One of the greatest things about Joss’s work is its intertextuality. It is constantly referencing and commenting upon other work. As a librarian, I (Kiba) find this immensely interesting. Add to that, people a lot of times like to know what kinds of things their favorite artists enjoy… So I’m working on putting together a list of media (comics, books, movies, etc) that Joss specifically references in interviews in a positive light, or refers to as influences or inspiration. This is an evolving list so please don’t consider it comprehensive or complete. Please note as well that some of these will be annotated further at a later date.
Spiderman – in particular, Ross Andru’s run on The Amazing Spider-Man, which includes issues #125-131, 133-149, 151-153, 156-180, 182-185 (1973–78); Giant-Size #1-5 (1974–75). You can find these in Essential Spider-Man Volumes 6, 7, and 8.
Daredevil – Frank Miller’s run, collected in Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Jansun Omnibus (see also Frank Miller’s other work for Marvel)
Preacher by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
Sin City by Frank Miller
X-Men – in particular, John Byrne’s run starting with Uncanny X-Men #108, which is collected in Essential X-Men Volumes 1 and 2. [Note from Kiba: Essential X-Men 1 & 2 were probably the first comics I ever read carefully. John Byrne and Chris Claremont worked on this run together and I tend to think of it as the Claremont run; this is when Kitty Pryde, my favorite comic book character, first appeared. I remember I was so excited reading Joss’s Astonishing X-Men because it felt like the Byrne/Claremont run in spirit somehow. If you like Astonishing, be sure to pick these up at your library or bookstore.]
Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
Top 10 by Alan Moore, Gene Ha, and Zander Cannon
Brian Michael Bendis
The Godfather Part II
The Empire Strikes Back[Note from Kiba: I think the message Joss is trying to send us here is that this will be an AWESOME sequel, not a lame sequel/prequel. More Empire, less Temple of Doom.]
Cannibal: The Musical [Note from Kiba: In an interview from June 2002, Joss confessed the he didn’t consume a lot of DVD extras due to time constraints or not wanting to have the illusion of the movie broken. He mentioned Cannibal as an exception to this. If you haven’t seen Cannibal, do; then watch with the commentary, in which Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and their friends get drunker and drunker. Cannibal is the source of the word “shpadoinkle,” which Xander utters in the Buffy episode, “The Gift.”]
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Star Wars Trilogy
Once Upon a Time in the West
The films of Alfred Hitchcock
Day of the Outlaw
Night of the Comet
Pirates of the Caribbean
Gangs of New York
The works of Charles Dickens.
The works of Ray Bradbury.
Abe by Richard Slotkin
Hill Street Blues
Law & Order
The West Wing
The X-Files (first 5 seasons in particular)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Batman: The Animated Series
The Electric Company
Without a Trace