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April 27 2007

Poll: Canon or No? The Angel Comics Join the Battle. Some mystery guy asks if you will read Angel S6 and if you believe it to be canon.

Who was that masked man ? ;)

Not joining LJ but Yes and Yes.

(and I would've wanted a "Hell yes ! And the finale was perfect" option anyway)
He who writes the poll calls the shots.
Pointless poll. Ofcourse it's canon. When Joss says it's canon, it's canon. It's his world, and it's nobody else's place to say what's canon or not.
While I have no interest in S8 of Btvs, I am waiting with bated breathe for S6 of Ats. It's in very safe hands with Brian, imo.

So, yes I will read this comic and hopefully enjoy the hell out of it. But the canon question for me is not so straight forward. There's, imo, comic canon and tv canon. Do I see this as a canonical continuation of the tv show? No. Will that stop me enjoying the comic and the canon of the comicverse? Also, no. It's much like fanfic, only with more pictures. ;0) I enjoy them too. But the only continuation of the show that I personally would consider as a canonical continuation would be on screen with the original actors. YMMV.
i will only read them if they are canonical..call me nerdy, but it seems pointless otherwise. but didn't joss say that it would be canonical? i only skimmed the interview posted below...but it seemed kinda vague on the subject.
He who writes the poll calls the shots.

True enough and if it's an either/or poll setup you the mysterious stranger couldn't really have put that anyway (i'm sure a lot of the "hell yes"es don't consider the ending perfect).

... but didn't joss say that it would be canonical?

Ssshhh, someone might see that and then ask "Ah, but does Joss saying it make it canon ?". That way madness lies ;).

(and clearly it's not a canonical continuation of the TV show what with it being a comic. It is a canonical continuation of the Angel story though because, well, it's Angel and it's canonical)
I'd say if it is Joss's hand behind them, either directly writing or with creative guidance (it's not as if he wrote every episode of the TV series) then it's canon - or if he says it is. (Not on LJ either, so no vote.)
Pointless poll.


I'm sure the devastingly handsome person who wrote the poll wanted to judge the mood of the fandom. It doesn't sing with one voice. And what ever people say about accepting comics as canon, there are others who don't. And never the twain shall meet. Each to their own, that's why I say.
Oh boy, let's not get into this argument again. No matter what we say, if Joss says its canon, its canon. Whether we love it or hate or choose to accept it or not, it is. p.s. - You're not fooling anyone, you devastatingly handsome rogue you (*cough* Simon *cough cough*).
Nice colour btw :).
I was just writing an email about that ;) /cheers I promise to use my powers only for good or awesome!
To me,if Joss says it's canon,then it's canon just like season 8.He's writing and overseeing Buffy season 8.He's co-writing and overseeing Angel season 6.He considers them the canon continuation so I consider them the canon continuation.
I promise to use my powers only for good or awesome!


One day I'm going to do that too ;).
It seems to me there's an ongoing semantic argument regarding the meaning of the word "canon". In Whedon fandom I think there's a consensus the word has come to mean "The stories Joss says count as what actually happens in the lives of these characters".

Personally, I think this is perfectly viable and exactly what we mean IN THIS CONTEXT. The dictionary definition of canon is different and I think that's the root of arguments for canon being something other than what Joss says it is. And in the words of everybody from Seasons 6 and 7, I get that, I do. But in case of the Buffyverse we have one arbiter--Joss. If Joss says it's canon--it's canon. People can not like and have such a hard time accepting say, comics as canon they refuse to, but that doesn't make the comics non-canon.

And really, if we get to pick and choose our own canons, then doesn't that mean there's no such thing as canon?
Blatant corruption. One (devastatingly accurate) complimentary description of Simon (International Man of Mystery extraordinaire) and zeitgeist gets promoted ? I demand a full, frank and open enquiry. Or a mini-mars bar to keep quiet.

(watch it rush to his head as he bans everyone with more than two vowels in their screen-name)*

No matter what we say, if Joss says its canon, its canon.

Interestingly, new texts of Joss' interview have recently come to light that suggest the word 'a' may have been deleted accidentally or with intent. Thus, Angel S6 is, in fact, a canon. Buffy S8 may or may not be a bazooka as a result, scholars are divided.

* or in other words, congratulations. Your Mod-fu is strong ;).
And somewhere the Judge is saying "NO MORE BAZOOKAS!!!!" ;) S-a-j-e ; ah-ha! BANNED!!!

p.s. - I was, of course, orange-y prior to the blatant arse-kissery above. Heh, of course now I'm thinking Spaced/Kia Ora adverts... "It's too orangey for crows!"
zeitgeist has blinded me. Uhm, with his colour.

Canon is canon is canon to me. Of course, I reserve the right to love or hate it. And possibly burn it if they kill my favourite character. Along with my photographs of Joss Whedon.

Wait! Don't take my keyboa~!¬
Well yeah, if Joss says it's canon, so it is, Saje. If he says it is a canon, or a cannon, I may have to differ. Is there a loose cannon somewhere on this sinking ship? And is that , like, a mixed metaphor? Inquiring Mayors want to know.

Isn't it maybe a bit too soon since the last "what does canon mean?" discussion? Just asking.

Zeitgeist, you looking lovely in orange, pumpkin.

[ edited by toast on 2007-04-27 16:07 ]
S-a-j-e ; ah-ha! BANNED!!!

More than two, more ! Clearly some of that orange must've got in your eyes, Simon should've issued safety goggles before the respray (*cough* lawsuit *cough* split it 50/50 *cough* if I survive my terrible, wracking *cough*).

Anyway, not banned, see ! Hahahahahaha, in yer face zei

+++++++++++ NO CARRIER +++++++++++++++

Yeah, yeah, a likely story. "But, m'lord I was going to be Prime Minister before the election was rigged, see ?". Yeah, that'll fly ;).
/fans self, from all the devastating hottness of the gentlemen in the room.

I'm always fascinated by the intensity of people's either/or when it comes to these stories we love. Canon, 'shipping, you-killed-my-favorite-character-now-you're-dead-to-me etc. I weary of it, for sure, but still find it oddly compelling, because it's so hard for me to understand. Wow, do I love these tales and though I take them damn personally, my interest or love doesn't waiver when things go in a direction I had wished they wouldn't. Just as amped to see how Joss et al will win me over again. So, allow me to combine responses to the first poll question to exclaim: "Oh god no! The finale was perfect... Hell yes! Can't wait to see what happens next..."

(And btw, yo! Check out my new Mr., all hott in his stupid-fresh orange. You're very pretty, love. /steels self for the inevitable swaggering, and drunk-with-power-ness and then considers adopting the Clinton's "Look! You get two-fer-one with your vote!"... squinting and twirling invisible mustache whilst recalling past slights or mockery, all drunk-with-power-by-association...)
As a sidenote, I deleted your double-post, does that count for something? ;) *cough* everyone go see Hot Fuzz *cough* I think the cough is contagious. No one breathe in while reading our posts!
I think of canon as Officially Sanctioned Text, as opposed to fanfic, for example. Joss is the only logical "official" to do any sanctioning, so if Joss decrees the Angel S6 comic to be canon, then canon it is. It's an entirely different matter, of course, if fans of the Angel story accept this designation or not. For some, the original medium (TV) utterly defines the story, and therefore the story divorced from that medium is something else, something less meaningful. For others, the story, as conceived by Joss and his trusted writers, matters most, regardless of the medium. For me, I am interested in Joss's vision of S6, but a great deal less enthusiastic about following it in comic form. But that's only because the Angel story has always mattered less to me than the Buffy story. I say that while acknowledging that Angel had everything going for it that Buffy had, and then some. For me, Angel plays second fiddle to Buffy for three reasons: (1) It's a spinoff, so it can never quite shake the quality of being a "subplot" to the main story of Buffy; (2) Joss was less integral to the writing as compared with Buffy, particularly Buffy's first five seasons; and (3) It lacked the enormously alluring performances of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Allyson Hannigan, Tony Head, Nick Brendon, et al. Even when Angel landed James Marsters for its final season, the chemistry just seemed a bit off in the Angel world, perhaps because Spike had come to be defined as a character almost exclusively by his relationship with Buffy. With Buffy nowhere in sight, Spike just seemed lost and out-of-place.
For some, the original medium (TV) utterly defines the story, and therefore the story divorced from that medium is something else, something less meaningful.

This is kind of where I stand. I wouldn't say 'less meaningful' in and of itself but too distant from the primary medium to be part of the same canon for me. So in the comics world Buffy season 8 and Angel season 6 will be canon and I presume will exist within the same universe and be consistant. However, that universe is seperate from the TV show universe and for me always will be.
I think that regardless of what medium it was continued in, even if it came back to TV, some would still say "Well, its not as canon as the original..." :) This is where the the word canon should just be removed from the equation, because the only person whose opinion matters re: whether something is official Buffyverse canon is Joss'. Same universe, different presentation medium.
As a sidenote, I deleted your double-post, does that count for something?

Well, it's no mini mars-bar zeitgeist but I guess it'll do ;).

*clears throat* Corruption ? What corruption ? Why, i've rarely seen such transparent fairness in all me born years.

(and how good was 'Hot Fuzz' ? Much more a 'Spaced' feel with the references - even including at least one to 'Shaun of the Dead', cheeky buggers ;) - but the humour was still spot on. I worried a bit about the famous 'sophomore slump', needn't have though, cracking follow-up)

I think of canon as Officially Sanctioned Text ...

Exactly. Of all the various dictionary definitions of canon that is clearly the one meant in this context i.e. 'canon' as in the Biblical canon for instance. One slight sticking point, since Joss was Buffy's showrunner i'd say he's categorically the 'official sanctioner' for Buffy but can the same be said for Angel though ? Did he oversee the plot of Ats and the breaking of episodes as closely as he did on BtVS ?

(i'm still inclined to go with him since there's no other obvious candidate stepping up but it does feel as if there might be more room for doubt with Angel, at least in that respect)
Regardless of how closely he oversaw Angel, he still oversaw it and anything that made it to air did so with his implicit or tacit approval. It was his creation and when he chose the people to work on it, it was because he trusted them to carry out his vision and flesh out the arcs that he plotted/co-plotted. The Officially Sanctioned Text definition is what I refer to when I talk canon as well. Its always the definition meant when I've found the concept discussed in other fandoms.

Loved Hot Fuzz - saw it on the Monday after our weekend wedding and we were alone in the theatre for a matinee, exactly as if it were a private screening in our honor. Too cool! Its getting raves over here from fans and critics alike. I want to rewatch it a few times to decide where it falls in my Wright/Pegg/etc. hierarchy o' joy (Spaced will probably always be tops...), but I did love it.
*shoots this thread out of a canon*
I didn't stick with Buffy the television series in it's final breaths, so no, I wouldn't read for canon.

It doesn't matter if it's canon, so much as if it's good. If the final product's shit, no amount of canon talk can save it.

I'm following the Buffy comics because they'll be written or at least heavily overseen by Joss. Reading Angel comics by some random writer is a different thing entirely.

[ edited by Dym on 2007-04-27 16:44 ]
I'm not really sure why this subject creates such debate. It seems pretty simple to me (though as soon as I try to explain it I'm sure I'll stumble and hurt myself, so we'll see...)

In my opinion, canon means the official story as sanctioned by Joss. I stand pretty close to what 1starbuckstown said about the TV medium being the "gospel" and everything else not so much... but it's not exactly that simple.

Buffy Season Eight is canon because Joss specifically states that it is the story that would have continued on television if the means to continue on television existed. Likewise with Angel: After the Fall. Joss has stated that this will be the story that would have been told in the television series. Both would have involved the established television writers, the actors, and would have been either plotted, written or sanctioned by Joss.

Being written by Joss alone does not necessarily make something canon. Fray, while really awesome, is only pseudo-canon because (if I remember correctly) Joss has stated it is one possible future, it's what MIGHT happen in the future of the Buffyverse. But until the canon, present-day Buffyverse stories catch up with it and IT becomes present-day, until it actually HAPPENS, (or until the Buffyverse expands to expand easy, regular and consistent inclusion of ongoing timetravel storylines like Marvel Comics), it's still a "might be" thing, not an "is" thing.

Even the best written, most compelling and canonical SEEMING comics story is still nothing more than fanfic until it gets the official seal from his Jossness. Why? Because as long as there is the possibility that Joss will one day tell an official story with or about these characters, there's always the chance that he will contradict what even the best fanfic writers come up with.

For example, the fantastic Asylum. It clearly shows Lorne in Las Vegas. Joss may show us in After the Fall that Lorne didn't GO to Vegas. For all we know Lorne went to Tibet. Or maybe he got killed by a drunk driver on the way out of LA. Or maybe he never left LA in the first place. Perhaps something happened in the fight in the alley after our TV screens went black that irradicated all magic, or all singing, or all creatures with short, stubby red horns. *shrug*

Point is, until Joss tells us, we just don't know. And if we fall in love with the fanfic, non-canon stories and then watch/read Joss' official canon stories, it can cause confusion, even disappointment.

***

Okay, I'm sure I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. In the simplest terms, for me personally, unless Joss officially sanctions it and says that it is the "real" story of the characters as they would have continued on the TV series', I consider it fanfic, and therefore NOT "real". The fanfic stories may be good, even great, and I may or may not enjoy the frilly hell out of 'em. But they just don't appeal to me as much as the real thing.

ETA: ...which was all a really long-winded way of saying I agree with the Officially Sanctioned Text definition from above.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-04-27 16:45 ]
If the final product's shit, no amount of canon talk can save it.


Which is somewhat beside the point as canon is not a judgment of quality :)
I don't see how even a really big cannon is going to help them fight their way out of that alley...
Buffy Season Eight is canon because Joss specifically states that it is the story that would have continued on television if the means to continue on television existed. Likewise with Angel: After the Fall. Joss has stated that this will be the story that would have been told in the television series. Both would have involved the established television writers, the actors, and would have been either plotted, written or sanctioned by Joss.

I disagree. Joss has said that the comic medium requires a different scale of story-telling so it isn't merely taking stories that would have worked on TV and writing them into a comic form, it's crafting a story that is suited to comic form rather than TV form. I don't believe for one minute for instance that Giant Dawn would have existed in the TV show because of the horrors of trying to do that well and within budget.
To me,if Joss says it's canon,then it's canon just like season 8.He's writing and overseeing Buffy season 8.He's co-writing and overseeing Angel season 6.He considers them the canon continuation so I consider them the canon continuation.


This is how I feel. No matter the change of medium, Joss calling Angel season 6 and Buffy season 8 as canon means it's the official continuation of both series. I can see why some would not agree but if he did a movie for either series or combined, the same principles apply. A change in the medium used, wouldn't change the fact that if Joss calls it an official continuation than it's canon to me.
Creators get to decide what's canon. People of course have their own personal definitions of what is canon, but the continuity of a fictional universe has a certain truth to it nonetheless. Whether people choose to read it or not, it goes on. Sort of like when characters die-- you can stop participating as an audience member at that point, because it's a choice everyone is always free to make, but the story does continue*. There's a difference between choosing not to follow the story past a point because it isn't your idea of canon and claiming that the rest of the story isn't canon at all.

*Unless it's on FOX. Bad FOX.
If Joss says it's canon, then it's canon. Does it matter to me if it's canon? No. I just love a good story, and if it involves my favorite characters, then it's a good story. I am looking more forward to these than the Buffy comics simply because my personal favorite, Spike, will be in them. Of course I will read anything with Spike, he could make the back of a cereal box fasinating...so maybe my opinion shouldn't count for much.
To those who don't believe the new comics are truly canonical: think about it this way. The real litmus test is that if Joss Whedon eventually did a screen follow-up to Buffy with the original cast, would these comic book stories be part of the backstory?

And obviously, since he wrote these stories in full intention of them being part of Buffy lore, the answer would be yes. And therefore there should be no doubt that this stuff is canon.

Incidentally, I find it intriguing that more of pollsters are going to be reading these comics than are convinced of its canonicity.

[ edited by daylight on 2007-04-27 16:59 ]
I disagree. Joss has said that the comic medium requires a different scale of story-telling so it isn't merely taking stories that would have worked on TV and writing them into a comic form, it's crafting a story that is suited to comic form rather than TV form. I don't believe for one minute for instance that Giant Dawn would have existed in the TV show because of the horrors of trying to do that well and within budget.


Right, but if the medium were different he would've had to adapt to that medium. You need to be medium-agnostic (which isn't to say intermediate in degree and denying that the essential nature of things are known and knowable) to truly get a handle on this. There are things that were done on tv that were done on a smaller scale than he would've liked, things that got tossed out because of the medium of television. The POV that the bigger scale of the comics negates their canonicity is taking a medium-centric view biased towards the 'original' presentation medium of television. Its like saying the tv show isn't canon because they didn't have the budget that the movie did (or because Donald Sutherland couldn't be there to ruin it). Sidenote: Really the original presentation medium was 'the big ol' screen in Joss' head' followed by words written on paper, see what I'm saying?
To those who don't believe the new comics are truly canonical: think about it this way. The real litmus test is that if Joss Whedon eventually did a screen follow-up to Buffy with the original cast, would these comic book stories be part of the backstory?

Except didn't he say recently that if (and this was a huge hypothetical if) there was ever an on-screen continuation he'd be prepared to overlook elements of the comic story if necessary to make the screen version work.


The POV that the bigger scale of the comics negates their canonicity is taking a medium-centric view biased towards the 'original' presentation medium of television. Its like saying the tv show isn't canon because they didn't have the budget that the movie did (or because Donald Sutherland couldn't be there to ruin it).

I've never viewed the film as canon for the tv show. It's not about the original medium trumping all - its a refusal to jump from medium to medium and say its all the same thing. The film wasn't canon for the TV show as far as I could tell and the comics don't change my view of the TV show canon either.
Congrats Zeitgeist on your upgrade!
Is Angel canon even if Joss isn't writing it? Yes. He says so.
"Why are we still talking about this?" ;-)
How can there be comics? They all DIED in that alley. *puts down shit-stirring spoon* :-D
It's not about the original medium trumping all - its a refusal to jump from medium to medium and say its all the same thing.


Which for a lot of people amounts to the same thing (you are holding the new medium to the more restrictive conventions of the old medium). If it had started in comics and jumped to tv would we even be having this discussion? Part of me thinks not, which makes me feel a little defensive on the comics' behalf. Its okay, comics, I still love you! :)
Wow it's the week for promotions.
Brian was promoted from a mere member to a VIP, and Z also got one? Congrats.
(Now, I wonder if there are any Blue people left... especially with SNT being so absentee - hope he's been better though)

Is this that canon or non-canon discussion, again? If Joss says it's canon. It is canon.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2007-04-27 18:12 ]
Actually, the mods and admins get to decide what's Whedonesque-canon ;) *ducks rotten fruit* You like me, you really like me! (*gag*)

p.s. - I'm telling Lynch you called him a member! *razz*
How can there be comics? They all DIED in that alley. *puts down shit-stirring spoon* :-D

No, no, Buffy and the potentials came and saved them all!
(you are holding the new medium to the more restrictive conventions of the old medium).

I don't think I am, I'm accepting that the new medium is different from the old - some things work better on TV than in comics and vice verse. If Buffy had started as a comic and then jumped to the TV I'd view the TV as canon for TV and the comic as canon for the comic. This really has nothing to do with being down on comics, though I'll admit they're probably the least intriguing medium for a story to me, and more that the story and medium for me are tied together and when you move from one to the other its a real difference and not some minor blip. For me the move from the WB to UPN would represent a blip for instance.
It'd be more fun to be a cannon, I think. More specifically on a pirate ship.
Frank Canon ? Was he a pirate ?

*picks up shit-stirring spoon* Ewwww. *puts it back down in a hurry, had wrong end. Tries again*

No, only Angel/Spike died so that Buffy could spend forever with her one true love, Angel/Spike !

*puts it down again but with more consideration i.e. 'nice' end up. Bad OzLady, bad ;)*

Regardless of how closely he oversaw Angel, he still oversaw it and anything that made it to air did so with his implicit or tacit approval.

Well, so long as he actually OKed every script (as he seemed to with Buffy) then true, Joss is also the 'official sanctioner' of Angel.

Agreed also, medium is irrelevant (so long as it's sufficiently expressive to depict a narrative). What's canonical is the content not the way it appears, the set of events depicted, not the 'paper' they're 'printed' on.

Except didn't he say recently that if (and this was a huge hypothetical if) there was ever an on-screen continuation he'd be prepared to overlook elements of the comic story if necessary to make the screen version work.

I'd be interested to read that in context helcat if you have a link. Just like Big Purp to aim true and get that damned cat right in amongst the pigeons ;).

I agree that the medium affects what can be shown BUT that isn't relevant to canonicity which is 'merely' about what actually has been shown. No matter what he wanted to do Joss probably couldn't have afforded to have Buffy et al dropping out of a helicopter on TV but in a comic ? Easy. What matters though is that that event took place in the 'official' Buffyverse. Changing that would require some kind of retcon (or just committing a blatant continuity error). Other events like Spike entering an asylum to save a young girl didn't (yet ;) and, therefore, wouldn't.
I think every thing Joss ever wrote is canon.
Meaning that in the Buffyverse:
Toys are alive.
Twisters are dangerous.
Buses, not so much, even while speeding (Speed 2 in not canon).
There is a Conner family living in Lanford, Illinois.
At some point in the 90s vampires could fly.
In the future the world will become a crazy place with mutants and then flying cars.
The ice caps will melt, resulting in a kind of water world. Vampires, being bad swimmers, will die out.
Annoyed with all that BS many will leave for another star system only to get them selves into a big civil war.
The rest of man kind will find a way to restore earth. A big company called Weyland-Yutani (represented by Wolfrm & Hart) will seek aliens. But later it would be the Initiative which will get a witch to resurrect Riply.

Sorry I get a bit confused. Also the plot of Wonder Woman, even though we might never know what Joss's script would have really been, is also canon.
If Buffy had started as a comic and then jumped to the TV I'd view the TV as canon for TV and the comic as canon for the comic.


But there is no canon for mediumX and canon for mediumY, there is only one canon.
But there is no canon for mediumX and canon for mediumY, there is only one canon.

Wait, so Medium is canon?
This is silly. I cannot believe that after reading an interview where the CREATOR of the universe says that this is the honest-to-goodness continuation of his universe, that people can sit there and say this is NOT the honest-to-goodness continuation of his universe.

All you're saying is that you're breaking away from Joss and defining his stories by your own personal standards. That's perfectly fine, but there's no reason anyone else should care about Random Fan #678's own personal standards, so there's no point trying to convince them when they conflict with the creator.
"medium-agnostic" - What a fascinating concept. Cannon- schmannon, I worship the storyteller. If it is said that the Angel comics fulfills Joss' vision of the verse, regardless of medium or who is behind the pen, I'm there to follow the storytelling ride.
Wait, so Medium is canon?


Yes, and won't Patricia Arquette be (un)surprised?(!)
Why do we have to agree?

Joss says it is and lots of people say that if he says it is then it is.

Other people say that for them it isn't.

I disagree with Joss. I'm sure he wont mind. I don't see the harm in having my own opinion and I certainly don't mind others having theirs.

But there is no canon for mediumX and canon for mediumY, there is only one canon.
zeitgeist | April 27, 19:00 CET


I have heard people refer to different medium canons in other fandoms. Comic canon, film canon, cartoon canon. So it does already exist. When Prof Fine was to appear in Smallville there was much talk about which version of Brainiac would appear. It turned out to be a mix I think (not too up on Superman stuff). So in that sense there is comic canon Fine and TV show canon Fine.
All you're saying is that you're breaking away from Joss and defining his stories by your own personal standards. That's perfectly fine, but there's no reason anyone else should care about Random Fan #678's own personal standards, so there's no point trying to convince them when they conflict with the creator.

I wasn't actually trying to convince anyone of anything I was trying to explain my feelings on the issue. I also accept that my opinion probably only really matters to me but I thought it worth putting out there in a thread dealing with the topic of what fans thought on the "comics are canon" issue. Or y'know what JuliaL said.
JuliaL & helcat - the point is it doesn't matter that people say they agree or disagree. Canon is canon and that's it. As far as comic and tv canon for things like Smallville, Smallville is a separate continuity from Superman movies which is separate from Superman comics which is all well and good (and acknowledged by creators in each of the mediums) and has na'much to do with this. This is the Buffyverse where there is canon (Joss' stories, regardless of medium) and there is noncanon (fanfic, novels, non S8 comics). If people choose to disregard the comics it doesn't change the fact that they are canon, no matter how many people disregard them (if there's no such thing as objective reality why can't we quit our jobs and just imagine we don't have to pay the rent?). No one is taking away your right to your thoughts and opinions, we're just saying that whatever they may be, canon remains what Joss says is canon.

How can there be comics? They all DIED in that alley. *puts down shit-stirring spoon* :-D

OzLady | April 27, 17:56 CET


So? The comic could be Angel's adventures in hell, for all we know.
I have heard people refer to different medium canons in other fandoms.

I think that's more a short-hand way of referring to different continuities (in the same way you have the Marvel '616' Spider-man and the 'Ultimate' Spider-man - which are both comics, BTW. Different continuities, with their own set of canonical events, but the same medium). With Superman you might have 'Lois and Clark' canonical events and 'Smallville' canonical events, both TV shows, different continuities. The point here is that Joss is saying the comics are part of the same continuity (i.e. they are Buffyverse canon - of which there is only one official version).

Of course people can disagree, that's their right, but in this instance it strikes me that it's a bit like disagreeing that 2+2 = 4. Sure you can but, by definition, it's not really a matter of opinion.

ETA: And that kids, is why you should never answer the phone and just click post anyway. i.e. what zeitgeist said ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2007-04-27 19:30 ]
But if it's as simple as that why does the question get posed in the first place? Presumably because to some of us it isn't as simple as 'what Joss says is canon is canon'.
Cause Simon is a troublemaking pot stirrer :)
OK, bit blunt but ... some may say 'up' actually means 'down' and vice versa. It's totally true to say "Well, 'up' is just arbitrary, it could mean anything" but what it actually is defined as meaning is, well, 'up' (not 'down'). Definitionally, they're wrong.

Likewise, canon. Folk can disagree just as I can claim a table is actually what most people call a banana. Tables aren't gonna change into bananas anytime soon though, not even in the dictionary ;).
(see, the internet agrees, it doubled my post ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-04-27 19:41 ]
Really good question, helcat.
Ooh, what if table and banana swapped meanings? "And then Saje sat down at his banana to peel a delicious yellow, vitamin-packed table. And, lo, he consumed the table and thought to himself 'This banana sure could use a good varnishing'."
I prefer zeitgeist in blue. It's slimming and makes the page more colorful. Still, the pee-colored zeitgeist still beats Ben and Glory and cavemen and astronauts.
Unless you're talking to Kafka, Saje.
Nebula1400 - if that's the colour of your pee, see an MD right quick, that's all I'm saying :) Wait, Ben is a caveman?
If people like myself don't agree why does it matter? Can't we just, like I said before, agree to disagree. Why do people feel the need to tell me I'm wrong? I'm not doing that to anyone and it feels a little heavy to have it done to me. I don't like that I have to defend myself, not a warm fuzzy feeling. :0(

I can't speak for him, but I don't think Joss would want us being like this.
Ooo it's not Kafka, it's Bichsel. I'm forgetful. Nevermind!

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-04-27 19:52 ]
JuliaLM - not saying "You're wrong and how dare you!", just trying to correct a definitional misconception regarding canon/continuity, and the like. No offense intended. I'll go ban Simon for causing sucha ruckus (he was playing fast and loose with the definition) ;)

Put another way - your personal view (some use the term personal canon) of the material is fine and good, and it may differ from the Officially recognized text, which is canon.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-04-27 20:04 ]
Apologies if this has already been said...

To me, the concept of canon implies some kind of accepted authority who determines what is canonical. I mean, is there a point to the word 'canon' if anyone can decide what it is? And if Joss is not the accepted authority, who is?

I *think* we can all agree that things like fanfic are not canon. But, if people don't accept that Joss is the authority for what is canon in the world he created, why can fanfic not be canon? It seems that if someone can choose to go against or disregard what Joss says is canon, they can also decided that their own fanfic about Spike turning into a tomato is canon.

To me, obviously, Joss is the authority on what is official or canon in his universes. I mean, I can say that stealing isn't against the law, but because there is a body of governance that we accept as the authority who has stated it is against the law, it *is* against the law.

There seems to be the need for one person or group to say "This is canon/law/rule/standard" for the words to have any meaning, IMO. The words mean nothing if we can all just go around willy-nilly deciding what they mean.
I'm so confused. Didn't Joss say it was going to be canon? IMO if Joss considers it canon, so do I.

edit: I should have read the other replies first. Oh well. I'm sticking with my original answer.

[ edited by Odysseus on 2007-04-27 20:09 ]
Canon or not, I just want Joss and you guys to consider it "good".
Okay, cool. Just felt that way what with people saying it. Not the how dare you bit, but the other bit. Maybe I'm not too bright but I thought canon and continuity were the same thing, like when SV had to clear stuff with the film people so that it didn't contradict the canon of the films. *shrugs* It's been a long week.

I've not read the tomato Spike fic. *chuckles*

Anyhoo, as long as I can still have my opinion without people implying that I'm wrong then it's all good. I like being an individual and that's what opinions are all about.
If past performance is any indication, Senor Lynch, it will be better than good :)

I've not read the tomato Spike fic. *chuckles*


And now you want to, don't you? :) Me, too!
Canon or not, I just want Joss and you guys to consider it "good".
Brian Lynch | April 27, 20:07 CET


Your other stuff is great, so I don't think I'll find it all that hard to think this will be too. :0)

And now you want to, don't you? :) Me, too!
zeitgeist | April 27, 20:08 CET


LOL!
Ultimately Brian I think that's the most important part of the issue.

I *think* we can all agree that things like fanfic are not canon. But, if people don't accept that Joss is the authority for what is canon in the world he created, why can fanfic not be canon? It seems that if someone can choose to go against or disregard what Joss says is canon, they can also decided that their own fanfic about Spike turning into a tomato is canon.

I think the issue is additions to canon all round. I don't think anyone's trying to say their fanfic should be canon. For me, if it wasn't part of the TV show it isn't canon and it's really as simple as that.
1) Canon makes excellent digital cameras. I've used a number of different models over the years and definitely recommend them to anyone currently in the market for a camera. Especially now that the ELPH line offers image stabilization.

2) Didn't we discuss this to death already? All I remember is stuff about Pluto and blind people.

3) zeitgeist appears to be beer-colored on my computer monitor. That make him pre-pee, not pee.
I guess this is as good a time as anyone to remind everyone (myself included) to write once, then self edit before hitting post as sometimes in the flurry of a discussion things don't always come out as intended :) Bad zeitgeist! Timeout for you, sir!

re Canon - the SD700IS aka IXUS800 DigitalELPH (I think...) is a great little cam to slip into one's pocket, though if I have room I prefer to lug around my S3IS for its better lens and MUCH better optical zoom (never mind the articulated LCD).

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-04-27 20:20 ]
I think the issue is additions to canon all round. I don't think anyone's trying to say their fanfic should be canon. For me, if it wasn't part of the TV show it isn't canon and it's really as simple as that.

Not trying to be contrary at all, honestly curious, WHY do you consider the tv show to be canon and anything else not? Does it have to do with Joss' involvement, or the fact that it was broadcast on a network?

Which actually brings up an interesting question...if Joss had an "Amy Sherman Palladino" thing happen around season 3(left over contractual issues and handed the reigns over to someone else), yet the show continued...would S4-S7 be canon? I honestly don't know how to answer that. I guess by my previous logic, it would not be canon(unless Joss gave his blessing for it to be.) I mean, with Gilmore Girls, I'm not liking the current season, and I think that's because Palladino is gone, but I more or less consider it official. Because it's broadcast? I'm not sure what that says about me, to be honest. It's thrown my whole world into a tizzy!
It wouldn't be an issue if people who do not accept the comic series could stop using the word "canon." "It's not canon to me" is a meaningless statement (sorry) because the definition does not allow for any opinion to matter besides the creator/authority.

For many people in the anti-canon position, it actually translates to:
"I don't like it."
"It's not the same without the actors."
"Comic books don't have the same impact or resonance with me."
"I don't think the story direction fits with what I think should happen."

And these (and more) are all very valid opinions. The series is canon, but you personally don't accept it or give it the same weight as the TV show. That position is easy to defend (since it's true and entirely subjective) and wouldn't bring up pages of comments :)
Can we shoot Patricia Arquette out of a cannon and into the hell where Angel S6 is taking place? Ooo... "Medium"/"Angel" crossover!!! And Jake Weber can play that nice doctor he played on "American Gothic" and not the emasculated husband he plays now. :-D
dingoes8- well, if a certain fan also writes fic and you're a fan of his or her work, then there's a reason to care about some fan's idea of continuity. (I have no rabid fans so nobody cares about my own Ficverse except me and I'm cool enough with that. Altho I hope if Ie evr get my fantasy novel about Queen Elaine of Burgundy and Sir Hal I hope *that* generates rabid fans.)
zeitgeist and C. A. Bridges appear to be channeling what I'd be saying (and what I've said before), which is good because I'm busy shipping books.
Not trying to be contrary at all, honestly curious, WHY do you consider the tv show to be canon and anything else not? Does it have to do with Joss' involvement, or the fact that it was broadcast on a network?

Because, in my opinion, canon for a TV show consists of the episodes of the TV show - it's really a rather simple concept to my mind.

As to whether I'd like the comics as canon, I've no idea, as I've no idea which way the story is going to go. It may be the best story ever doing just what I'd dreamed the characters would do etc etc, but that still wouldn't make me accept it as canon.
And I'm even doing it without the magic color! I've impressed myself.
It may be the best story ever doing just what I'd dreamed the characters would do etc etc, but that still wouldn't make me accept it as canon.

As I've said before, we really need a new word for this. Canon is canon whether or not you accept it into your personal view of the world you want to enjoy.

As many others have said, making such personal distinctions is completely fine. But what you're doing simply isn't a determination of canon or not canon.
zeitgeist: Me and my little SD500 are jealous of your Canons. Although mine is 7 megapixels.

DaddyCatALSO: But fanfiction continuity has absolutely nothing to do with official canon.

helcat: But with the addition of the comics, Angel isn't JUST a TV show.

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-04-27 20:46 ]
But we're not really talking about canon for a TV show, we're talking about canon for the story, for the Buffyverse. Maybe that's the break point; for you the story starts and ends with the show and everything else is just related or ancilliary, for me the story is anything relating to the Buffyverse that Joss has declared official.

If that's the case we may have to declare religious differences and move on...

[ edited by C. A. Bridges on 2007-04-27 20:47 ]
The medium switch allows nicely for any interpretation, really--you can enjoy Season 8 or 6 on the page, catch up with some old favorites penned by the original creators, etc, but you can also continue to view the respective ends of the broadcast runs as being pretty definitive breaking points for the storylines. To me, seeing what happens after the alleyway is a delightful bit of wish fulfillment, but it won't really erase the spectacular "Not Fade Away" from my memory as The End. Similarly, when I see an army of zombies scaling the walls of a European castle containing a 30 foot tall Dawnie, I relish the adventure with our old Sunnydale friends even while realizing there's no way in hell they would've had the budget to do anything like that on the tube, so you're looking at something that's probably fundamentally different from what Mutant Enemy would've done if faced with standard budget constraints. I have no problem considering it 'canon,' and I have no problem understanding some fundamental 'you can't go home again' disconnects as well.
But with the addition of the comics, Angel isn't JUST a TV show.

To me the TV shows are indeed the be all and end all as far as the definitive canon goes. I know I'm wildly in the minority here and that's fine, I'll shut up now and go and hang out with the majority of fans of the shows who will never pick up either series in comic book form.

In the meantime, I wish Brian all the best with season 6 AtS and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.
Coming over all Willow here, but could we go back to the "I" statements maybe. This thread is getting a little "Eek!" for me.
No shutting up necessary, I think we've finally gotten to the root of the discussion/disagreement which is that some see the medium switch as a demarcation point and some see it as the story is the story no matter the medium its presented in. Thanks for your patience and persistence in getting your points across.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-04-27 21:01 ]
I think the entire concept of canon as some in this thread are clinging to, only applies to religion.

Some might argue that while Joss is "the creator", that does not necessarily give him the correct perspective to dictate what is and isn't official and universally accepted as canon. That's the problem with creating something bigger than one person. Did The Almighty dictate what is and isn't canon in the bible or did the men that came after?

My opinion is that perspective is reality. As we all know, the world was flat for a really long time.

Maybe in 25 years, when the final Buffy movie (the 8th or 9th in the series) has shattered the previous box office records, we may look back on the comics as a mere foot note with nothing canonical about it. However, we need about 25 years of perspective to prove my theory.
Problem is, if you declare canon to be subjective than the term itself loses all usefulness. "Canon" refers to a declared, non-subjective state. By having one authority making that ruling, that decision, it gives everyone else a starting point. From there we can argue whether we like something or not, or whether we agree with or accept plot points or mediums. But "agree with" and "accept" and "like" have no bearing on whether something is canon.
Problem is, if you declare canon to be subjective than the term itself loses all usefulness.

I think that no matter how many times we point this out, we're not going to get anywhere with it. Heh.
Probably true. I'll stop now.
Maybe we should differentiate between objective Canon and subjective canon. I give it an objective definition myself, but given the level of (civil!) disagreement here, perhaps we need to distinguish between two meanings of the word for everyday discussion.

Or, we could come up with a new word for the subjective definition.

Or, we could shoot disbelievers of the One True Canon out of cannons.
I have an idea.

Let's call one of them "astronaut canon" and one of them "caveman canon".
Hmm, how about this...

The problem is that by using the word "canon", you're acknowledging that there's an official authority determining what is part of the actual story and what isn't. So you're either saying that the authority (in this case, Joss) is wrong (which means you're contradicting yourself) or you mean something other than the standard definition of "canon", in which case you need a different word (which I'm not sure exists) to make your meaning clear. Adding "subjective" or "personal" in front of canon just makes it a paradox.

ETA: Sunfire beat me to one of my points.

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-04-27 21:44 ]
It is just so amazing that this same essential misunderstanding(?) hooks us (self included) every time. Some folks are talking definition , and other people are viewing any standard english definition of "canon" as some kind of interference with their "right" to decide what is good, what makes sense to them, what they should value. It just isn't anything to do with that.

"Canon" is a word with a specific accepted meaning, and no matter how you apply the definition (i.e. Is Joss the only "authority" here?-I think so, but that's possibly arguable), the word has no relationship to a concept of individual viewer/reader selection and personal 'verses. So why say it does?

If you want to talk about how you are not interested in seeing the 'verses in other media, why you don't think they translate well, etc., what seems real to you, why not talk about that, instead of talking about canon? If you want to say you don't care what's canon, or how Joss sees the relevant pieces of the stories, why not say that.As someone -not me, forget who- said recently, "Everyone is entitled to her own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to her own facts."

[ edited by toast on 2007-04-27 21:55 ]
My opinion is that perspective is reality.

Doesn't that destroy the meaning of 'reality' then? If what is real and true and factual can be subjective(or change based on perspective)...what does it mean to be real and true and factual?

The perception was that the world is flat...the reality is that it wasn't. Reality doesn't change due to perspective, and I would say 'in my opinion', but I'm not sure reality is a matter of opinion. For instance, I may not believe in ghosts, but that doesn't mean my belief is reality. If ghosts exist, then THAT is reality. My belief is only my perspective.
If someone tells you there is a cat in a box, that doesn't make it so....to really chew up an old experimental story...

Oh, I see everyone beat me to the point...
I think the entire concept of canon as some in this thread are clinging to, only applies to religion.


I don't think that any particular concept is getting clinged to, really. It seems a bit fluid to me. The impression I'm starting to get is that the canon concerned is the thing Brian Lynch is getting shot out of.
Dyan Cannon was great in Ally McBeal as Whipper.
Dyan Cannon was great in Ally McBeal as Whipper.

I don't consider that to be Cannon.
Dyan Cannon was great in Ally McBeal as Whipper.

But what does the word 'great' mean, and who is the judge of that? I defer, as always, to Joss...
I don't consider that to be Cannon.

Well, I think there might be other, true-er bixes.
Well, I think there might be other, true-er bixes.

Where are the mods? This line of thinking must be stopped! Besides, Joss himself said to stop worshipping false bixes, so I'm canon.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-04-27 22:19 ]
Everyone knows bix is a heretical text.
Where are the mods?

Well, I know one who is looking the other way right this very minute. There's just nothing like sleeping with marrying a mod to clear your way for rampant misbehavior and name-calling. Highly recommend the thing. ;P
Loose cannons.
Cause Simon is a troublemaking pot stirrer :)


Sssssh. My illuminati doesn't know what I am upto. But I've accomplished what I've set out to do.

Yours truly,

Deus ex machina
Everyone knows bix is a heretical text.

I might have to make this my sig somewhere.
So if a pig had a better personality it would cease to be a filthy animal?


What if Joss changed his mind? Sometimes people do that. Would the facts change? If he says Season 8 is really season XYZ or 789, would it be? Apparently, he is the only acceptable authority on the topic and beyond reproach, therefore, it would undoubtedly be season XYZ and by definition, canon.

Rogue Slayer, if that were to happen, reality will have changed based on his opinion (you might call it perspective). If Joss is the only one that can say what is and isn't canon, he can certainly change his mind on a whim if he chooses. So reality can in fact change based on perspective. Sometimes.
Well, alexreager, I was more talking about 'our' reality(if we can ever know what that truly is, we may all just be living in a Truman Show...), as opposed to fictional reality(oxymoron much?). Joss, to me, is the decider of what is true and fact in his fictional universe. So if he decided to write Buffy from now on with the idea that she and Angel never had sex, for instance, then it would be fact for that universe. It would be terrible continuity(though not a retcon, unless he decided to make the sex all a dream or something), but it would be fact. So yes, in that universe, reality has changed or been altered. But as far as we know, the real world's...reality doesn't have a fluid past. What we know and learn is fluid, but what is real is real. We may think that Oswald didn't kill Kennedy, but we may learn later that he did. Throughout, the reality is that he did kill him. (I mean, he so didn't, I'm just using it as an example.)

So if a pig had a better personality it would cease to be a filthy animal?

If a pig still mucked in the dirt and mud, he would still be filthy. Just as a child mucking in dirt and mud makes a filthy child.



BTW, I guess reality is a bit more difficult to discuss than fictional canon. To me, reality is only one way. We may never know it, but it still is. I may be doing the Truman Show or living in the Matrix for all I know, but it doesn't make my perceptions reality. I may 'think' my world is real, but if I find out in a year that I'm some battery pod thing, then it just means my perception was wrong, not that reality has changed. I guess it's a bit too groovy and existential for me on a Friday though...or actually, I guess it's anti-existential....

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-04-27 23:48 ]
The only canon that matters to me is that Angel be reinstated as Spike's one and only SIRE! And yes I'm never going to leave that one alone.
Please forgive me up in heaven there, Dr. Seuss:

I do not like canon in a box.
I do like canon with a fox.
I do not like it in a house.
I do like canon with a mouse.
I do not like it here or there.
I do like it everywhere.
I do like canon, green eggs and ham.
I do like them, Sam-I-am.

Meaning, canon can only really be interpreted one way, not parsed out. Joss is boss.

My wish character for the continuation of AtS is to bring back Doyle. The whole series is on its about 5th complete showing on TNT and I miss Doyle a lot. I think it would have some nice synchronicity with Cordelia gone and Angel's team needing reinforcements.
And by sired you mean "rode like a pony after buying him dinner," right? :-D

(this post brought to you by "OzLady has no job and needs something to occupy her time. Hire OzLady, save the world." Oops...wrong show ;-)
This discussion is starting to sound a little like a debate about interpreting the bible or the existence of god.

It's just fiction. Either I love it, or I don't.
If I love the way it goes, in my head that's the story. If I don't, I will ignore it. I do that even with events I didn't like in the show. Fanwanking works for me. I'm simple.
I am the ultimate boss of the story, not Joss, or Marti or Brian. Love you Brian!
I am the ultimate boss of the story, not Joss, or Marti or Brian.

Right. You're the ultimate arbiter of YOUR story. Which no one has objected to. The viewer/reader gets to do this for themselves.

The point of contention is when people argue that they subjectively determine canon, as if the term were a malleable one.

For some reason, I think people confuse "you don't get to decide what's canon" with "you have no right to be the arbiter of your own story".
Not much I can add that hasn't been put in the 120+ posts above.

But if you DO insist upon taking the non-canon perspective, then make your life easy and don't expose yourself to the new comics! Or if you MUST do so, take them with a grain of salt and move on. Easy, huh?!

Mind you, much as I love the Joss, I don't trust him as far as I can throw him.
As 'canon' as the S8 comics are, I wouldn't put it past possible future tales to have a quick scene where Buffy climbs out of bed and talks about her dream of a giant Dawnie!
We should get back to the much more important discussion about whether we are in fact in the presence of the ONE TRUE B!X or if this guy is a rank impostor!
Can one of his true minions tell the difference?
In the line of whatever Joss says goes. It's his story to command. He says it's canon, therefore it is. It really isn't something we can argue about, imo.
We don't own it. We read it, and it's important enough to us that some of us want to own it, want to decide what the story is and what it isn't. And there's nothing stopping us. But for most of us, we love these characters because Joss did and told us why and showed us how. Perhaps we'd like to pull him in one direction or another, but I hope he doesn't resist us. I hope he just ignores us. Much as I'd love to see Ultimate Catholic Nightcrawler, if it doesn't live in his heart, it ain't gonna live on the page. "Canon" is a dead, pointless term. There's what we love, and what we don't love, and even if the story goes in a way one or more or us doesn't want, and there are places on the 'neb where it goes the way one or more of us wants, we not only can't change the story Joss wants to tell, we shouldn't. He loves these characters and stories more than any of us. So go where you will, Big Purple Dude, it's best all around. Be true to yourself, and not to the committee of the whole.
"He loves these characters and stories more than any of us."
Pointy do you mean he loves these characters more than he loves us or he loves these characters more than we love them?
Because if you meant the latter I beg to differ.

I don't think he loves Spike anywhere near the level that I or any of the Spike-centric board members or livejournal writers I communicate with every day do. Not even remotely.
That is for sure.

As for the rest of the characters, I would have to say I think many of us love many of them more than Joss.
Just my opinion.

[ edited by Xane on 2007-04-28 04:44 ]
And happy to hear a different opinion, Xane. Mine is that he loves these characters at a deep level, like a (literal, non-metaphorical, non-swearing) mother, and knows how to show us what they do and who they are. He loves each element of the story, including each aspect of each character, and loves the whole story, which he understands at a profound level. Since he brings so much integrity to his creations, while I like to express my opinions, I think he should go with his own best judgment. But it is a gray area, subjective, and not the sort of thing that lends itself (ducks preemptorily) to papal bull.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-04-28 04:49 ]
the ONE TRUE B!X or if this guy is a rank impostor!

I'll grant you the rank but not the imposter.
And exactly what is the plural of B!X, anyway?
b!Xes. But the others are false.
As to the whole canon debate I thought that I'd paraphrase this comment made by a poster on a someone's lj when discussing this very thing and which summons up far better then I ever could how I feel about the whole thing...

The question of whether or not Joss can reasonably be called the "author" of BtVS. In legal terms, most definitely - he created it, it's his. But once a franchise gets rolling the original creator's intent can turn out to be something other than what the fanbase fell in love with, and once that happens... are the original creator's subsequent works really what the fanbase wants, and if not, what then?

If what you became a fan of was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the TV series, then realistically speaking you're a fan of what Mutant Enemy and a crew of actors and production people created, not necessarily the Word of Joss, which really only comprises one part of that vision. A significant part, yes, but as in the Gene Rodenberry example, in which he's said to have decided that there were things about the original series he didn't like, and thus retroactively disowned, back when he was involved in the production of ST: TNG, what if you realize - as it seems some people are doing now, with the comic series - that the authorial intent wasn't necessarily what you loved? If it was studio meddling that gave us James T. Kirk rather than Christopher Pike, whose vision are we really fans of? In a case of such diverse hands as TV, I think it's really hard to switch over to comics, which thrives on being a Singular Vision by a very small creative team.

Pointy: Yes to that, and I think you have also hit on what keeps this canon debate coming around. It is that feeling of ownership people develop around a world and characters they love. Sueworld:Regardless of how much of it is Joss, and how much of is others on the creative team and their interaction (which is the question of who has the authority to determine what is canon-I think it's Joss, but you can argue these points legitimately), it's not us.

We own our own visions of this world, and nobody else's. but many of us have such an attachment to our vision, that whenever we see the word "canon", we feel compelled to explain our vision, and the parts of the work as a whole that do and don't fit in with it. But we don't own it, anymore than a reader owns a book, by owning a copy of it.

We may feel as if it belongs to us, which is a tribute to the excellence of the work, and its fundamental trueness. But we only own our own copies of it, and I'm very excited to be adding new volumes to my Buffy and Angel libraries, after such a long time.

[ edited by toast on 2007-04-28 12:36 ]
Bloody hell, I go out for one night of merriment and look what you've all done ! Again ! That's never coming out of the carpet. And who let Uncle Eddy into the drinks cabinet ?

C A Bridges said: It wouldn't be an issue if people who do not accept the comic series could stop using the word "canon." "It's not canon to me" is a meaningless statement (sorry) because the definition does not allow for any opinion to matter besides the creator/authority.

Exactly. Sorry if I offended JuliaL (or anyone else) by what I said but I guess in my world view not everything is a matter of opinion and, frankly, some statements are just incorrect (by definition). As others have said, if that's not true then what is ? Canon in this context means a certain thing and doesn't mean certain other things, just as '2' means a certain thing and not '3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ...', well, you get the idea ;). Which is emphatically not to say i'm trying to dictate who enjoys what or why, that is unique to each of us and truly, I find that idea actually rather wonderful.

(and as for being wrong ? It's not so bad, hell, i'm wrong at least once a day. And twice on Sundays ;)

Gotta say though, most other places this would just degenerate into "U suxx0rs" and name calling, here we get Dr Seuss, blind astronauts attacking quantum theoretical cavemen (and their cats) and (filthy, evil, *ptooey*) blasphemers against what we all know in our heart of hearts to be theonetruebix. Good thread all, I laughed, I cri ... well, I just laughed ;).

(and how the hell did we let that 'mysterious' LiveJournal pollster do it to us again ? Simon must work in IT in some capacity cos he is most certainly true skilled in the art of button pushing ;)
b!Xes. But the others are false.


Oh, phew... I was afraid for just one brief, slippery moment that it was bixies :) C'mon, there's gotta be an EQ/EQ2 player reading this ;)
Just carying on a point from sueworld's post.

It is true to say that Joss was the creator of the idea of Btvs. But many people were involved in creating the shows. There were writers, directors, even some of the actors influenced the show either by Joss taking something they had said privately and turning it into character trait. Or like James Marsters mentioned recently, dropping a comment knowing that Joss would take it and use it and think it was his idea when in fact it wasn't.

Then of course there is the audience participation. Both Angel and Spike were never intended as long term characters. But the audience's reaction to them ensured their longevity. Therefore, to some extenet the audience also shaped canon.

Two distinct examples of things in the show that were not as a result of Joss' brain. So in that regard Joss is not the sole authority of what is canon as he did not create all that was canon.

Same with the comic. To quote Joss:-

I have a bunch of other writers — comic-book heavies and former writers from the show — who are going to write the other issues. I'll be overseeing the whole thing, and they've all got my giant mission statement about what the giant arc is about.

Overseeing? Yes. Mission statement and arc? Yes. Responsible for every issue and each idea and remark made that will appear? No.

My take on canon is an author. They write the book, they own the words, it's their idea. They are the sole authority on what is canon in their books. Sure there's editing but they do the re-writes, so it's all their work.

When a comic book is written by more than one person, despite mission statements, it is impossible to declare one sole authority on canon. One sentence, one phrase can be jumped on and clinged to by fans and form a very important part of their experience/ship/whatever. It wasn't written by Joss and therefore proves that one sole authority is a spurious claim. Officially sanctioned by the originator of the idea of the show, yes, but not by the sole authority on canon as it simply does not exist.

Therein lies the arguement that Joss can declare what is and isn't canon and that we all must agree, and those who don't are told over and over that they are wrong.

Perception may not be reality, but we all colour reality with our perception.
But JuliaL: You can legitimately argue, (I disagree, but, hey, fine) that Joss is not a canonical authority, or that there isn't one. But without an authority, the word "canon" is meaningless. And if there is an authority, surely we can agree that it is not you, or me.
Actually my understanding is that there's considerably more back-and-forth between Joss and the writers than Joss simply writing a mission statement for them to follow. I mean he has only picked out his own friends to write them.

For the Buffy comic, I mean. (It would have been considerably simpler had the poll been about Buffy comics in general...)

Also I think sueworld's quote is a well-made and legitimate point, but it completely ignores that while the show was in production (and since then) every cast and crew member interviewed (and for that matter, fans) would talk about Joss' vision, above all else. Frankly, I think that's how most of us came to hear of him - it's certainly true in my case. In fact I seem to recall reading that, back in the day, Joss would rewrite every Buffy script.

Although, for that matter, a long time ago he did sometimes talk about the show continuing after he'd gone. Which wound up not happening, but perhaps it could have done... in which case, a lot of the canon arguments are thrown into disarray!
Just because there are other writers involved doesn't mean that the concept of canon doesn't apply. Joss, whether he invents every single line or not has final approval over everything we see or read on/in the Buffyverse and is thus the arbiter of what's canon for his creation. Just like what gets to be Star Wars canon is up to Lucas, no matter who actually wrote it (Empire anyone?) and just like J. Michael Straczynski gets to decide whats Babylon 5 canon even if an episode was written by Peter David or Neil Gaiman. He is still the one who puts his official stamp as it were upon the final product (if James improv'd something, Joss still had to say "Yeah, let's go there."). By definition Joss IS the one who decides whats canon and that's why people are befuddled by people claiming its not so. Your concept of what you accept is wonderful and no one would be so silly as to tell you you can't have that. You should and its part of what makes these worlds so personal and so special. But there is a word for what that entails and it is not canon, its perhaps something like personal mythos or somesuch. Cheers, peoples, be good to one another :)

ETA: I'm not sure at this point we're not all just repeating ourselves, so maybe its wind-down time for this topic. Of course I say that after I've got the last word again. I'm such an arsehole... (oh, you were thinking it! ;))

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2007-04-28 15:04 ]
Well that's the nature of fandom isn't it, to disagree.

Not everyone thinks the same (thank god) and that this thread is a testament to that fact.

viva la difference!!
Joss not only said that the series will be canon, he stated very clearly that canon IS important:
Canon is key, as is continuity. If you are massive nerd. Which I am. I believe there's a demarcation between the creation and ancillary creations by different people. I'm all for that stuff, just like fanfic, but I like to know what's there's an absolutely official story-so-far, especially when something changes mediums, which my stuff seems to do a lot.

Therefore you have the one person, who has retained the authority to decide what is canon, saying that canon is an important. Obviously people can be heretics and ignore canon, but I think it is incorrect to say that Joss has the same free-wheeling attitude. He has kept the authority over his creation just so that he does have a say in what gets written and by who.

edited to add: perhaps I needed a wink: ;) with the word 'heretic', but 'agnostic' is only what the heretics call themselves. Those of us who are True Believers in the Faith know different.
(I am just trying to keep the conversation going...).

[ edited by embers on 2007-04-28 16:44 ]
"heretics"???!! :0
Obviously people can be heretics and ignore canon


Whedonesque was our last best hope for peace in the fandom. It failed. But in the year of the Canon War, it became something greater--our last best hope for spangel fun.

Cue dramatic credits.

(I am just trying to keep the conversation going...).


Wouldn't get me doing that ;).
I believe Joss has the right to say something is canon and that makes it part of the official bible of fandom.

And yes I do believe fans have the right to reject said canon. One can go to church on Sunday and worship, all the while believing half of what the chuch is pushing, for example gay marriage is morally wrong, is a steaming pile of caca.

I don't think you're an apostate if you chose to disbelieve stuff in the comics and not acept Vatican 2.
For me they will be canon. Even if Joss is not writing every issue (like Buffy 8), just overseeing or writing a few; it's just like the tv show. Joss was the show-runner, and his team wrote their own episodes, but with Joss approval. The same here.

The other Angel (current series) or Buffy comics? Just fanfics for me (whether they're good or not).
For me they will be canon.

*headexplodes*

"For me" is not a phrase which can be used to modify "they will be canon". ;)
*picks up bits of scattered brain* Well good for you then love. :)
I'm coming late to this discussion, as usual, and have enjoyed all the posts - also as usual.

Canon is what Joss says it is, whether it be movie, TV, comics or a boardgame. If he has overseen it and it is part of his vision, then it is canon. The fact that originally Spike was supposed to be a short-term character and ended up as one of the main characters does not change the fact that Spike is part of the BtvS canon (and AtS for that matter).

Of course, the vision changed during seven years on the air; actors leave, or get pregnant or are so loved by fans that storylines change around them. But any interviews I have ever heard or read of the actors and writers have stated that Joss approved everything, just as he is doing with the S8 Buffy comics, whether he writes them himself or not, and as he will no doubt do with Angel S6.

If one thinks that the Buffy S8 comics are not canon because they are in a different medium than the TV show, the logical argument follows that "Those Left Behind" and Serenity are not official canon in the Firefly 'verse because they are different mediums. Is there anyone who actually thinks the movie is not canon?
Is there anyone who actually thinks the movie is not canon?

There are, actually.
Samatwitch, you make some very good points, and you have also inspired me. I am going to start a "Serenity Is Not Canon Even If Joss Says It Is, Nyah-Nyah, So There, Sucks To You, You-Know-Who and You-Know-Who and You-Know-Who Did Not Die Movement and Official Website" composed of one part Solipsism, 2 parts Sophistry, 3 parts Anti-Materialism, a dash of Falsifiability and a sprinkle of reductio ad absurdum.

And since " a canon is a member of the Christian clergy who was responsible for administering a cathedral or collegiate church. It is still used as a largely honorary title in many dioceses to senior parish priests. This is usually awarded as a recognition of long and dedicated service to the Diocese..." then anybody can see that the Joss-backed BtvS and AtvS comics are clearly canon. Or, I guess, Canons.

I hope that settles this question for good and all...
Oooh, two of my favorite words... solipsism and sophistry. Add to those panoply (as in, "There's a panoply of intelligent, considered opinions on this subject") and rhubarb (as in... um... "I like rhubarb pie?).

...okay, shutting up now.
Where Joss goes, so goeth my nation.
Oh my what an eloquent thread, what with all that fancy words!
My favorite word BTW is 'facetious', because of the vowel factor.
Plus, I just lurve to use it on others!

I wanted to add the fact that Joss's *approval* of something, does not necessarily *make* it canon.
After all, he green-lit Nancy Holder's 'Queen of the Slayers', which clearly showed Buffy in Rome.
Not that I think QOTS SHOULD be canon, but as a tale it's now been blown out of the water by the 'official' S8 comics.

I rather think that the issue here is NOT actually 'What is canon?' I think it's that a number of people have in their mindset that, as a series, 'Angel' finished in that alley with all the characters meeting their demise.
A S6 comic, effectively turns around that premise.

It must be like being told 'the sky is green' all your life, and then discovering that the sky is, in fact, blue.

Which then of course, can lead to speculation of how differently people perceive color, and an examination of the color spectrum, existential comments on who MADE the sky and round and round we go...
After all, he green-lit Nancy Holder's 'Queen of the Slayers'...

Someone's going to have to be more specific about "green-lit", because once upon a time, Joss was asked about the novels and his answer was this:

"I don't have much involvement. I just don't have time. If I started to read them I'd just get frustrated and have to write them myself. This would cause fewer movies and shows. I just whistle and look the other way. Hope ya like 'em!"

"I just whistle and look the other way" doesn't sound quite like what we might normally think of when someone says "green-lit". So unless there's something specific about how Queen of the Slayers came about, I don't think it's relevant.
Since Joss was not the sole creator of Angel, doesn't David Greenwalt also need to be involved and say the comics are canon before they are indeed canon for the Angelverse?
Am I going to read "Angel" Season Six? Of course. Do I think they're canon? Well, I certainly think they are how Joss Whedon intended to continue the story, and he is the ultimate arbiter of all things "Angel." For people who felt they all died in the alley -- if we were supposed to be sure they all died in the alley, we would have seen them all die in the alley. If we were supposed to be sure they survived the alley, we'd have seen them leave the alley. For years, Joss Whedon, David Fury, et al have been saying that Season Five was always going to end that way, the main difference being that Wesley would still be alive. With something like "Lord of the Rings," where Peter Jackson's films diverge somewhat from J.R.R. Tolkien's books (in my opinion, they're remarkably faithful, but there are still some differences), you've got book canon and film canon. Here, I would imagine that they're going to try not to contradict anything shown onscreen. My question is, why are we trying to determine what is canon/what canon is? This is, per Joss Whedon, the continued creative vision of Joss Whedon. I would think that in itself would be of great interest to Whedon fans. Whether one medium can be canon for another medium may be the issue, but if they don't contradict one another, then I don't see the problem. Personally, if it in fact does represent Joss Whedon's vision, I don't care if it's considered canon, handgun or bow and arrow, it's good enough for me :)

[ edited by Shapenew on 2007-04-29 06:26 ]
I am going to start a "Serenity Is Not Canon Even If Joss Says It Is, Nyah-Nyah, So There, Sucks To You, You-Know-Who and You-Know-Who and You-Know-Who Did Not Die Movement and Official Website" composed of one part Solipsism, 2 parts Sophistry, 3 parts Anti-Materialism, a dash of Falsifiability and a sprinkle of reductio ad absurdum.


You left out the part about blackmarket b!xes :) But I'll laugh anyway.

Since Joss was not the sole creator of Angel, doesn't David Greenwalt also need to be involved and say the comics are canon before they are indeed canon for the Angelverse?


IMO, Joss "wasn't the sole creator of Angel" in the same ways he wasn't the sole creator of Buffy. He created the series and entrusted bits of it to others. Or to put it another way: "No.".
You left out the part about blackmarket b!xes

/set jaynevoice on

This thread gives me an uncomfortableness.

/set jaynevoice off
Hey, at least no one photoshopped your head onto a bixie :) Yet... as far as you know...
Joss is the only one in the credits listed as creator of Buffy. Greenwalt is credited, with Joss, as creating Angel. Like your definition of canon, there is no disputing that even if you choose not to accept it. Seeing as your argument rests on the rights of the creator, I think you have to include Greenwalt as well.
I read an interview with David Fury where he was like "I don't really care what happens in the comics because they don't pay as much as TV."

It's easy for fans to think that a show encompasses a lot of a creator's life because it encompasses so much of their own. But the truth is, most people walk away from a show when it's over and hope to latch themselves onto a more profitable venture instead of moving it to a smaller venue. Because they have to... you know, eat.

I'm sure David Greenwalt isn't sitting at home, crying because Joss isn't asking for his ideas on a comic book. He's probably working on the next season of Eureka and has barely thought about Angel since it ended. Only those who are really passionate about a universe will still be driven to keep the story going. Joss is one of those people, and we're lucky to have him.
dingoes8: "I read an interview with David Fury where he was like 'I don't really care what happens in the comics because they don't pay as much as TV.' "

FURY: "The only comic that I wrote was for the Tales of the Slayers graphic novel. I wrote a comic about a slayer in the old west. A half Navajo slayer. That's the only one I've done. I've had many offers to write more but…well, you know what comic book money's like. [laughs] And writing, to me, is writing. It's all work. It's fun but it's work. If I have to put that amount of time and work into conceiving a story and writing it, I'll probably try and put it into a television script where I'll get paid far more than I deserve to be... Which isn't to say I won't write another comic book again." - http://www.mikejozic.com/buffyweek6.html


zeitgeist: "Hey, at least no one photoshopped your head onto a bixie :) Yet... as far as you know..."

Because that would be wrong.
The point about Greenwalt is a good one, except that he left Angel after the third season, so he wasn't ultimately the guiding force that Joss was.
QuoterGal, by rights that should put an end to all discussion!

Personally I didn't think the Greenwalt point was a good one since Angel was spun off from BtVS, so it wasn't a new creation by a collaborative team, and besides: Joss retained the authority (in 'canon' we need the clear authority who is the final arbitrator, which might have been Twentieth Century Fox, and I thank God it wasn't!).
Ha!

To quote Cartman " Respect my authority!!" :0
The only generally accepted authority on these verses is Joss. If there is no widely accepted authority, there is no canon, because that is what "canon" means. You don't have to respect the authority, or believe the canon is true, but unless you want to talk crazy, you don't have the choice of saying, here, "the generally accepted authority is me".

None of the other people who have been suggested as alternate or co-authorities (David Greenwalt, etc.) have, as far as I know, made any attempt to say what is canon and what is not. My guess would be that insofar as they care at all, they figure Joss is the authority for that.

[ edited by toast on 2007-04-29 13:10 ]
I doubt very much that Greenwalt cares if the comics are canon or not. I suspect Joss does not care if I respect his authority as long as I buy the comics anyway (and let's face it, "canon" is being used as a marketing tool to sell the comics). My point is that if you are going to use the creator justification to enforce your opinion and condescend toward people who have a different opinion, you have to apply that to all creators or the argument is not valid.

But please do give credit where credit is due, David Greenwalt was a huge part of Angel. Althought he left full time, he remained a producer the final two seasons. I'm sure there is a Greewnwalt board somewhere calling you a bunch of heretics for dismissing his contribution because he is not Joss.
Hi True Bix,

In response to your valid 'green-lit' query, it was quite a while ago but I recall an interview with Nancy Holder where it's mentioned that Joss had personally approved of her transcript. I may have lost a few brain cells (no thanks to a cheap Aussie wine glut!) but I think it was in a 'Buffy' magazine??!

Still, I quickly googled and got the following from answers.com

Buffy/Angel novels such as this one are not usually considered canon by the fans. Some consider them stories from the imaginations of authors and artists, while others think of them as taking place in an alternate reality. However, these novels are not mere fan fiction, as overviews which summarize their plots are approved early on by both FOX and Joss Whedon (or at least his office). The books are then published as official Buffy/Angel merchandise.

Needless to say, QOTS was a (bad) example of how things, even thus claimed to be 'approved' by Joss and thus canonical, can later be changed to suit HIS take on HIS story, as needed.
Buffy in Rome in TGIQ, or Dawn's first appearance, for example.
Dead post 'The Gift' Buffy for a better one!

Needless, I'm sure whatever direction the S6 comic takes, we'll fall upon it like rabid dogs, and love every damn second of it.

And if Joss calls it canon, then I'll fall into line like an obedient child and chant the party line-

"It's canon 'cos Joss says it is!"

"It's canon 'cos Joss says it is!"

C'mon, say it with me, y'all-

"It's canon 'cos Joss says it is..."

And this talk of bixness is making me hungry!

[ edited by missb on 2007-04-29 15:23 ]
Chant the party line? I call it respect for an artist's creation and his creative vision. Whenever Joss' colleagues talk about him it is always with underlying affection and respect for his dedication to the worlds he's created. So if Joss Whedon says a thing is canon, I figure his fans can do no less than respect that utterance. Where anyone else wants to go in their imagination with his stories, is up to them.
Not trying to be condescending iowagirl, sorry if its coming off that way. Greenwalt was the show runner chosen by Joss to help him spin off something he'd already created. It was not a new property. We're not dismissing his contribution, just saying that if it weren't for joss having created Buffy and Angel in the first place David wasn't dying to create a series abotu a vampire detective on his own. Angel proceeded directly from Buffy. David made a huge contribution, and for that got a co-credit, but it was Joss' idea, Joss' production, and at the end of the day it was Joss who supervised.
Iowagirl, this has fallen below the horizon, so you may not read this: but if I appeared in any way as condescending or dismissive of your personal opinion I apologize. I do think words have meaning and the word 'canon' in genre refers very specifically to that person who has legal as well as creative authority over the work. BUT that is not to say you have to love 'canon'. You are absolutely entitled to your own opinion, you just might avoid saying that your person opinion constitutes a separate 'canon'. In a religion one can totally create an off-shoot belief system and gain followers, stating theirs is the one true faith, but in regards to the TV show and/or comic books those pesky legal issues still give Joss the final say over his characters and universe. I don't mean that to be in anyway condescending, believe me I have personally written off most of George Lucas' Star Wars Universe, and I refuse to accept Enterprise as part of the Star Trek saga (and I like to think Gene Roddenberry would agree with me), but I just don't feel I can say that constitutes a personal canon, it just remains my personal opinion.
The "religion of narrative" is not an organized one.
Now that we've tortured all of the metaphors and beaten our horses within inches of their lives its probably time to just accept that we aren't going to completely agree.\ on this one :)
probably time to just accept that we aren't going to completely agree

I completely agree!
Wow, I was wrong :) Er, wait... right! Yes, that's it, let's all eat chocolate pie and agree that Nathan Fillion is awesome. We can agree on that, right?
I agree, but now the floodgates will open and all the strawberry shortcake and rootbeer float people will come streaming in.

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