View Poll Results: What do you consider to be canon and what not

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32. You may not vote on this poll
  • Angel After The Fall - canon

    18 56.25%
  • Angel After The Fall - not canon

    1 3.13%
  • Angel AtF - They're a rough guide, I accept the outline as canon.

    11 34.38%
  • Spike After The Fall - canon

    15 46.88%
  • Spike After The Fall - not canon

    5 15.63%
  • Spike AtF - They're a rough guide, I accept the outline as canon.

    8 25.00%
  • Lynch's Spike 8 issues - canon

    13 40.63%
  • Lynch's Spike 8 issues - not canon

    1 3.13%
  • Spike 8 - They're a rough guide, I accept the outline as canon.

    14 43.75%
  • Anything that has Joss' name on it is 100% canon, otherwise it is not.

    7 21.88%
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Thread: Canon or not?

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    Default Canon or not?

    Right, lets pin it down and go for popular consensus as it is quite clear Joss isn't going to tell us.

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    I consider Angel and Spike After the Fall, The 8 Issue Spike comic with Willow canon, and anything with Joss' name canon. They were considered canon back then and were taken seriously. I see them as canon.
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    I know I say this a lot, but I can't understand why people are still debating this. "After the Fall" and "Spike" are canon. I get that some people don't like those stories. There are some parts of the stories that I had issues with too. But my tastes or your tastes have nothing to do with what's canon. If that were the case, there are a handful of episodes from both shows that I'd like to de-canonize. I'm not going to split hairs either and say "this panel/ line of dialogue is canon, but this panel /line of dialogue is non-canon."

    With "After the Fall", Joss approached Brian Lynch because those events were a story that he wanted told with the AtS characters. IDW disregarded their previous non-canon continuity (The Curse, Old Friends, Spotlight and Auld Lang Syne) to tell this story. Joss Whedon's name is on the cover, writers and editors from both IDW and Dark Horse have said that ATF is canon. There have been a couple of references to it in BtVS season 8 and 9. I don't know what more is needed to convince people.

    "Spike: After the Fall" was written by Brian Lynch without as much involvement from Joss as "Angel: After the Fall". However, the events from S:ATF did get referenced in A:ATF, and the events of S:ATF were based on Spike's back-story that Joss and Brian spoke about and agreed on, but didn't have the time or room to include in the main book. I believe that this story is canon because it falls under the general "After the Fall" umbrella, and is "pretty much" canon in the same way that "Buffy: The Origin" is.

    As for the "Spike" 8 issue series, Joss obviously trusted Brian enough to include the back-story for Spike's bugship. And the story was important enough to warrant Joss overseeing Willow's dialogue. Brian Lynch has said that it's canon, so I'm gonna go with that rather than assume him to be lying.

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    I haven't read any of them so it is hard for me to put forward a view but as I see such differing opinions about it all the time I was interested in trying to see where the majority actually fall on this issue of accepting canon, to gauge whether they were worth getting basically.

    I get the impression that the issue a lot of people may have comes down to characterisation and people not liking, particularly with Spike, some of the plot lines and/or that they see the way the character is written as being inconsistent to the established character. I suppose in this way I can see why some people come out of it feeling like they have read a story which the details of are to be taken with a pinch of salt or seen as a general idea, rough outline. Accepting that the story may be what Joss would outline but the telling of it hasn't been done well, that the details may not be what they should have been, may be where a fair number of people come from.

    Otherwise, I think that it might be where there is some scope for misinterpretation that riles people. Again, a writing issue I suppose. I think some people have issues with Spike suddenly being portrayed as a playboy Slutty MacSlut and believe that this was the story, that this was the way he was behaving, whereas others say strongly that it was a cover story for the character to infiltrate the criminal world and there is no suggestion that he was actually 'seeing to' the ladies left right and centre. If this is written in such a way that it isn't clear and is open to interpretation (as I say I haven't read it) I can see why people have an issue with what is done to their favourite characters and dislike that it wasn't fully overseen.
    Last edited by Stoney; 07-04-12 at 11:06 AM.

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    I think of AtF as ‘lukewarm canon.’ The broad outline of the story is what happened but I don’t pay much attention to the character arcs or individual issues. Joss will make vague references to it (“You just flew, and without a dragon under your butt” – 8.36) but I have serious doubts he’s taking most of it into consideration when writing for those characters. I don’t, for instance, think he felt like he had to reconcile Angel’s characterisation in AtF with the direction he took him in in S8. It’s also very telling that Scott Allie blatantly ruled out that the future time-slips that occurred throughout AtF are canon and will affect DH’s story going forward in anyway. When I read things like that it makes it very hard for me to be all that invested in the details of AtF when I have serious doubts most of it is having any impact at all.

    To be quite honest, I think the only reason AtF exists is because Joss needed to explain how Angel and Spike got out of that alleyway so he could use them for S8. We all know the story about how Joss approached Scott Allie with plans for both BtVS and AtS only to discover that Darkhorse had sold the rights to AtS over to IDW. It sounds like Joss had originally planned for a much more cohesive story where both series would lead to the end of magic and we know that he’d never intended for Angel to wear the mask, or be used as “sparingly” as he ended up having to be out of courtesy to IDW. So when he handed Lynch his rough outline for AtS S6, I think he did so because he needed Angel and Spike to get out of that alley (and really answer the question that, yes, they did indeed survive) and be ready to appear later on in S8. We know he didn’t oversee all of Lynch’s characterisation (and his opinion of characters such as Angel and Spike seem to be polar opposites to how Joss feels about them) and, more importantly, we know that after 12 issues Joss no longer had any input at all. In fact, in the case of Cordelia’s cameo we know Lynch went completely against Whedon’s wishes and brought her back when Joss had stated he didn’t want her to be. And since ‘canon’ for me is any piece of work that has the ‘Whedon stamp of approval’ AtF enters that canon-grey zone.

    The same goes for the ‘Spike’ series, really. It enters that ‘lukewarm canon’ area for me because it does contain backstory for Spike’s ship and Joss did agree for Willow to be used, but I have serious doubts that any of what happened to Spike or his characterisation is something Joss thinks about when writing for the character. And since my focus in this verse is predominately on the characters (and I’m such a fan of how everything impacts them and how Joss in particular makes so many references to their past in his scripts) I find it very hard to consider it anything more than lukewarm canon when I’m hesitant to include any of it when analysing Spike’s character. It also doesn’t help when, once again, Lynch’s take on the characters seems to be the polar opposite to how Joss viewed him. Joss said Spike needed a soul but Lynch thinks he was good without one etc. I actually don't need the writers to all be unanimous on their views of these characters (David Fury and Joss clearly had different ideas about Spike/Spuffy originally, for example) but the difference is that on the TV show (or in S8) regardless of what any of the writers personally felt they all had to adhere to Whedon's view. This isn't the case with the 'Lynchverse' where he was given free rein to write a story of soulless!Spike being perfectly OK without a soul, and that’s not something that would have happened in Whedon’s writers room.

    I’ll be honest and admit that the fact I am unimpressed with Lynch’s writing doesn’t exactly make it difficult for me to disregard most of the work. I think AtF was entertaining but was way too shallow to be a worthy continuation of the show and I feel he fundamentally misunderstands some key aspects of the characters and their relationships. I also have the impression that Lynch thinks he’s a lot funnier than he really is and, especially with his ‘Spike’ series, I thought the text tried way too hard to be humorous to the detriment of the story and its characters. So I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed that it seems to be mostly ignored by Joss and Co. and that I’ve lost much sleep reaching this conclusion. But at the same time if I honestly felt Joss was incorporating Lynch’s characterisation into how he writes the characters (and Darkhorse weren’t blatantly disregarding various plot points that occurred throughout AtF) then I wouldn’t call it ‘lukewarm canon.’ Canon isn’t defined by what a fan does or doesn’t like. I only reached this conclusion after AtF became more and more of a distant memory and it became quite clear that it had little lasting impact on fandom or any of the canon stories going forward.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 07-04-12 at 12:19 PM.
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    I’ll be honest and admit that the fact I am unimpressed with Lynch’s writing doesn’t exactly make it difficult for me to disregard most of the work. I think AtF was entertaining but was way too shallow to be a worthy continuation of the show and I feel he fundamentally misunderstands some key aspects of the characters and their relationships.
    See thats funny, because thats exactly how I view Whedons writing in season 8 and 9. I get they're canon, but for me at least (and christ say what you will but at least I've been consistent on this ) I get that they're 'canon' but I find them easy to write off as being Whedons own personal fanfic because imo they're so cracktastic and so far away from the feel of the show and It's characters It's not true.

    I know a lot of people will disagree with me but I feel that the comics lack any kind of emotional depth or the kind of beautiful writing that the TV series was known for in It's heyday.

    At the end of the day I'm a tad disappointed in all the comics output, be it from IDW or DH, although out of the two AtF still feels the nearest to the feel of the TV show.
    Last edited by sueworld; 07-04-12 at 12:29 PM.

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    Eh, I think S8 and AtF are worlds apart. Love it or hate it people still talk about S8 and it's clearly had a major impact on BtVS fandom. Whether you're a fan of it or not people still reference it (and already it's been over for well over a year now) and there's a lot of intense discussion about its stories and themes. AtF doesn’t inspire anywhere near the same kind of passion, even from those who loved it, and it’s pretty much just a distant memory now. I think that’s pretty telling and I think it boils down to how uninspiring and shallow the story was. I actually think AtF was more crowd-pleasing at the time it was coming out (they played it safe – too safe) but it’s pretty much the only canon story that I know of in the Buffyverse that has had such little lasting power with the fans. It’s as if it didn’t even happen now.

    S8 was far from perfect in the end. But a story that is trying to say something >>> a story that tries to say nothing, for me every time.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 07-04-12 at 12:34 PM.
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    Eh, I think S8 and AtF are worlds apart. Love it or hate it people still talk about S8 and it's clearly had a major impact on BtVS fandom.
    Yeah but from what I saw a lot revolved around 'WTF was that meant to be?' type comments. I've just got off another couple of non Buffy fan sites where they have a comic section and dear god were they taking the piss outta season 8. So on the whole I think (for me at least) the comics have damaged the rep of not only Whedon as a writer for this verse, but the show itself.

    S8 was far from perfect in the end. But a story that is trying to say something >>> a story that tries to say nothing, for me every time.
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    And what was that? To me It seemed to come across as 'Buffy's a crap leader, Buffy ****s up yet again. Angels a arse ect, etc. Dear God Whedon change the bloody channel for gods sake.

    Oh and that the universe is sentient and that continuity or logic doesn't exist in this verse any longer. *rolls eyes*
    Last edited by sueworld; 07-04-12 at 12:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Yeah but from what I saw a lot revolved around 'WTF was that meant to be?' type comments.
    For me, 'WTF was that meant to be?' is still more desirable than total apathy and 'meh.' The fact that S8 inspires such passionate responses regardless of how you feel about it is why I think it’s the better story. Love it or hate it you want to talk about why you feel that way. With AtF people who love it don’t seem to have much to say about it at all and for those who don’t, such as myself, I can’t even work up the energy to spend time ripping it to shreds.

    And what was that?
    I've seen even the most ardent S8-haters at least acknowledge that the season had its messages and themes. I had seen some of the most anti-S8 folk I know dissect the hell out of a 3 page comic like Always Darkest in a way they didn't dissect a single issue of AtF. With people who disliked the season there still seems to a general acknowledgement that Joss and Co were actually trying to say something, even if ultimately they feel Joss failed to deliver that message the best way he could or, heck, even if they happened to find the messages offensive. The general consensus amongst both fans and haters alike is that behind it all Joss was trying to express something. Joss himself has talked about ‘hateful reactionary blowback’, the power of a name, commented on fame, the abuse and seduction of power etc – all in relation to S8.

    The same can’t be said for Lynch’s work. AtF was focused on one thing and one thing only, and that was telling us step-by-step how the characters got out of Hell-A. Beyond that there was nothing else and not even an attempt to dig any deeper than that. I would give it far more credit if it had *tried* to say something else – but it didn’t even do that. And that’s why I think both fans and haters of it can’t muster any enthusiasm for it one way or the other. It’s totally uninspiring.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 07-04-12 at 12:58 PM.
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    C'mon, now. I've seen even the most ardent S8-haters at least acknowledge that the season had its messages and themes.
    Like what? No really I have no idea apart from what I've cited.

    The fact that S8 inspires such passionate responses
    As in this is total shite? That I can't believe Joss Whedon came up with this nonsense? Cos I'll take apathy over that any day.

    Look If Whedon wrote a nice old sensible story that felt like a natural continuation of the TV show then I'm sure there wouldn't be as much buzz on the boards compared to (jesus Christ) lets make Buffy into a robot, or lets get Xander to grow a tail or some such nonsense.

    Not all publicity is good publicity imo.
    Last edited by sueworld; 07-04-12 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Like what? No really I have no idea apart from what I've cited.
    I've already just listed a whole bunch of them. See above ^

    As in this is total shite? That I can't believe Joss Whedon came up with this nonsense? Cos I'll take apathy over that any day.
    With all due respect, I don't believe that. Because if S8 was met with the same apathy that AtF was then I think you'd have barley posted on here in the past 5 years Such strong opinions as 'love' and 'hate' keeps a fandom going. Apathy doesn't.

    Look If Whedon wrote a nice old sensible story that felt like a natural continuation of the TV show then I'm sure there wouldn't be as much buzz on the boards compared to (jesus Christ) lets make Buffy into a robot, or lets get Xander to grow a tail or some such nonsense.
    If that were true, then the only people who would still be discussing the TV show all these years later would be people who hated it. But that's clearly not the case. A 'nice old sensible story' doesn't have to equate to a lack of discussion or much buzz on message boards. And if S8 gets discussed so much just because people hate/dislike it then people such as myself should be regularly coming on here to discuss AtF but it can’t even manage to arouse that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
    I know I say this a lot, but I can't understand why people are still debating this. "After the Fall" and "Spike" are canon. I get that some people don't like those stories. There are some parts of the stories that I had issues with too. But my tastes or your tastes have nothing to do with what's canon. If that were the case, there are a handful of episodes from both shows that I'd like to de-canonize. I'm not going to split hairs either and say "this panel/ line of dialogue is canon, but this panel /line of dialogue is non-canon."

    With "After the Fall", Joss approached Brian Lynch because those events were a story that he wanted told with the AtS characters. IDW disregarded their previous non-canon continuity (The Curse, Old Friends, Spotlight and Auld Lang Syne) to tell this story. Joss Whedon's name is on the cover, writers and editors from both IDW and Dark Horse have said that ATF is canon. There have been a couple of references to it in BtVS season 8 and 9. I don't know what more is needed to convince people.

    "Spike: After the Fall" was written by Brian Lynch without as much involvement from Joss as "Angel: After the Fall". However, the events from S:ATF did get referenced in A:ATF, and the events of S:ATF were based on Spike's back-story that Joss and Brian spoke about and agreed on, but didn't have the time or room to include in the main book. I believe that this story is canon because it falls under the general "After the Fall" umbrella, and is "pretty much" canon in the same way that "Buffy: The Origin" is.

    As for the "Spike" 8 issue series, Joss obviously trusted Brian enough to include the back-story for Spike's bugship. And the story was important enough to warrant Joss overseeing Willow's dialogue. Brian Lynch has said that it's canon, so I'm gonna go with that rather than assume him to be lying.
    People are debating it because Joss, Allie and Dark Horse have been very vague about it and haven't made it clear one way or the other. Not everything with Joss's name is canon, that's not true. The 1992 Buffy movie has Joss's name on it since he's credited as a screenwriter, but he has retroactively decanonized it. The old comic Angel: Long Night's Journey is generally not considered canon even though Joss himself wrote it. Canon is what he says is canon, and he's said nothing clear about the IDW comics. For it to be canon or "pretty much canon", he just has to say so. Or at least unambiguously reference all the relevant plot points and characterization. For it not to be canon at all, he just has to say so as well. Or to blatantly contradict some of the events and details.

    However, the route that Joss and Dark Horse seem to be taking is not say anything one way or the other, and simply ignore the plot points and developments from the IDW comics that did not come from Joss. For instance, you don't hear anything about Drusilla having been in the Mosaic, and nothing that happened in the Spike series seems to have had any bearing on her character.

    Having read Spike, I really can't imagine that Joss would canonize the idea about soul exchange, not to mention characterization such as Spike believing that he was perfectly OK without a soul, or Spike looking up to Angel as the perfect hero and the most "evolved" person, which contradicts the characterization from the show (and the latter is the exact opposite of Joss' opinion; you gotta wonder if Lynch heard Joss' Write Environment interview where he used the word "more evolved" for Spike in comparison with Angel - the "evolution" panel from Spike #1 is either an incredible coincidence, or a deliberate stab). Personally, I see Joss overseeing Willow's dialogue as just a proof that Joss is very protective of Willow (he's supposedly called her his favorite character at some point, though I've never seen the quote), and wouldn't want to let Lynch screw her up as well, and in her case he could do something about it since IDW didn't have the rights to her character.

    As for Brian Lynch saying it's canon? I'm not assuming he's lying, I'm assuming that's what he likes to think. But him saying it's canon doesn't make it canon.

    Even Christos Gage, reputedly Dark Horse's "expert" on IDW AtS comics, has only said that he thinks that Angel: After the Fall is canon (and said nothing about Spike:ATF or the Spike series) but he's made it clear that Joss hasn't said anything on the matter and could say differently any time.

    But the only thing that he's referenced so far is that L.A. went to Hell, which belongs to the general outline that Joss thought up and gave Lynch. It's not clear if the details of the comic happened.
    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 07-04-12 at 01:28 PM.
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    I've already just listed a whole bunch of them. See above ^
    Where? My eyesight must be playing up cos I can't see it.

    With all due respect, I don't believe that. Because if S8 was met with the same apathy that AtF was then I think you'd have barley posted on here in the past 5 years Such strong opinions as 'love' and 'hate' keeps a fandom going. Apathy doesn't.
    Yeah but I'm sure there were a lot of fans like me that just couldn't believe their faith in Whedon was so utterly misplaced. And in a weird way still don't get how he could end up turning in so much crap under the banner of this franchise.

    I honesty still don't get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Where? My eyesight must be playing up cos I can't see it.
    I said it here;

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    ...Joss himself has talked about ‘hateful reactionary blowback’, the power of a name, commented on fame, the abuse and seduction of power etc – all in relation to S8.
    I could cite specific issues where these themes are present if you need.

    But, again, most of even the most ardent S8-haters will admit that Joss was trying to say something behind it all. Some think he just failed to do so well and some have even expressed offense at what it is they think he was saying, but they’ll at least give him credit for having messages and themes behind his writing.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 07-04-12 at 01:24 PM.
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    Good grief all that cracktastic nonsense that latested 4 years just for that? I mean you could have delt with that far quicker and without dragging in such ridiculous elements imo.

    All the chatter and speculation that used to go on these boards, all the interesting theories others on here used to came up with, only to be disappointed/stunned by the old rubbish that it actually ended up being.

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    Sue, we're getting off topic here. All this discussion does, I feel, is prove my point. Even in a topic about AtF it still gets overshadowed by S8. Nuff' said

    I feel it's best to leave it here. We both know each other’s opinions on last season and we're probably derailing the subject now about what constitutes as canon and what doesn't.
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    Sue, we're getting off topic here. All this discussion does, I feel, is prove my point. Even in a topic about AtF it still gets overshadowed by S8. Nuff' said
    No It doesn't imo because all the years I've been in fandom AtS always was treated as the red headed step child of the verse in that there would always be less interest in it fandom wise. It's unfair but It's just how It's been. I mean look at how Angel and Faith is treated on here. Hardly any discussion compared to when an issue of the Buffy comic comes out.

    Even weirder by the fact many see that A&F as being the superior product both in the writing and art and yet hardly anyone bothers talking about it.

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    I don't see how that's "unfair." If BtVS always generated more discussion than AtS then it's probably because it had more fans and the stories inspired more interest from people. As someone who prefers BtVS that doesn’t surprise me at all. I think both are good shows but I found BtVS to be better written and the characters more relatable and emotionally accessible.

    Still, AtS gets discussed to this day -- AtF, not so much.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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    No, maybe not, but for me thats because in the circle I mix in hardly anyone likes or reads the comics anymore.

    Those who did eventually walked away after writing them off as utter nonsense canon or not.

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    I don't see why After the Fall wouldn't be canon. The Brian Lynch backlash upsets me. People were happy with his work when ATF came out. But it seems like people turned against him after Twilightgate.

    I don't get how anyone can say After the Fall lacked depth. A lot of characters got character development(Illyria, Connor), and other characters like Gunn got their story taking in a new direction. I thought that After the Fall did a better job at capturing the feel of the tv shows then Buffy Season 8 did. With Buffy Season 8 I kept getting the feeling that Joss was making things up as he went along. Some of the story elements in Season 8 felt like bad fanfiction. Things like Giant Dawn, Buffy and Angel having flying god sex are just terribly story ideas. With Season 8 I feel like Joss lost touch with the reason why people fell in love with Buffy and Angel.
    Last edited by Lostsoul666; 10-05-12 at 07:56 PM.

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