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Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books, and More Paperback – May 1, 2012
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"English/Film/Media Studies majors, take note: If you're planning on writing a paper on anything related to Joss Whedon, this is the book you want." - Flixist.com
"A wonderful in-depth look at the entirety of Whedon's work in pop culture." - Clique Clack
"Some of the best essays you’ll ever read on the man and his works." - Geek Dad
"Essential for fans of the Whedonverse." - Vent Vox
About the Author
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Top customer reviews
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.
it is a complete study on whedons work
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.
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."