Tag Archives: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Seven Stories Concerning Joss Whedon – or – The Road to Damascus

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s come to my attention that some of you out there might not know about Joss Whedon. This worries me.

Even more troubling is the thought that some of you might know of Whedon, but still haven’t taken him into your heart or witnessed his glorious work.

I used to be like you. I used to live in darkness. Let me share my story with the hope that you might come to know him as I do….

* * *

It’s 1999. Home from college, I go to a New Year’s party with some old friends. Halfway through the evening, someone mentions Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Never seen it,” I say.

Suddenly they’re all bleating like sheep about how much they love the show. Everyone feels compelled to tell me their favorite line. Their favorite part. The time this character did this thing in this place.

“Yes yes,” I said. “I’ve heard it all before. Honestly, it sounds pretty dumb to me.”

Things get heated. It turns out I’m the only person there not actively following the show. They can’t believe how ignorant I am. How can I not be watching it?

Finally I’ve had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone’s attention. “Listen,” I say. “I’m a huge geek. I’ve written a fantasy trilogy that will never be published. I once dressed up as Pan for Halloween. I have LARPed.” I looked at them all seriously. “And you people embarrass me. I am ashamed to be standing close to you right now. Kindly shut up about your stupid vampire cheerleader show.”

It’s 2002. I’m in grad school, covered in a thick, greasy layer of drudgery and helpless rage. I’m fighting as hard as I can, only to realize that academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance.

One of my friends buys the first season of Buffy on DVD and leaves it in my house. That’s it. No sales pitch. I just come home from class and it’s sitting on my coffee table.

And that’s where it stays. I’ve made my feelings clear. I’m getting my Masters in English Literature. I’ll be god-damned if I watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But, eventually, there’s nothing else to watch in the house, so I plug it one evening while I eat my dinner.

And it’s exactly what I expected. It’s trash. It’s heavy handed. The plot is predictable.

Worse of all, there’s a showdown between the plucky blond eye-candy and the bad guy at the end of the first episode.

Buffy: Well you forgot about one thing!
Vampire: Whats that?
Buffy: Sunrise!

She breaks a window behind the vampire and rich amber light pours in, making the vampire howl in fear.

I roll my eyes. I’ve seen this cliche a dozen times before. I’d be bored if I wasn’t so insulted. I reach for the remote.

But it isn’t sunlight pouring through the window. It’s just a lightbulb in the alleyway. The vampire looks out the window, confused.

Buffy: Its not for another 9 hours, moron.

I start to laugh, realizing whoever wrote this knows exactly what he’s doing. This isn’t cliche. This is whatever the opposite of cliche is.

I watch the second episode.

It’s 2003. I’m out of grad school and teaching my own classes for the very first time.

I’ve made contact with a big-name New York literary agent. He’s read my book and thinks it has potential. He says I’m a good writer, but my book has structural problems. There are plot issues. Am I willing to revise?

I am. But I have no idea where to start. I read a book called Writing the Blockbuster Novel and it makes no sense at all to me. I re-read my novel and realize I don’t have the slightest fucking idea what I’m doing.

Fall semester ends, and the university tells me enrollment is down. Quick as that I’m unemployed.

So I go out and buy my very first home theater system. Bose speakers. Subwoofer. I fill up the credit card, figuring that if I’m going to be unemployed, I might as well enjoy my free time. Besides, it’s not like I’m going to be able to get any writing done….

The first thing I watch is the second season Buffy.

It opens a window in my head. It changes the way I think about stories.

It’s 2004. Despite the fact that I’m not really interested in space cowboys or whatever, I buy a copy of Firefly.

It’s 6:00 AM when I sit down to watch it. After half an hour, one of my roommates wanders blearily into the living room.

“Wassis?” he asks.

“Firefly,” I say. “First episode. I can start it over if you want…”

He lays down on the other couch and we re-start the episode.

Ten minutes later he looks at me. “They canceled this?” he asks.

“Apparently.”

He looks at the screen, then back at me. “I’m so fucking pissed!”

I nod.

Six years later I’m still pissed. I’ll probably be pissed about Firefly until the day I die.

It’s 2006, and I’m attending one of my first conventions. I’ve sold my book, so now my job is to make friends in the fan community. Mingle. Rub elbows. Network.

I get invited to a party. I drink a drink. I end up talking with a beautiful young woman in a tight red dress.

“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” she says. “I watched some Buffy, couldn’t get into it. Firefly was boring. I just don’t get what I’m supposed to be missing.”

“Well…” I said thoughtfully. “Have you ever considered the fact that you might not actually have a soul?”

It’s 2008. Dr. Horrible goes online. I’m giddy as a schoolgirl. I write a blog about it. I bring my friends over to watch. I leave it playing on my computer while I do work around the house, while I check my e-mail, while I eat lunch.

This continues for weeks.

Then one day while I’m singing “A Man’s gotta Do…” in the shower, I have an idea for a short story. This is a rarity. I don’t do short stories. Better yet, it’s a short graphic novel.

So I sit down and start to write it out. It’s fun. I’ve never written a script for a graphic novel, and it’s tricky thinking in terms of page layouts, paneling, and dialogue placement. I break out my copy of Understanding Comics and start making notes for a friend who could do the illustrations.

Two hours later I realize I’m writing Dr. Horrible fanfiction.

Four hours later I’m still writing it.

It’s 2009. While playing Guest of Honor at a convention, I end up on a panel about Joss Whedon.

Much to my surprise, I hear people nitpicking. They say, “Buffy was great until season four.” “I got bored with Dollhouse after two episodes.” “Angel was too dark.” “Buffy got weird in season five….”

Finally I’ve had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone’s attention.

“Listen,” I say unto them. “You’re all a bunch of whiny little titbabies. Joss Whedon is a storyteller and you’re upset because he isn’t acting like a music box, playing you your favorite song again and again.

“Joss Whedon made me care about the X-men, even Cyclops. He sold me on space cowboys. He made me sing in the shower and write fanfiction for the first time in my life. He told me a subtle story with Dollhouse and gave me the best character arc I’ve ever seen with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”

“Why don’t you marry him?” someone shouts from the audience.

“Because of Proposition 8,” I shot back. “And because he never returns my calls.”

* * *

So that’s the story of my conversion to Whedonism. I’ve pulled a Saul of Tarsus and these days I’m a full-blown missionary. In fact, Sarah has informed me my man-crush is about to step from being cute to creepy, so I’m trying to reign myself in a little bit here.

For example, I’m not going to post up any of my Whedon-tribute macaroni art. Neither will I trouble you with any of the sonnets I’ve composed.

Instead, I’ll add some Whedon stuff to the Worldbuilders lottery. That means if you donate money to Heifer International before January 15th, you have a chance of winning this stuff in addition to all the other cool prizes.

  • All seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the five seasons of Angel, and the first five graphic novels composing “Season Eight”of Buffy.


About a year ago, I went to talk to a bunch of high-schoolers as part of a book festival.

As per usual, I read a bit, then did some Q&A.

One of the kids asked a question about character building. I thought of the perfect example that would answer his question and said, “Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”

I meant it to be a rhetorical question. I mean, everyone’s seen Buffy, right?

He hadn’t. I was a little surprised. So I asked the whole auditorium, “Who here has watched Buffy?”

Only about three hands went up.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, I suppose. But I was. What’s more, I was actually mad. I turned to the teacher that had arranged for me to come out and talk to the kids and demanded, “What the hell are you teaching these kids?”

  • Both hardcover volumes of the Astonishing X-Men, containing the entire story arc written by Joss Whedon.


Even if you don’t read comics, you will enjoy this. Even if you don’t care about the X-Men, you will like this story. It’s wonderfully self-contained, so you don’t need to know the last 40 years of x-history to follow what’s going on.

  • The complete series of Firefly and the sequel movie Serenity.


If I ever get to teach a creative writing class, I’m assigning Firefly as a textbook. Everything you need to know about storytelling is right there in the pilot episode.

Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you.

  • The first season of Dollhouse.


Some people I normally respect are all snarky about Dollhouse.

Fie, I say unto them. If you can’t handle a subtle story, feel free to go watch MTV cribs. The rest of us will be right here, enjoying the awesome.

It’s a different sort of story. That means, of necessity, it has a different tone. But it’s still Whedon, and that’s all that matters.

  • Two copies of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.


For concentrated cool, it’s hard to beat this disk. Not only is DR. Horrible like a primer on how to create a realistic villain, but the commentary track is a musical too. I’m not even kidding.

God. Just looking at the cover makes me want to listen to it again….

That’s all for now folks. Remember that the fundraiser is over on January 15th. So if you want to get in on the action, you better do so soon.

Money raised by Worldbuilders goes to Heifer International, which helps people all over the world raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. If you’d like to donate directly you can head over to my page at Team Heifer and I’ll match your donation by 50%. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want more information about the Worldbuilders fundraiser itself, you can head to the main page HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Posted in Firefly, geeking out, Joss Whedon, my dumbness, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat128 Responses

Some of the Best for Last – More Delicious Swag

Did I mention that Heifer International called my house? Yeah. They’re the coolest folks. Apparently some of them have been watching our fundraiser with more than passing interest. They confirmed something I had started to suspect. Namely, that y’all are cool as hell.This is the last treasure post, and we have some lovely stuff. Detailed below, we have another original manuscript, signed books and ARC’s, and some cool swag from Queen of the Geeks, Felicia Day.

I’ve raised the donation bar a couple times just in the last week, and right now it looks like we stand a good chance of actually raising more that 40,000 dollars. Which is awe-inspiring, really.

For the last month, the first thing I’ve done in the morning is check the Heifer donation page. It’s been a great way to start my day. But I’ll be honest with you, there have been a few times in the last week that I’ve woken up, looked at the total, and thought. “This is it. I really shouldn’t match any more. I said I’d keep going until Dec 11th, but I’m sure folks will understand if I stop matching donations a couple days early….”

When I get that feeling, I go look at Heifer’s website. Then I learn things like the fact that half the chickens in Korea are descended from eggs that Heifer supplied after the Korean War.

Or I read about a young man in Uganda who had to quit school to take care of his five younger siblings because his parents died. He got a Heifer, greatly improving the family’s nutrition. And the money they get from selling the surplus milk is helping to pay for school.

And then I think, “I can order Chinese food any time I want, and they bring it to my house. I have a car in reasonably good repair. I have a house that stays warm through the Wisconsin winters. I have a house full of books to read, and all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. I am living the best possible life.”

Then I relax, and I realize that nothing makes me happier than raising the donation bar again. And again after that if need be.

Okay, enough touchy-feely. Let’s talk about free stuff.

  • A set of the first three books in Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, and An Autumn War. Hardcover. Signed by the author.

While I haven’t mentioned these books on my blog, I’ve read them and they’re really good. In fact, these were the first books I ever decided to give an official blurb to.I’d almost forgotten about it. But when Daniel’s books showed up today, I saw that my blurb was actually there, right on the cover. First book: quote from GRRM. Second book: quote from GRRM. Third book? Quote from me. That’s right baby. Me.

So obviously I thought these were great books. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, why not trust bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss when he says, “There is much to love in the Long Price Quartet. It is epic in scope, but character-centered. The setting is unique yet utterly believable. The storytelling is smooth, careful, and–best of all–unpredictable.”

  • An advance reading copy of Jeri Smith-Ready’s The Reawakened, conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy. Signed by the author.

Another one of those cool ARC’s for those of you who are interested in getting a peek at the book before it hits the shelves. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Myth blends with passion in this colorful conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy.”

Award winning author Stephen Baxter calls Mirrored Heavens, “A crackling cyberthriller. This is Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling. David Williams has hacked into the future.”

  • A copy of Questions for a Soldier, by John Scalzi. Limited edition.

Questions for a Soldier is a limited edition Subterranean Press book set in the world of Scalzi’s first novel, Old Man’s War. Scalzi himself says, “for those of you looking for rare and unusual Scalzi-related curiosities, this is it, baby.”Paul Di Filippo, writing for The Washington Post Book World says, “Scalzi’s imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated….His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane.”

  • A set of S.C. Bulter’s Reiffen’s Choice and Queen Ferris, books one and two of The Stoneways Trilogy. Signed by the author.

Children’s Literature says, “Fantasy fans of all ages will be drawn into the world that Butler has created…. If one wanders away from the main characters they will not fall out of the story but will find another story somewhere in the Stoneways or Valing, and that is the mark of a truly great fantasy.”

This husband and wife team just sent me some of their stuff out of the blue. And I’ll admit that when this graphic novel showed up, I invoked my sovereign right of… um… book-lookingness. Anyway, I read it. And it was pretty cool….According to Publishers Weekly, “The tale’s unfamiliar setting and the uncanny events work together intriguingly.”

In a starred review, Kirkus says, “Featuring both an uncommonly well-conceived setting and buckets of high-energy action, Taylor’s debut tale of a thumb-sized devil hunter who comes this close to meeting her match belongs at the top of everyone’s fantasy must-read list.”
  • A copy of Dead to Me, the debut novel of Anton Strout. Signed by the author.

Anton Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. However, I’m willing to set aside any personal rancor I feel toward the man in order to accept his generous gift on behalf of Heifer International.

Bestselling author Charlaine Harris gives this review: “Following Simon’s adventures is like being the pinball in an especially antic game, but it’s well worth the wear and tear.”

  • An ARC of Fenzig’s Fortune by Jean Rabe. Signed by the Author.
Jean has donated both a signed ARC, and a signed hardcover to the cause. Publisher’s Weekly says that, “Readers of all ages will find simple pleasures in this traditional hobbit-inspired fantasy.”
  • A manuscript of Steven Savile’s new Stargate novel, Shadows, book one of The Iblis Trilogy. Signed by the author.

I can’t say enough good about Steven. When he heard about the fundraiser, he immediately went out and started beating the bushes for donations. He brought in the folks from Bad Moon Books. He tipped off Kevin Anderson and many others. Finally, he’s donated this lovely manuscript.

Here’s what Steven says:

“Shadows is the first book in the Iblis Trilogy, an SG-1 novel featuring the original team. What makes this manuscript unique is it includes all of the mistakes and material that MGM won’t approve – so there are a good 10,000 words different between it as a first draft and the finished book which is coming out at the end of January. The story itself pits the team against the Goa’uld, Iblis, and features the Mujina, an archetypal monster who can be all things to everyone, the hero and villain their heart most desperately desires.”

(That’s not my thumb this time, folks.
Judging by the grace and poise, I think it might be Felicia’s.)

When I heard from Felicia a couple days ago, I hurried downstairs to tell Sarah.

Me: Felicia Day just sent me an e-mail! She says she’d like to donate a signed copy of The Guild DVD and a Dr. Horrible poster signed by the cast.

Sarah: Well that must make you excited enough to pee.

Which, in fact, sums up my reaction quite nicely.

I made a blog post about The Guild a while back, singing its praises. Later, Felicia and I interviewed each other, each in our respective blogs.

What I’m getting at is that I thought she was cool even *before* Dr. Horrible came out and she worked a deal with X-box to sponsor season two of The Guild.

The Los Angeles Times praised The Guild as “perhaps the smartest (and definitely the funniest) webisodic series of the year.” This year, they’re putting out a new season that’s way more budgety.

If you haven’t heard about Dr. Horrible, then you obviously haven’t been reading my blog for very long. Maybe you have been living under a heavy, heavy rock. Or perhaps you hate everything that is lovely and good in the world.

How much do I love Dr. Horrible? I’ll let this picture from my Halloween party tell the story:

Yeah. The ladies were totally into my Dr. Horrible costume.

So… yeah.
Dr. Horrible was bigger than Lennon, and the poster is pretty cool too. Signed by Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillion. This prize is guaranteed to make you excited enough to pee.

That’s all she wrote, folks. Remember you have until the end of December 11th to get in on the action. Tell your friends….

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HERE for the blog that describes it all.

Rock on, team geek.

pat

Posted in a billion links, Felicia Day, Heifer International, recommendations, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat39 Responses

Do Not Bounce.

So, I can’t imagine my life without Dr. Horrible. I’m dimly aware of doing things prior to watching it. I wrote a book, learned to walk, lost my virginity, etc etc. Silly things. Trivial things.

Joss Whedon. I don’t think there’s even a word for what I feel for him.

There’s awe, that’s a given, plus a vasty respect. Then those two emotions are tangled up with an odd, primal terror. I know that sounds odd, but that’s the only way I can describe it. He terrifies me. It’s the same fear a caveman would feel when confronted with, say, Opimus Prime. It’s the terror that drove people to burn witches at the stake. Why? Well, because they can do things. They have preternatural abilities that freak us out right down to the marrow of our bones.

So. You take that knot of molten awe, respect, and holy terror, wrap it up in a fluffy blanket of love, then sprinkle it lightly with toasted coconut. That’s how I feel about Joss Whedon. Is there a word for that? If not, we need one.

Were I not Pat, I would be Diogenes. Were I neither of those, I would be Joss Whedon.

But I’m not. I can’t be Dr. Horrible either. Is it wrong that I want to dress up like him? Where can I get a lab-coat like that?

I think that there might be something wrong with me….

By tomorrow I’m guessing I will have settled down a little. But right now I’m thinking I might want to do a video blog or two. But honestly, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, I am many things, but I’m no Neil Patrick Harris.

What about you guys? Would any of you be interested in seeing a video blog?

pat

Posted in Diogenes, geeking out, Joss Whedon | By Pat52 Responses

The Day Has Come: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

For you Whedonites out there, I just thought I’d remind you that the first part of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog is now live.

This probably isn’t a big surprise for those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, as I’ve been geeking out about it for a while.

A couple months ago might remember me talking with Felica Day. She’s Penny, the female lead. On the offhand chance that you weren’t reading a couple months ago, and you’re interested, here’s a link to the interview I gave her. And, contrariwise, here’s a link to the interview she gave me.

If nothing else, they will give you something to read while you’re waiting for Dr. Horrible’s page to load. I’m guessing it’s going to get hit pretty hard today…..

pat

P.S. By the way, let’s keep the comments section spoiler free, shall we? Not everyone will be able to watch it right and nobody likes having the good bits given away before they’ve had a chance to watch something themselves.

While I understand the desire to talk about the awesomeness of something like this, we must restrain ourselves. Sublimate the urge to say something along the lines of, “That was so cool when he blew up the sun and died at the end.” Instead, say something gushy and loving about the show itself. Extra points given for odd-but-appropriate comparisons. For example: “That was so cool that I feel like I just got to hug a kitten and eat an entire ice-cream sundae.”

Remember folks, people who give away spoilers go to the special hell: one reserved for child molesters and people who speak in the theatre.

Posted in cool things, Felicia Day, geeking out, Joss Whedon | By Pat46 Responses

Trailer for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

I don’t know if it’s possible for me to be more exicted about this than I already am…..

Teaser from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Posted in geeking out, Joss Whedon, recommendations | By Pat18 Responses
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