Monday, April 30, 2012

Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson in Vogue

Well, the world has joined the rest of us in full-on Avengers anticipation now. Being the fashion obsessive that I am, I gasped when seeing these truly fab shots of some choice members of S.H.I.E.L.D. I just love that Joss got the chance to be involved with this humongous project and direct these A-listers. Still reeling from that fateful day at San Diego Comic Con 2010 when it was announced that he'd be at the helm and I feel so lucky we got to witness that in person.

Anyway, check out The Hulk and Black Widow vamping it up together in this month's issue of Vogue magazine. Come on May 4th already!:

Images via Vogue

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exclusive Pics: Joss Whedon Interview Airing this Sunday Morning on CBS

If you're looking for something to do during your Sunday morning brunch (or hangover) tomorrow, look no further! CBS is airing an interview with the man himself, Joss Whedon, and they have been kind enough to share a few extra images with us. Check out Joss at his home, chatting with John Blackstone about his kick-ass women, The Avengers and more.

Interview Airs Sunday, April 29 on “CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood”

            Best known for small, quirky television shows — like the cult hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer — Joss Whedon may seem an unlikely choice to write and direct a film that packs not only a team of Marvel Comics’ mightiest superheroes, but also some of Hollywood’s biggest names. But The Avengers, which opened this week overseas and is set to debut in the U.S. on May 4,  is already generating the kind of acclaim and box office success that has Disney and Marvel Comics seeing green (and not just because of the Hulk).

            This weekend, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone catches up with Whedon, who discusses the challenge of taking on a potential blockbuster, as well as how empowering women has been a theme throughout his work. 

            “I loved the idea of a girl going into a dark alley, and a monster comes, and then she just aces him,” Whedon tells Blackstone. “It's like, you want to see the tiny person suddenly take control. God, my whole career is basically about that!”

The full interview — which includes clips from the film — will broadcast Sunday, April 29, on the CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD (9:00-10:30 AM/ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the Executive Producer.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sarah Michelle Gellar is Pregnant the surprise of no one here because @mbatz called it like months ago! US Magazine reports life imitating Buffy Season 9 Comic art - except without the robotics, I suppose. Anyway, the conversation went like this back in February:

And there you have it! Dude's like a pregnant psychic or something. And it's clear that SMG attended "Charisma Carpenter's school of Bump Concealing with Coats and Bags".

CCSBCCB Rule #4: If you wear a black coat and
place your arms just right, no one will
notice until it's written into the storyline.
Congrats to Sarah, Freddie and Charlotte on baby #2!

Buffy, the YouTube Porn Trailer

Tweep @teblue tipped us off to this hilarious & skanky porn parody trailer of our favorite show, and it's actually pretty legit! Check out the dialogue and fancy shmancy special effects. I am ashamed, however, that I think I own the same pair of jeans from Urban Outfitters that one of those sluts is wearing. I may have to donate those now.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku at Last Night's 'Equality Now' Event

Last night Equality Now's 20th Anniversary event was held here in New York City at the Asia Society. Whedon performed a monologue about the nature of change and Eliza Dushku performed a piece he had written, playing an undocumented immigrant forced into prostitution.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Whedon at the event and has a nice recap on their site. More pics below:

Whedon Still Open to 'Ripper'?

Back from the more ways than one. 
Um, Excuse Me?! Here's some exciting news in case you missed the part in the recent AV Club interview where Joss said he was still open to Ripper or a similar Buffy-spinoff starring everyone's favorite watcher: Anthony Stewart Head.

Here's what the Master said:
"The thing about Ripper—the essence of it—is that the BBC came to me at one point like, 'It doesn’t have to be Ripper. It can just be [Anthony Stewart Head], and there’s magic, and he’s Tony, cuz he’s awesome.' And that’s the thing: For some reason, he keeps getting sexier every year. That’s not happening to me! I’m like, “What are you doing?” And that story was always about a mature guy who’s lived, and about the choices he’s made. So you could make that now, or you could make it 10 years from now. And I’ve tortured Tony more than any other living human with, 'We’re definitely gonna do this!' Because I thought we were. He’s working so much, though, I’d feel too guilty. But that’s the thing with Ripper: It doesn’t go away in my head because he’s still right for it, and he could still bring it."

Yeah he could still bring it! And if our March Madness tournament from last month proves anything, it's that Ripper is still in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. LET'S DO THIS PEOPLE!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Exclusive Juicy News: 'Spike' & 'Willow' Mini-Series Q&A

We spoke to Dark Horse editor Scott Allie just before C2E2 and got the scoop about some new projects that have now been announced at the expo. Not only is a Spike 5-issue Mini-Series launching August 22nd, but Willow's Mini has also been given a release date of November 21. On top of all of that, Dark Horse has a new book titled Ex Sanguine coming out in October that'll vibe with our favorite type of story, those oh-so-romantic vampires. Check out all the deets below, straight from the (dark) horse's mouth:

Spike mini-series:

Buffyfest: Writer/Artist/Cover Artist?
Scott Allie: We've got Victor Gischler, Paul Lee, Jenny Frison and Steve Morris. This marks Jenny's return to the character, and her debut on the Dark Horse Whedon books. We're excited about that. Also our first time working with Victor, who's really throwing himself into things.

Buffyfest: Was this mini planned since the writer's summit? Did Joss always want Spike a story?
SA: It was not. The only one to emerge for sure from the Summit was Willow. The Drusilla one came later, though not much later, and Spike came together last, based on the direction of the Buffy series.

Buffyfest: Is this an arm of the central Buffy story or a one-shot separate from the main book?
SA: It is an arm of the main story for Season 9, not just Buffy, but Angel & Faith. All of these books support the main story of the two monthlies, though I guess some more than others.

Buffyfest: Will it bring Spike out of the Buffy book for a while?
SA: Yeah. He'll be leaving the Buffy book soon, not to return for quite some time.

Buffyfest: Any hints as to what Spike's story will be about?
SA: Well, the working title is A Dark Place, although that may change still. So I suppose that hints a bit ...

Buffyfest: Will anyone from the series be tagging along with him?
SA: Yeah, quite a few familiar faces. Multiple, nearly identical faces, if you follow me.

Willow mini-series:
Cover by David Mack

 Writer/Artist/Cover Artist?

SA: Jeff Parker, Brian Ching, David Mack and Megan Lara, al making their Whedonverse debut, although Megan is known to fandom for her Serenity Mucha pieces. Jeff has done very little for Dark Horse, is mainly busy on Marvel books and the occasional creator-owned thing for other publishers. Brian has done a lot of Star Wars stuff, and it was our assistant editor, Freddye, who pulled him in for this. I've been wanting to do something with David Mack for ages. Megan was Sierra's idea. David and Megan both stylistically get us to that mystical place that we want for the series. These covers will look a lot different from any other Whedonverse covers.

Buffyfest: Is this the story of her journey with the scythe?
SA: Yep!

Buffyfest: Timeline-wise, will this mini take place after Willow makes her appearance on Angel & Faith?
SA: Indeed. Yeah, picks up right out of the last panels of her arc in Angel & Faith.

Ex Sanguine
Buffyfest: You described the Tim Seeley book Ex Sanguine as a story about a serial killer and vampire who fall in love…Buffy and Angel if they were Natural Born Killers. Can you elaborate?

SA: It's a pretty dark story, a bit of a detective story, and it does feature a relationship between a vampire and a serial killer. The darkness of it, and the darkness of the protagonists makes the comparison to Natural Born Killers make sense. Tim made the Buffy, Angel, Natural Born Killer reference in the pitch, and I immediately got it, but those sorts of elevator pitches don't mean a lot to me. The intricacy of the mystery story is a big part of what attracted me, and just my love of Tim's work. I wanted to do more real horror comics, and we have a bunch of them cooking, like the Colder miniseries we announced with Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra a couple weeks ago. More to be announced shortly ...

Buffyfest: Thanks as always, Scott!

You can find even more info about the mini-series over at EW. Warning, it's all a bit spoilery for Buffy Season 9.

'Cabin in the Woods' FINALLY Hits Theaters today!!!

Cabin in the Woods, the long awaited, spoiler-sensitive horror film from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, finally hits theaters today after being shelved due to MGM's bankruptcy drama and basically going through a long process of annoyingness in general. It was made 3 long years ago and now it's here! Some people think it's going to have a very good weekend at the box office as well.

Have you seen it yet?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Buffyfest Talks 'Buffy' #8 with Scott Allie (Part 2)

Last week we spoke to Scott Allie about all things horror and scotched in an interview about Buffy #8 "A(part) of Me", which is in stores and available for digital download today. Scott is currently on his way to Chicago's C2E2 Expo and if you're in the Chicago area, you should definitely check it out as Dark Horse is making some exciting announcements! Ok, on with the show...

Buffyfest: Hey Scott! So what Andrew has done to Buffy's mind closely resembles early Dollhouse technology, was that the intention?

Scott Allie: Sort of. The Dollhouse angle wasn't in the original plan from Joss, but as we started figuring out how to make the details work with the robot and the mind transference, Dollhouse came to mind. Riffing on Dollhouse seemed to make sense, gave us a short hand, especially with Andrew Chambliss working on the comic, and Cliff drawing it, after he'd drawn the Dollhouse comic. I was able to reference the device from Dollhouse in the script and Cliff already knew what it was.

Buffyfest: It’s made clear that homemaker Buffy is not what robot Buffy had planned. Did Andrew create that personality or…?

SA: Mm, yeah. More to come on that, but yes. Andrew programmed something to take the place of Buffy's personality.

Buffyfest: In the opening pages, there’s a lot of pop culture references littered throughout Andrew’s room (Star Wars, Tranformers, Lady Gaga, Glee.) With Cliff Richard’s penciling, did you leave it to him to come up with what Andrew’s room would look like, or did you and Andrew Chambliss come up with those details?

SA: I threw a lot of specifics in there, but Cliff added a lot too. I think I suggested Gaga, and he came up with Glee. I think, anyway.

Buffyfest: The zompires have been creeping into the story more and more throughout the season, now especially with Detective Miranda Cheung becoming one. Will they continue to play a major part in the narrative as the story progresses?

SA: They'll continue to be important, and involved in some of the turning points of the story, but they're not the whole story. And they're not ultimately the Big Bad. They're relatively minor presence in the next arc, "Guarded", which has Andrew Chambliss and Georges back. They grow more important again in Buffy #14 & 15, where we have guest writers digging a bit more into what's going on with zompires.

Buffyfest: Hand on your heart – someone you love is killed and gets sired. What’s harder to deal with emotionally – a vampire or a zompire?

SA: I suspect a vampire. A zompire can't manipulate you, it's just a monster. If you knew your child were a monster, and you had to kill it, or even just flee it, that would be unimaginably bad. But if it was talking to you while you were fighting for your life ... worse, I think.

Buffyfest: It's nice to see Dawn and Xander again but why is Xander raging so much? He pretty much Hulk-Smashed that tile.

SA: He is indeed grumpy. Things have not entirely gone Xander's way. More to come on that. That story comes to a head right before the final arc.

Buffyfest: By the way, Buffy losing an arm… Star Wars reference? Is Darth Vader her father? Be honest…

SA: This was Joss's idea, and he is a bit of a Star Wars fan, so ...

Buffyfest: We've noticed a big divide within Buffy fandom where many fans are downright angry at the reveal of Buffy being a robot and never having been pregnant vs. a new legion of fans (mostly on Tumblr) who have responded very positively to the story. What do you think of this anomaly?

SA: We expected it. We liked the idea, and felt that others would—but we also knew there'd be some backlash. I've seen criticisms from people thinking that we ruined our own story about abortion by saying she was never pregnant. And that would be true if the abortion, or the pregnancy, were the most important thing about Season 9. I hope that when it's all said and done most people will think it all added up. I have no delusions that everyone would think that.

 Buffyfest: Why did Dark Horse decided to change the cover of #8?

SA: I want to show exciting things on covers. I don't want to ruin stories, but I want to strike a balance. We're not doing our jobs if the covers are boring. So for every cover of Spike and Buffy sipping wine on a couch, there needs to be one where she's getting part of her body chopped off. Every time Georges does cover sketches, he literally does 10 or 12, compared to the 2 or 2.5 that other artists do. When Georges did this sketch, we loved it, and wanted to use it, but you'll notice we actually put it on the issue AFTER the arm gets hacked off. So it was out there, people knew it was coming, but when it happened in issue #7 hopefully it was still somewhat of a surprise. When Georges drew the robot arm being hacked off, we went back and forth about how to show that it was a fake arm. I think the initial sketch had blood. Georges tried a few different ways of drawing the sparks. Then Michelle colored it, and it didn't look right, so Georges tried another way of doing the shoulder. She colored it again, and it looked great. In all that mucking around, we talked a lot about the cover, and came up with the idea to conceal the fact that she was a robot by going back to the bloody shoulder version. So Georges drew a patch, Michelle colored it yet again, and we decided to spoil the arm being torn off, but mislead a little bit by concealing the fact that the arm is mechanical.

Buffyfest: The Drusilla mini-series has been shelved but we know you've been planning other minis for Season 9. Do you know who you'll be focusing on having their own mini-series next?

SA: I do. We'll be announcing at Chicago, C2E2. I think word will get out on Thursday, at the retailer presentation, and then in more detail on the Dark Horse panel on Friday. I wish you guys were gonna be there.

Buffyfest: Us too! Will that mini-series be moved up now?

SA: Actually, yes and no. And I'll tell you guys this. It's two series. One is being moved up slightly, one is not. For a couple reasons—in part because of the scheduling change on Drusilla, and in part because of where and when we need that character doing other stuff in the two main books. While we started with a detailed outline, a lot changed over time. Things changed for the characters in ways we didn't initially predict or understand, and so where each character is, what they're doing, has changed as the story has gone on.

Buffyfest: We're definitely looking forward to it! Thanks, Scott.

Look out for some extra tidbits about that C2E2 announcement here on Buffyfest this Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Buffy Season 9 #8 Review (SPOILERS)

Moving on from the pregnancy plot (and yes it is really and truly over so far as I can tell), Buffy Season 9 begins on the path of a new and very different story arc with issue #8 called “Apart (of me).”  I have just one word for you to sum up the surprising direction things are headed, but not just yet.  Let’s talk about a few other sundries first.

First, the good news.  If you’re smart and you figured out how the whole “Buffy is a robot” thing works, then you already know that some of the emotional stuff from last issue still holds.  That’s my way of saying that Buffy and Spike’s relationship is still growing and evolving in a way that I find emotionally satisfying.

There’s also a solid B plot surrounding the death of Cheung and the emotional fallout from that with a special guest appearance from Xander and Dawn.  I’m relieved that the other members of the cast aren’t getting lost in the shuffle.  One of the good things about the actual show was that there were always multiple threads coming together all the time and I feel like Season 9 is doing a much better job of that than Season 8 did.

That’s the good.  The less good news, and I can’t imagine anyone will be surprised if they’ve read the solicits for later issues, is Andrew.  Oh, Andrew.  Never my favorite, but boy did I not anticipate he’d regress into the sort of dude who could justify taking a woman’s agency away completely.  DON’T WORRY, THOUGH BECAUSE HE WAS DOING IT FOR BUFFY’S OWN GOOD.  

Right.  Here’s the narrative flaw for me.  I need to believe Andrew would do what he did (and, yes, it’s a little complicated so I’ll leave some of the details for when you read it.)  My beef is that I don’t buy that Andrew would take the actions that he has and, furthermore, that Buffy or Spike would allow him to continue, you know, BREATHING after they figured it out.  I suppose you could argue he is a necessary evil in this moment but, BOY, am I not loving where his story has gone.

Buffy Season 9 #8 is a good but mixed bag, basically.  On the one hand, there’s exciting stuff on the horizon and it feels like we’ll be getting interesting character development for more than just Buffy.  On the other, I felt like I had to swallow some bitter pills and accept some stuff I didn’t want to in order to focus on the things that are good.  Then again, I’ve felt that way since long before the show became a comic so, hand on heart, maybe I’m just that guy, you know?

Alright.  Back to that one word that is going to describe the rest of “Apart (of me).”  Did you work it out while reading reviews on the interwebs?  If not, then here it is – Dollhouse.  Soak it in because, baby, you don’t know the half of it.

Let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments.

See you next month!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Buffyesque Comics You Should Read - Alabaster: Wolves

Writer: CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, Artist: Steve Lieber, Cover Artist: Greg Ruth

Happy Friday people! Since you probably love Buffy if you're reading this blog, and hey...who doesn't love a good monster hunter story anyway, check out Alabaster: Wolves. The book is about a "chosen one" of sorts and all the murky darkness that goes along with that. Dark Horse Editor Rachel Edidin says of the series main character:

"If you like Buffy Summers, you’ll probably like Dancy. She’s a girl in her late teens, and she’s got that same gritted-teeth determination. But Dancy’s not pretty, or bubbly. She’s got no superpowers — just a knife and a harsh celestial master. She’s got the start of a sly sense of humor, but no glib Whedonesque quips."

"If you like River Tam from Joss Whedon’s Firefly, you’ll probably like Dancy. She’s a kind of crazy, or she might be, or she’s afraid she might be, and her hair is always in her eyes, and she’s always a step ahead. But Dancy isn’t a supergenius. She doesn’t need a trigger word to fight, and no big brother will ever swoop in to comfort her. Dancy can’t kill you with her brain: that’s why she carries that great big knife."

The first issue debuts next Wedensday. And Dark Horse tells us there will be an Alabaster short story in the Buffy and Serenity Free Comic Book Day comics! Holla!