Wimsey cogito

The season 8 comics and canon

I was just reading ruuger's remarkably sensible thoughts on the comics and canon, and had my own additional idea about this.

The Buffy comics aren't the same status as the television show because... they're not the television show. They have reached only a fraction of the show's audience. I can assume safely that all of my readers have watched the show. I can't assume they've read the comics. In fact, I can be sure that most of them haven't. So I can't take knowledge of "The Long Way Home" for granted the way I can take knowledge of "Band Candy" for granted.

Canon is our shared knowledge. It is the structure upon which I hang my stories. It is what I do not have to explain to my readers, and what baffles me when I read stories in fandoms I know nothing about. I'm not particularly tied down by canon; I don't feel any need to write stories that stay within it. But I do want to know that my readers share it with me.

So bing, right there I've got a reason not to treat the Buffy comics as canon when I write.

As ruuger says, I might be more enthusiastic if the comics were great, or telling a great story. Instead they're kinda comic-booky, and not in that awesome literate Sandman way. The cover art is nice; the inside art is the usual letdown. The story hasn't yet won me. Eh. It might, in which case I'll pitch it to you all as something you should read. But even then, I can't assume you will.

Anyway, I'm into ruuger's conclusion: So in short: some people like the comics, some don't, Joss says they're canon but it really has nothing to do with anything unless you're writing a thesis, and could we just go back to writing fic.

And maybe I'll write some Giles/Spike to demonstrate my agreement.
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Between you, ruuger, and her commenter callmesandy, I think everything I might have to say on the question of the comics as canon has been successfully covered.

Will I be considering them canon? No, I won't. Do I care if someone else decides to read them and use them as a jumping off point for their fic? Only insofar as I won't understand what they're writing from and thus will probably stop reading because I'm a tidge confused and don't feel like hunting for information about why the story is written the way it is. I won't make a stink; I just won't bother finishing.

Up to this point, I've read one Buffy novel and that was entirely because there was a tie to the Salem Witch Trials which have long been a bit of an obsession of mine. It turned out to be one of those books that went in one eye and out the other. There's no way I'd assume most of my readership has read it or cares about it. As you say, it won't have been as universally and that automatically limits its universal appeal to the fandom.

It's been a while since I've written any Spike/Giles and I don't have any current inspiration in that direction, but maybe I'll thank ruuger for her intelligent, rational, and entirely measured comments by pointing her in the direction of the ones I did write.
Heh! I grew up in Danvers, Mass, a town which earlier in its history was known as Salem Village. My parents' house is walking distance from the Rebecca Nurse homestead. We got tons of the Real Story in our history classes, as you might imagine.

I have read exactly one Buffy tie-in novel: Sins of the Father, which is the one that's allegedly all Gilesy. It made me think that fanfiction is... so much better than what the IP owners force the writers to produce. Also, that when I was 13 I'd have been annoyed to be fed such dumbed-down YA pap.

The comics, yeah, ruuger & callmesandy nailed it. If I write any stories in that universe, I'll have to explain stuff as needed by the story. Which will annoy anybody who knows the comics. There's no winning.
Woah. You grew up in Danvers! Can I touch the hem of your garment? (tries not to look too stalkery)

My brother keeps nagging at me to write an approved Buffy novel, but I couldn't do it. I know they would demand that I follow the approved guidelines which I'm sure would completely conflict with my personal views of the Buffyverse. I probably wouldn't be allowed to explore any sort of adult concept in depth (and I'm not just talking about not being able to write sex scenes, because that's actually the least of my problems with writing according to the approved formula despite the fact that I'm known and lauded for my smut writing) because they 'know' the target audience for the novels is about 12-15 in age and no child of that age can handle anything in depth or philosophical...says she who was scarfing up George Bernard Shaw's plays (including the forwards which were often longer than the plays themselves) at twelve, and had read War and Peace for the first time well before my fifteenth birthday rolled around.

With fanfic you can choose what you want to say with it and make it get your point across, or you can sit down and start writing and see where it chooses to go. You can be as strict with canon as you know how to be or go wildly AU. You can tell adult stories in either sense of the term or you can write a charming and comforting fairy tale for the small child in each of us who needs a bit of reassuring that someone is going to take care of the monster under the bed. I can write to challenges, but my view of the Buffyverse includes the adult (in all senses of the term) and has...well, certain verities of which Joss appears not to approve.

I thank Joss kindly for what he created, but I choose my own canon at this point, and I choose not to add more canon to my world. I trudged wearily through the final year and a half of Buffy waiting with less and less hope for something that made more sense to me and was a tidge less depressing. Just a tidge. Either that, or had something to say with the depressing; I'd have settled pretty cheerfully for that. After all, my favorite episodes in the series are things like Passion, The Body, and Lie To Me. I like emotionally messy. Yet I keep getting told with a metaphorical wag of the finger that I simply can't handle hard truths or a world that isn't wall-to-wall adorable puppies and teddy bears.

I'm tired of being told I'm a weenie for not finding meaning in the final two seasons of the show, and I refuse to be admonished for not choosing to go out and buy comic books I can't really afford in order to be handed a fucking rehash of Sleeping Beauty. If others adore those seasons, they are more than welcome to. If others want to accept every word from Joss as gospel truth, they will get no argument from me. I just choose to go my own way.

And when - one fine day - I finish my Buffy in the Jack the Ripperverse fic, people will learn that I can take a damn unflinching look at some very ugly things.

Sorry to go a bit spewy there, but I'd just gotten done reading yet another 'you cannot say it isn't canon because it's from Joss so just fucking admit already it's canon...but you don't have to pay attention to it as long as you admit I'm right and what you're writing without taking it into consideration is wrong' spiel and I'm not putting up with that anymore. Joss. Is. Not. God. He's just a guy who had a really, really great idea once. I love the idea. I love what he did with it at first. I've just parted company with him over the story. And until this one post, I haven't even made a big deal out of that.

So there.

And I want a pony.

Humph.
While I've written two comic based fics (well one mostly based on a cover), I don't think I'll consider them canon.

Joss has already broken my heart by teasing me with the Buffy/Xander kiss and then making it all a dream. *sigh* I still haven't bought the comics and most likely will not, especially if I can find out what's going on via the internet.

So basically for me, the show is the only canon I'll subscribe to.
I am kinda hypocritical, in that if they go all cool and Gilesy I will turn into a rabid fan. But it doesn't seem likely.