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The Comics of Joss Whedon: Critical Essays

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A great deal of scholarship has focused on Joss Whedon’s television and film work, which includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. But Whedon’s work in the world of comics has largely been ignored. He created his own dystopian heroine, Fray, gathered the goofy fannish heroes of Sugarshock, and wr A great deal of scholarship has focused on Joss Whedon’s television and film work, which includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. But Whedon’s work in the world of comics has largely been ignored. He created his own dystopian heroine, Fray, gathered the goofy fannish heroes of Sugarshock, and wrote arcs for Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men and Runaways. Along with The Avengers, Whedon’s contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe include script doctoring the first X-Men film, writing a ground-shaking Wonder Woman screenplay, and co-creating ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Today, Whedon continues the Buffy and Firefly stories with innovative comics that shatter the rules of storytelling and force his characters to grow through life-altering conflicts. This collection of new essays focuses on Whedon’s comics work and its tie-ins with his film and television productions, emphasizing his auteurism in crossing over from panel to screen to panel. Essays focus on the comic inspirations and subversive tropes of the Whedonverse, as well as character changes and innovations.


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A great deal of scholarship has focused on Joss Whedon’s television and film work, which includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. But Whedon’s work in the world of comics has largely been ignored. He created his own dystopian heroine, Fray, gathered the goofy fannish heroes of Sugarshock, and wr A great deal of scholarship has focused on Joss Whedon’s television and film work, which includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. But Whedon’s work in the world of comics has largely been ignored. He created his own dystopian heroine, Fray, gathered the goofy fannish heroes of Sugarshock, and wrote arcs for Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men and Runaways. Along with The Avengers, Whedon’s contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe include script doctoring the first X-Men film, writing a ground-shaking Wonder Woman screenplay, and co-creating ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Today, Whedon continues the Buffy and Firefly stories with innovative comics that shatter the rules of storytelling and force his characters to grow through life-altering conflicts. This collection of new essays focuses on Whedon’s comics work and its tie-ins with his film and television productions, emphasizing his auteurism in crossing over from panel to screen to panel. Essays focus on the comic inspirations and subversive tropes of the Whedonverse, as well as character changes and innovations.

38 review for The Comics of Joss Whedon: Critical Essays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jani

    Frankel claims in her preface that there is a) not enough research on comics b) definitely not enough on Joss Whedon's comics and c) now would be the time to do this research. After this case made, it is a shame that the collection does not quite answer this call. The collection of essays manages to discuss all of Joss Whedon's works of comic art from the past twenty years and, in fact, more. Despite the collections name, preface's call to arms and cover texts all emphasizing comics, the collecti Frankel claims in her preface that there is a) not enough research on comics b) definitely not enough on Joss Whedon's comics and c) now would be the time to do this research. After this case made, it is a shame that the collection does not quite answer this call. The collection of essays manages to discuss all of Joss Whedon's works of comic art from the past twenty years and, in fact, more. Despite the collections name, preface's call to arms and cover texts all emphasizing comics, the collection has a hard time sticking to them. Many if not most essays almost talk more about Whedon's filmed work than about the comics. Of course, this is partially understandable as quite a few of his comic forays are connected works, but still it feels like the attention on the audiovisual materials take away attention and space from the comics. Another discrepancy between the set up and the content is between the marketed scholarly work and the authors. While the book attempts to market itself as an important contribution to the scholarly field, many of the texts fail to meet this challenge. While several contributors are not from academia, this is not the main problem, but the overall, half-hearted way to draw on sources that runs though most of the collection. Yes, this is an essay collection, but there is something very much wrong if, for example, an article discussing mind/body dualism in a contemporary SF work does not refer to scholars more recent than Rene Descartes, who after all died some 350 years ago. It seems that the collection suffers both from an identity crisis and of over ambitiousness. However, while the whole is uneven and has problems living up to its goals, many of the articles provide interesting readings on Whedon's works. Unfortunately, the most fascinating part of the whole are the articles that do not so much discuss Whedon's comics, but their interaction with the filmed works, the author's image and fans. The collection manages better in proving that there is need for more study on Whedon and transmediality than in filling the gap in the current comic research.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway program. It's an interesting look at Whedon's forays into comics. It's an academically styled and occasionally very dry collection of essays (lots of very, very long sentences! Lots of footnotes!), so I wouldn't recommend it for the average casual fan, but for someone like me who appreciates serious, intellectual attention finally being paid to the stuff that we knew all along deserved and warranted it, it's a real delight. I did n I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway program. It's an interesting look at Whedon's forays into comics. It's an academically styled and occasionally very dry collection of essays (lots of very, very long sentences! Lots of footnotes!), so I wouldn't recommend it for the average casual fan, but for someone like me who appreciates serious, intellectual attention finally being paid to the stuff that we knew all along deserved and warranted it, it's a real delight. I did not agree with some of the conclusions that some of the authors reached, but the fact that I was challenged to think about them was fun and enriching. I'm still hesitant to accept some of the sources seemingly cited as experts, particularly posters on internet discussion boards with curious tag-names, and I did think some of the articles were a bit over-the-top in tone and depth (I mean, come on, they -are- comic books, you're supposed to have a little fun!), but overall I enjoyed the book very much, most especially the Buffy-verse and Marvel sections. I wish there had been books like this when I was in school; I would have paid much more attention.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rose Tyler

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clara Stevenson

  5. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Robbins

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fred Stevenson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bryant Dillon

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gail

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alysa H.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joe Wygocki

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lois

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather Bridson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barbara White

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Scurfield

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  21. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason Hicks

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  24. 4 out of 5

    Velda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Summey

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  31. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Karl

  32. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Replogle

  33. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  34. 5 out of 5

    CJ

  35. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Hawk

  36. 4 out of 5

    Megan's Picks For Today Blog

  37. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  38. 4 out of 5

    E King

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