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Joss Whedon's Poetics of Space
    Joss' commentary for "Objects in Space", the concluding ep of "Firefly", offers a much more convincing case for the impossibility of carrying Buffy into two dimensions than any of the elaborate arguments against canonicity have done.

   He talks, first, of his own sort of epiphany concern the way objects exist in themselves without any relation to consciousness, that they exist whether we wish them to or not, without meaning, while watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Director's Cut" as a 16-year-old in London. Those who experienced the movie in those pre-cineplex days will recall the impact that the mother-ship's descent had, and I wonder whether his realization came before or during those late sequences in the film. He realized that he had no belief in a divine or universal intelligence giving things, objects, meaning -- and a friend gave him a copy of Sartre's "Nausea", which helped him key on his understanding. His commentary for this ep -- after he says he doesn't want to be considered an intellectual -- is a fascinating meditation on emotions, on the way we impart meaning to things, and on the difference between the way River experiences objects & is distanced from their common meaning, and the way that Early, in his opposite way, does so. 

   He als offers an anecdote about how he spent a Saturday actually in the Serenity, passing through it, in order to get the key to the character of Early -- and all this truly lit up the importance, for Joss as a writer & dreamer, of working with actual sets. The relation of so many of his other shows, and the importance of the sets of the library, the Summer house, of the Factory, of Spike's crypt & the Magic Box, the Hyperion, of Serenity & the Dollhouse, appeared in a very new light. Joss' imaginative life was truly born during that experience in the theatre, -- he suddenly had access to all the questions about life & death that he'd previously taken for granted or simply not himself thought about -- 

   Whatever can be achieved or not in graphic form, Joss really made it clear, by his intensity & by his emotion, especially in light of other commentaries (like his explanation of how Xander actually moves through the standing sets of Buffy in his dream in "Restless" or his commentary on "Hush") what activates his creative vision, his feeling for the world and for his characters . . . and even if he's a comics fan, the source for inspiration isn't there. The whole conceit of using comics-style superpowers & references in comic-book form doesn't hook properly into the way he works, the way he works with actors, the way he works with set designers, and then the way he works with a camera. The power outage, the strange sloppy lack of principle in the comics, comes simply from someone who has revealed for anyone who cares to listen his own processes, motivations, even his imaginative birth, in the commentaries to his filmed work.

   If Joss never does television (or film work) again, he won't really ever create again.


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to call it canon means disregarding the impact other artists had on the creation of the television show. It does not contain Sarah Michelle Gellar's interpretation of Buffy, which had a major impact on the formation of Buffy the television show character, and as such, Buffy the comic book character does not carry the canonicity of Buffy the television show character, for all that they tell me she's the same.


Something odd I read somewhere on the net, was that Joss (if I'm not wrong?) instructed the comics illustrators to make comics!Buffy "look like Buffy but not like SMG."


One huge criteria for my enjoyment of any post-series Buffy fics is whether or not I can hear the characters as portrayed by the actors on the show say that dialogue or imaging them making particular choices and taking those actions; in other words, I need some character and thematic continuity. (duh, right?) Neither of which I find in any of the comics, or really I should say the so called S8 (with exception of some stories in what was collected in "omnibus #1" : Slayer, Interrupted, Viva Las Vegas, etc, that in my mind do a pretty good job in both regards.)

SMG embodied Buffy in my mind and she was as much the of the directions the show took; I've read another comment from Joss paraphrased to the effect that part of the reason the show took a much darker turn after S1 was because of SMG's particular gifts with drama/melodrama. (She had originally tried out for the role of Cordy. Imagine for a moment how different those characters and the show would have been if SMG and CC switched roles. Or the actress who played Willow in the unaired short pilot for the network had kept the role of Willow. Willow without AH is unthinkable - as the comics demonstrate, she's just a doll-figure with a few tics and phrases thrown in, and red hair, to attempt to make her recognizably "Willow", but for me the effect always fails.)

Edited at 2012-08-21 06:52 pm (UTC)

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