Dec 13 2010

Hush, The Gentlemen, the thorough and graphic research of Rupert Giles, and my love of Joss Whedon

Hush, interior of handbound Buffy journal

Giles' depiction of The Gentlemen's modus operandi

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my all time favorite television show. I have seen every episode more times than I’m going to say. There are a handful of episodes that I’ve seen twice as many times as the number of times that I’m not going to say. HUSH is one of those episodes. I love HUSH. I love it as a stand-alone piece, for the part it plays in the fourth season arc, and because of the reasoning Joss Whedon gave for making it.   There is something so intimate about the silence in this episode, too.

Hush, cover pages/overhead transparencies

I made versions of each and every one of Giles' slides, including one for when Giles started the presentation backwards

Hush, Buffy handbound journal

I tried to make the book so that to Buffy fans it was immediately and unmistakeably the box from Hush, while to the non-initiated it looks simply like an embellished journal.

When designing the books in the Buffy series, I knew I had to make a HUSH book. And if I was going to make a Hush book, I was going to use the scene with Giles in the classroom with the overhead projector. (All of a sudden I just pictured a Joss Whedon Clue™ boardgame — it was Giles in the classroom with the overhead projector!) Everybody gets a funny in that scene.  Xander at the mercy of his hormones, The Gentlemen are really after “boobies?”  Anya gets her former vengeance demon moment, as she looks nonchalantly at Giles’ depiction of the bloody removal of a human heart.  Willow gets to just be generally adorable as she pantomimes her brainstorm for logical solutions to the problem at hand, the manufacture of a voice.  Whedon even manages to make a masturbation joke (usually far too base for BtVS, that is, unless it’s Spike talking) seem clever, with Buffy frantically trying to find her stake to clarify her grossly misunderstood gesturing.  And then the beautifully executed moment where Buffy reacts to the proportion with which Giles’ drew her likeness – where we all get to laugh because Saving the World is such a commonplace event for Buffy and the Scoobies, that she still gets that moment. I had so much fun making this book.  And yeah, I watched the whole episode again, even though I just needed to do screen captures from one scene.  I hope it turned out to be a worthy tribute.

Then... The Gentleman, handbound Buffy journal

I love Anya's reaction to these particular slides... eating popcorn and oh so casually nodding as if to say "Yep, that's pretty much how you carve out someone's heart."

Hush, a Buffy journal

The weight of the world is on her shoulders, and as Giles shows the next slide, Buffy looks horrified, and then gestures to her oversized hips

The outside of the book is made to be a pretty literal nod to the metal trimmed wooden box that The Gentlemen use to store all of Sunnydale’s stolen voices. When you open the book, I did something a little different. Every signature has a cover page. Each cover page is made of translucent vellum and is one of Giles’ overhead transparencies from his presentation on his research of The Gentlemen. And I drew them, they aren’t photo copies, so there are some imperfections (really, I don’t draw.) Still, I think they’re pretty awesome. I have to say, every single time I look at these cover pages they make me laugh. This book took a LONG TIME to make. A REALLY LONG TIME. But it was really fun, the whole way through… a labor of (buffy/whedon) love.  I think I want to make another version of this journal and try to send it to Joss Whedon.  After all, Buffy’s birthday is coming up!  So, if anyone out there is reading this, and knows where one should send something intended for Master Whedon with a chance of it maybe actually getting to him, or even quite near to him, please leave me a comment or send me an email.  🙂