Lunacon (2)

More on my experiences at Lunacon 50 (the beginning of which is also here at The Mongrel Dogs). This time up: Joss Whedon Must Die!

That was the evocative title of the second panel I attended. Despite appearances, it was run by (and attended) by devoted fans of the aforementioned Joss Whedon, creator of

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Firefly
  • Serenity

and a bunch of comic books and other media, and some rewrites and punch-ups of Hollywood scripts. And it was clear that the people at this panel loved Joss Whedon and his works. But they take issue with his disturbing tendency to kill off beloved characters, often in random acts. For the addicted, the sudden loss of a favorite character (Tara? Cordelia? Wash? Book?) can be traumatic.

Really, it turned out, people mostly wanted to share their pain and vent their frustration. Since (I suspect) that frustration is indeed part of his evil plan to use art to teach us about life, I’m not sure Whedon would feel remorse. “Life can be hard,” he might tell them, “and even the happiest endings aren’t ever-after. Everything carries its cost.” To be fair to the fans, his telling of this message is somewhat, well, relentless. If you watch the entire corpus of Whedonia, it can be downright depressing. The good guys win, in the end, usually, but not all of them are there to share the joy. And it generally feels like all the good guys have really won, in the last analysis, is a short respite and a chance to fight the good fight all over again. Forever. And ever.

Despite the bloodthirsty title, everyone seemed remarkably open and friendly, and nary a battle axe was brandished. Even though there were at least three distinct major factions — each with their own reason why Joss Whedon Must Die! — they got along pretty well and conceded the opinions of the others to have merit. The tongue-in-cheek solemnity of the panel was really quite amusing and was the first sign I had that I wouldn’t regret hiking up to Rye, New York through the Snow Storm of the Apocalypse.

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