How do I get a project idea to Joss?

It’s not a script. It’s not an endearing look at feminism expressed through a story about Buffy-slash-Faith. It’s not even Eliza Dushku and Jewel Staite making out with that hunky Baldwin boy. It’s just a happy synergy that would be good for all the parties involved. It’s a comics project related to Serenity.

Joss has been doing comics as a side project for a while now: Fray and the recent X-Men are the ones I’ve read. He’s great at sparkling dialogue, interesting character situations, and wringing emotion from his characters. Humor is also used, often to demonstrate the closeness of character relationships (HEY - not that kind of closeness).

The guys at Penny Arcade have been doing one-shot comics for a while now. Typically, a game designer will commission a short comic (like their Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow series) which will be posted, in installments, on the game’s official website. This generates “buzz” for the game, clicks for the website, and so forth. Gabe & Tycho get some great exposure, too. Recently, their news post referred to some sketches of Gabe’s where he’s been drawing cowboys for a post-apocalyptic Western thing.

Gabe and Tycho were easy enough to send e-mail to. But how do I run my idea past Joss? I mean, seriously, all I need him to hear or read is the phrase

“Short form Serenity comic with Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade”

and I’ll be happy that I managed to get his ear for a moment. Of course, with all the Joss fans out there, he’s probably inundated with project ideas, most of which get rejected out of hand. So who do I contact?

I can only gibe you a general reply, not something specific for Wheadon.

Many people in the industry will not acknowledge or receive unsolicited material. Too many lawsuits, you see. You’d get the stuff bounced back with a warning ("We do not accept… blablittetyblah) and a form letter. You might notice that none of the production companies behind BtVS have a website, and I’m sure there is a very good reason for that too.

If we can find anyone of our resident legal beagles, like Bricker, who happens to be a BtVS fan, they might clear things up further.

If you seriously want to do stuff, you’d need an agent, who in turn can negotiate for JW to look at your stuff, no strings attached. But as I understand it from your post, you’re not in it at that high a level.

I learned this the hard way, 16 years old, when I became a SW fanboy, back in '77, and wrote Lucasfilm about ideas for the upcoming 2nd installment (the first was not yet ep.4), and I got a rude letter back. Of course, this took a weeks, since everything went snailmail in those days (can you believe it?).

From what I gather though, this isn’t a story idea – it’s not anything that can be ripped off. It’s simply a suggestion for the artists to collaborate. All you’re saying is, Joss probably has more Firefly stories to be told, and Gabe likes to draw space cowboys.

I would say your best bet is to get some fan support behind you – post the idea on, or maybe Firefly: Immediate Assistance. These are the guys who took out a full page ad in Variety to save the show, and the tenacious and vocal nature of the fan community played a big part in getting Serenity greenlit. Also, quite a few members of the cast post at, so the idea could spread that way. All you really need is for one party’s “people” to get interested enough to talk to the other parties “people,” right? It’s not a proprietary thing. It’s not about “your” idea.

Get the Browncoats on your side. They love long odds anyway.

Also, for some reason I’m thinking the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund might be a good group to contact. It’s A:) full of lawyers, and B:) maybe the resulting comic can benefit them, as well. And the artists involved might be more interested in doing it if it’s for a worthy cause. (Not that making the Firefly movie a smash hit is in any way unworthy cause, I’m just saying.)

Ruttin’ automatic-type smilies. My post looks like go se now.

At least that’s better than goatse.

Actually, from what I know, Joss Whedon is easy to contact, and might be willing to at least listen to what you have to say. About a year ago, a friend of mine (a HUGE Joss fan) wrote a fanscript for a stage adaptaption of the Buffy episode “Once More with Feeling.” He wanted to produce it at our college’s theatre, which him and I were both active in, and so he contacted Joss to see if he could get the rights to do so (I don’t know how he got his contact info.) Well, Joss Whedon actually called my friend back and spoke with him on the phone for a good while about how he liked the idea, but that 20th Century Fox owned the rights to Buffy, not him.

So while it might be easy to get a hold of Joss and have him say yes, Fox may well indeed own all rights to Firefly and they won’t acknowledge your existance without several lawyers and an agent or two, I’m sure.

I’ll have to second Gaspode here and say send it in through your agent. If you don’t have an agent, you mighty not be high enough in the food chanin to attract the interest of anyone who can make this happen.

All the cool jobs have barriers to entry, and writing for Mutant Enemy is a cool job.

Okay, as much as I would love to actually work for and write for Mutant Enemy, Jenny Haniver nailed it: I don’t want to write anything! I just want to bring together two great creative forces. I don’t want any credit, any recognition, any anything – I would just like for Joss, Gabe, and Tycho to be aware of each other’s talents and consider a project together.

IMDBpro has his contact information, so it’s possible he got it from them.

From the Firefly Fans site: