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And yeah, this is gonna be a short entry.

I live in San Francisco, so I've been on tenterhooks about how My Fair City would be presented in Season 9 of the Buffy comics. Up until this issue, it's been pretty clear that whoever is doing the art (and writing the thing) was not from around here. The most egregious error was putting Buffy in a courtyard apartment with a pool. Such places simply do not exist here, for various reasons, although they are plentiful Down There in Southern California. However, pages 8 & 9 of the most recent issue show a streetscape that I can totally believe. So go you, guest artist Karl Moline! You've either been here and looked around, or you do good, solid research! Kudos for that.

Also, Willow is very pretty in this issue. Buffy looks — if not exactly like herself — like a grown-up for a change. Which, given the subject matter: thank god. And...that's about all I've got, since my mama told me not to say anything if I couldn't say something nice.

But then there's the marketing and publicity to drive home that the work needs outside clarification — i.e., has trouble standing on its own. Editor Scott Allie explained that yes, Buffy was indeed impregnated while blackout drunk at her housewarming party and has no idea who the father might be. While I'm not sure I care enough to speculate about the father's identity, I am amused by the positions being staked out on whedonesque.com. I'm curious why nobody's short list of possible babydaddies includes Buffy's roommate. (Except for joans_journal, I just noticed. *waves*) I mean, c'mon, the guy's name is Tumble! It's perhaps too obviously Dickensian a name choice for Joss, but you know he likes a little word play. I'm not saying he's the one, I'm just saying it's possible. Unless I missed something in my admittedly cursory reading of the first few issues? Is he gay or something and it escaped my keen powers of observation? Wouldn't be the first time.

Whatever. Time will tell. I've noticed much lamenting in fandom about the situation Buffy finds herself in. Pregnant, single, and underemployed are kind of the triple whammy, especially in these United States, where crappy jobs generally mean no health care coverage. However, in San Francisco employers are required to provide health insurance for ALL workers, even minimum wage earners. So, that's at least one headache Buffy won't have, thanks to the voters of her adopted city. Go us! Commie pinko socialism rules!

If you don't live in San Francisco (or Europe, or Canada, or Australia) and you find yourself worrying how women in Buffy's position get prenatal care in your area, you might consider making a donation to Planned Parenthood. Just saying.

This entry was originally posted at http://rebcake.dreamwidth.org/21500.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
owenthurman
Jan. 14th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
>>>a courtyard apartment with a pool. Such places simply do not exist here<<

Bayside Village at Bryant and Beale underneath the Bay Bridge and its neighboring complex to the east, a couple places at the foot of Telegraph Hill at Lombard and Sansome, and maybe a complex where Fulton meets the beach could be close. There isn't anything that looks just like the comics illustration, though. What did they do when they tore down the projects at North Beach?
rebcake
Jan. 14th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
There are some newish luxury high-rises that have pools in the basement or on the roof, and a few things like that. I'm not sure what North Beach projects you mean, though, so I don't have specifics. Since the Embarcadero freeway came down, a lot of "mixed use" buildings have gone up. Retail at the ground floor, offices on the next few floors, then residential (lofts) above that. It's larger scale stuff, though, designed to get the maximum use out of a parcel of real estate. Outdoor pools are sort of the opposite of that.

There've been other weird geographical things, like a Crissy Field with rolling hills, but the "party pool" was just too much. Maybe the artist stayed at the Phoenix Hotel at some point? That's the closest parallel I can think of.

Edited at 2012-01-14 06:21 pm (UTC)
owenthurman
Jan. 16th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
There was a ratty public housing project in North Beach in the 1990's, now demolished I think.

My closest vision for something like the courtyard apartment is this: http://www.baysidevillage.com/gallery.htm . It's super cheap for the city, too. Only $3,500 monthly for two bedrooms.
rebcake
Jan. 16th, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
*snerk* Yep, quite reasonable. Just exactly where a barista and her two roommates would be likely to rent. I actually did live in a place exactly like Buffy's in my 20s...the summer I lived in LA. Since then it's been railroad flats and the occasional post-war bungalow for me. Fortunately, we still have public pools. ;-)
owenthurman
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
>>Fortunately, we still have public pools.<<

Sometimes I think of old photos of the Sutro Baths and heated seawater. *longs*
eilowyn
Jan. 14th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
I've lived in several courtyard apartments Down There, and I've visited San Francisco to see the bff frequently (who sadly just moved back Down There with her husband), so bemoaned the situation just as you did.

Yay for commie pinko socialism! That's one worry people have off their backs. I just hope Joss and Scott know this so they don't have to put their heroine through the US healthcare system along with all the other pain and suffering they usually put her through.
rebcake
Jan. 14th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be too surprised if the new focus on reality mightn't contain a lament about the unfairness of the healthcare system, since it's sort of a big current deal in this country. If so, it's just their bad luck they chose a city that's making a least an attempt to be proactive on the issue. *raspberries*

BTW, I noticed that Wonder Con moved to Anaheim for this year only, so I guess we won't meet up there, after all. :(
eilowyn
Jan. 14th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
What did you think of the issue other wise? I've been getting mixed extremes, where people are totally furious at the possible dub con, and I've seen people delighted at the thought of seeing Buffy pregnant. If I compartmentalize and put the dub con out of my mind, I'm excited and curious to see how Buffy's pregnancy will play out in the long run of the season. With the dub con, I'm uncomfortable, but I want this to be Buffy's story and not a big huge question about the father. It's likely they'll never tell who the father is, so we might as well get acquainted with that thought.
rebcake
Jan. 14th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
I ... don't enjoy the comics much. I don't mind the ridiculousness of the various plot devices. Giant robots? Bug ships? It's all good. I just don't think they make much sense on an emotional level, and that kills it for me.
red_satin_doll
Aug. 10th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
wouldn't be too surprised if the new focus on reality mightn't contain a lament about the unfairness of the healthcare system, since it's sort of a big current deal in this country. If so, it's just their bad luck they chose a city that's making a least an attempt to be proactive on the issue. *raspberries*

Now that the arc has played out - I think I would have respected it more if they had gone that route. Seasons 5-6 dealt a lot with those sorts of real-world issues that Buffy had to face, so I think it could have been done well. But now we know they chickened out of dealing with the implications of it *sigh*. This could certainly have built upon the notion of Nikki being the only Slayer known to have had a child - "known to" being operative here, surely there must have been other Slayers who did?

What made me mad as heck was the whole consent issue "Buffy blacked out" is not any better IMHO than "Andrew Roofied her to switch her body" I guess I should be very pleased that it wasn't a mystical pregnancy a la Cordy that ends up with her in a coma? I think perhaps Joss shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the pregnancy trope/theme ever again. (And the suggestions from the PTB that Buffy is at the age when young people - read, "women" are "irresponsible" - is horrid. To Buffy and to people in their mid-20's in general. A very blanket statement, that.)

I really would have preferred Buffy to have agency in this, that she made a choice and is dealing with the consequences. The TV was all about choice and agency, and it being a bad thing when that was taken away; so the way this played out ends up being about Buffy as victim, to me.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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