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The Madness of Joss II - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
The Madness of Joss II
Back in February I posted saying:
The Season 8 comics had led me to believe that Joss Whedon had been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by an evil clone. After the latest revelations I have now revised that opinion. I now believe that there are two possible explanations for recent events in the comics:

1) Joss has come to bitterly resent the series that made him famous, and which succeeded where his babies Firefly and Dollhouse failed, and he has set out to destroy the characters and the franchise
2) Joss has a serious undiagnosed mental illness.

I Friends-locked it, at the time, because I didn't want to risk Joss or Dark Horse seeing it and possibly suing me for libel. However Issue 34 has removed that fear. If I was sued all I would need to do would be to produce Issue 34 as evidence and no jury on Earth would convict me. Well, not unless Cheryl and stormwreath were on the jury.

Either Joss has gone stark raving mad or else he is deliberately trying to destroy the Buffyverse franchise out of spite. There can no longer be any doubt.

It's beginning to kill my enthusiasm for writing in the Buffyverse. I had been intending to return to 'Sunnydale Passions', now that I've thought of a way round the block I hit when I planned a plot development around an anatomical peculiarity of the kangaroo only to find, when I checked, that the peculiarity in question applies only to wallabies and not to kangaroos. And there would have been penguins. However I don't know if I will continue it, now, for how can I write crack!fic when the canon fic Joss is coming up with is crackier by many orders of magnitude than anything I could ever dream up? And it's not even funny.

I'll continue with crossover fic, and I will continue 'Came The Thunder' as I could never abandon Nonoma'e'e, but my other pure Buffyverse fics will continue to languish untouched for the forseeable future. 'Life, Resumed' lacks only the Epilogue - but I don't know how I'll motivate myself to write it now. Joss has poisoned the Buffyverse and I don't have access to a Priestess of Talona to cast Neutralise Poison.

Current Music: Malcom McLaren, "Soweto"

36 comments or speak 2 me
danel4d From: danel4d Date: April 10th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
A slightly more charitable assessment of it that I've seen elsewhere is that he really wanted to tell the story about an apocalypse, and two warriors, etc., but wasn't confident that he'd get the chance to finish it in an original universe.

As if the subtext of Season 7 wasn't dubious enough already, adding "And it leads to the end of the world anyway" makes it even worse.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 10th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
he really wanted to tell the story about an apocalypse, and two warriors, etc., but wasn't confident that he'd get the chance to finish it in an original universe.

Or that he (correctly) thought that no-one would be remotely interested in two new characters, with no back-story, acting out this nonsensical and downright incoherent story and so he shoe-horned Buffy and Angel into it despite it being contrary to everything that has took place in the televised Buffyverse.
danel4d From: danel4d Date: April 10th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Like I said, if you were trying to be really charitable... but I don't think there's a whole lot of that left by this point. In some ways it's sad, since parts of the comic really do work - as cracktastic as the thing is, the other characters reactions to it seem to be very much in character, since it really just consists of boggling.

In some ways, S8 resembles S7 - jumbled parts of unconnected brilliance forgotten and swept away, mixed into a confused mish-mash along with dodgy subtext and half-assed twists. Only with a hell of a lot more sheer madness.
From: hawera Date: April 10th, 2010 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I suggest that you do what others of us have done, which is to abandon Joss and the comics and stick to the fanfics of writers who (unlike Joss, as you say) love the characters.
elisi From: elisi Date: April 10th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
You forgot option 3 - drugs.

(Say what you will about ol' Rusty, but at least he's aware that he writes crack. I've got a quote somewhere that proves it! *g*)

ETA: paratti has cracked it here!

Edited at 2010-04-10 12:03 pm (UTC)
shapinglight From: shapinglight Date: April 10th, 2010 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I've had days when the what happens in the comics has seeped into my consciousness to such an extent that it's poisoned my love of the 'verse. I think it's one (though by no means all)of the reasons why I've written no fanfic this year except for some snippets of horrible porn which I haven't let anyone see.
cat63 From: cat63 Date: April 10th, 2010 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
This makes me glad I've never read any of the comics really.

I'm sorry it's spoiled your enjoyment of the Buffyverse.
gillo From: gillo Date: April 10th, 2010 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear. I so wanted to see the end of Sunnydale Passions too. I'm sorry the silliness of the comics has tainted your enjoyment of the 'verse, because you have brought both fun and joy to it for so many of us.

It's Joss. Perhaps he will turn it round, to some extent. ::holds grimly to some hope::
ffutures From: ffutures Date: April 10th, 2010 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I've just given up on the comics and S8 canon - but also am writing a lot less Buffyverse anyway, not because I dislike it but because there are other things I can write, not least the RPG.
brunettepet From: brunettepet Date: April 10th, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
That just makes me sad, though I'm glad I gave up on the comics so early.
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: April 10th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've only read a couple of the comics at the bookstore. Dawn was a centaur. I didn't feel any need to hunt up the others because so many fanfic writers have material out that's much, much better than the issues I read. (You included!)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 10th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
With hindsight I can now see that Dawn being a centaur was the best bit of the whole thing.
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: April 10th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, not only is that just scary, it also makes me happy I didn't spend time or money tracking down the rest of the series!
mwrgana From: mwrgana Date: April 10th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is a great shame. I've never read any of the comics so I carry on from the end of Season 7, happily slashing and ignoring what Joss has produced since.

Not that I've done a lot - and what I have done needs updating - but I find it much less constraining to go AU with the characters than try to adhere to canon that may not make sense to me.
janedavitt From: janedavitt Date: April 10th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Never read any of the comics; what has he done? I'm curious now :-)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 10th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Buffy, the bisexual bank-robber, has just spent an entire issue boinking Angel (now revealed as the masked villain who led an armed incursion of American troops into the People's Republic of China to kill depowered Slayers - somehow without causing the PRC to retaliate by wrecking America's economy - and who has caused the deaths of 206 Slayers). This boinkfest is revealed to be the result of the Universe itself decreeing that Buffy and Angel are special snowflakes who are to be the progenitors of a new race of super-beings who will inherit the Earth after a series of cataclysms (which have started) wipe out all life from the current Earth. Somehow the vampire's cold dead seed is going to impregnate Buffy and she will give birth, not only to super-humans, but to hippos, tigers, and Indian Ocean catfish (all of which are shown being threatened by the global catastrophe).

It's such a total mess there is no way I can even begin to convey how stupid it is. Wolves live in Scotland, vampire bats (which eat mosquitoes, somehow, rather than drinking blood) live in Texas, and Willow has friendly conversations with a (somehow alive, although skinless) Warren! Ut's so screwed up that the gang going to Tibet by submarine was only the 793rd stupidest plot development.
daibhid_c From: daibhid_c Date: April 10th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

That ... is Grant Morrison levels of bizzare, without any signs of the underlying (if somewhat skewed) logic that even Final Crisis had...
janedavitt From: janedavitt Date: April 10th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You just made my head go 'splodey.

My Buffy will continue to end with S7 of the TV show, I think.

ayinhara From: ayinhara Date: April 10th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the precis. That saves me a lot of time, money and most importantly aggravation.
quinara From: quinara Date: April 10th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
:( Sad to see your love fading. I can understand it though.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: April 10th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
wildecate From: wildecate Date: April 10th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Am devoutly grateful that I never read the comics, and even more so now. Perhaps hypnotherapy to remove all memories of comics from your mind!
curiouswombat From: curiouswombat Date: April 10th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
He is feeling sleepy... he is feeling very sleepy....
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 10th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Which is a bit of a bugger considering I'm going to work in an hour and I'm taking the car...
mabus101 From: mabus101 Date: April 10th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, this actually increases my desire to finish DeadWar, because it means I can write much better than Joss, at least where serious, non-cracky fic is concerned.
makd From: makd Date: April 10th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
ITA. The beginning of the end, for me, was "giantess Dawn" and the return of Skinned Man. The end came when I learned that Buffy could fly and that Angel had been killing slayers.
jedibuttercup From: jedibuttercup Date: April 10th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been picking up the collections as they're published; I decided around the time of Robot Dawn that the whole thing is some kind of hallucinatory nightmare Buffy's having. I haven't got as far as Issue 34 yet, but I've heard plenty of spoilers. *eyeroll* (Not to mention, how on earth is this supposed to fit in with the Angel comic series?)
curiouswombat From: curiouswombat Date: April 11th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eventually we will have a last picture where Giles walks out of a shower and we discover it's all been someone's nightmare...
(Deleted comment)
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: April 11th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I read a post recently that suggests Joss " seems hostile to authority in all its forms", and that S8 results from a very bleak view of the world in general and any grand plan to improve it in particular.

Just the same, even though I'm reading the comics they don't bother me from a fanfic standpoint: I cheerfully ignore them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 11th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just ignore it

Yeah, I find that all those problems go away when you simply ignore Season 8 as some weird alternate reality. Real Buffyverse never went near that sillyness.

Unless the comics motivates you to concentrate on Tabula Avatar-verse. In that case, please read as many of that godawful tripe as you can!
audela From: audela Date: April 11th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll continue with crossover fic, and I will continue 'Came The Thunder' as I could never abandon Nonoma'e'e, but my other pure Buffyverse fics will continue to languish untouched for the forseeable future. 'Life, Resumed' lacks only the Epilogue - but I don't know how I'll motivate myself to write it now. Joss has poisoned the Buffyverse and I don't have access to a Priestess of Talona to cast Neutralise Poison.

Ack!! Both relief and horror at the same time. You know I love Nonoma'e'e, and it's a relief to know that Joss hasn't poisoned that well. But.... no Epilogue for Life Resumed? Nooooooooooooo! I've been looking forward to that ever since you finally updated.

I certainly don't buy the comics, and am not sure I've read a full issue, but I know plenty of what's been going on. At first, I have to admit, S8 (as it is called) upset me. Giant Dawn? The return of Warren and Amy? Buffy the bank robber? Centaur Dawn? Buffy the bi-curious exploiting yet another person's love? Bangel one twu wuvvery? And now with the flying and the glowing and Willow having friendly little chats with the murderer of Tara? Well, it's all become just too silly for me to worry about any more. I just had to laugh at much of what's in #34--it's so over-the-top, and weird (to take a hunk like DB and turn him into some sort of goblin? what's with that?), I cannot take it seriously. I've read a lot of fan-wankery that tries desperately to make it make all make sense, and link it to some magnificent over-arching vision but meh--sometimes silly is just silly.

Joss is writing fanfic--the fact that he calls it canon is neither here nor there in my mind. He's never been above retcons as new inspiration strikes, and this is what the comic seems to be--a total reimagining to meld BtVS with Fray and Wonder Woman. The TV show I love was NOT just a Joss Whedon creation; it was also David Greenwalt's and then Marti Noxon's, not to mention Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, David Fury et al. It was also the actors'--Spike wouldn't exist past S2 without James Marsters, and it's hard to imagine of Buffy without SMG (did you see Kristy Swenson?). Buffy the comic is the creation of Joss and Brad Meltzer and Georges Jeanty; Buffy the TV show involved Joss and a whole load of people--other different people whose work I prefer. I like some of the show's comics (I have Spike: Asylum for example), am mostly indifferent about some (After the Fall), and dislike others, but they are no more canon to me than I am the Walrus is. The "S8" comics characters don't act like TVBuffy characters, they don't sound like TVBuffy characters, and they sure as heck don't look like TVBuffy characters, so... they just aren't. The TV show is the TV show, and the comics are something else: AR or maybe AU, I've never been clear on that distinction. And just as I don't care much for all-human BtVS fanfic, I find I don't care much for comic-superhero BtVS fanfic even if one of the authors is Joss.

I was caught by Catching up with BtVS which blogs someone watching the series for the first time. The take on Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest got me to dig out the DVDs and take another look. And you know, there it was, the show I enjoyed, the characters I came to love at the beginning of their journey, there in their innocence and beauty. Nothing can change that, no fanfic written can do that. Even AtS can't change that. So take another look at some of the episodes (Fool for Love maybe?) reread what you have created in Life resumed, and see if you can't finish your Spike and your Buffy's story. I like them, I think they are true to what we saw on the show. As for the comics? I don't know those people, they are not my people and they sure are weirdly-behaved and funny-looking.

infinitewhale From: infinitewhale Date: April 12th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hate to again intrude into another person's journal to comment, but this post is exactly how I feel about the comics and the show. BTVS and even AtS were not the products of Joss's sole mind.

The comics, their storylines and especially the treatment of the characters is nothing short of antagonistic toward the series itself. The resentment there is almost printed on every page.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 13th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Quite honestly...

I think I mentally declared anything post Once More With Feeling to be non-canon, since it was from then on that the show began to suck gravy through a curly straw.

As for you getting de-motivated to write further Buffy fic, please don't. :( Your continuity is much more interesting ( as was Barbs, if she ever would get back to writing a Parliament of Monsters, sigh ) as the real thing and I would terribly miss your fic.

I guess this is the place, once again, to go swinging pom-poms for you returning to Tabula Avatar. ^^

Anyway, I guess I agree with you about Joss wanting to passively-aggressively destroy the Buffyverse. I mean, wasn't it obvious from mid-season six onwards, when Firefly was failing and Marti Noxon was doing her damned best to kill the show? Joss had given up on the show even back then.

Kinda strange how bitter I am today, when back then I was having flame-wars on BAPS with people about THEM being too negative. ^^

desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: April 17th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Funny and too true. No, please don't abandon Nonoma'e'e, as my family is interested in her now, and Bebe has asked for and received permission to read Came The Thunder. You Cannot Abandon Nonoma'e'e and us, your readers!!!

Are you open to bribes?
From: shieldage Date: April 24th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my opinion he should have waited until after Angel: After the Fall had finished its full print run before touching the future of the Buffy property.

The past, however... Have you seen the four-minute pilot of the Buffy cartoon? And if you have, can I ask your opinion? It's the full voice cast, except for SMG. I think Brenden carries his part well. Not sure about Hannigan though...

In my opinion it's a terrible shame the series wasn't followed through on. I think it would be awesome to see this version of the cast facing down an animated Captain Hammer. :D

36 comments or speak 2 me