?

Log in

No account? Create an account
StephenT [userpic]

A couple of thoughts on season 8 so far

7th December 2007 (17:53)

First, a lot of people have complained that the artwork makes the characters look like children. It's not something I've particularly noticed: their bodies are adult enough, and I'm not sure what else you'd do to the faces: add lots of wrinkles and sag lines? They're 24, not 64. :-) However, the new episode did include one picture of Faith that really did make her look about 12 - and after some study, I've decided why I thought so. 

Compare and contrast:



It's one of those trivia things you pick up, that the average adult human body is roughly seven head-heights tall; maybe a bit less. As you see, that's certainly true for Eliza Dushku (on the left). In the drawing, however, Faith's head is about 18% larger than Eliza's proportionate to the rest of her body. That immediately makes her look child-like, because children's heads are much bigger proportionate to their bodies: a baby's head accounts for 25% of its body length as opposed to 14% in an adult.

The fact that Jeanty actually drew Faith with a much narrower waist and slightly larger bust than Eliza has in real life* doesn't do enough to compensate for the disporoprtionate head.

*If you happen to be reading this, Eliza, I'm sorry for mentioning that: but it's true. :-)


Secondly, there's been some controversy over the quarrel between Giles and Buffy this issue, with some - such as shapinglight- wondering if there's anything we've not been told about behind it. My first reaction was that there doesn't need to be: Giles has given Buffy a perfectly good reason for feeling hurt and betrayed (rather than just angry) by not trusting her with the information about Gigi's apocalypse and going behind her back instead. He's undermining her authority, which is already weighing heavily on her shoulders as we saw from her soliloquy in 8.01, quite apart from the Faith factor.

However, on further consideration I've realised something interesting. We already know Giles is moving around a lot and frequently out of touch with headquarters. (He's in Russia in 8.02, in the US in 8.05 and 8.06, in Britain in 8.07). However, consider this:

In 8.01, Buffy is asking Xander if "the experts" have discovered anything about the Twilight symbol.
In 8.06, Buffy is again asking Xander if he has heard anything more from "our friend in the library".

It might be perfectly innocent... but it looks strangely like Buffy can't bring herself to say Giles' name. And she isn't talking to him directly, but leaving it to Xander to keep in touch with him: and doesn't even realise until Xander tells her so that Giles has been 'incommunicado for weeks'.

Sure, she's got a lot to do, and may have just delegated this one part of her job to Xander. But I'm now wondering if Joss hasn't been quietly showing us that they're not on speaking terms all along, and only now has it come out into the open...

As for why... well, it may be because of something that happened in the missing 18 months. Or it could equally be that after Spike died saving the world, all Buffy could think about was that Giles had just tried to have him killed, and their brief reconciliation when she came up with the plan to use the Scythe wasn't enough to stop their relationship souring permanently, once the immediate danger was over.

Comments

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 19:08 (UTC)
Spuffy - destroyer of worlds! by frimfra

Haven't read issue 9 yet, but this:

Or it could equally be that after Spike died saving the world, all Buffy could think about was that Giles had just tried to have him killed, and their brief reconciliation when she came up with the plan to use the Scythe wasn't enough to stop their relationship souring permanently, once the immediate danger was over.

made me think of this icon. ;) *Everything* is Spuffy's fault!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 20:17 (UTC)

*Chuckles*

It does make sense though...

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 04:15 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 11:26 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 19:17 (UTC)

Interesting observation. It fits with the fact that Buffy needs Willow's mobile to call Giles. And it would make more sense of Giles' statement to Faith that he and Buffy aren't on speaking terms at the moment, because it's a bit of a leap from their brief exchange which concludes with Giles saying he doesn't want Buffy to be a part of what's going on with Faith to the idea that they are not speaking to each other at all. Indeed, that whole scene makes much more sense as a conversation between two people who are already not speaking to each other.

If we take the idea that Giles and Buffy have been estranged throughout, it becomes clear that when Buffy says she still has her watcher, she really does mean Xander, not Giles. (Not just as subtext, but rather as text, text -- with some bitterness thrown in). The idea that there's a standing rift also means that we have to temper our judgment about Giles' secrecy thus far. If there is a poisonous atmosphere between them that might be part of why he didn't feel free to talk to her about his plans to work with Faith. (Her reaction to the fact that he's working with Faith suggests that he's right that Buffy would have issues in that direction.)

But this just underscores that we are missing story. If I put on my 'trust Joss' hat -- it means that we can expect to get it. Without knowing exactly what has gone down between Buffy and Giles, we can't form a meaningful judgment about what Giles has been up to or Buffy's reaction to it. As you point out, whatever the rupture is, it's not enough to cut Giles off from the mission, or from either Willow or Xander. As I said in a comment to Shapinglight -- this is becoming a make or break deal for me. Cause if we don't get the backstory, then this is all fairly random -- there are too many alternate ways to fill in the blanks for us to have anyway of assessing what happened.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 20:15 (UTC)

It does make a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Joss definitely seems to have taken the approach that he's got a complete story worked out, but he's only going to be feeding us bits and pieces of it here and there until suddenly - probably by issue 35 or so - everything will suddenly fall into place and become clear.

I think it's a daring and courageous stragey which will go horribly wrong if too many people lose interst before he gets to the exposition. :-)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 20:40 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 17:54 (UTC)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 9th December 2007 20:19 (UTC)

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 19th December 2007 21:39 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th December 2007 11:11 (UTC)

Posted by: idiotnighthawk (idiotnighthawk)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 21:17 (UTC)

I'm growing a little disappointed in overall fan reaction to the artwork. A comic is not supposed to be a photo-realistic art form. The image itself is the context that would normally be created with music cues, with inflection, with performance. All the artists have to produce those effects are pencilling, inking, coloring, and lettering. It happens through those tools or not at all. So, my presumption is that when I see a flashback of a moment maybe 5 or 6 years earlier in Faith's life, and before a lot of changes, I'm seeing her look younger than she was, because I'm supposed to be reminded of the time that's past and how emotionally innocent she was in that relationship. It's reasonable to think of it as artistic hyperbole.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 22:12 (UTC)

Hmm. I do see your point.

The problem is that if Jeanty was deliberately trying for that effect, it relies on his audience understanding the conventions and codes of comics art... which a lot of the new fans reading Season 8 (me included) don't.

So it's inevitable that he's going to receive criticism...even if it does turn out to be uninformed criticism!

I certainly don't expect the art to be photo-realistic: some of the 'Angel' comics attempted that, and I don't think it worked that well. But Jeanty does seem to be trying for a fairly realistic and detailed style, rather than something obviously cartoonish or impressionistic - so when his drawings don't look like the real person so drastically, it looks wrong.

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 04:36 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 13:25 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 17:59 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 11:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 14:12 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 18:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 18:16 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 20:32 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 20:46 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 21:23 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 9th December 2007 10:02 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 15:49 (UTC)
Spike: Asylum by kathyh

I'm growing a little disappointed in overall fan reaction to the artwork.
I'm just disappointed with the artwork: It's servicable, nothing more, when it ought to be seducing me. (And yes, the comparisons to Giles' car are v. deliberate! I've read comics where the art is so gorgeous I'll linger for the longest time, just drowning in teh pretty - or the very particular heartache evoked in just a few strokes with a pen - or the mood created with nothing more than colour and a few words. Comics can be *stunning* - season 8 isn't.)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 21:17 (UTC)

In 8.01 it's Xander who says "the experts" have nothing and Buffy later tells Dawn re:Kenny that "even Giles said he was a thricewise and he only met him on the phone." Which suggests a lack of face-face contact rather than an active avoidance on Buffy's part.

I think you could explain Giles's assumption that they're no longer on speaking terms on the fact that he's learned from their phone call that Buffy knows about Faith and Gigi and any future speaking terms would necessarily involve him admitting to having sent an assassin after a fellow Slayer. Given how things went the last time he went behind her back to set up a killing it's not an unreasonable assumption that even if she were prepared to speak to him now it could only end one way.

Having said that there are things that they may have had differences over such as the new funding arrangements or the use of doubles (one of whom is now dead). I also get the impression reading back through the issues that Giles may not have felt part of the sisterhood of light for some time and offering Faith retirement was a projection of his own desires. He does however know about the original Twilight sacrifice and the symbol as he was talking to the "Queen Victoria" demon about in in 8.3. So I wonder whether Roden's book has self-destructed or he still has it. He may have assumed that Roden was higher up in the organisation than he appears to have been and Gigi's plot was meant to be the apocalypse that all his aurors are picking up on.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 22:22 (UTC)

Which suggests a lack of face-face contact rather than an active avoidance on Buffy's part.

It doesn't suggest that there's anything wrong, true - but it doesn't prove the opposite either. And if Joss was dropping subtle hints, he'd obviously want to keep them more subtle in 8.01 than in 8.06! Buffy's clearly given Xander the job of talking to Giles rather than doing it herself in 8.01 (and he's not mentioning him by name). Plus there's nothing to say that she was talking to Giles herself when he mentioned Kenny; she might be repeating something Xander or someone else told her he said.

Still, I've no problem with the scenario you suggest either; I just think it would be really neat if the Giles-Buffy rift had been hiding in plain sight all this time.

He may have assumed that Roden was higher up in the organisation than he appears to have been and Gigi's plot was meant to be the apocalypse that all his aurors are picking up on.

I think the plot involving Gigi was the apocalypse... or at least it was Twilight's Plan A. But with her and Roden dead, he's perfectly happy to switch to Plan B instead (and presumably C through Z too). Of course, as you say Giles might now assume that with Roden dead, the threat has been completely averted.

The Twilight book was still intact in Giles' hand after Roden went all Scanners.

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 7th December 2007 22:28 (UTC)

Posted by: idiotnighthawk (idiotnighthawk)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 03:24 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 10:09 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 17:58 (UTC)
Comic book Giles

It wasn't just one panel where Faith looks childlike. What about that one near the end with Giles? That's even worse than this one.

Also, if you're right about Giles and Buffy, I'll be ecstatic. However, the fact that Giles seems to have departed for pastures new with Faith at the end of this arc and may not be back for years, doesn't fill me with hope.

I just have this feeling that the emotional dots will never be joined between the end of season 7 and this series - though again, I'll be ecstatic to be proved wrong.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 18:12 (UTC)

What about that one near the end with Giles? That's even worse than this one

You mean the "You think it's a lame idea, right?" one? The one with Faith in a really tight t-shirt with a devil poking her in the left nipple?

Um, childlike? :-)

I do see what you mean, really. :-) It's another head proportion problem; but even worse since she's only five and a half heads tall instead of seven. However, this picture didn't bother me nearly so much, because it's somehow more obviously cartoon-like rather than realistic... the characters are almost like chibis.


And I'm still hoping for an announcement of the Faith'n'Giles spin-off comic...

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 9th December 2007 17:17 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 19:30 (UTC)
Illyria says - canon!

Stormwreath - I hope you are right. And I hope this issue with Buffy and Giles will be addressed soon. I don't have patience for the arcs which take years, it seems. I keep expecting each arc to tie in stuff which happened in that arc, and get very frustrated when that doesn't happen. Ack.

And I really hope that that guide book, or an anonymous field report on Roden, Gigi and the "upcoming purge", will turn up in Buffy's mailbox or something like that. That would salvage my opinion of Giles. Hiding this info from Buffy does count as treason in my eyes, as it almost got her killed, and almost got Faith killed, and in fact it threatens all the slayers, and witches too - including Willow. Giles can wash his hands off the Scoobies and leave any time he wants, but to continue hiding such a vital info from them - it's incredibly irresposible of him.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th December 2007 23:42 (UTC)

Actually, it never crossed my mind that Giles wouldn't send her the spell book afterwards. He did say "I can explain later" in his phone call - he just didn't want her getting involved in the plot to kill Gigi before it was all resolved and done with.

And I'm currently watching 'Carnivale' season 2, where mysterious goings-on, weird prophetic dreams, and apparently unrelated sub-plots are cropping up all over the place and most of them are still unexplained after over a year's worth of episodes... Season 8 hasn't begun to approach that yet. I think it's just the style of storytelling Joss has chosen: a big mosaic, with the pieces falling one by one into place.

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 9th December 2007 00:54 (UTC)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 4th January 2008 22:24 (UTC)
[angel] fred book

When I was writing my first post-Chosen fanfiction, I had Buffy talk to Giles, and I initially planned to have them on speaking and familial terms - but I just couldn't do it, and in the end it only worked when there was a definite antagonism. I just didn't feel their issues to be resolved after Lies My Parents Told Me, not yet.

And when Buffy said she still has a Watcher and it turned out to be Xander, I felt my theory confirmed. The entire Giles and Faith storyline seems to me to further prove it, because that's kind of Giles with surrogate Buffy on one level for me (there's obviously a lot more going on, but that too).

Which is why I can't wait to have a confrontation between them. Their relationship has always been an important point for me, and now I can't wait to see the next step.

Also, I agree on the subject of the Faith picture - it stood out to me, too, and I really didn't like it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th January 2008 13:05 (UTC)

I think that almost all Buffy's relationships suffered in season 7 under the strain of fighting The First. Some of them were strong enough to weather the storm; others, not so much. But because the last episode had to end on an up note, she had to be shown reconciling with everybody.

There's no reason why those reconciliations (with Giles, with Faith, etc) might not turn out to be permanent - but once the immediate urgency of fighting The First was over, there's also no reason why they might not have fallen apart again...

38 Read Comments