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Monday, May 08, 2023 

Buffy is still relevant?

OPB interviewed Casey Gilly - a Portland-based writer who's had Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dungeons & Dragons comics to her credits - for Free Comic Book Day, and they raise the subject of Buffy here:
Orr: So the TV show first aired in 1997, and it’ll be 20 years this month since the show ended. Since then, there’s been loads of comics — like ones you’ve written — stories and conversations within the fandom. Why do you think these characters continue to endure and thrive decades after the show has ended?

Gilly: The Buffy fandom is really incredible. The elephant in the room is that there are some problematic creators associated with the show.

But something that I have seen as a Buffy fan since it aired — I’m in my forties, I was a teenager when it came out, I was watching it in syndication, and I felt the power even then — that there is a relatability to all of the characters in Buffy.

Yes, most of them are thin, white, conventionally attractive characters which can be difficult for people who don’t fit into that mold to really identify with. But within the writing are also characters that deeply struggle with anxiety and depression — and get to be villains and get to be heroes and get to be chaotic. And it really shows that there’s a scope of humanity in everyone. And depending on when you catch someone in their life, they could be their best self or their worst self, and their story still deserves to be heard.
So, they at least acknowledge creator Joss Whedon's an awful lot, though it's a shame they pointed to a Vice article to make the point, considering they're a bad lot themselves, very hypocritical on certain issues. And the writer herself is being petty and insulting when she cites the cast's being thin, white and attractive, as though that's a bad thing for entertainment. No, what matters is Whedon's hypocrisy on feminism, and his mistreatment of Charisma Carpenter in the past quarter century was inexcusable.
And I think that something that makes Buffy so relevant is it’s very easy to take this concept of a Slayer and use that to talk about whatever our current evils are. So, in the nineties, ‘97, the show really dealt with themes of feminism and equality and power structures against adults. And those were big things that we were talking about then.

It is so easy to take that same setup and apply it to whatever is going on today, which is part of why I love writing Buffy comics because I do have the autonomy to think like, ‘What is most relevant now, and what do we need to see a hero like this fight against?’
Some valid questions could be raised as to just how relevant the feminist theme still is in this franchise, in an era where women's rights are being trampled in many ways, and the most far-left feminists seem okay with throwing all that past generations achieved under the bus. Just what are those "current evils"? Would they happen to be conservatives/right-wingers, and even Trump/deSantis supporters? Seeing how Whedon and company put Buffy's comics to use for political purposes in the past, it's not too hard to guess where things could wind up today. So how is the Buffy franchise still relevant? Only in the sense it's come to be exploited for ultra-leftist ideologies, that's all.

And maybe that's why, however you look at Buffy as a product today, it really is a shame. For all we know, it could've served far better goals, metaphorical or otherwise, in past years. Unfortunately, Whedon being who he is, led to it becoming a sad farce.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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