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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It might seem excessive to produce a nearly-500-page book of essays on the career of one man, especially one whose career seems to be picking up speed. But then again, this book is about Joss Whedon, and his fans (and detractors) can't seem to say enough.

If all you know about Whedon is that he wrote and helmed The Avengers, the movie that buried theaters in piles of money, "Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion," from Titan Books will be an eye-opener, and possibly a back-strainer. 45 essays analyze his career from the TV shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse) to the webseries (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) to the comics (Fray, The Astonishing X-Men, the Buffy 8th season, Runaways and Sugarshock!) to his movies (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien Resurrection, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers).

If you're unfamiliar with any of those, each chapter has a concise "101" to help you catch up. There are also excellent interviews with frequent collaborators Jane Espenson (writer, Buffy, Angel, Firefly), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndham-Pryce in Buffy and Angel), Harry Groener (The Mayor in Buffy) and Tim Minear (writer, Angel, Firefly).

It's a book of essays, so it's going to be hit or miss as far as your personal tastes go. I'm not generally one for the picking-apart-to-death style of criticism (an attitude explained nicely by Whedon himself in his song in the Dr. Horrible commentary, "Heart, Broken": "We're gonna pick, pick, pick, pick, pick it apart...") and there's certainly plenty of that here. A few of the conclusions I read I flatly disagreed with, and a few more bewildered or, frankly, bored me. But there are also essays that speak more to the heart and themes of his work.

Ronald Helfrich speaks to religion in "Note to Self, Religion Freaky: When Buffy Met Biblical Studies." "I'd Be Very Still:Anthropology of a Lapsed Fan" looks at the reactions of fans who loved the show because of a character (Oz) and how they reacted when he was gone. Kristin M. Barton examines Whedon's penchant for killing off beloved characters in "TV's Grim Reaper: Why Joss Whedon Continually Kills the Characters We Love."

Don Tresca follows the character growth of Anne in Buffy and Angel, someone who should have been a minor, throwaway character. Michael Bailey looks at the ethics of Malcolm Reynolds. Nikki Faith Fuller psychoanalyzes Illyria and Kevin M. Brettauer parallels Dr. Horrible to Spider-Man, in reverse. Raz Greenburg compares Whedon's original script for "Alien Resurrection" to the finished movie. There are essays on sexuality, feminism, love, memory, identity, empowerment, dystopias, fandom and much more.

And "Nathan Fillion Misbehaves All Over the Whedonverse" is as self-explanatory as any essay you'll ever see, ever.

"Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion" isn't a book you pick up and zip through, but you may find yourself returning to it again and again.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Incredibly comprehensive, but lacking much of a narrative direction, Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion offers a fairly nice overview of the creative work of one of geekdom's most popular iconoclasts.

Essays and interviews comprise a large percentage of the book's almost 500 page length, but there isn't an awful lot of interesting analysis or information for the already established Whedonite.

Nevertheless, it's a breezy read and might be interesting with his less rabid fans who are just discovering him from The Avengers and decide to go back and check out his earlier work. Mildly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
to all joss whedon lovers, this book consists of articles writtern(and published) for whedon's work. every chapter treats a different issue- series/movies by whedon- and analyses it, in a way that you can read it in the order you want and not from start to the end.
it is a complete study on whedons work
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
All the major works are reviewed here. Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse are all analyzed. I think some of the authors take their subjects too seriously, but overall this is a comprehensive work.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
My boyfriend enjoyed this. Only thing is he said that some of the shows he hasn't watched yet (like Angel) and so there are lots of things to skim and skip over- BUT still was a great book and a nice gift for anyone who lives in Whedonverse.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2013
a great books for fans of the series and a great way to find out about joss whedon. fantastic baby!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
{...]

JossWhedon The Complete Companion by POP matters is not complete, as Whedon's career does not seem to be anywhere near over. That said I cannot imagine a more thorough collection of thoughts on the man. With over 40 authors the book covers Whedon's overarching themes with technical comparisons of his scripts versus the finished products. TV, webisodes, comics and films are all covered in detail. Some of the material is examined with an eye for storytelling tones, braking it down to a philosophical degree. Other essays cover insider technical deatails of how the shows and films came to light. Whatever your mood, if it involves Whedon you will be covered.

This book however is not simple hero worship. One aspect I found very interesting as an Alien fan is the chapter `Alien Resurrection, the Script that Shaped Joss Whedon's career.' This is generally accepted to be the weakest film in the series, and Whedon does not get a pass. As an avid geek is interesting finding a source with new insight and information on an older film.

In full disclosure I am a big fan of Whedon, except Buffy. I loathe to an unfair degree stories surrounding high schools. That being said I still found incite to appreciate in the essays provided. I am however a huge Angel fan. The essay, `The Strength and Conviction to lose So Relentlessly,' summed up perfectly everything I found so appealing about Angel. Included is this enclosed quote from Angel in episode 2:16 Epiphany. "Well, I guess I kinda...worked it out. If there's no great, glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do, because that's all there is, what we do. Now today."
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
i pre-ordered this book and really had no idea what to expect, but for some reason i thought i'd be getting a big catalogue of joss' work, full of pictures and maybe some choice quotes here and there. but instead, it's a BIG THICK honest-to-goodness BOOK filled with interviews, essays, and insights into the entire whedonverse, including joss' comics and his newest movies! the only thing i like almost as much as watching something by joss is reading about joss. this book is BIG and AWESOME and full of stuff about him and his many awesome works. it includes interviews of some of the amazing people who have worked with him, such as my personal fave jane espenson. yay!

i haven't actually read it yet, so i can't say much more. i will return and update this review once i've read the entire book. expect that to take some time. it is THICK and AWESOME!

(disclosure: i am obsessed with joss whedon beyond the point of preposterosity. but he has kept me going for years as a hermit with a broken back. there is no limit to the number of times i can re-read or re-watch something by him and i ALWAYS find something new. also, he is the only one out there asking the important questions and guiding us through the dark but making it hilarious, and... well, he has made the life of this semi-invalid almost a pleasure to endure.)
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Very happy with my purchase. This was a very interesting book and quite informative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it :)
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