How to treat fans well, with actor David Boreanaz.

After a long weekend at Supanova, an Australian Comics, Film, Games, and Anime expo, One of the standout moments was a QandA panel with actor David Boreanaz. This post is a summary of how David Boreanaz interacted and treated fans. He treated fans well, and some of his choices stand up as good ways to treat fans.

He invited a young fan and her mum onstage, to sit on the celebrity couch.

This young fan was happy to sit and play on her mum’s phone, but did not want to interact with Boreanaz. Neither did she want to accept any chocolate from him. No doubt, she is a smart fan.

This was impressive since there is some danger in audience participation, regardless of the context in any theatre. It’s impressive that he could put a young fan under the age of 5 at ease for an hour long panel. His did not condescend, speaking across to the audience, and to her. I think this worked toward a calming atmosphere.

He insisted that one fan call her mum, who is avid fan not able to reach Supanova, and spoke to her through the phone and microphone. Her disbelief and shock was enormous.

Another risk an actor could take at a convention is allowing outside calls into a Q and A session. With some charm (and boldly inviting himself to dinner) Boreanaz chatted through the phone, putting his fan at ease. Openness in the face of risk, and willingness to be truthful and transparent with what he felt and wanted in the moment came across in this part of the Q and A.

He was open and honest, and standing up for his experience and opinions working through controversial moments in the Bones and Angel

Without spoilers, many fans expressed varied emotional reactions to the endings of several, final episodes. In response, Boreanaz sympathised briefly with fans, but also expressed his enthusiasm for change, for new characters, for growth, and development. This could become controversial easily, but Boreanaz was diplomatic in standing up for his experience and opinions.

For example, when challenged about acting in Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the content of the show described by one fan as “teeny, pop-stuff” (while the audience groaned in protest) Boreanaz replied by asking “What would Joss Whedon think?”.

With Whedon’s reputation as a writer, who delves into deeper character recesses, there is an argument against the Buffy as a superficial, fizzy and flashy show. Think back to Loki and Black Widow’s exchange in The Avengers movie, or the deeper themes of abandonment in the first Toy Story film. Boreanaz is informed about the wider context of Whedon’s work. He can defend their collaborations.

The level of openness, honesty, respect, but also confidence and diplomacy, came across throughout the panel. When asking about Tim Tams, the audience threw the biscuits to Boreanaz. They must have enjoyed the panel.

You can find more film related content here, and you can follow me, Joe, on twitter @thewallflyer.

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Comics Review – Willow: Wonderland #3 and #4.

Willow Rosenberg – the gifted magic-user, and best fried of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – continues her quested to restore the Earth’s lost magic. Jeff Parker and Christos Gage write Wonderland: a story about good, evil, and addictions.

Willow: Wonderland #3 and #4

To start with the artwork, Michelle Madsen provides a broad and impressive range of colour throughout both issues of the comic. For example, Willow travels through seemingly empty and lifeless wastelands. It would be straightforward to depict these barren locations in similar colours. Madsen, however, gives the impression of completely different settings with gold, yellow, and burnt-out orange. Willow travels to a variety of locales, and a coral reef is coloured in lively shades of greens, pinks, and blues. A magical and whimsical atmosphere is strengthened and expanded as a result of her work across both issues.

Brian Ching’s pencils show diversity – in issue #3, a tiny and adorable octopus with “Chibi” shaped bodies emerge from an endless ocean, and merge into a terrifying, giant octopus with a furrowed brow. In issue #4, the entire cast of Buffy appear as Willow has a shocking revelation. Ching captures distinctly each of the characters from Joss Whedon’s entire run on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s an impressive, full page artwork.

Willow’s quest is also evolving into a journey of self discovery. She understands that “There is no light Willow, and no Dark Willow: There’s just Willow”, which is a major change for a character who constantly feels fear of losing control, and transforming into a fractured, dark version of herself dubbed “Scary Veiny Willow”. Both issues are an interesting meditation on good and evil aspects.

Willow: Wonderland #3 is published by Dark Horse Comics.

Addiction has also been a key part of Willow’s life since Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 aired back in 2001 and 2002. Willow’s own struggles with an addiction to magic are brought back without the feeling that the comic is preaching to the audience.

Russell Brand wrote extensively on addiction following the death of singer Amy Winehouse. he said that “The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.” Sadly, an old flame – Willow’s former teacher, a tricky snake-woman named Aluwyn – plays on Willow’s current turmoil and stress, offering relief and comfort as a means to spark-up a new relationship. Willow is described as a “first-class problem solver”, however, and there is more that a good chance she will overcoming these challenges. Another fun addition is seeing Willow wielding the Scythe – a poweful weapon with a unique design.

Willow: Wonderland #4 is published by Dark Horse Comics.

Weekly Comics – August 24 2012. Three Independents.

I had a two week break, unannounced (sorry about that), and I have a shorter, special post this week, with three comics from independent publishers Dark Horse, Kaboom!, and Image.

Adventure Time #7

I could not praise this issue enough – I enjoy the animated series, and had a great experience reading the comic book adaptation. The character voices, written by Ryan North, effortlessly capture the sound of Adventure Times language, which is fairly unique. The plot basically centres around time travel: Jake and Finn are attempting to repair a time machine built be Princess Bubblegum, but are thrown decades into the future as a result 0f their efforts. The Scenes in the future are my favorite. Shelly Paroline and Braden Lamb produce some energetic and fun art. An altogether engaging comic that draws the reader in with its accessible and bright design, and then doesn’t let go as the adventure continues.

America’s Got Powers #2

A very sharp and clever story about a young American with superpowers living in a world separated into “Powers” and “Normals”. This issue deals with the aftermath of the issue #1, and Tommy Watts, the protagonist, has a decision to make about his future: will he fight in an arena against other super powered teens for a popular reality television show? Bryan Hitch’s art has clean, strong lines: it’s always a high standard of comic art, and America’s Got Powers is filled with good designs for characters and places in this original world. This is a great super hero comic for readers looking for a good series without having to research continuity to understand the story. Jonathan Ross writes strong character relationships between Tommy Watts and his family in addition to a love interest – Debbie, who has an insect-like appearance with “cute mandibles“. It does seem similar to the Hunger Games, but the comic ties itself to many popular culture influences including X-men, Heroes, and Rising Stars.

Angel & Faith #12

The story of Joss Whedon’s Legendary Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to expand as writer Christos Gage crafts a new story for popular spin-off character Angel and the rouge slayer Faith. Willow, the powerful witch, and Connor, Angel’s son (Both characters have interesting histories), join Angel and Faith on an important quest: part of their goal is to help Willow regain magical powers. Rebekah Isaacs draws superior facial expressions on the characters, with great lighting considering the characters are exploring the hellish and gloomy Quor’toth in search of magic. This plot stems from the stories of the television series, followed by season 8: a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic. Both are worth watching and reading. They are endlessly entertaining, smart, and woven together with Whedon’s own sense of humor.