Saturday, March 31, 2012

Buffyfest talks Horror and Comics With Scott Allie (Part 1)

Most readers of this site know Scott Allie for his work writing and editing the Buffy comics, but he's been working in funny books for a long time.  One of Scott's biggest passions is the horror genre, so while he's the Editor Guest of Honor at World Horror Convention this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to give you a little more insight into not only Scott, but also some of the other great titles we've been reading through Dark Horse.  Look out for part 2 of this interview where we chat about Buffy and the first issue Scott's written this season, the upcoming #8.

Buffyfest: What, to you, defines a great, classic, traditional horror story?

Scott Allie: One of the things I love about horror is how broad a genre is, how many different things it can be. I love a horror story that gets you really caring about the characters, and where mood and atmosphere and pacing and weird, out-of-the-ordinary events keep the reader off-kilter and scared for the characters and even for themselves. This can be so many things.

Buffyfest: Can you remember the first horror story that really and truly scared you? What was it about that story that got to you?

SA: I might say Salem's Lot, by Stephen King. The town he was writing about could have been the town I grew up in in Massachusetts, and I remember many times reading the book over the years being paralyzed with fear. For all the supernatural melodrama, the settings and the characters convinced me that it could really be happening, that the world was really that dangerous. Probably the fifth time I read that book, in college, I was up till four a.m. reading it, terrified, and realized I had to call it a night, and that I had to go the bathroom. I walked out of my girlfriend's dorm room, out into the brightly lit hallway, and stared down the hallway, about a hundred feet to the bathroom door. And I just decided it wasn't worth it, that brightly lit hall was too scary, and I would wait till morning. I'd first read the book when I was about eight years old, and it scared me just as much at twenty. But the earliest memorable scares, for me, were the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, which once caused me to run screaming out of the kitchen where I was watching with my mom on a little black and white television set. She haunted my dreams for years.

Buffyfest: Aww. Well, a lot of people who know you primarily through Buffy might not know your background. How did you get into funny books and how did you get yourself from reader to editor/writer over the years?

SA: The first comics I read were in junior high school, Frank Miller's Wolverine series. That drew me in, but when I discovered horror comics, particularly underground horror comics of the 1970s, that's what really made me fall in love with the artform. I really dedicated myself to it, steered my college education around it, and found that what I loved more than anything was making books, comics in particular. I produced a lot of work in college, which got me a job at a literary magazine, and the job paid well enough that I was able to finance some self-published horror comics, which then got Dark Horse's attention and got me the job there.

Buffyfest: What other comics did you read growing up?

SA: The underground stuff was most exciting—Skull and Slow Death. They were hard to find, and Creepy and Eerie were the next best thing, as well as some Bernie Wrightson and Bruce Jones horror comics that Pacific Comics was reprinting at the time. This was in the early eighties, when Marvel and DC weren't doing much good horror, and Dark Horse wasn't around yet. Pacific was a company I loved a lot during that time. I also read a lot of superhero stuff, but I kept losing interest in it. Frank Miller's work would always rekindle my interest in superheroes, keep me around a little longer, and actually his great Batman stuff indirectly led me to Alan Moore's great Swamp Thing stuff, which were maybe the best horror comics of the 1980s, the books that ultimately got me to dedicate my life to this stuff. Alan's run of Swamp Thing is way better than Watchmen in my opinion.

Buffyfest: We know you’re doing some workshops at World Horror Con, what’s the most common advice you give to writers and artists when they’re struggling to break into the comic industry?

SA: Well, the most easily applied advice is this: Work small, don't commit to your magnum opus before you've really cut your teeth. A lot of people who are just learning how to write or draw comics want to start by doing a 50-issue epic, and they need to scale down their ambition to work that they can tackle, complete, and then, as they improve ... throw that early work away and not feel bound to it forever. The other thing I want to tell people is to know what it is they want to do, know why they're trying to make this happen. If what they really want to do is tell their own stories, have freedom to express themselves, they should not necessarily focus on getting good-paying work from Marvel or DC. They need to know what they want to do, and they need to look at the industry and see where they might be able to do that. And that's hard to do, but I think you might be wasting everyone's time waiting in portfolio review lines if you don't have a good answer to, "What do you want to do"?

Buffyfest: So the BPRD stuff you’re doing right now is meant to hit that classic horror sweet spot. Talk about the challenges and the benefits of the comic medium when delving into the horror genre.

SA: I think one of the most important aspects of writing in terms of executing a horror story is pacing—and pacing is one of the hardest things to control in comics. In film, the director totally controls the pace; second per second, he decides how the story rolls out. In prose, it's different, but still, the writer controls how the information rolls out. In comics, it's not just easy to skip ahead—it's hard not to. If I want to do a really slow, silent scene, where there's no words, and the reader just lingers over silent images ... there is nothing I can really do to stop the reader from glancing over the panels and skipping to the next word balloon. If I have a very slow-paced thing at the end of which, surprise, the monster jumps out of a cake, the only way I can manage that surprise is to put the cake monster at the top of a left-hand page, so you see it on the page turn. But it's not just about surprises—every aspect of pacing is harder in comics than other media, and pacing is uniquely important in horror.

Buffyfest: In BPRD: The Pickens County Horror, we’re dealing with some Hellboy vampire mythos, how do vampires fit into the Hellboy world? When you and Mike Mignola talked about vampires for this story, what vampire lore influenced you?

SA: Mike loves vampires, but vampires have been relatively scarce in the Hellboy world. There is a reason for that, which we're just starting to unveil. It was hinted at in BPRD: 1946 & 1947. It was hinted at in Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead. But Pickens County finally reveals what the vampires have been doing. Mike's reference points for vampire lore are very classic, Dracula and earlier, but we talked a lot, with Pickens County, about Near Dark. Also, of course, Lovecraft plays into it a bit.

Buffyfest: I read Ragemoor #1 a week ago and LOVED it. I know you’re editing that book, so I was hoping you could give us a little background on it. How did the project come about and what attracted you to it?

SA: THANK YOU. Corben and Strnad are the guys that were blowing my mind when I was a kid looking for REAL horror comics, in the tradition of Poe and Lovecraft and Weird Tales. I love working with Corben—it's an incredible honor. The way Ragemoor came about, as I understood it, is that Richard approached Jan to do a Poe adaptation. Corben just wanted to do Poe. Jan felt they'd done that, and wanted to do something original, but with overtones of homage. What they've done is FAR more interesting to me than any adaptation could have been. I haven't read a comic like this in years. Working with these two has been spectacular for me. At the same time, Corben wanted to get some Poe out of his system, so he's adapting some less well known Poe stories in DHP. So everyone wins.

Buffyfest: What other horror comics do you have cooking right now?

SA: Well, on April 2, our YouTube program beings on Felicia Day's Geek and Sundry channel, and we're kicking it off with a week long serialization of the horror comic The Secret, turned into a motion-comics/animated feature. It's Mike Richardson, my boss, doing a modern, teen-slasher-type horror story, but with a more classic approach. The art, by Jason Shawn Alexander, is awesome. Also, we're announcing a new horror series this weekend at Emerald City Comic Con, Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra's Colder. A real dark psychological thing. We've got some more cool horror comics to announce at Chicago's C2E2 next month, along with some Buffy announcements that we should talk about in advance ...

Buffyfest: Can't wait to hear all about it. Thanks as always, Scott!

In addition to BPRD: Picken's County Horror and Ragemoor (both very much worth your time), Dark Horse has a number of other titles out now I'm enjoying, including Conan the Barbarian (with art by the sensational Becky Cloonan), Dark Matter (think Alien meets Firefly), the delightfully disturbing adaptation of The Strain, and (my personal favorite) Lobster Johnson.

World Horror Con is at the downtown Raddison Hotel in Salt Lake Ciy this weekend through Sunday April 1st.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Champion Announced! March Madness - The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney.

Buffyfest's 2012 March Madness was all about the Magical Alternate Universe where those cancelled, ruined  or never-realized Joss Whedon projects got the chance to finally shine. But there could only be one winner and if anything deserved more story, it's this masterpiece. Behold, the winner by popular vote of this year's Tournament:

Firefly Season 2, of course! Oh what could've been if it kept flying....
Until next year!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

THE FINAL BATTLE of March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney.

This is it! End of the line for this year's March Madness. This time, we set out to determine which of Joss Whedon's lamented fallen projects would the fine people of our fandom want to see most. The king of all missed Whedon opportunities if you will, and sadly there has been many.

Throughout the tournament, Firefly Season 2 has held steady. Angel Season 6, on the other hand, got beat out by a Spike Made-for-TV-Movie early on in the bracket, but has crawled it's way out of hell since then. This is the final battle! Which broody male lead and fabulous supporting cast will take it?

Last Round:
- Angel S.6 beat Faith the Series by quite a bit and that's the 2nd loss for her and her motorcycle so she's out for good. Ah well, stack it on top of Tru Calling and Dollhouse I suppose. Poor Dushku, even in the magical alternate universe.

Next: The FINALS! This round will actually be ending on Friday at noon at which point the winner will be announced! Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in perfect world:

Firefly Season 2 vs. Angel Season 6?
In the alternate universe, would Angel still be fighting the good fight? Would Captain Malcom Reynolds still be flying the good flight?

Both of these series were cancelled before their time. Some would say one more than the other. I guess all you can do now is listen to your heart. So I ask you: In a magical realm where we'd actually get to see either a 2nd season of Firefly or a 6th season of Angel, suspending the actors in their prime with any plot line you desire...which series would you want to see more?

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney - FINAL Loser's Round!

OK, we're about to meet the end of the line for the losers of this Tourney! If you're just joining us, this March Madness has been about trying to find out which of Joss Whedon's fallen projects fans would want to see most. Since it's been the first time we've done a Double Elimination, this is the last chance the losers have to get back in the game...the fantastic losers being Angel and Faith, that is!

Last Round:
- Firefly beat Faith the Series by a lot. It's not at all surprising, but let's face it...Faith on a motorcycle would've been amazing! Anyway, Faith's going to the loser's circle and Firefly S.2 is advancing to the finals in all it's shiny glory!

Next: The Loser-finals...the 2 small dogs. This round will have just 1 match and will end on Tuesday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Wonderful, Magical Alternate Universe of Trolls and Mermaids:

Faith the Series vs. Angel Season 2?
Ah...Faith and Angel. They work so damn well together and yet here they're preparing to battle to the death!! So what would you rather see? Faith conquering the beasties and fulfilling her Slayer destiny? Or one more season of Angel and co. helping the helpless and facing Wolfram and Hart or some such. They're fate is in your hands!

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney - Semifinals!

Well March is nearing an end and so is this tournament. We're at the semi-finals already, just a few more battles to go! If you've missed this entire March Madness so far, we're trying to find out which of Joss Whedon's fallen projects fans would want to see most. How the hell Firefly Season 2 is now facing a Faith series is pretty boggling, I think it has to do with this whole "Double Elimination" bracket.

Last Round:
- Angel S.6 beat the Spike Made-for-TV-Movie after they were tied for 2 days straight. Spike would gain by 2 votes and then Angel by 3. It was a 'shippers delight and nightmare all rolled into one. I don't know why the hell these brackets like to hurt me. This went to the wire and was determined by a single vote.

Next: The Semi-finals! The 2 big dogs. This round will have just 1 match and will end on Sunday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Wonderful, Magical Alternate Universe of Unicorns and Leprechauns:

Firefly Season 2 vs. Faith the Series?
Again, this match up is crazy strange....but I guess they would both be pretty bad ass! If you think about it, Faith the series would be a natural extension of the Buffy series. And if you're a Whedon purist, this might be as close as you'd get to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sequel, if you will. On the other hand, many a Browncoat (and average all-around Whedon fan alike) would probably lay down and die if a real Firefly S.2 was announced tomorrow. Shinyness all around. Happy Voting!

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney - Loser's Round 3!

If you're just joining us in this March Madness tournament, we're trying to determine which of Joss Whedon's fallen projects fans would want to see most in a Magical Alternate Universe of fun! This year we're doing a "Double Elimination" bracket so after the losers being given a second chance last round, we're now pitting those winning losers against one another....and I can't believe it! It's Angel vs. Spike once again! The constant cruel joke of the tourney...and the Whedonverse in general.

Last Round:
-The Spike Made-for-TV-Movie beat Whedon's Wonder Woman for a second time. I guess that thing just wasn't meant to be.
-In yet another shocking twist, Angel S.2 beat a Ripper! He killed him in real (?) life and killed him in the tournament. What can I say.

Next, let's give those losers another shot at glory! This round will have just 1 match and will end on Thursday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the currently losing Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Wonderful Magical Alternate Universe:

Spike Made-for-TV-Movie vs. Angel S.6?
Well here we are again....right back to where the whole tournament started over a week ago. How this happens, I'll never know. All I do know is that Spike won the first time, I'd imagine he'll win again. Unless the Bangels get all cut throat and then the Spuffies go on a counter attack of violence! It'll be just like the East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars of the 90's. Let's learn the lesson, people, and not end up like Tupac and Biggie.

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney - Loser's Round 2!

We're about halfway through March Madness! Of course, our goal in this tourney has been to find out which of Joss Whedon's fallen projects would be most desired in a Magical Alternate Universe of fun. The road so far has been an interesting one, with Spike the TV Movie, Ripper, Wonder Woman, The Buffy Animated Series, Angel S.6 and Whedon's vision for the original Buffy film all in the loser's bracket at the moment! Of course, some of them can still make a come back with this being a Double Elimination Tournament...but Buffy Animated and the OG Buffy are out for good. Buffy projects are taking a hit here.

Last Round:
-Firefly S.2 beat Ripper. I know this was a very tough one for a lot of people, but we got through it.
-In a shocking twist, Faith the Series narrowly beat a Spike Made-for-TV Movie! Spoike!

Next up, let's give those losers another try! This round will have 2 matches and will end on Tuesday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the currently losing Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Wonderful Magical Alternate Universe:

Spike vs. Wonder Woman? - I'm not sure what to make of this. They are entirely different projects, so I guess it all depends on what you'd like to see come to fruition more. I think I have a small idea about what's going to win and quite frankly, I'm shocked that this particular vampire with a soul is even in this area of the tournament!

Ripper vs. Angel Season 6 - Ah, Rupert Giles vs. the vampire who killed him. Well when you put it like that! Sheesh.

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness! The Whedon Alternate Universe Tourney - Winners Round 2!

If you're just joining us, we're right in the thick of March Madness here at Buffyfest! This year we are pitting sad, fallen Joss Whedon projects against one another to see what would be most desired in a Magical Alternate Universe of fun. This will hopefully answer burning questions like: What if Illyria and Spike teamed up for realsies? What would become of Faith after the implosion of Sunnydale? Would Saffron replace Inara long term on the ship?

In the Loser's Round 1:
Womder Woman beat Whedon's original vision for Buffy. This is the OG Buffy's second loss, so it's out for good.
Angel Season 6 won and Buffy Animated sadly gets thrown to the bottom of the pile once again. Never gets any love, that thing. Poor Jeph Loeb.

Next up, it's back to the winners! Second round for them, choose wisely.

This round will have 2 matches and will end on Saturday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Wonderful Magical Alternate Universe:

Firefly Season 2: Let's be honest, this is the frontrunner. It seems you can't stop the Browncoats. Those guys don't mess around. I have heard it said that some people feel Serenity was so fantastic that they wouldn't even want another season, but most of those people would squeal themselves into unconsciousness if it happened. As would some of the cast; Nathan Fillion would be your best friend if you could make this possible. I'm convinced the guy spends some evenings staring at his phone just hoping, and I don't blame him.

Ripper: Some expected a continuing series. Some a movie. The most likely project was probably the mini-series for the BBC. We could have counted on 6-8 lengthy episodes of Tony Head goodness, with some of the Doctor Who creative team on board. And a whole new story taking place after "Chosen" but also dealing with Giles's dark past as a violent youth. And at least one song performance. And finally finding out what was the deal with Olivia being pregnant in "Restless". I can't believe they haven't done this yet.

Spike Made-for-TV movie: As the character with arguably the biggest fan following this project would have had a huge reaction to be sure, but it is hard to gauge if that reaction would be celebration at seeing a final glimpse at the verse with Blondie-bear in the spotlight or total frustration that it would only be for two hours instead of the ongoing series that the Spike lovers really wanted. But since they were planning to give Tim Minear creative control and include Illyria and Willow as sidekicks and evil vampire Gunn as the villain, it would at least have been an impressive two hours.

Faith the Series: Some point out that Dushku has had not one but two chances at a Buffy-like show, once with Joss and once without, but honestly neither of them count because neither one had her riding around on a motorcycle stabbing vampires. Faith as a character is clearly still the best role that Eliza has had and the one she was best at playing. Apparently she wasn't interested, but in the alternate universe competition she doesn't get a vote. I'm just going to boil this down again for simplicity: Faith on a motorcycle. That is all you need to know.

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Madness! The Whedonverse Alternate Universe Tourney - Losers Round 1

It's March Madness time here at Buffyfest! This year we are pitting lost Joss Whedon projects against one another to see what would be most desired in a Magical Alternate Universe of fun. This should answer burning questions like: What if Angel hadn't been cancelled? What if Joss Whedon had been able to make the original Wonder Woman movie we were all anticipating? And how would a tooned up Buffy of lost S.1 episodes play out?

In the first round:
Firefly beat the Whedon's real vision for the OG Buffy film, I guess Kristy Swanson did a good enough job for everyone's needs.
Ripper beat the lost Wonder Woman film, guess SMG in that costume did enough there.
Spike Made-for-TV movie narrowly beat Angel S.2 - see this I don't really understand just from a logic point of view of wanting a stand-alone 2 hr movie over a whole other season of Angel that Blondie Bear would've been in anyway. But hey, Spike fans are serious.
And finally, Faith the Series beat Buffy the Animated Series - Really tough call there.

Because we're doing a "Double Elimination" tournament, every contender needs to lose twice. This means, all the first round nominees get a second chance at glory! So this is basically the loser's round. Here, Wonder Woman is facing the OG Buffy movie and Buffy Animated is facing Angel S.2. That one is weird because they are both more of the Buffyverse that we never got to see. The difference is Angel would be more of a dramatic conclusion and Buffy Animated would be fill in side stories from S.1, albeit kiddie style. But both would have had Boreanaz's old "pre-Bones era" forehead size.

This round will have 2 matches and will end on Wednesday night at 11:59 pm EST. Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Magical Alternate Universe:

Whedon's Wonder Woman: Little concrete was ever revealed about Joss's Wonder Woman, but one can feel certain it would have been a fresh take on a long-standing character that varies back and forth between groundbreaking role-model and demeaning throwback. Not only would it have been valuable to put the heroine in the hands of one of the few writers known for writing truly powerful women, it would have managed to get a Justice League movie on the table sooner than The Avengers.

Whedon's Buffy Movie: Joss's disappointment with the original movie necessitated a do-over TV series which led to this blog existing in the first place. Key points removed from the screenplay include the existence of a council of Watchers in a small villain outside Stonehenge, the concept of "vampire kings", and the nature of how the slayers are called (instead of the implied reincarnation in the final version of the movie).

Buffy Animated: Mixed feelings existed about the idea of re-envisioning the Scooby gang for a younger audience, but including the incomparable Jeph Loeb as a creator would have ensured a level of quality found in few cartoons. While most people would prefer material not set in the past, it would still have allowed new stories and the return of departed characters long missed (or the return of characters acting the way they did when they were more liked). Plus, preteen Dawn interacting with Angel.

Angel Season 6: In the wake of "Not Fade Away", it's really hard to guess what would have happened. Would Angel Investigations reopened? Would it have gone according to Joss's original plan and given us the intending ending? Would he have changed his mind and gone with something more like After the Fall? Would we ever have seen the other wing of the hotel again? And most importantly, could Angel and Spike ever have lived up to our expectations?

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

SXSW 'The Cabin in The Woods' Premiere and Q&A Roundup!

This weekend, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard were full speed ahead in press mode for The Cabin in the Woods. Down at the SXSW Festival, Cabin was the film festival's official opening night selection! After the premiere (but before the partying) Joss, Drew, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Kristen Connolly, and Anna Hutchison did a a Q&A with the audience. We weren't there, sadly, but many a sites and blogs have very thorough reports. If you're going spoiler-free zmiggie on this one, then I'd stay away from the reviews...but the vids are harmless. Except for the fact that many-a-Texan-reporter calls him "Josh". Sigh.

The cast of Cabin at the film's premiere at SXSW 2012

EW reviews Cabin here and Variety's review is here.

Full Live Blogs of the SXSW Q&A at SnarkmarketAustin Chronicle, and Leaky News. A lot of great stuff there.

And Unified has an amazing cartoon sketch of Joss in all his Gingeriness quoting some of the highlights from the Q&A:
image from

Here are some video snippets!

To top it off, just this morning HitFix did a live chat with the boys and streamed it on their site. Check it out here.

Buffy Season 9 #7 Spoiler-lite review

You may have heard in the last few days that those of us who received an early press release of the latest Buffy comic could only respond by saying “WTF did I just read?!” My reaction was much the same. For me, it’s because Buffy Season 9 #7’s last three pages left me so shocked that I had to read them over several times before I could believe they really went there. Is that a good thing?

I don’t think so, no.

I wish there were a way to scream from the rooftops exactly what happens so I can express specifically why I would have gladly nudged my laptop off the bed, allowing it to gracefully careen into many pieces on the ground below if only it were in the budget to easily replace. That would spoil a big reveal, though, and I’m just not that sort of girl… or any sort of girl, really.

The good news, however, is that the thing a lot of people seem desperate to know about (what’s happening between Buffy and Spike) is something I feel I can talk about. Some spoilers to follow.

Let’s back up. Before everything goes computer-hurlingly wrong for me, Buffy Season 9 #7 is, at its core, all about Buffy and Spike. It is more about them than it is about abortion, zompires, giant bugs, et al. That stuff is there but it is window dressing. The main event is them finally talking about the elephant in the room.

Spike is still in love with Buffy. Buffy claims she didn’t realize that's why he's been sticking around the bay area which makes her seem even more oblivious than usual. This isn’t my first slayer rodeo, though, and while I’ve considered even comics Buffy to be keenly perceptive of the world around her, our girl can be a tad dim when it comes to relationships.

Right now you’re probably thinking, “If Spike reveals his feelings, does Buffy verbally reciprocate?”

Well... not exactly, no.

Alright, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that I genuinely believe she absolutely would have if not for what happens in those last three pages.

While Buffy claims she wants to live a normal life, she moves out of her apartment with two perfectly regular folks and moves in with an ensouled vampire who lives on a spaceship full of giant bugs. Connect the dots, folks. It ain’t hard to work out how she feels about Spike.

I’m so tempted to say more. I will say that a Spike/Buffy fan’s frustration in this moment is not only matched but, I think, exceeded by my own.

Granted, I may feel totally sated come this time next month, but right now I feel a potentially serious misstep has been made. On the plus side, y’all are gonna be speculating just as much as you’ll be complaining all month, and I, for one, will be right there with you.

Come Wednesday, let's talk about this more in-depth.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness - The Whedonverse Alternate Universe Tournament!

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Ahh March...Spring is about to poke it's flowery head up from the ground like a newly sired vampire's arm, Basketball fans are all up in arms about something I don't quite understand and on Buffyfest it's all about forcing certain Whedonverse things to battle against one another to the death! That's right, it's March Madness!

We've done a lot of these tournaments now, so it's getting kind of hard for us to think up new topics, but there's one thing that us Whedonites know about all too well and that's "What could have been?" We've had our hearts smashed from so many broken promises. Burning questions like: What if Firefly had been renewed? What if Joss Whedon had been able to make the original Buffy movie the way he wanted to? And the question that ultimately enters any Whedon conversation: What about Spike?

So this March Madness is going to be all about the magical Alternate Universe where those cancelled, ruined or never-realized-projects will get the chance to shine. Which one would you want to see most? This one might be a little tricky to wrap your head around since it's all make-believe unicorns and leprechauns. It's not as easy as say, who has the most World Ending Hair (Teeny bangs anyone?)...but I think it'll be interesting to see which unrealized project wins this thing. I can't even decide a favorite right now! It's anyone's game. Oh and please don't ask why Spike is pitted against Angel's totally randomized and for some reason these Tourneys like to eff with me.

It's going to be short as we're already down to the Elite Eight, but to complicate things a bit we're going to go with what's called a "Double Elimination" bracket for the first time in Buffyfest Tournament history. Why you ask? Mostly to make my life difficult, but also our resident advisor The Maestro said it will be a more accurate final battle and if your favorite gets eliminated early on, they'll get a second chance. Ok then!

This first round will have 4 matches and will end on Monday night at 11:59 pm EST.

Vote below for the Whedon project you'd like to see most in a Magical Alternate Universe:

And click below to enlarge the entire bracket:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Christina Hendricks Boobies, Avengers Mania, Drusilla Comic and More!

[General Spoilers] Boo, I don't think we've ever gone this many weeks without an update! On top of that, it seems that we missed quite a bit in the way of Whedonverse news. So let's do a quick recap of the past few weeks! If not for your benefit, then at least for mine:

First up, every Whedonite's dream: Christina Hendricks NAKED ON THE INTERNETZ! That's right, Our Mrs. Reynolds got her phone hacked by nasty hackers, but her rep made a statement:

"Christina's phone was in fact hacked and photos were stolen. The topless image is fake and not an image of Christina."

Like she said, there are some more....nipply pics out there (here and listen people, that link is NSFW). But her head is cut off so it really may not be Saffron's boobies after all. I know what I think, but you'll have to draw your own conclusions. One thing's for sure, Mad Men S.5 premiere is mere weeks away. Coincidence?

Avengers ASSEMBLE!! Oh man Whedon's Avengers are about to take over the whole damn world! The second trailer has surpassed The Dark Knight Rises' record as the most downloaded of all-time on the Apple website. There are new stills going around of Cobie Smulders as S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Maria Hill (below...her outfit is identical to ScarJo's yes?). And the Legos have even arrived!

In addition, the German version of the Avengers second trailer has come out and it features some of the bits that we saw at this past New York Comic Con, but were sworn to secrecy about. May 4th can't come quick enough!

Speaking of release dates, Cabin in the Woods second trailer has been released and Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope trailer has been floating around, with it's release just a few weeks away! And if three Whedon movies aren't enough for you, let's not forget about the 2 other films on the table: The recently wrapped Much Ado About Nothing and In Your Eyes. The latter is "a metaphysical love story about two seemingly polar opposites who are deeply connected in ways neither could have ever imagined", produced by Whedon's freshly baked Bellwether Productions. Steve Howey (Kevin from Shameless) was added to the cast of Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David and Mark Feuerstein. It's currently being filmed in Exeter, New Hampshire.

It's the year of Joss Whedon at the box office. Let's recap that release date schedule:
Avengers - May 4th
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope - April 6th
Cabin in the Woods - April 13th
Much Ado About Nothing - Some time this year
In Your Eyes - No release set yet

In Comic news, Drusilla has landed her very own mini-series under Dark Horse's Buffy Season 9 umbrella and it's being written by Juliet Landau herself! The comic will span 5 issues and launch in June, fresh off the character's stint in the Angel & Faith comic. As it turns out, even though Juliet had written a couple of issues in the past for IDW comics, she was actually brought in here through Buffy artist Georges Jeanty, who met her on the Comic Con circuit. Both Georges and Steve Norris will be doing cover art with Tim Seeley and Cliff Richards doing interior art. See preview pages over on CBR.

Ringer is a show on television. I really can't say much more than that because it's a truly baffling story. No one that I know will watch it after seeing the boat scene in the pilot, so I have no one to talk to. All I can do week after week is stare at the TV with a contorted look on my face of shock, wonder and a bit of shame. In any event, I still want to know where the damn thing is headed and if Sioban and Bridget will ever fist fight like Angel and Angelus did in "Orpheus". We'll all be left wondering if it doesn't get picked up for a second season. Right now Ringer has 2 sad faces on TV By the Numbers Renewal/Cancel index and that's no good. So get that petition signed. We've been here many a time, know how to do it by now.

Finally, if you're in the NYC area and have the means, definitely consider attending Equality Now's 20th Anniversary Event on April 19th. Not only will you get the rare chance to spend the evening with Joss Whedon (honorary co-chair) and Eliza Dushku (honorary committee), but you will of course be supporting an amazing cause. Click on this link to purchase tickets.

Since I needed a little Buffyfest boost, I'll end this with an invitation to the rest of you to relive the magic with this amazing fan-made trailer below: