Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Buffy Rewatch: The Contributors

I know many of you are already planning to join us on our Buffy rewatch, but to entice you further, I wanted to introduce the people who are on board to watch along with you, some of the best Buffy scholars and writers that I know. Many of the contributors are people I've gotten to know through Slayage, and I'll tell you more about them individually when it's their week to talk about the show. On some weeks you're going to get just me, but because of the enthusiastic response from the people below, that will only happen about five or six of the weeks (every other week I'll post a brief comment before turning over the mike to the others). In certain weeks, you'll be hearing from more than one of the contributors, as there were a few episodes that proved so popular more than one person signed up for it. And they're promising to bring you their commentary through different methods and formats, so each week should be a lot of fun. In no particular order, here they are... and I've only mentioned one book for each of them, but many of them are featured in or have written several.

Cynthea Masson: If I ever get around to telling you about some of the things I did this past summer (but was too busy writing a book to blog about it) I'll be including some pictures of Cynthea and myself after we took a white water ride at Universal Studios that left us soaked to the skin. Cynthea is a professor from British Columbia who I first met at Slayage, and one of her many papers, entitled, “‘It’s a Thing We Do’: Crying with Buffy and Angel” is featured in the collection, On the Verge of Tears: Why the Movies, Television, Music, and Literature Make Us Cry.

Ian Klein: One of my favourite people, I met him on the shuttle ride from the airport at the third Slayage and we've been buddies ever since. He's a dramaturgy student in New York. He wrote a brilliant paper that I mentioned in my Slayage report that was published in the new book, Inside Joss' Dollhouse.

Alyson Buckman: Another Slayage peep! (Hm... that probably goes for the next dozen.) She's written many, many papers, and always writes things that make me laugh. Her most recent paper was published in Sexual Rhetoric in the Works of Joss Whedon.

David Kociemba and Kristen Romanelli: I first met David at the third Slayage, where he delivered a paper that I've probably applied to more of my blogging than anything else I've heard, which asked the question: if you're teaching a course on Buffy, and half the class has never watched it, do you spoil the series by talking about certain themes? Are those who have already watched some of it in a superior position? It was very thought-provoking (and one of the reasons why I'm doing the split in our rewatch for the first-timers and the Buffy veterans). At the fourth Slayage this past June, he brought along his girlfriend Kristen Romanelli, and proposed to her there. (All together now... Awwwwwww!!) Together they run the Watcher Junior site, which is a Buffy studies page for undergrads.

Elizabeth Rambo: Beth was a keynote speaker who did an excellent talk at the third Slayage, and I had the pleasure of staying at the same B&B as her and getting to know her over the four days we were there. Her brilliantly titled book, Buffy Goes Dark, focuses on the final two seasons of the show, which, without spoiling the series, has a double-meaning.

David Lavery: The man who started it all, David is one of the co-organizers of the Slayage conference. I first met him when I interviewed him for a chapter in my Angel book, and then we worked together on a book he wrote on Heroes called Saving the World. He's the co-editor of the first Buffy studies book that I read, Fighting the Forces. I like to think of him as the father of Buffy studies.

Rhonda Wilcox: And if he's the father, then Rhonda is the mother. Rhonda is the other organizer of Slayage, and co-editor of the Slayage website that features all of the academic papers done on the show. Her book, Why Buffy Matters, is a brilliant piece of scholarship and writing.

Cynthia Burkhead: Cynthia is a Buffy fan, and a huge Lost fan. I also met her at the third Slayage, and at the fourth one she gave me a Namaste bracelet she'd made for me, which I treasure. She is the co-editor of the upcoming book, Joss Whedon: Conversations, a collection of the many interviews that Joss has done.

Dale Guffey and Ensley Guffey: These two are one of the funniest comedy teams on Facebook. OK, more seriously, I first met Dale at the third Slayage, where she welcomed me with her gorgeous southern accent and presented an amazing paper (she was Dale Koontz then) and then I was thrilled to see her again at the fourth Slayage, and to meet her new husband, also a Buffy scholar. Talk about a match made in heaven. She's the author of Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon, and because their back-and-forth banter on Facebook is one of the most entertaining things about being on the site, I've asked them to tackle one of the weeks together, and they agreed (on top of the weeks they'll be covering separately). And because I've probably sent this link to everyone I know, you have to see the cutest and funniest wedding announcement EVER.

Jennifer K. Stuller: I met Jennifer at the most recent Slayage, and sadly I missed her paper when I had to go and practise my own, but by all accounts it was lively and fun. She and I met up a few times and chatted, and it was amazing to get to know her. She's the author of the awesomely titled Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors.

Matthew Pateman: I have no idea who this person is.

Stacey Abbott: I think Slayage people come up with the best titles for books, seriously. Stacey's the editor of several essay collections focusing on Whedon's work, and my favourite is probably Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off with a Soul. I met her at the third and fourth Slayages, and could never quite place her accent until I realized she was a Canadian who lived in the U.S. for a while before moving to England. She and David Lavery are completing a manuscript for a book of essays on Supernatural that I'll be editing and will be coming out next fall.

Tanya Cochran: I met Tanya at both Slayages, and at the second one she presented the paper that talked a lot about me that both surprised and thrilled me. She is the co-editor of Investigating Firefly and Serenity, which I would highly, highly recommend to any Browncoats out there.

Dr Janet K. Halfyard: Janet is another scholar I met at Slayage, and this past year she gave a wonderful paper on the use of music in Buffy. So I was thrilled when she enthusiastically agreed to come and be a part of this rewatch as our music commentator, where she'll inject some musical commentary into various weeks as she sees fit. She is Director of Undergraduate Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, UK. Her publications include Danny Elfman’s Batman: a film score guide (Scarecrow Press, 2004) and an edited collections of essays on Music, Sound and Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Ashgate, 2010), as well as numerous essays in collections and journals on film and television music. She is also a performer, who appears under the name "Steve Halfyard" (which is a tad confusing... I used to think Janet and Steve were husband and wife!) Now if I can just convince her to watch Lost, she'll find a show that REALLY outdid itself when it came to music!

Robert Thompson: The first non-Slayage person! Robert is a golf writer with several Canadian and American publications, and the author of several books, most recently Going for the Green: On the Links with Canada's Political and Business Elite. If you're wondering why I have a golf writer on here, it's because many of his ideas about TV shows have informed my own on this blog for a while and I wanted him to finally share them with you directly. Oh, and he's also my husband. So you could say he slept his way onto this list.

Christopher Lockett: I've probably known Chris longer than anyone else on here, save one person. He and I met at university when we were both doing our Masters in English, and one day out in the hallway waiting for a prof who was always late, I said something and he responded with a Simpsons quote. To which I retorted with another, and he with another, and a strong bond of geekdom was instantly formed. He's now a professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland, so I don't get to see him nearly as often as I like, but he blogs here about his experiences being out there.

Suzie Gardner: Suzie is one of the cutest TV companion guide writers you will ever meet. She wrote Don't Stop Believin': The Unofficial Guide to Glee, which I edited, and is a great writer and commentator on all things TV. I was thrilled to discover she was also a huge Buffy fan.

Jennifer Knoch: Jen is a book blogger who's become the go-to person for book reviews and blogging on the latest book happenings in Canada. And... she works with me! We have exactly the same taste in books, something we discovered early on when we were naming our favourite books to each other while the other kept chiming in, "Me too!!" She originally watched Buffy up to season 4 and quit. Last year I convinced her to try again, and she did, and loved it all the way to the end. Her blog is the Keepin' It Real Book Club.

Becca Wilcott: Becca is someone I've known for a while, and earlier this year she published Truly, Madly, Deadly: The Unofficial Companion to True Blood, which I edited. (I'm sensing a pattern here!) When the manuscript came in, it was one of my favourite books to work on, because it was written very tongue-in-cheek, and many of her observations made me laugh out loud. Great writer, awesome book, and a big Buffy fan!

Crissy Calhoun: I think many of you have heard me talk about the Calhouner on here, someone I've worked with for eons and who is most recently the author of Love You to Death: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries. She's one of the most insightful TV bloggers (and maker of iron-ons for geeky t-shirts) I know.

Stacey May Fowles: She's one of the few "friend of friends" on here, but many of my friends said I should include her, and I'm thrilled to have her here. Stacey works at The Walrus, and is the former editor of Shameless magazine, which was a feminist mag for teenage girls. She's the author of several books, most recently She's Shameless: Women Write about Growing Up, Rocking Out, and Fighting Back. (That title alone makes me delighted to have her here!)

Robert Wiersema: I mentioned Rob a few weeks ago when he wrote a piece for the National Post about rewatching Buffy with his son, Xander (who he says is not named after the character... I have a daughter named Sydney who I insist was not based on Alias, but maybe we're both kidding ourselves). I've been reading his terrific writing for years, so I'm very happy to have him with us for this. His most recent novel is Bedtime Story, which just came out a couple of weeks ago.

Dani Couture: Dani is a very fine poet in Canada and the partner of a dear friend of mine, so again I'm so happy to have her on board. She's another big Buffy fan, and the author of Sweet. We've got a poet on here!! And unlike William, she's a bloody good one.

Graham F. Scott: Graham is the editor of This Magazine, a political magazine based out of Toronto. A friend of mine used to be the editor of it a few years ago, so when Evan suggested I contact Graham and that he was a big Buffy fan, I jumped at the chance. Graham told me he discovered Buffy in 2009, when he watched the entire series on DVD, and has been obsessed ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @gfscott.

Bryan Curry: Bryan contacted me when I first posted that I was going to be doing this. He runs the Hellmouth Podcast, which is a rewatch of Buffy where he podcasts after every episode. He's just finishing S3 now, and will be adding Angel onto his watch when he begins S4.

Michael Holland: Michael was a regular contributor on here to our Lost discussions, and I was surprised when he emailed me one day to say he was a post-production supervisor on Dollhouse and enjoyed my posts on that show. In 2006 he cowWrote and produced Backstage Pass with William Katt and that same year was the invited speaker for Digital Cinema at The Jackson Hole Film Festival. For the past fifteen years he's worked in post-production, most recently as D.I. Producer for Twilight and as Post Production Supervisor for Dollhouse and Glee. He blogs at

Evan Munday: Finally, Evan. I wanted him to be a part of this but wasn't sure he was a Buffy fan. So I emailed him, and was so excited to find out he was, and watched it live when it first aired. Yay! Our kind are SO FEW. Evan is an illustrator and a publicist at Coach House Press, and he illustrated the novel/graphic novel that my publisher put out, called Stripmalling. But the real reason I wanted him on here is because he's so damn funny, and when Jennifer Knoch (see above) was putting together submissions for her Keep Toronto Reading venture (I contributed when I recommended Geektastic), Evan's submission is one of the most ingenious things I've seen. So he's promised to use a similar approach in the week he covers for us. (See, I'm holding you to it, Evan.)

And that's our cast! I have a few more surprises up my sleeve, but I'll wait until the weeks where they appear before I reveal who they are. I hope you're as excited to read everyone's thoughts as I am!


Anonymous said...

This goes in the "things that make me go squee!" category. As usual, a fun romp, Nikki!

Allison said...

Looking forward to it!

Batcabbage said...

Nik: Matthew Pateman: I have no idea who this person is.

LMAO! I look forward to the return of Mr Pateman to this blog, as well as the debut of everyone else on the list. Yay Buffy Rewatch The Great! (You know, like Alexander, or Catherine. Ah, screw it, never mind.)

NonModern said...

I am looking forward to this. I have been thinking of watching the series again, but I don't know if I can limit myself to one episode a week!

Anonymous said...

Jason: it's three episodes a week so it will get done in one year. Yay, Nikki!

GoranAgar said...

I'm in and looking forward to it! Greetings from Vienna, Austria!

Michael Holland said...

You're very kind, and I do appreciate it. As much as I appreciate being a part of this! I've been a fan of The Whedonverse since 'Buffy' premiered, so it's a real pleasure to be among friends. Here's to a great year!