I say again, it’s a good month to be a Whedonist!!
The instant extreme success of The Avengers couldn’t have been earned by any writer/director/creator more deserving.
Seeing the movie was exciting.
Seeing the movie a second time was exciting!
Seeing Joss’s name get splashed around the internet at an ever increasing rate is exciting.
It’s so amazing, that the number of articles about the importance of the letter are steadily rising.
Here’s a beautiful excerpt:
People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon . . . What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized” . . . So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow.
And we are glowing! With great pride. For the best damn writer alive in our time. Joss is a fan boy at heart, and he knows how to tell stories. He’s never sold out. And that’s brought him a lot of canceled television programs, but it’s also bought him a dedicated following. Joss has been weaving the current mythology of our popular culture for the last fifteen years. Though everyone may not have seen the series, Buffy is certainly a name recognized by most. And her impact has been deep and wide. What Joss has done for female characters and the empowerment of women – no, not just women, of people – is necessary, meaningful, and timely.
It’s amazing how many interviews, articles, and reviews you can read right now on both The Avengers and Joss Whedon. I must mention some of the best though (all second, of course, to Whedon’s post on Whedonesque).
Here’s possibly the best interview I’ve ever read with Whedon: ‘Avengers’ Director Joss Whedon on Trying to Be More Like Buffy. It’s lengthy and meaty and well-worth your time! And as someone who’s currently juggling many projects (though none on the level of what Joss does), I appreciated this insight/advice the most:
If you try to multitask in the classic sense of doing two things at once, what you end up doing is quasi-tasking. It’s like being with children. You have to give it your full attention for however much time you have, and then you have to give something else your full attention. The secret to multitasking is that it isn’t actually multitasking. It’s just extreme focus and organization.
If your time is more limited, here’s a short Q&A that gets right to the heart of Whedon. I’m going to spoil the final bit for you, and you won’t mind because it’s so damn beautiful all by itself.
Tell us a joke.
Your life has meaning.
Tell us a secret.
Your life has meaning.
Here’s an article I love that came out just before The Avengers release date and highlights the academia of the Whedonverse: Master of the Whedonverse. Speaking of which… five years ago when I was writing my Master’s Thesis on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, despite the growing academic literature, I had to argue why this was worthy of academic exploration. I dare say that now, as I’m expanding on that project as a book with McFarland, the why has become culturally understand. Are all movies and television programs deep and meaningful? Of course. But the one’s that are… they are transforming us on an individual and collective level. They are as powerful as myths. In fact, they’re the new myth. They reflect our time and they give us something to relate to. I firmly believe Joss was a significant figure in bringing this into being. He changed the face of serialized television. And, in the process, he changed our lives.
On a final note, here’s an interesting article on Death in Fantasy Fiction: Why It Makes Us Rage. (Minor spoilers for Avengers coming here… but I won’t give away anything you’re not already expecting… and I won’t name names) Sure, my husband muttered, “Damn you, Joss Whedon!” under his breath when a beloved character in The Avengers met his demise… but here’s what I love about Whedon. We (the Whedonists) know he’s going to kill off characters that matter to us. If they didn’t matter to us, their deaths wouldn’t matter. And he’s not doing it for shock value. In the worlds Whedon creates, the stakes are always high (Buffy lives on a Hellmouth; Angel battles Wolfram & Hart’s apocalypse; the Alliance is out for Mal Reynolds; Dr. Horrible built a DEATH ray; The Dollhouse is attacking the very rights of humanity; The Avengers are facing a demi-god). And how realistic would those high stakes seem and those victories really feel if everyone came out alive and unburdened? In fact, if it hadn’t been for the moving death in Avengers, would our team of super heroes even have become a team? I think Nick Fury made it pretty clear how much they needed that catalyst. We’re drawn to Whedon again and again because his stories are real. The stakes are real. The losses are real. And so are the messages, the characters, the meaningfulness, and the emotion.
I’m proud to be a Whedonist and I’m glad the whole world now gets to see now what he’s capable of.