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Some fic and a snit

Hey howdy hey! It's been awhile, pardners, but I have a couple of fics for you! Then I have a favor to ask! Aren't you glad you stopped by?

First, here's a tiny drabble about Xander's first experience being "Up With People"!

Title: Just In Time Delivery
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 100
Character: Xander
Summary: Xander discovers a new core compentency.

Then, there's a ficlet about Número Cinco:

Title: Two Faces Have I
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG
Word Count: 800
Characters: Los Hermanos Números with their myriad allies and enemies.

This ficlet turned into a crossover with Love & Rockets, though familiarity with that comic is not in any way necessary. However, if you want to read a comic that has amazing female characters of all shapes, colors, and sizes and that does not talk down to you, you might want to give it a try. Start with some of the older trades.

The reason I bring that up is I've been stewing about another comic lately, and sometimes it helps to remember the good stuff.

So, about that favor...

In response to Scott Allie's press release (if that's what they're calling them these days), I've written my first letter to the editor in almost 10 years, and I was wondering if y'all would be willing to look it over and make sure I didn't make any stupid mistakes. 'Kay? Thanks! Feedback appreciated!

Dear Mr. Allie,

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #33, Buffy’s ex-boyfriend is revealed as the “villain” behind the mask. Nifty twist and all, but he proceeds to spend the entire issue telling her, essentially, not to worry her pretty little head about a thing, something virtually guaranteed to earn a person a smackdown from the Buffster. Quentin Travers (or anyone from the old Council, really), various baddies, and yes, Angel, have all tried it and paid the price. Angel’s been there multiple times. He’s a slow learner. People underestimate Buffy, probably because her head is indeed little and pretty, but she’s good at setting them straight. The smackdown might be figurative, but it’s often quite literal. She’s a woman of action. It’s part of what we love about her. So, I waited happily for the inevitable.

Instead, she gives him a kiss and they spend the next issue “f#@%ing”.

I admit I don’t like Angel. He hurt my (imaginary) friend badly, back when she was a young girl, and even if she forgives him, I don’t have to. Plus, it sure seems like he’s still hurting her. Also, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but it was my understanding that Angel having sex was a Very Bad Thing, so I’m petty much against him having sex. With anyone. And I definitely don’t want to see it.

But, you know, it’s comics, no actual worlds were harmed, blah, blah, blah. I figure Joss will pull it out at some point, and we’ll all go home saying, “That was really unpleasant, but she prevailed, and learned.” Or something like that.

I participate in online fandom, however, so it’s sometimes hard to avoid hearing the rumblings of unrest or glee (or, as we call it on the net, squee). So, the most recent (April 28) announcement from your desk came across my screen. Wow.

Not only do you mange to imply that people who don’t like #34 are prudes (and no, you don’t need to explain what porn isn’t to me–I’ve got the Supreme Court for that, thanks), and that fans who care enough to “ship” live on some other (more dimwitted) planet, you also manage to tell us not to worry our pretty little heads! You’ve hit the trifecta of arguments used to shut women up.

1) we’re uptight,
2) we’re stupid and emotional, and
3) you know what’s best for us.

Truly, an amazing achievement. Can you say patronizing? Because I sure can, though I had hoped never to apply the word to the staff of Buffy.

Suddenly, I’m not surprised by the problems I’m having with Season 8. It’s as if I’m caught in an endless feedback loop, wherein the people objecting to Buffy falling for the “don’t worry, be happy” line—something she never does, even in the throes of a demon-induced psychotic delusion— are being fed the very same line. I don’t think that the man behind the curtain/mask/blue pencil gets the point at all.

Feminist icon: I do not think it means what you think it means.

Warm regards,
Rebcake
San Francisco, CA

P.S. I fully expect this letter to be Jossed* in #35. God, I hope it is. I just might not be reading it.

*”Jossed” is internet-speak for having one’s hopes, dreams, and/or objections destroyed by a wacky plot twist.

+++

That's that. In other news, McDiva wanted me to tell you that she beat me in a music-related BtVS trivia matter. She thought "Virgin State of Mind" was used in Season 3, I guessed Season 7. I should know better than to go up against her savant-like powers of musical recall. Live and learn.

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Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
flake_sake
May. 1st, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Neat letter! There's an r missing in pretty, where you write that you don't like Angel having sex, but that's the only typo I found.

I wonder if you'll get an answer. He addressed the feminist icon thing tangentially in a reply to me, saying that if 34 was the last issue he'd agree that it would deconstruct Buffy as a heroine, but he doesn't think it does by 40.

I can't help snorfling at his last letter. He clearly never met fandom or he would know that explicitness was the least of this issues problems.

rebcake
May. 1st, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Heh. Perhaps using "petty" when talking about Angel was a Freudian slip on my part?

Yeah, I don't expect to hear from him, especially since I'm really going off on his press release, rather than the comic. It just dovetailed so perfectly with the things that bug me about the comic!
penny_lane_42
May. 1st, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think it's a fantastic letter, and I love you for it. I also love you for defining "Jossed" for him. Now would someone please define "Thoughts on yaoi" for him? Pretty please? That was fabulously passive-aggressive. I cackled madly.

I don't know how seriously he's going to take this since he's dismissed Emmie's feminist concerns before (and he knows Emmie), but I truly, truly appreciate you saying it. Thank you for that.
rebcake
May. 1st, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Passive-aggressive? Moi? Surely you jest. Heh.

I'm really talking about his press release, and how it pointed up to me the problems I'm having with the comic. Up until the PR, I was willing to take a wait-and-see approach. But when the PR so perfectly echoes the problems I'm having with the comic, it starts to look like it's a systemic misunderstanding of the character, and not just something that will all work out in the wash.

I'm not a happy camper.
penny_lane_42
May. 1st, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
LOVE. IT.

But I think that makes perfect sense and is very well-said. Perhaps you might even want to say that more explicitly in the letter itself? I know you touch on it, but you said it more forcefully here, and I think that might be a good thing.
rebcake
May. 1st, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
Good point. I did have a bit more, but it was getting really mean and angry, and I kept falling into icky metaphors about lying back and taking it. I may have calmed down.
penny_lane_42
May. 1st, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
You keep having ridiculously appropriate icons, and I am loving it.

As much as I understand your anger and appreciate your icky metaphors (which I totally do), I think the calming down is a good thing. He's definitely the kind of guy to use the tone argument, I think.
zanthinegirl
May. 1st, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, very well said. I admit to having just given up on the whole thing. My assumption is that the PTB don't care, and are trying to make BtVS appeal to (presumably mostly male) comic fans. But you managed to be both articulate and witty; excellent points!
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
¡Yay! You survived the yucky contrast thing! Whew!

Yeah, I really thought that Dark Horse would be all about capturing the female reader. It's something comic publishers like to talk about. And they have a really terrific editor on staff, Diana Shutz, who would totally get what we're talking about, if she ever watched TV. *sigh* Oh well. We'll see what happens...but I might just wait on buying anymore issues, for now.
probablecylon
May. 8th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
My younger sis is a major comics fan (tho' not of DH) and I thought I'd give them a try also because of BtVS. I thought I was getting more than my money's worth up until about #26 & then we got Buffy-goes-to-war-is-worried-about-casualties etc. etc. etc. I thought it was just a bad patch, not the start of a fatal skid over the cliff edge.

rebcake
May. 9th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
I think I started to feel disaffected at about the same time. There was something interesting in most issues, right up until the lame resolution of Dawn's little problem, or maybe it was the time-travel arc that lost me. I can't pinpoint it without going back to read, which: pfft. The "Retreat" arc really took all the joy out of it, though. Very disappointing, because usually Jane Espenson writes the stuff I love best.
snickfic
May. 1st, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Excellent letter. I salute you!

I think if anything, I'd take out a couple of those parentheticals - the "squee" definition and the Supreme Court comment, specifically. I think the first just distracts from your main thought; and the second, while amusing and useful in conveying your feelings on being implied a prude, feels a bit more patronizing than the rest of the piece. (This may be because you feel more patronizing about it, but tonally it sticks out to me. YMMV.)

I wish you and your letter luck!
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Excellent points! And yeah, I do sort of feel like being patronizing back, but it might not be the best approach. So instead, I'll go with sarcastic and passive-aggressive! Woo hoo!
(Deleted comment)
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
I don't like it when people treat my friends (and even my enemies, usually) like they are idiots. I've even had some strong words with folks over the way the Twilight movies are dissed at the boy's club Cons. I'm no fan, but seriously, why can't people just be allowed to do their thing? Why is the idea of girls enjoying themselves so threatening?

*climbs down off soapbox*

Thanks for your kind words.
gillo
May. 1st, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Good letter, though I agree to some extent with snickfic about one or two of your asides, which release the tension with humour. Like Giles, I think you wish to be tense!

And the typo:
so I’m
petty
much against him having sex.


Allie is incapable of recognising why the sex images are so wrong. Even to try to explain would take forever.
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
the sex images are so wrong

Yeah, I'm not even going to go there. I just want him to know that his "are you bitches frigid or something?" defense is indefensible.

Thanks for weighing in on the edits! (I personally love the "petty" one and what it reveals about me. Heh.)
sockmonkeyhere
May. 2nd, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
I think it's an excellent letter, and I agree with all its points. Teeny typo: "Not only do you mange to imply that people who don’t like #34 are prudes" -- should be manage (although Allie's press release WAS pretty mangy. ;D )
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
Hee! I love that my typos "petty" and "mange" are so apropos! Thanks for the catch, darlin'!
molly_may
May. 2nd, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I think your letter is a thing of beauty and a joy forever!

Joss may end up making the story palatable somehow, but I don't think Allie is ever going to be able to recover any kind of standing with the fans.
rebcake
May. 2nd, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Yeah. I wasn't exactly enjoying the comic, but I could see that there might be a method behind the madness, all evidence to the contrary. But the press release is just too egregious to let stand. Grrr.
all_choseny
May. 2nd, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I still like Angel. I don't know, he got cooler on his own show. I also used to be a Buffy/Angel ship. I think I still am. But the "Twilight" thing was pretty...well, I really don't have a way to describe it. I'll just say the storyline could have been better.

However, I do agree with what you wrote. The snark was delightful. But I see what the others mean about the tone of the letter. Eh, I'd send it as is. Chances are they'll give us the same patronizing response, "you're too uptight."

Bleh, season 8 had so much potential. I knew something was off the moment I saw a giant sized dawn.
rebcake
May. 4th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I still like Angel.

I'm pretty sure mine is the minority opinion. I know it's not healthy to carry a grudge, but I do anyway. ;-)

I ended up padding it make it clearer that I'm objecting to his press release. I could complain about the comic but that is largely outside his control if he's serious about letting the creator do his thing, which I believe he is.

Thanks for your support!
probablecylon
May. 8th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
I thought I was in the minority too when I wrote my first responses, but I'm fairly sure that it's a large minority if it isn't a majority opinion.

Even tho' SA 'let the creator do his thing', he also took responsibility for it by posting an editorial letter which really scoffed at the concerns. It's aiding and abetting after the fact.
eilowyn
May. 2nd, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Good job and good luck. I really can't say more than that, except that if you plan on sharing his response with the rest of us, you may want to let him know you'll be doing that - I think Emmie got into a bit of trouble about this time last month because of this, and the tattlers will be out in force to relay any of our bad behavior back to the Powers That Be via twitter. Yeah, way to make Twitter look douchey, guys.
rebcake
May. 4th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
I don't really expect to get a response, but if I do and it seems like it might be of interest to you guys, I'll probably f-lock the discussion.

Thanks for the helpful comments!
moscow_watcher
Jun. 1st, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
I can't believe I missed it! I was away so I was out of the loop. Great letter. You sum up the problems I have with current plot twists.

It goes straight to my memories.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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