I'll be the first to admit, I am super biased to the subject matter. I like to joke that I was a fan of Joss Whedon before I even knew I was a fan. I was a big fan of the first Toy Story, so finding out he'd been involved in that process, bam. Early Joss fan.
Then I found out his father wrote for the Golden Girls. HUGE fan of the Golden Girls growing up. I've always been a Whedon fan! Grandfather wrote for what?! Jesus, that's my entire Nick at Nite childhood!
Cut to a few years ago, reading a book about Sesame Street, and Captain Kangaroo. Guess whose name appears one more time.
And I was one of those 10 people who adored the movie version of Buffy.
Then in this book, I actually find out which episodes of Roseanne were written by Joss himself, one of which being one of my favorites, the episode where Darlene has to write a poem and read it for class.
Yeah. I'm a three generation Whedon fan. I apparently was destined to fall in love with a spunky blonde with a pointy stick, and follow her creator through hell and cancellation.
I did go into the book hesitant, though. The trouble with biographies is the same trouble Joss had when making Serenity. The biggest draw will be the people who are already invested. Those of us who have followed Joss, who railed against the WB, railed against Fox, took part in the campaigns. We are the readers.
But what about everyone else? What about the people who see this book while passing their eyes over a shelf full of biographies, and say, "Who's this guy? Oh, The Avengers? Yeah, that movie kicked ass. Okay, I'll read it." Will this biography hold the interest of someone who's never heard the term Browncoat?
I think it will.
This book is jam packed with information, without being heavy. You get bits from every aspect of his life without feeling like you're stuck in one part. The origin story (as it were) is clean, and succinct. Grandparents, parents, siblings, born. School, comics, England. Bam bam bam. And plenty of good Jossy soundbites in between.
And really, I read this for the Jossy soundbites. I've read at least half of the big quotes in this book, but some of them I haven't read in 10 years, and getting a refresher was like talking to an old friend. Reminding myself why I follow this man to every new project. I even learned things I hadn't known, and that was fantastic.
I can never have enough lip service to Buffy, it is my original fandom, my original love. I think the portions dedicated to that time on the show are well fleshed out. Maybe I'm projecting, but I think you can really tell the author's preferences, likes and dislikes, regarding the show. Much attention is given to the first three seasons, then she just...stops describing. Barely anything about seasons 4 and 5, other than talking about The Gift.
And again, maybe projecting a tad, but I think she and I have the exact same opinions about season 6. I was very interested to see that she mentioned the extreme fan....dislike....for Marti Noxon. Not that I'm guilty of that or anything. ::cough::
Ms. Pascale was a Bronzer, and the cast and crew did frequent that board a lot. But as someone who found her own family via an online Buffy forum, just a tiny mention of the other Buffy forums online would've been nice? I know we never got a visit from Joss (well, that he made himself known, anyway), but still. AOL Buffy boards. Hi. ::waves::
We did find who we believed to be Tim Minear once. I don't know if anyone had the balls to say hi to him, though.
Speaking of. I was interested to see if she would mention any of the tensions regarding the Buffy and Angel set. I've heard rumors, two of which were definitely substantiated. And those were the ones talked about, though it feels like they were greatly sandpapered over. The Jeff Pruitt battle, for one, and what was done to Charisma Carpenter.
I'm glad they're included, and I wasn't expecting (or wanting) Joss to be dragged through the dirt. But still. Kind of felt like the edges were sanded a bit heavily.
Last thing: I know someone mentioned in the acknowledgements. I promptly ran to her Facebook page to crow about it. Because I am a nerd who reads the acknowledgements.
I cannot say enough how pleased I was by this book. Pleased enough to get a little emotional at times, remembering how much being a fan of his has given me over the years. I will be buying this book, and it will have a good spot on my bookshelf.
Again, though. I am very biased.