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The Joss Whedon-devoted site Whedonesque is a force far, far mightier than a fan site, as we've learned pretty much any time they link to us, or we annoy their many followers and get taken down for it. It's a big site with a lot of connections, including to Whedon himself, who deep down generally likes to just fancy himself a fan anyway. So it's a perfect place for Whedon-- currently the King of the World thanks to The Avengers-- to write a thoughtful, funny, very silly thank-you letter to his fans, all of whom are probably crowing to their friends "See, we told you he was good!"

The full text of the letter can be read at Whedonesque, but here are some of my favorite excerpts.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good -- change is exciting. I think -- not to jinx it -- that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of "the Avengers" gross, I can afford to buy... [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] ...a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of "Air Bud" that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn't change is anything that matters. What doesn't change is that I've had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of -- I'm not even gonna say fans. I'm going with "peeps" -- that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I've had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y'all. A lot of stories have come out about my "dark years", and how I'm "unrecognized"... I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I'm ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I've yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I've thought, "maybe I'm over; maybe I've said my piece". But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y'all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you're probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I'm an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You've taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go "I told you so", to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

RTA: I've seen a lot of a talk about "the Availers" vs "the Dark Knight Rises". How will you feel if you're eclipsed by Nolan?

JW: I'm glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let's look at the bigger picture, and I can't say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We're in the business of proving that superhero movies aren't just eye-candy (they're eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I'm proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan's Kirk Douglas, I think they're missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I'M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.

Please, please read the entire post-- it's well worth it, and a much bigger dose of Whedon's distinct humor than you get in The Avengers (note: that's a good thing). It's kind of remarkable that Whedon could carve out a chunk of time to write this at some point in the last 4 days, given that every moment since The Avengers opened overseas has probably been complete chaos for him. And though he's probably not just being self-deprecating when he says he's not making much from the grosses of The Avengers, he's surely got producers throwing their own money at him, meaning his dream project-- be it that Air Bud Jai-Alai movie or Serenity 2 or anything else-- is well within reach for the first time ever.

Basically, it's super cool that the biggest director on the planet took the time to write a long, funny letter to his fans, simply because he wanted to. That's the approachable attitude Whedon has always had, and it's how he endeared himself to people so quickly, on a personal level, and made them devoted fans for life. The reason he can joke that "'m discarding my old fans so I can concentrate on fame, Euro-trash guy-jewelry and my precious "Air Bud" reboot" is because it'll never happen, and the fans know it'll never happen. That honesty added to the fact that he made a truly spectacular blockbuster means Whedon doesn't just have his devoted fans, but millions more who are now happily joining the throng.

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