I have been thinking about vaznetti
's post on crossovers
; I haven't made it through all the comments and it's entirely possible what I've been thinking has already been said there better. I find crossovers inherently unlikely, tending to the self-indulgent, easy to fantasize and difficult to write: which probably says more about me and how I configure the relationships between writing and self-indulgence than it does about fanfiction.
What makes crossovers hard for me is the world-building: both the logistics (Buffy
have mutually inconsistent species of vampires) and the symbolism and story-patterns. I need the symbolic structures of the universes to mesh and if they don't, I need to spend a lot of time working out how they could. Gravitation
just don't mesh; there are some character overlaps, but the stories are such different genres and have such different systems of symbolism (for example, Saiyuki
has a system of symbol and metaphor, and Gravitation
doesn't) that I couldn't even write a story, just a joke
, and even the joke had to take place in a third place that wasn't either series' base universe. Crossing over X
and Yami no Matsuei
was unexpectedly easy not because of the characters but because both series featured cherry blossoms, ponds, liminal spaces in dreams and water, fire, earthquake, hidden and/or unholy desire, self-sacrifice, self-destructiveness, and serial killers who are inexplicably fond of cherry trees.*
Anyway, I've been thinking about crossovers because people keep bringing up the Supernatural/Buffy
comparisons and it makes my head hurt. I mean, I can see the elements the shows supposedly have in common (and also Dean is Buffy! when he isn't Faith!), but the underlying schemas are just so different. Not even the cosmology, really, but the rules of narrative. In Buffy
the Winchesters would be villains** and in Angel
they'd be psychopaths. In Angel,
now that I think about it, John Winchester would be Daniel Holtz.
... I think that's why Sam/Connor at Stanford doesn't exactly work for me. Too incestuous.**** The other X/Yami no Matsuei crossover I thought about writing is the one where Hisoka enrolls undercover in the CLAMP Academy when trying to track down a murderer who's been killing pretty young teens under the sakura in Ueno Park, only to discover that it's Seishirou rather than Muraki. I'm telling you this because I have decided it is way too depressing for me to write. Though I do sometimes think wistfully of the very dysfunctional and very hot sex Hisoka and Kamui were going to have.
** Remember that werewolf hunter in S2? That's what the Winchesters would be. To certain extent, that's what they are; that's why one of the painful things about SPN is the extent to which it returns to generic conventions about the horror of Otherness that BtVS so thoroughly overturned. Which is why BtVS felt like fantasy (not all Otherness is horrific and triumph is not a return to the status quo) and why SPN may need to become less horror-like and more fantasy-like as it establishes a broader fictional universe. But maybe I just think so because I'm not very sympathetic to horror.
*** For fullest irony, I should follow up this post with a list of Sam/Dean stories I have liked, but I am too lazy at the moment.