Spring 2012 saw the return to creative and critical success of Joss Whedon, with the release of both his horror flick The Cabin in the Woods and the box-office sensation, Marvel's The Avengers. After establishing himself as a premier cult creator, the man who gave us great television with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and web series Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog, as well as comic books including Fray and Astonishing X-Men, finally became the filmmaker he'd long dreamed of being. Drawing on a wide variety of sources and making use of psychologist Howard Gruber's insights into the nature of the creative process, Joss, A Creative Portrait offers the first intellectual biography of Whedon, tracking his career arc from activated fan boy to film studies major, third generation television writer, successful script doctor, innovative television auteur, beloved cult icon, sought-after collaborator, and major filmmaker with Marvel's The Avengers. Film and television scholar and Whedon expert David Lavery traces Whedon's multi-faceted magic from its source - the early influences of parents and teachers, comics, books, movies, collaborators - to its artistic incarnation.
David Lavery is Chair in Film and TV at Brunel University. He is co-editor of the online journal 'Slayage' (on the "Whedonverse"), and a founding editor of 'Critical Studies in Television' journal. His many books on US TV drama today include 'Reading "The Sopranos'" and 'Reading "Deadwood'", both from I.B. Tauris, as well as volumes on 'X-Files', 'Heroes', 'Lost', 'Seinfeld' and 'Twin Peaks'.
Contents List of Illustrations vi Acknowledgements vii Preface 1 Prologue 10 Part I - The Journey 1. 'Light of Mine Eyes and Harvest of My Heart' 23 2. 'She Had Known Ruptures, She Had Known the Whole' 31 3, 'The Shadow of Stone' 56 4. 'I Will Dedicate This Year to You' 77 Part II -Arrival 5. 'On the Edge of Important Things' 107 6. 'Father, Think!' 125 7. 'To Make Kings, to Invent Kingdoms' 143 8. 'A Tower of Strength and Wisdom' 174 9. 'We had awakened and Become a Nation' 202 Part III - Departures 10. 'Dust...' 211 11. 'Flood...' 224 Epilogue 245 Afterword 251 Notes 257 Selected Bibliography 294 Index 303