you know what? It sounds awesome.

Not only is it going to be written by Felicia, but it's also looking like we'll be getting two separate artists working on the book: one to handle the real world and one to draw the WoW world in a classic, fantasy comic style. As to the length, Scott tells us it'll be a three issue miniseries followed by a TPB release. I'm a huge fan of the Guild and the concept sounds super exciting so, you know, yay.

Stay tuned for more SDCC news tomorrow. We have an exclusive interview with Scott Allie about all the big Whedony news!

Awesome Guild Panel update: Now with Costumey goodness!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buffyfest's Spoilerific "Epitaph One" review

Comic Con attendees will have the privilege of watching the mysterious, PR snafu surrounded, unaired and straight-to-DVD finale of Dollhouse "Epitaph One" before the DVD is released at Friday's panel. We thought it appropriate time to give our 2 cents about the ep with this here little review, Buffyfest style. Let's get right to it.

Tara's take -
The Gist- I found the episode to be good, bad, confusing and clarifying all at the same time. Things get going when the team of "Actuals" on the run from what is seemingly an Active run world arrive at the now defunct LA Dollhouse. The place seems like Wolfram & Hart just after The Beast attacked in season 4, leaving nothing but zombies behind.

The Bad - The wannabe "post- Skynet apocalypse" looking set decor wasn't Whedon's finest. I understand we were working on a limited budget, here, but the opening scene was a sad reminder of how Sarah Connor Chronicles would be no more than anything else. Felicia Day's appearance here didn't really help, what with her speaking in "year 2019, just-short-of-Dark Angel-lame" slang. Just saying. Oh, and let's not forget the Eliza shaped hole in the wall and all that surrounded it.

The Good - Well, there's Amy Acker, who's fantastic. I'm really sorry she was underused during the season but I guess that's what made 'the reveal' better. Not sure what's up with her and Boyd, though (Bhiskey!) and that's obviously a whole other story. There's the touching scene between Topher and Dewitt that changed everything for me (even though I believe I'm alone on this within the realm of Buffyfest.) And most importantly, there's the comfy feeling that I have about season 2 of Dollhouse. The Dollhouse Death Watch might be a very different bet this coming season.

Tara's Final Rating - I give it 2 and a half stakes for story and a T-800 series Terminator Skull for quality.

Michelle's take -
It's hard for me to put in words why I didn't love this episode, especially since anything post-apocalyptic is always my cup of tea. I think it has something to do with my feelings for the rest of the Season which were not positive at all.

Duschku's absence was weird to me, her being the main character and all and when she did appear, her scenes became a distraction. The first scene where she announces that she's still getting headaches and then screams out in unconvincing pain right after that declaration was stupid and I can't believe it even happened. Then there was the brick wall-breaking, gun-toting Caroline with her silly one-liner. No thanks.

One ray of sunshine during the entire episode was Amy Acker. She was convincing and had an awesome Illyria-esque quality to her. There is a scene with her and Boyd that was well-done, too. Joss Whedon, when he does it right, can get a lot of emotion and back story out of one tiny scene.

Another positive is the fact that Joss is telling us straight out that imprinting humans with false memories for the good of rich people is NEVER going to end well. But where does that leave the viewer? A big problem I have with the show is that I don't really sympathize with any of the characters. The "Topher crying" scene was touching and they did a great job acting it, but I still found myself thinking that they should feel this pain. Funnily, I find Dominic, the one who is supposed to be the dickiest, to be the one I root for most of the time. That can't be right, can it?

Michelle's Final Rating - I give it 2 stars.

Bitsy's Take -
In a moment of complete shock that surprises no one more than me I actually loved Epitaph One and was sad as hell (yeah, you heard me: hell is sad) when the episode ended. To qualify: I treated this episode as functioning essentially completely outside of the canon of the rest of the series. The only thing I found myself connecting the episode to was the unaired pilot and, in a way, I think you could probably splice the two of them together into a really keen movie.

In fact that goes right along with what I've always believed; that the premise of Dollhouse is a better fit for film than it is for a television series. I just don't think the concept can be sustained under the duress of weekly broadcast. As a two hour movie, however, it is harrowing, haunting, and deliciously distopian. Gone are any pretenses that anything good could possibly come out of the Dollhouse. All we're left with is the terrifying consequences of what happens when the people with all the money and power can live forever. More than that, we bear witness to the ultimate Orwellian nightmare, where Big Brother isn't just everywhere you look, he is programmed into every facet of your being.

The performances were solid. I actually didn't mind Dushku as much as some but, then again, I was just happy she wasn't the focus. Dollhouse is at it's best when it's treated as a true ensemble piece. Felicia Day is, well, Felicia Day. It's nice seeing her do something that isn't just on the interwebs. It's really a shame this didn't go to air. Amy Acker earns the break out performance though. Her treatment of Whiskey in stark contrast to Claire Saunders is spell-binding and unnerving. It's actually pretty similar to the turn from Fred to Illyria actually and there aint nothing wrong with that.

As Travis Birkenstock would say: I give it two thumbs up. Fine, family fun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"What if"...with Tom Lenk

Have you ever debated with your peers about how the Buffyverse would be if some things had never happened or maybe just went a little differently? Yeah, that's pretty much our main hobby. That's why we started a new monthly segment here at Buffyfest called "What if," where we explore the alternate reality-type scenarios of our favorite characters. Our first guest was Scott Allie, who bravely answered what turned out to be a pretty contoversial question last month. This month it's none other than Andrew himself, the multi-talented Tom Lenk. We caught up with Tom to ask this very important question.

Buffyfest: What if Andrew became a famous film maker? What would the name of his first film be?

Tom Lenk: [answers quickly] "Andrew's Big Adventure"

And there you have it! The guy's a Pee Wee fan, and hell...who isn't? If you get a chance to check out Tom's live show, don't miss it! In the mean time, we'll tease you with this little ditty below.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fallen Angel: Reborn BBBR Vlog Review

So, hey. This edition of my brearded blogging of blogging beardliness got a little out of hand. The good news? The review of Fallen Angel can be relied upon as being generally spoiler free (although there are some very general plot points mentioned) and brief. Of my whopping near fifteen minute diatribe the main stuff is done in the first five. If, however, you are curious as to the comics I read and are looking for recommendations then, by all means, view onward as I have a lot to say about a variety of comics that are out these days.

And there you have it. As I mentioned, you can peep out Pat's review of the Not Fade Away adaptation here. I look forward to hearing if any of you read the same books I do or if you decide to take my advice which you should totally do because I'm usually right and great and awesome about these things. Why? It's probably the beard.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

fanvid sunday: two for one edition

Wow but that was a bit of a week for me. How about you, Buffyfesters? Are you as in need of a little fanvid love as I am? Okay, good. How's about two?

First we have a video that was posted earlier this week on Whedonesque. Like last Sunday this is a little bit of random but a whole lot of lulz for days. Also? Since when does Whedonesque post silly videos? I seem to recall them being anti even when that awesome Buffy/Twilight mashup came out just a few weeks ago? I guess the ol' fanvid sunday is catching on! Who knew.

Here's an actual fanvid which we haven't seen here in a bitsy bit. You know, it's getting harder and harder to find good vids these days especially ones that aren't specifically meant for one 'ship or another. Thankfully this one is all about our angry, complicated, post second-death Buffy in all her angsty glory. She's angsty because she died due to Glory! Get it? you... you... get... it?

I hope everyone is having a restful Sunday. I know I sure needed it. Make it a swell one, kids!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Newsies

In the Houston area? Join SWAMP and Discovery Green for a special FREE screening of Once More, With Feeling on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 7:30pm. The event will take place under the stars on a giant outdoor screen in the park and will include a special appearance by Amber Benson.

Michelle Trachtenberg's new NBC show Mercy will be starting production months ahead of schedule and airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 8 pm (instead of Mid-Season, as originally planned.) Don't worry Gossip Girl fans, no scheduling conflict is foreseen at the moment, so her limited run reprising the role of Georgina Sparks shouldn't be affected.

James Marsters will be playing Buzz Aldrin in the docu-drama Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, about the journey to the Moon and back - airing this Monday, July 20th at 9 pm on the History Channel. (They have a nice preview clip over at that link, as well.) James did an interview with the New Zealand Herald about the project.

The premier episode of Ace of Cakes will feature a Firefly/Serenity cake. Yum and Shiny! It airs tomorrow night, July 19th at 10 pm on Food. 

Only one week left to San Diego Comic Con! Dark Horse has their booth signing schedule up here. Also added to the event schedule is a Whedonopolis hosted Buffy sing-along! See below for the deets.

Sunday, July 26 4:00-5:00 Buffy the Musical— Let's end this show with a bang! The powers that be behind Fandom Charities Inc. and present a screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode "Once More With Feeling" as Comic-Con 2009's big closing event! Many say this is the finest, funniest, most ingenious episode ever to come out of the Buffy-verse. But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! This episode was made for talkin'—back, that is—and singing and shouting and dancing in the aisles, with or without your dry cleaning! Audience participation: it isn't just for Rocky Horror and mob riots anymore. For more details on the screening visit, then show up for music, singing, surprises and dancing crazy! Ballroom 20

Friday, July 17, 2009

NYC Dr. Horrible screening and Q&A with Joss Whedon

The day after the Emmy Awards, Joss will be getting on a plane and high tailing it over to Buffyfest's coast for a little Dr Horrible fun. He'll be hosting a screening at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater to benefit 826NYC - which is a non-profit helping students in creative writing. Afterwards will be a Q&A (probably moderated by Matt "crazy eyes" Roush) with Joss and some currently undisclosed, but possibly one or more from the photo above, "Special Guests." Will Mr. Whedon arrive an Emmy winner? We shall see!

The theater is on Broadway and 95th st in Manhattan. Tickets are $26 (plus fees) and can be purchased here. We'll be there live blogging too, of course!

How did Joss feel when he got yesterday's Emmy news?

"It felt nice," Whedon said with understatement. "I mean, you know, I tend to soften everything. I don't ... I tend not to get too excited about things. Because otherwise I'd be more bipolar than I already am. And so I sort of went, 'Oh, how pleasant.' And then, also, you know, and let's be perfectly honest, if there's one person who knows it's an honor just to be nominated, it's me. This is probably as good as it's going to get."

Read the rest of the interview at Sci Fi Wire


Holy Moly! There's no doubt about it now, Sarah Michelle Gellar is having a baby!

Must be weird enough having a moving person living inside of you, but then add the whole "peeping photogs jumping out of the bushes" thing on top of that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes! Dr. Horrible nominated for an Emmy!

"That's the plan. Rule the world."

The king of all web media, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, has been nominated in the 2009 Emmy Awards. Not sure if this particular award will air, but if it does and if it wins (fingers and toes crossed!) then Emmy host/Dr. Horrible himself, Neil Patrick Harris, will be there to bask in all it's glory. The 2009 Emmy's will broadcast live from Nokia theater in LA and air September 20th on CBS at 8 pm EST.

The category Doc Horrible has been included in is:
Outstanding Special Class - Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog • • Mutant Enemy, Inc.
Joss Whedon, Producer
Michael Boretz, Producer
David Burns, Producer

Also nominated in this category is:
30 Rock's Kenneth the Web Page
Battlestar Galactica: The Face Of The Enemy (written by Buffy writer Jane Espenson)
Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show
The Daily Show: The Daily Show Correspondents On Jon Stewart

Full list of Emmy noms here.

If Joss wins, it will be his first (and long overdue) Emmy award. He was nominated in 2000 for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, for the episode "Hush".

Congrats to Joss and crew!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seth Green on the Zen of Working with David Boreanaz

This is exactly what I thought it would be like to work with David Boreanaz.

Transcript from Youtube:
Seth Green is asked about what it was like working with former co-star David Boreanaz.

It's much like being enveloped by a spring breeze. You step outside and you think, "Oh, this is definitely going to be a glorious experience". But when it takes hold of you and surrounds you, it gets into all your senses. You just say "Ahh, that's more magic than I ever anticipated!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Genre schmenre

You know, I have to admit that, like quite a few other people, I'm finding quite a bit of fault with the new Buffy comics that Dark Horse are putting out. I think that part of the problem is that, in these new comics, we may have moved too far away from the high-concept idea that made the series work so well initially. We may be in the same universe, but are now a huge distance from 'high school drama/comedy meets vampire romance'. I guess what I'm really talking about here is the issue of genre: which ones Buffy fits into and which ones it works well or not so well within.

Me being me, this got me thinking about other comic book genres that might serve Buffy a little bit better...

Shoujo/Shōjo manga
From Wikipedia: "Shōjo manga covers many subjects in a variety of narrative and graphic styles, from historical drama to science fiction often with a strong focus on human and romantic relationships and emotions." In other words, a shoujo series can be about absolutely anything - say, a super-powered girl who fights the forces of darkness - as long as the focus is more on the romance and relationships than anything else. I certainly think that something based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn't exactly find it hard to meet that criteria, no? A reinvention of the series as full on shoujo comics, foregoing a lot of the focus on...well, it's hard to say where the current series' focus lies, actually, possibly suggesting that it's lacking in one, much to its detriment, but as I was saying: reinventing the series as shoujo comics might do wonders. And it's more than possible: as long as there are interesting characters and the scope for some really complicated emotions, anything can become shoujo comics. One of my favourite examples of this is Marvel comics' Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (pictured above), which reimagines Spider-Man's high school years (which is when the original comics were set anyway, so this isn't exactly reinventing the wheel) through the shoujo lens, focusing primarily on his relationships with Mary Jane, Gwen Stacey, Harry Osbourn et al instead of the superheroics, which plays a part (the secret-identity drama in particular) but is never centre stage. Could a shift away from the action and back to the personal drama be exactly what the comic book series needs (that and, perhaps, the kickin' Takeshi Miyazawa (see above) on art duties to boot)?

Comic book noir
For almost as long as there have been American comics, there have been comics that have been part of the "noir" genre, focusing on crime, gangs, corruption and the everyday struggles of working-man sleuths. Not to harp on about Marvel even more, but they recently did a series of "noir" reinventions of classic characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men for a collection of mini-series'. Although, as some pointed out, noir-ising (?) Daredevil seemed a bit redundant, as the character's comics already reek of film noir tropes as it is! Angel, especially in season one, before it became full-on urban high fantasy, borrowed considerably from the noir genre, but perhaps Buffy could learn a few valuable lessons from this genre too. I mean, she lives in Scotland now but couldn't possibly move to a major urban area like Glasgow or Edinburgh? Vampires and demons never come up with complicated, real-crime schemes? Again, the series has touched on this stuff (the LA-based episode "Anne" springs to mind), but has never really taken the time to explore it. Could that time be now?

When in doubt, just strip everything away, give Buffy a sword and some spells, set her off against some goblins and let her go. The series uses lots of elements borrowed from the fantasy genre, but I think it'd be really interesting to see the plot of the whole series trend that way too, with Buffy shunted off to some high-fantasy style world that's part Lord of the Rings and part Red Sonja, and made to go on big, epic quests against unimaginable evils. Sure, the series' own postmodernity may make it tough to do that sort of thing without a few sly rib-nudges and jokes at the genre's expense, but I still say it's a workable idea. Even superhero comics (here I go again) have tried it. The Atom, a comic about a shrinking super-hero, was temporarily turned into Sword of the Atom, and even the Incredible Hulk became a classical gladiator figure for a time there a couple of years back. For Buffy it's not even as much of a stretch as it is for these other titles as it contains so many fantasy genre elements anyway. Anyone besides me want to see Ms Summers as a medieval warrior woman?

What I'm noticing here as I sit writing this is that Buffy really is a pretty neat postmodern intertextual melting pot, seeing as how it borrows heavily from everything from high school drama to sci-fi to superhero fiction. If one wanted, one could have Buffy and friends put on primary-coloured spandex and fly around fighting super-criminals and it actually wouldn't seem too out of place, considering that many of the seeds for it are already there in the basic concept. In the past Buffy has also felt free to explore everything from musical films ("Once More with Feeling") to Westerns (as a concept from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer role-playing game books)!

Those are just a couple of my ideas for the comics, but this doesn't have to be limited to just that, of course. I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered that there's already some noir-influenced fan fiction out there, or some that takes the characters and places them firmly in the realm of historical romance (and hey, why not? They've already got characters that live for numerous centuries and time-travel). Any more genres that you'd like to see Buffy explore a little more?

Comic-y Goodness

This week is a good one if you're planning on getting your whedony self to the stacks. Not only do we get an exciting crossover and another excellent hardcover IDW trade, but we also see a limited release statue that I am really looking forward to. In that particular order, here they be:


Yes, at long last, Peter David's Liandra/Illyria event is nigh on at hand. Set after the events of "Time Bomb", Illyria comes to Bette Noire in search of a way to regain her lost powers. Something tells me things aren't going to go according to plan. You can check out our interview with Peter David here and also take a peek into the Fallen Angel universe with my review of the Omnibus. There's a nice preview over at comixology which will give you a glimpse of just how beautiful J.K. Woodward's art is.


For those of you who had the willpower to wait for the trades you are once again rewarded. IDW has become really well known for putting together great collections and this one is no exception. There's really something to be said for a good hardcover edition of any comic and, the wrap up of Brian's After the Fall story is something that can't be missed. If you haven't picked it up already, this is definitely the way to read it. I might get it this way just because it's so darn pretty.

BtVS Tooned Up Glory Maquette

Sure, this may not be a comic but it is the sort of geekery you'd only find in ye olde comic book shoppe. I've been really appreciating the aesthetics of this ongoing collection and the treatment given to Glorificus is just awesome. She's 8" tall and there are only 500 of her in the whole wide universe so, quick like a bunny, you'd better snag one up before they disappear forever.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

lazy fanvid sunday: zomg wut lol?!11! edition

What happens when Bits has to run out the door and needs to throw together a fanvid sunday at the eleventh hour? Well, see for yourself:

This was literally the first thing I happened upon. It's not a fanvid at all. It is, however, absolutely hysterical. I salute you, two random vagabonds, for making me pee a little. Seriously, check them out because I just saw they made similar videos for Doctor Who and Beverly Hills 90210. Genius.

Happy Sunday, Buffyfesters!

Newsies - Dollhouse Edition

Spoilery clips and a rundown of all past "Epitaph One" drama @MoRyan's Chicago Tribune Article. Joss also talked to Entertainment Weekly about the unaired Finale and they have some spoilery images as well, so beware. Also revealed is that Joss will be writing and directing the season 2 premier of Dollhouse, currently slated for Sept. 25th...still in that damned time slot.

Remember, the Dollhouse Season 1 DVD will be released in 2 weeks (July 28th) and now it's been revealed that "Epitaph One" will also be available via Itunes on August 11th. Although I'm sure some scrappy folks will be obtaining it by ~other means~ way before then.

If you're attending San Diego Comic Con, below is a full rundown  of all the Whedon-ey places you'll need to be. Make sure to look our for Joss in his Princess Leia Slave outfit


8:00-10:00 Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog— The California Browncoats host a screening of the original three acts, followed immediately by Commentary! The Musical. See why Joss Whedon's (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) first foray into webisodic "television" was the talk of the town with critics and fans alike in 2008. Be prepared for a night of singing and surprises hosted by the fans who know what you like best. Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), and Felicia Day (The Guild) and is written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon (Dollhouse), Zack Whedon (Fringe), and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse). Room 6A


10:30-11:30 Meet The Guild-- Come chat with the creators and performers from the hit online video series The Guild. Felicia Day (Codex), Vincent Caso (Bladezz), Jeff Lewis (Vork), Amy Okuda (Tinkerballa), Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Robin Thorsen (Clara) talk about the series and answer questions from the audience. They'll also give attendees a sneak peek at Season 3 coming to Xbox LIVE this fall, plus a bonus Comic-Con exclusive video! Room 5AB

4:00-5:15 Dollhouse— Join Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon and star/producer Eliza Dushku for a no-holds-barred Q & A about what they have planned for season 2, after they unveil a special screening of the never-before-seen "Epitaph One" episode of the Fox hit, which releases on DVD just four days later. Ballroom 20
5:15-6:00 Joss Whedon— After the Dollhouse presentation, stick around for 45 minutes of information and Q&A with Joss Whedon about his upcoming Dark Horse Comics projects! Ballroom 20

12:30-1:30 Spotlight on Fábio Moon— Meet Eisner Award–winning Brazilian cartoonist Fábio Moon (Sugar Shock!, 5) as he shares his love for comics and talks about working with his twin brother Gabriel Bá (Umbrella Academy), collaborating with high-profile creators Matt Fraction (Casanova), Joss Whedon (Buffy), and Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and what's next. Lots of images to show, with a fun Q&A to follow. Room 10


1:30-2:30 Bram Stoker: The Joss Whedon of His Day?— Moderator Leslie Klinger (The New Annotated Dracula), an authority on the influence on generations of storytellers of Stoker's work, discusses Stoker's impact with panelists Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt (Dracula: The Un-Dead), Jeanne Stein (The Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles), Chris Marie Green (The Path of Razors), Tony Lee (From the Pages of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula': Harker), J. F. Lewis (Staked), and Steve Niles (30 Days of Night). Room 5AB

And while your at SDCC, make sure to stop by the California Browncoat booth and pick up one of these free and fricken' shiny Dr. Horrible goggle Cardboard cutout masks!