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  • New Scott Allie message on Darkhorse

    Hey

    With the mixed reactions and stir of the Buffy/Satsu revelation, Scott Allie has written a note on the darkhorse website. Here it is;

    So on March 5, 2008, we released a story Joss first told me about a year ago. Buffy wakes up in bed next to her friend and fellow Slayer, Satsu. (Some fans have written in to ask Satsu's last name; we do not know yet.) It caused a bit of a stir. I'll assume that anyone reading this page is a Buffy fan, and understands what Joss does well enough to know that this was not done with the goal of creating a stir. The article that was released in the New York Times on the same day was also not set up to drive sales, although we assumed it would have that effect. It was done because we expected a reaction to the comic, and we wanted you all to have it straight from the horse's mouth, Joss's words out there in public. Since Drew Goddard wrote this issue rather than Joss, I didn't want a bunch of people reacting by saying, "Did Joss know about this?!?" Those of you who get what we're doing with Season Eight would not ask that question, but I assume the casual reader might not fully understand.



    For the first time tonight, I spent some time on Whedonesque, and it was interesting to see the reactions--reactions posted in response to the Times article, before the comic was released, full of doubt about where the story was going; and a separate thread reacting to the comic itself, much more supportive and confident about where the Buffy-Satsu thing was going--while also focusing on other aspects of the story, like Dracula's reappearance. As for the Buffy-Satsu relationship, Whedonesque posters reacted about as I expected. Some dismay, some excitement, a small amount of disgust and disappointment. It's a microcosm of the nation, albeit a bit left-leaning, considering how many of them proclaim Joss Whedon Is My Master. I just now got our first letter of comment on the issue, from a reader who likened the scene in question to sexually explicit fan fiction, and said that if this becomes a regular thing he'll stop reading the book. Of course I hope he sticks around . . .

    This story is going to speak for itself over the next few issues and the next few years. There are two things I feel the need to say. One: Joss did this purely for the sake of character development with his girl, taking her to the inner places that he takes his characters. Two: Everything Dark Horse did--setting up the New York Times article, advising retailers to order extra copies--was more our way of anticipating the reaction rather than cashing in. Not that we're opposed to cashing in on our most successful comic--but with the Times, we wanted to get something from Joss out in front of the public, as I said above, and we wanted to limit it to one major feature on the day of release, and the Times felt like the most respectful and respectable place to do it. Regardless of what we did, we assumed that this issue would cause a major stir, would nab the attention of the national media more than, say, issue #10. In fact, ABC News called the day the issue came out asking for an interview with Joss, and other news outlets have followed. That kind of coverage was naturally going to happen, and with that happening, new people will go into comics shops looking for it. Joss had told us we could not tell anyone what he and Drew were up to prior to the day of release. But we felt that if retailers were given no warning, and didn't have extra copies to sell, they'd be losing money on books they could've sold--they'd be mad at us for that. So advising them to order extra copies in advance, but not telling them why, was our calculated risk, which we hoped would just make them better prepared for when the Times article hit the streets.

    Bottom line--after reading Buffy #12, you still don't really know where this is going. Joss and Drew have a lot more twists for you, all totally driven by these great characters, and as usual threatening to reduce the characters to tears, or worse. Keep reading--there's not another story like this out there.


    Thoughts? Feelings?

    Personally, this letter feels like Allie is in damage control, trying to reassure people this has a purpose. I think it's a bit unfortunate it had to be this way.

    Vampmogs

    ~ Banner by Nina ~

  • #2
    I kind of love him and Joss for caring about what the fans think. I always like reading stuff Allie writes. That's not to say I always agree.

    Him reading the posts on whedonesque etc.. I like that different points of view are heard, even though some of the extreeme ones seem unjustified. People really care about the characters in Buffy, I don't think that happens to the same depths in many fandoms.
    Last edited by alexa; 07-03-08, 10:56 AM.
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    • #3
      I've had some harsh things to say about him in the past related to his comments on the actual storyline - but I've got no problem at all about this. I'm pleased he's said it.

      I don't think it'll convince the legions of conspiracy theorists, but nothing would do that.

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      • #4
        I think you could have about fifty more interviews with Joss, Drew or Scott stating "Buffy isn't gay" and you'd still have ill-informed people make ridiculous comments such as "What so Buffy's a lesbo now!?"

        ~ Banner by Nina ~

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        • #5
          Stirring fans for fun and profit! So, it was all done only for money, right? :?
          Adam: "These are lies. [throws S8 comics in the trash] None of this is real. The world has been changed. It's intriguing but it's wrong."
          Vampire: "Feels ok to me."
          Adam: "You're under his spell just like the others. I seem to be the only one who is not." (c) 4.17 Superstar.

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          • #6
            I think the reader comparing the issue to "sexually explicit fanfiction" is like totally missing out on the world of prn that is nc17 fanfic! I mean, please, they didn't show any of the sex!

            I don't know what I think of Scott Allie...I don't always agree with his interpretations of the comics and I tend to dislike people involved in production who are not actual writers giving the end-all be-all reading of the text. But I think his comments here are pretty reasonable, if a bit defensive. It seems likely darkhorse tried to capitalize in what ways they could on the storyline, but I don't think there was some conspiracy to create the story to drive sales.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by litzie View Post
              It seems likely darkhorse tried to capitalize in what ways they could on the storyline, but I don't think there was some conspiracy to create the story to drive sales.
              I agree.

              After all darkhorse is a business, and that's a fact of life, a business needs to earn money and will do so if they can. But that doesn't mean Joss wrote this to capitalise on sales, season 8 was doing fine in that regard anyway.

              Allie and Whedon have already said how sales exceeded their expectations and the article on ABC states that they've sold nearly up to 1 million issues.

              ~ Banner by Nina ~

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              • #8
                I think if Scott Allie needs to address anything, it's that his own interview shows some callous disregard for fans of earlier stories in the Buffyverse, whose favorite relationships and themes he rather shat on by way of arguing how neat *this* story is. I also think he or Joss should acknowledge the difference between fans being upset that they have Buffy sleeping with a woman, and the much greater percentage of fans who are upset that they both basically told us, on the day we found out, that Buffy is probably just using her.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                  I think you could have about fifty more interviews with Joss, Drew or Scott stating "Buffy isn't gay" and you'd still have ill-informed people make ridiculous comments such as "What so Buffy's a lesbo now!?"
                  Sad but true... but while I agree with those who have said none of the writers need to justify anything, it's nice to see them recognising the questions people have and so we see that they're not all about the story, rather, they recognise that the story is essentially written for people (us!) to read.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                    I also think he or Joss should acknowledge the difference between fans being upset that they have Buffy sleeping with a woman, and the much greater percentage of fans who are upset that they both basically told us, on the day we found out, that Buffy is probably just using her.
                    Why? They didn't need to acknowledge the fact Buffy robbed a bank or that Willow has clearly been cheating on Kennedy? Why is Buffy using someone (which she's done in the past) suddenly such a huge deal to some people, it's hardly the worst crime next to murder or attempted rape. Especially when she isn't doing it in a malice way at all, and the story has barley been given room to breathe never mind develop. Something's missing for me, why have some reacted so strongly against this opposed to all the horrible and frankly, much worse, things that's happened in the series? Where's the link, some people have reacted way over the top IMO if their so angry over that, I mean it's bad but doesn't even compare.
                    vampmogs
                    Slayer Supporter
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 07-03-08, 02:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      You're not hearing me. It's not about what Buffy did, robbing a bank, using Satsu. Don't apologize for it. Just repudiate and renounce, publicly, the BS argument that people want to make that the *only* negative fan reaction here has to be because of the same sex relationship.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                        You're not hearing me. It's not about what Buffy did, robbing a bank, using Satsu. Don't apologize for it. Just repudiate and renounce, publicly, the BS argument that people want to make that the *only* negative fan reaction here has to be because of the same sex relationship.
                        The same sex relationship is the only thing that has made this a big deal, I think we are kidding ourselves if we didn't think otherwise. This wouldn't have been on ABC or in the NY Times or on MTV if Buffy was using a guy, it just wouldn't. And those who left the series generally seem to be doing it because Buffy slept with a girl, not because Buffy's using people. Scott's whole post was about justifying that this isn't some marketing ploy, because that's what some have accused them of.

                        Whedon's used to fans reacting against some of Buffy's judgement, that's nothing new to him, so don't expect him to spend a great time on it, he's focusing on those who have a problem with the same sex thing, it's the only reason this has got so much attention.

                        ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                        • #13
                          Scott's post comes across as disingenuous. Even IF Joss didn't intend for this to be a big marketing ploy, (something of which I am not convinced) Dark Horse's handling of the thing definitely makes it seem like one. I mean one interview or so, maybe 2, cool, but this hit both the NYTimes, ABC, MTV, and like every major comic site with fairly in depth interviews. Scott and Joss didn't talk this much about the series before it BEGAN for crying out loud. But Buffy and Satsu get groiny, and suddenly hype blows up again, one year after the premiere of the comic. It is fishy as hell.

                          As far as the issues that people had with Buffy boning Satsu, well they are multi-faceted, but I think it's kinda funny that it seems to be wrong to have issues with Buffy sleeping with Satsu because she is a girl. I have issues, not on any moral basis, but more on characterization, which I don't think lines up well with what happened in 8.12. Hell there are tons of posts on this board alone talking about how dumb it would be if Buffy/Satsu happened because we have had no evidence that Buffy ever liked girls.

                          I can also understand the bad fanfic comment. In some regards it does feel like one, it even follows formula of a bad Mary Sue slash. New Slayer is Buffy's right hand, new Slayer has crush on Buffy, New Slayer's love saves Buffy, Buffy is unconfortable, but after a minuscule amount of bonding and a pinch of danger Buffy is in her bed post haste.

                          That's not to say that there aren't other issues wish Buffy/Satsu, KoC has listed tons of them, but I think that too many people are disregarding the whole completely out of left field Femslash angle as an argument because it isn't politically correct to make it.

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                          • #14
                            Damage control.

                            Sales are off - Angel is doing better.

                            I mean that's a heck of statement to make on DarkHorse if he isn't trying to keep the comic readers from canceling subscriptions. And we're only twelve issues in - no great loss to readers if they do.

                            It just smacks of "gimmick" to me.
                            -TP<3
                            "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
                            - Dorian's Kitten re: Spuffy Reunion

                            Spuffy Videos!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ThePoet's<3 View Post
                              Damage control.

                              Sales are off - Angel is doing better.

                              I mean that's a heck of statement to make on DarkHorse if he isn't trying to keep the comic readers from canceling subscriptions. And we're only twelve issues in - no great loss to readers if they do.

                              It just smacks of "gimmick" to me.
                              Is Angel actually selling better than Buffy? I would be shocked if that were true. I mean ATF is awesome, but it got no where near the hype that B8 did.

                              As to your other point, I think Joss really didn't think through just what this would do to the character.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by bishopcruz View Post
                                SAs far as the issues that people had with Buffy boning Satsu, well they are multi-faceted, but I think it's kinda funny that it seems to be wrong to have issues with Buffy sleeping with Satsu because she is a girl. I have issues, not on any moral basis, but more on characterization, which I don't think lines up well with what happened in 8.12. Hell there are tons of posts on this board alone talking about how dumb it would be if Buffy/Satsu happened because we have had no evidence that Buffy ever liked girls.

                                I can also understand the bad fanfic comment. In some regards it does feel like one, it even follows formula of a bad Mary Sue slash. New Slayer is Buffy's right hand, new Slayer has crush on Buffy, New Slayer's love saves Buffy, Buffy is unconfortable, but after a minuscule amount of bonding and a pinch of danger Buffy is in her bed post haste.

                                That's not to say that there aren't other issues wish Buffy/Satsu, KoC has listed tons of them, but I think that too many people are disregarding the whole completely out of left field Femslash angle as an argument because it isn't politically correct to make it.
                                Part of the reason that I think the femslash out of left field argument feels politically incorrect is because a lot of the quote outrage DOES stem from a moral angle, and there's a lumping together tendency. That's not necessarily right, but I think that because sexuality is such a personal issue, it's easy to take comments personally etc etc.

                                Anyway, in response to your actual objections, I think that the idea that buffy can never sleep with a girl because she's straight is just...not necessarily true. I have quite a few straight friends who've had the odd lesbian experience...whether it was something innocent or whether it went further than that. And the reverse is true for almost every lesbian I know. In fact, there's this great comment I have to quote from a review of the comic:

                                My fellow similarly-persuaded ladies out there know that there is not one among us that didn't go through the painful Straight Girl Rite of Passage. You fall for a straight girl, you become friends, you finally are honest with her, she decides to give it a try, she thanks you for the trouble and goes back to the boys, you smile and wish her well while your heart quietly breaks.
                                (from http://ninesisters.wordpress.com/200...uction-manual/)

                                Anyway, my point being, Buffy's straight and that's not really disputed...but it doesn't mean that she can't have a fling with Satsu.

                                As for the fanfic comment...my biggest objection to that comment was that its author has obviously led a sheltered life if he or she thought that the scene in the comic was sexually explicit. Personally, I've been treating all of season eight a bit like fanfic, and it's only with the comedy of issue 12 that I've really begun to see it as an extension of the series - for me, the funny is as intrinsic to buffy as the vampires and the stakes, and I've found it missing (with a few small exceptions) before now.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by litzie View Post
                                  Anyway, my point being, Buffy's straight and that's not really disputed...but it doesn't mean that she can't have a fling with Satsu.




                                  Sorry, I am laughing because that is so true. Tons of straight girls have had a sexual encounter with another girl. People I know. I mean, I have too. And I am not gay. So that does not make Buffy gay either.

                                  That said, I haven't yet read the issue but it was impossible not to be spoiled with all the rumblings around the forum about it.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by litzie View Post
                                    Part of the reason that I think the femslash out of left field argument feels politically incorrect is because a lot of the quote outrage DOES stem from a moral angle, and there's a lumping together tendency. That's not necessarily right, but I think that because sexuality is such a personal issue, it's easy to take comments personally etc etc.
                                    I would say it is far far less than you would think, most of those who would have been REALLY outraged morally would likely have dropped the series when Willow and Tara got together. The only moral arguments I have really seen are the WTF sleeping with a subordinate angle.

                                    Anyway, in response to your actual objections, I think that the idea that buffy can never sleep with a girl because she's straight is just...not necessarily true. I have quite a few straight friends who've had the odd lesbian experience...whether it was something innocent or whether it went further than that. And the reverse is true for almost every lesbian I know. In fact, there's this great comment I have to quote from a review of the comic:


                                    (from http://ninesisters.wordpress.com/200...uction-manual/)
                                    But I never said 'never', I said the characterization of Buffy was not there. Until late S3 we had no evidence that Willow might be interested in girls either, but we slowly got more and more hints and when it happened it didn't seem strange or OOC. What actually happened was that Buffy almost immediately jumped into bed with Satsu without IMO the characterization necessary for it to seem like a logical extension of the character. That's why to me it seems more like 'shock value' related than anything else.

                                    And well, everyone has different experiences, and what may ring true to you may not for a lot of people. The female friends I have that have not had an 'experimental' experience greatly outnumber those who have.

                                    Anyway, my point being, Buffy's straight and that's not really disputed...but it doesn't mean that she can't have a fling with Satsu.
                                    Well, that's where the fun of definitions come into it. Again, when I say that I have a problem with the gender issue it is because it requires more buildup than a hetero ship would.

                                    As for the fanfic comment...my biggest objection to that comment was that its author has obviously led a sheltered life if he or she thought that the scene in the comic was sexually explicit. Personally, I've been treating all of season eight a bit like fanfic, and it's only with the comedy of issue 12 that I've really begun to see it as an extension of the series - for me, the funny is as intrinsic to buffy as the vampires and the stakes, and I've found it missing (with a few small exceptions) before now.
                                    If you don't think NFFY was like the series itself then I dunno what to tell you. The farce angle was good in this issue though, though the pacing was definitely not that great.

                                    I never got the impression that that fanfic line was anything other than 'wow it reads like badfic.' Not so much on the explicit material just the inorganic nature of the plot developments.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bishopcruz View Post
                                      I would say it is far far less than you would think, most of those who would have been REALLY outraged morally would likely have dropped the series when Willow and Tara got together.
                                      hope you're right!

                                      But I never said 'never', I said the characterization of Buffy was not there. Until late S3 we had no evidence that Willow might be interested in girls either, but we slowly got more and more hints and when it happened it didn't seem strange or OOC. What actually happened was that Buffy almost immediately jumped into bed with Satsu without IMO the characterization necessary for it to seem like a logical extension of the character. That's why to me it seems more like 'shock value' related than anything else.

                                      And well, everyone has different experiences, and what may ring true to you may not for a lot of people. The female friends I have that have not had an 'experimental' experience greatly outnumber those who have.
                                      That's definitely true. But I think the fact that some people do experiment (or even just end up in that situation without really intending to, ie, I don't think experimenting has to be in any way on purpose) means that it shouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Buffy to partake of the experimentation. I think the line about the manual was what really clinched it as realistic for me...obviously it wasn't something that Buffy ever planned on, but now that she's there, she wants to do well, get good marks! aww, so classic.

                                      Well, that's where the fun of definitions come into it. Again, when I say that I have a problem with the gender issue it is because it requires more buildup than a hetero ship would.
                                      Re the comparison to Willow's development and the whole definitions issue, for me I don't think there really IS a comparison. While we haven't yet seen this in text, both Joss and Allie have stated that Buffy is not gay, or bi, she is 'open minded'. Perhaps a notch or so along on the Kinsey Scale? Willow, on the other hand, is and identified as a lesbian. As such, her realization of her sexuality had to be developed more slowly because it was a significant shift in her character's portrayal (if not development...don't want to get into a "Hello, Gay now!" discussion on this front).

                                      Buffy, on the other hand...is not Gay Now, nor is she Gay Later (heh). She's just in bed with a nude asian girl (thank you Andrew).

                                      If you don't think NFFY was like the series itself then I dunno what to tell you.
                                      I really, really enjoyed NFFY. But...I kinda can't put my finger on what was missing, but it was just shy of being series for me. And then Anywhere but Here put me off entirely, and I was actually planning to read issues 11-16 in one go because I thought that might make it easier for me to see the series-ness. But then, as my girlfriend said, the internets was on fire! and I had to read both 11 and 12, and I'm very glad I did.

                                      I never got the impression that that fanfic line was anything other than 'wow it reads like badfic.' Not so much on the explicit material just the inorganic nature of the plot developments.
                                      I guess we can't possibly know, since we've only got second hand from Allie. It was the "sexually explicit" phrase in this sentence:

                                      "I just now got our first letter of comment on the issue, from a reader who likened the scene in question to sexually explicit fan fiction"

                                      that made me think he was comparing it to NC17 stuff, which I just thought was a bit silly, as the bubble bath scene with Faith and Gigi was more nekkid and sexy.
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                                      • #20
                                        that made me think he was comparing it to NC17 stuff, which I just thought was a bit silly, as the bubble bath scene with Faith and Gigi was more nekkid and sexy.

                                        Yes, that was more the stuff of titilation, imo. Perhaps because of the tactically placed scrubbing bubbles, a staple of porn. Erm. People tell me...a friend said...

                                        ...bye!

                                        When we see Buffy and Satsu, they have already done what they came here to do, and the "action" is actually them having an emotional conversation. Not many of those in porn. Unless you count the emotional porn of Twilight That is, the book, not the bad guy.


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