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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review: JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION



-------------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------------------
   
Published by Titan Books
 
When Hayes mentioned that he had received a book about Joss Whedon, I cut him off in mid-sentence and told him that I HAD to read it for review. After all, I explained, Joss Whedon is one of my all-time idols. He is my Elvis and my Graceland, all rolled into one. And how can you not like the guy? He’s one of the greatest entertainment minds of our century!
 
The book is JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION and I’ll be honest: it’s not what I was expecting. I’m not sure why, but I automatically assumed it would be a biographical book, or at least a summary guide to his work. But, oh no...this book is way beyond that and is so much more than I can put into words here.
 
If you are not familiar with JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION, here is the book’s synopsis courtesy of the Titan Books website:
 
THE ESSENTIAL UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE WHEDONVERSE

Joss Whedon’s importance in contemporary pop culture can hardly be overstated, but there has never been a book providing a comprehensive survey of his career as a whole – until now. The Complete Companion covers every aspect of the Whedonverse through insightful essays and interviews, including fascinating conversations with key collaborators Jane Espenson and Tim Minear.

Over 40 contributors have been brought together by PopMatters, the acclaimed international magazine of cultural criticism, to provide an irresistible mix of analysis, interpretation and sheer celebration. Whether you’re a student looking for critical approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or a Browncoat who follows Nathan Fillion on Twitter (or, let’s face it, both) there is plenty here to enjoy.

Covers all the TV series, movies, and comic books, including:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Fray, Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers... and more!
   
 First off, let me say that this is one of THE BEST books about an entertainment-industry figure that I’ve ever read. It is beyond comprehensive, and it goes so much deeper than just a filmography or even a simple biography could. Contained on these pages are true insights and analysis of how one man has changed the world.
  
The format of JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION is simple: each of Whedon’s major TV shows (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse) has their own section, and inside each section is a variety of interviews, essays, and analytical interpretations of said work. There are also separate sections for Whedon’s films and comics as well. The insights into his works are amazing and give you many reasons to look at his creations with very different eyes.
  
For example, some of the essays are in-depth explanations of the symbolism and meanings within specific TV show episodes; others are interviews with the cast and/or creators of the shows; some give enlightenment as to the spiritual aspects of the shows; and other pieces simply explain the fun factors behind the stories. Every piece in this book helps to showcase the intricacies and love of the Whedonverse; these pieces are works of passion, created and analyzed by (mostly) true fans of Joss Whedon’s creations.
  
I highly recommend this book as a ‘companion’ to Whedon’s art. If you’ve never seen a Joss Whedon creation (shame on you...you’re missing out), then this is the perfect book to read before you do. And if you’re already a fan, then you’ll be in Whedon-Nirvana. Regardless of which one you are, you’re sure to learn a little bit more about who Whedon is, and probably yourself along the way. 
 
-MSB
  
CLICK HERE to purchase JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION book from Titan Books
  

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