Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"If you've reached this message, I'm probably in the 'verse."

Since I came back to Seattle from my holiday jaunt abroad, I jumped right into a new job, another Concierge position, though far more involved and rewarding. I get to excercise my creative talents designing and writing flyers for a variety of events and the atmosphere all around-aesthetically and otherwise is just fantastic. I feel tremendously valued and every day is interesting. A real good change to say the least. And the free food is definitely welcome!

In the other hours of the day, I have been almost entirely immersed in the Whedonverse-although, I would say I'm in that state a great deal of the time anyway. I am still working on a Firefly paper with friend, co-worker, colleague and co-author, Kj, for the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association's 30th Annual Conference in late February. (Unlike SC3 for Slayage, this conference makes for a significantly longer acronym SWTX PCA/ACA). The paper focuses on Shepherd Book and his (in)ability to carry out the duties one would expect from one in a shepherding/pastoring position.

It has been a perfect project for us, I with my Christian upbringing, an academic conference on my resume, English degree with unofficial pop-culture emphasis and Kj with her enthusiasm about performing arts, film television and her pursuit of a Masters in Divinity at a local school. That and we get along-I can't imagine doing this kind of thing with an arbitrarily assigned classmate-though I'm sure that will come about either in grad school or my professional career.

We've been divying up responsibilities, watching episodes of Firefly over and over again-with commentary, without commentary, waxing theological over sliders, Guinness and Mountain Dew at Happy Hours and reading loads of essays, books and comics. We've both been experiencing the fun of homework. A few of the recent additions to the bookshelves from bookstore runs and Amazon orders, Finding Serenity edited by Jane Espenson, Firefly: The Official Companion Vol. 1 & 2, Serenity Official Visual Companion, and Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier edited by my advisory-peer-academics Rhonda Wilcox and Tanya Cochran. And if you fancy yourself a fan of Firefly, you need to check out the graphic novel, Those Left Behind. With a script written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, it does a great job of bridging the television series and Serenity and it has been an invaluable asset in telling the overarching narrative as Kj and I conduct our character research.

Also keeping me fresh with the 'verse: multiple visits daily to Whedonesque. A highlight from this morning that's worth reading if you're an Angel devotee is by Jake from The Armchair Critic. There, he offers his take on the 25 Best and 5 Worst episodes Angel.

I still anxiously await every issue of Buffy Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall. This past week brought us the comic debut of Harmony Kendall in the Jane Espenson penned "Harmonic Divergence" where Harmony gets a reality show and in the process brings vampires to the forefront of public awareness. Tons of pop culture references and wit. Harmony must be a blast to write for.

She also makes a brief appearance in the recently released first of three issues of Angel: Smile Time, a comic book version of the Angel episode from Season 5. Also in the works is an adaptation of the very last episode of Angel, "Not Fade Away." Each adaptation features expanded dialogue and creative use of the "camera" that sometimes deviates from the original framing.

While I'm in the Whedonverse-dishing-mood, some upcoming dates:

Dollhouse premieres February 13, 2009 on FOX

Buffy Season 8 "Swell" #22 February 04, 2009 Satsu and Kennedy team-up in Japan.

Angel: After the Fall "Riot Control" #16 January 28, 2009

Angel: Blood and Trenches March 25, 2009 An ancient evil calls Angel to return to Europe during World War I.

Angel "Not Fade Away" April 2009

Illyria: Before the Aftermath Release Unknown

Angel: Aftermath Mid 2009

If you're aching for original and canonical Buffy material, you're not too late to get into the rich text and art of Buffy and Angel in comics!

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