20 January 2015 @ 03:24 am
buffyversetop5 is now closed. Thanks so much for everyone's contributions, this has been a wonderful selection of the very best of 2014.

buffyversetop5 will reopen on October 29th for its Classic Recs session, where anything missed in the 2014 session, as well as all other time periods, will be eligible for posting.
Five banners that are works of art in their own right (by other talented fan artists) in no particular order. The banners shown here are ones I admired and have influenced me as an artist whether or not I participated in the individual challenges. Check out the banners AND the winning icons that adorn them at the links below:

[This way to the rec list]By comlodge:

Challenge 22 "A Room Full of Empty" (April)

Challenge 26 "The Same...but Different" (July)

Challenge 36 "Ye Olde Vampyre Gang" (December)

Janice's banners are very specific to the individual challenge themes and have a particular theatrical quality to them, a mise en scene suggestive of stage sets. Challenge 22 is moody and atmospheric; 26 and 36's banners are lush, densely layered, evocative of Victorian drawing rooms and vintage photographs gently fading in an attic trunk. I love her fearless use of textures to "degrade" the images in beautiful ways.

By tempertemper:

Challenge 32 "It Takes Two to Tango" (October)

Challenge 35 "Least Favorite Eps" (November)

Challenge 32's banners are typical of what I think of when I think of Temper's "style" (also typified by her own first place winning icon): warm, soft and inviting glow, muted color palatte. #35's are entirely different; each banner is carefully and precisely coordinanted to the individual icons in terms of colors, and textures so that they seem to be organic extensions of the icons themselves. Manage to be both eye-popping and understated at the same time. The banner for rua1412's first place winner is particularly stunning.

Bonus by starry_night

Challenge 23 "Simplicity, It Works for Me" (May)

I am color-matching's bitch. No apologies. Deal with it, kids. The background starry chose resembles a watercolor painting in the rain, soaking the paper. "Pastels" are difficult to pull off without being too-sweet but these hit the spot, matched to their respective icons; while a subtle mix of fonts keeps things interesting without pulling focus..
19 January 2015 @ 10:19 pm
This round of Buffyverse Top 5 just wouldn't be complete without:

[You do want to know, don"t you?]

Conclusive Etymology of a Summers by clockwork_hart1 (Lucy). I love this story so much it inspired my very first fanfiction poster for another author. One of my favorite Buffy character studies, delicately etched and sympathetically observed. When it comes to Buffy Summers and the Summers sisters, Lucy owns my soul: She loved to watch her sister write. As Dawn scribbled and scrawled her soul down into books, she knew that the monks had given her a gift.

Civilian by velvetwhip (WIllow, Riley, mentions of Willow/Tara, Willow/Kennedy, Buffy/Riley and Riley/Sam, canon-compliant post-series)  A story aching with regret in every word as a chance encounter brings the terrible weight of memory crashing down about WIllow's ears. One of the best, most devastating endings of any fic I've read this year; packs an incredible wallop. If it doesn't hit you in the gut, we may need to check you for a pulse. There’s a story there and a painful one, but she’s not one to go poking at wounds to watch them bleed, so she puts a solicitous hand on his arm.

Three Coins in a Fountain by rahirah (POM-verse; Buffy/Spike, the Immortal; POM/Barbsverse). She stood, five foot two of righteous Slayer fury, and the Immortal actually took a step backwards. Told you she was out of your league, mate. This one is so much fun -  60-something Buffy  and Spike Summers-Pratt are given an assignment by the Immortal to fetch some rare coins. There are...complications. This was one of the fics that made it safe for me to be a Spuffy shipper again this year. I love that our heros are older, a little plumper, comfortable in their fuller bodies, still fully sensual and sexual beings; still as snarky, sarcastic and witty as ever. And chapter 1 inspired a very meta conversation between Barb and quinara re: Buffy and Spike's late seasons body issues and representation; how cool is that? Chapter 2; Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

PIece of Cake by spuffy_luvr; (Buffy/Spike, Buffy/Angel, Drusilla, Willow, Faith; mentions of Spike/Drusilla, and Angel/Dru). Lorelei's return to writing btvs fanfiction was one of the happiest events of the year, IMO.  If you haven't checked out her fag_ends ficlets, let shapinglight's rec list get you started. Piece of Cake was the winner of Best NC-17 at the last Round of Sunnydale Memorial fanfiction awards, deservedly so.  I don't read porn. I don't read NC-17. I sure as heck don't read all-human AU fics except...if anyone can get me to read one, it's spuffy_luvr. Superb characterization, sex that is genuinely sexy but she pulls no punches on issues of non-consent. My favorite chapters are actually the two featuring Willow, who is beautifully drawn here in a supporting role; she's becoming a Willow-writer to watch.

And finally one more from kwritten: taxes? - also complete here on AO3 (Buffy/Tara, Anya, Olivia, Dawn, AU S6) The remaining piece of the Finding a Balance B/T 'verse (more, please?) written for kikimay's prompt: taxes, Buffy S6 AU. Because I'm curious to see what you would do if you were Marti Noxon. This is the fic that opened up the Buffy/Tara, Dawn 'verse to the other ladies and introduced Olivia to it, which makes even richer. Anya gets to be the true hero, working on Buffy's taxes post-resurrection as she should have in the series, and negotiating with the WC on Buffy's behalf. A gem.
19 January 2015 @ 03:25 pm
I've already focused on some of kwritten's Buffy/Tara fics in my last rec post; here's more by various authors focusing on Tara herself rather than as half of a ship:

[Spoiler (click to open)]
The Real You by brutti_ma_buoni (Tara, Dawn, mentions of Buffy and ensemble, S5-S6?); for eilowyn: Tara spends some time, that summer, trying to work out when Dawn became. Too few fics explore Tara's relationship with Dawn but also Tara's skill as a witch in her own right. This fills a need; satisfying and poignant.

Filling Holes by foxstarreh (Tara, implied W/T, canon-compliant S6, post-Once More With Feeling) There's this hole in her head.

Her Own also by foxstarreh (Tara, implied W/T, canon-compliant S6, between Tabula Rasa and Smashed.) Tara moves out of Revello and back to campus. Some of Tara's things are Willow's and she leaves those behind. Both of Fox's drabbles are incredibly haunting.

The Things You Find in Vending Machines by the ininimitable velvetwhip (Tara, Buffy, canon-compliant S4, post-New Moon Rising). This was written as a gift to me in return for the banner I'd made for her amazing fic "Soft and Pink and Very Sad"  ; a deleted scene that reminds me how hungry I am for more Buffy and Tara friendship scenes. Oh great. Not only is Buffy officially a dork, but Tara looks like a deer caught in the headlights, so now Buffy feels guilty… and still wigged out.

Eagles on the Wind by kerkevik_2014 (Tara/ Faith, post-series) Another gift for me; sly, sensual, confident Tara taking the lead with a Slayer whose cocky attitude doesn't mask her nerves or her fear of intimacy? YES, PLEASE.
"Aren't we gonna screw?"   /
Tara tutted at Faith; slowly undoing the buttons on her new wife's dress.

This could and should be a list of ten or fifteen of kwritten (Kelsey)'s fics, but alas, choices must be made.

[Fic recs this way, not to be missed]

oh you're here, too? (Buffy, Anya, Willow, Dawn/Faith) Already on the shortlist of my favorite post-Chosen fics, and unique in Anya's key role as the women of the 'verse "redefine 'adulthood' and all that implies".

slipping right down (Buffy/Tara, Dawn/Allison Argent) The second part of Kelsey's blurring the lines series inspired by my Buffy/Tara fic rec post from one year ago; Kelsey's summary Buffy's memories continue to blur between realities and Tara searches for a cure doesn't come close to capturing the raw power of this story. Bonus: Dawn is the protagonist of  part 3, faces in the mirror.

finding a balance (Buffy/Tara, AU season 4; also on AO3); a retelling of "Hush".  Kelsey created a second Buffy/Tara series that seems at first to intersect with Blurring the Lines but is in fact a separate 'verse and the polar opposite of BtL - warm, domestic, nurturing "fix it fics" of the very highest order in which the women of the 'verse struggle to support one another and more often than not, get it right.

The other parts of the finding a balance verse are not easy to find but they're worth seeking out because each story in the series gets better and better:

part 2: her bark is worse than her bite (Buffy/Tara, Dawn, AU S6/7) written for my
prompt: thunder/courage; tara being as flawed and human, not a golden goddess of perfect wisdom and forgiveness; keyverse okay.

part 3: what you want and what you get (Oliva, Buffy/Tara, Dawn, Anya, Sam, Sunggyu*, Giles; AU S6) Another gift for me from my prompt Buffy, Olivia, a decent meal; I told Kelsey this year that I had envisioned a scene of Olivia comforting Buffy in a kitchen sometime vaguely S6 or post series, making sure Buffy ate a meal and ending up consoling a still grieving Slayer; but I had no idea how to write it and asked her if she would tackle it instead. The result is a thousand times better than anything I could have hoped to come up with: Olivia Williams never wanted children. She definitely didn’t want a whole household of traumatized teenagers incapable of even asking for help because they no longer knew how.

Bonus: aftershock (Joyce, Buffy, Faith, Dawn, mention of Giles; AU-Helpless, Keyverse compliant) another fill of one of my October meme prompts, for Joyce, Buffy, Dawn, post-Helpless or Gingerbread. The women of the 'verse come together to aid Buffy and rescue Joyce from Kralik. Joyce does a little rescuing of her own; Giles proves himself to be quite useless. More lovely domesticitity as only Kelsey knows how to write it.

19 January 2015 @ 08:47 pm
Some last year's WIPs that I enjoyed (and hope to enjoy more).

In a Corner of My Soul by dragonyphoenix (Ensemble, Giles-centric, PG-13). Giles as the Big Bad of Season 1. Perfectly believable "what if", beautifully intertwining with canon events.

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19 January 2015 @ 09:50 am
Some of my fave Spike, Willow and Spillow art work from this year.

Some nudity but nothing shocking. Enjoy!

In no particular order

1. Spillow by blondebitz

2. Willow by emmatheslayer

3. Spike by chasingdemons

4. And two Spike's by comlodge


In a mad rush to offer one more list before time runs out, I am offering up five stories which have nothing in common except for the fact that I really like them. Hope that's good enough.


1) These Five Words I Swear to You (Spike/Joyce) by angelskuuipo: Okay, I have to admit that I'm a big Joyce fan and I love seeing stories where she gets to take center stage. This? This is a crackerjack tale of Joyce being the center of Spike's attention at the best possible time. If you're looking for something that will bring happy tears to your eyes, this is your story. It's fabulous!

The rest of the storiesCollapse )
18 January 2015 @ 06:47 pm
My final post from the sb_fag_ends Edgar Allen Poe Halloween Challenge. Sorry if all my posts to the comm this year have been a bit same-y, but my fandom time in 2014 was very limited. Also, it would be wrong not to rec some of the other contributors to the challenge, all of whom were absolutely brilliant.

Enjoy. Then go and seek out their other ficlets and read those too.

"..." by thisficklemob. PG. A silence demon targets the Scoobies in season 7. 349 words. For the prompt: Silence.

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Some favorite vampire stories from the past year, arranged from longest to shortest.

The Perfect Present by shapinglight (Spike/Drusilla, Angelus/Darla, PG-13). Murders and presents: a perfect Christmas celebration, Fanged Four-style.

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17 January 2015 @ 07:15 pm
Favorite lighthearted fic from past year, in order from shortest to longest.

Just Plain Evil by hello_spikey (Spike, Miss Kitty Fantastico, PG-13). Where everybody, including Tara, are doing very very very evil things.

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16 January 2015 @ 09:33 pm
And more of my favorite meta from the past year.

The trouble with insiders series by kwritten. Deep multi-chaptered analysis of several Buffy characters through "Insiders vs. Outsiders" scope. Consists of: 1: The heroic outsider, 2: Dawn and outsider knowledge and
3: Xander and the gap of lack.

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Five more memorable ficlets from the sb_fag_ends Edgar Allen Poe titles Halloween challenge, this time all written by spuffy_luvr, each one of them, like in my previous post, beautifully, imaginatively written.

Don't you love it when fic writers make you see familiar things in a new light?


The Soul of the Plot. Spike's POV in Beneath You. PG. 400 words. For the prompt: Ligeia (by way of The Conqueror Worm).

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2014's Edgar Allen Poe titles Halloween Challenge on sb_fag_ends resulted in a huge creative surge on the comm. Some really wonderful ficlets and drabbles were posted, and some didn't (IMO) get nearly as much feedback as they deserved.

No knowledge of Poe's work is required to appreciate them.

Here are five by drizzlydaze, and believe me it was really hard to pick just five.

All rated PG.

Life. Set during the BtVS season 5/6 hiatus. 266 words. For the prompt: Ligeia.

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15 January 2015 @ 07:35 pm
Hope on Fire by shinyjenni (Buffy). Amazing Buffy-centric slayers vid. If only Buffy could show it to the Potentials instead of all those season 7 speeches.

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14 January 2015 @ 07:22 pm
Some favorite complete longfics from the past years.
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Gently Down the Stream by shadowscast (Ensemble, with some Buffy/Spike, PG-13). Here's Buffy's life in a nutshell: dead mom, dead-beat dad, dead end job, dependent sister. She's pulling double shifts at the Double Meat Palace to make ends meet.
And yet, she's actually pretty happy! She's got supportive friends and a sexy English boyfriend. Her life is full of love, and frankly after that accident last year and the coma, she's grateful just to be alive.
Oh, and the main point - it's NOT all-human AU.

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It was so hard to choose just 5. I'm about as artistic as a pot noodle so I have an extra appreciation for all those who are able to produce works of fan art.

In no particular order (all work safe)

I have two by comlodge they're a variation on the same picture but I couldn't decide which one I liked best so I've put the two up.
(Spike/Dru) More Christmas Cheer

Second Spike/Dru

I loved this peice by futterwackens Willow as Elphaba from Wicked

okdeanna Lovely bit of Spike/Angel over at bad_swa (adult based community)
Dark & Twisted

This one really made me smile, it was such a unique idea. There are three parts altogether so do check them all out!
rbfvid Buffy characters as cats
Includes: Spike, Angel, Buffy, Cordy & Willow
13 January 2015 @ 04:12 pm
Some favorite Faith-centric shortfic from the past year.

The Replacement (Faith, Spike, PG-13) by hello_spikey. Post-Gift AU, where Faith is brought to Sunnydale as a replacement slayer. The story sticks as close to canon as it is possible (well, except for bringing back Lydia the Watcher), especially when it comes to Faith's reaction on being a replacement.

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12 January 2015 @ 08:12 pm
Some favorite fanart drawings from the past year.
Click either on the links or on the thumbnails to get to full-size images.
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12 January 2015 @ 05:05 am
In no particular order...

Title: Happy Xmas (War is over)
Author: Seraphcelene
Rating: Mature
Summary:"Against the tide we struggle with the skin we're in." Dawn, after.
Why I chose it: The characterization of Dawn is so much more than what was explored in cannon. Dawn has never been a character I particularly like, but this made me sympathize with her. It's also BAngel friendly.

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10 January 2015 @ 06:59 pm
Favorite dark or angsty videos from the last year.

Bad Moon Rising by Robins Revenge (Ensemble). BtVS horror vid. Great reminder that sometimes this show was very scary.
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09 January 2015 @ 01:56 pm
Some episode-related meta from the past year.

Lie to Me by gillo. Despite the title, it's “Lies My Parents Told Me” meta, and it's brilliant.
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08 January 2015 @ 07:03 pm
Some favorite angsty shortfics from the past year.
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Diner at the end of the apocalypse (Spike, Willow, Wesley, PG) by lilithbint. A witch, a watcher and a vampire meet in a diner, and - as you already guess - this isn't a funny story...
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08 January 2015 @ 10:37 am
I Belong to You by restfield. After so many years of fanworks it's not often one comes across something truly different but a video of Angel/Buffy/Mr. Gordo? That qualifies :D

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07 January 2015 @ 03:45 pm
Fics that surprised me with some unusual take on the pairing.
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Good Work Team by brutti_ma_buoni (Buffy/Spike, PG-13). What if Out Of My Mind never happened? What if Spike didn’t love (or didn’t realise he loved) Buffy?
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06 January 2015 @ 11:20 am
Some amazing buffyverse cosplay from the past year.
Click either on the links or on the thumbnails to get to the full photosets.

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06 January 2015 @ 01:49 am
Dead Girls' Party by Erimthar (Post-series - Tara, Cordelia, Anya)
In the Buffyverse, being dead doesn't mean you don't have important work to do. Ever wonder why vampires don't simply kill Slayers in their sleep? This is why.

Four moreCollapse )
06 January 2015 @ 01:45 am
A Half-Formed Thing by brutti_ma_buoni (Willow/Tara)
There's probably dozens of fics on the the topic "What if character X got split in two in 'The Replacement'", but this one is excellent - picking Willow apart, the good and the bad sprinkled liberally all over, refusing to pretend that either half is expendable.

Four moreCollapse )
05 January 2015 @ 05:05 pm
These are some thought-provoking Xander meta that I have enjoyed from 2014.

2014 Xander MetaCollapse )
05 January 2015 @ 09:40 am
Some favorite Spike drawings from 2014.
Click either on the links or on the thumbnails to get to full-size images.
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04 January 2015 @ 04:46 pm
Five random fics from 2014 that have no real connection other than that they stayed in my head after I'd read them...

baudown has been a very welcome addition to our fandom over the last few years. She has a wonderful command of character and language and a new story from her always makes my day. Basement, 1999 is a lovely slice of Spike, Xander pre-slash in which Spike realises that just because he has a chip doesn’t mean he can’t torture Xander just a little. I really wish she’d write more in this ‘verse.

And the rest...Collapse )
04 January 2015 @ 06:13 am
Some favorite year 2014 stories that - in one way or another - are about point of view. (Or at least I consider them to be.)
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Illusions (Angel, Spike, OC, PG-13) by ash_carpenter. Brilliant outsider POV story, showing that in Sunnydale getting it almost right is never enough. (And you read it right - ash wrote PG-13 gen story, her hand slipped.)
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03 January 2015 @ 05:00 pm
I've come across some great BTVS & Angel fanvids over the years and this year has been no exception for some great videos. It's hard to chose just 5.

My top 5 include:
Spike alone
Team Angel (season 5) Mostly features Spike.

Top 5 VidsCollapse )
03 January 2015 @ 04:02 pm
Hi, guys! I'm here too and this is a post about my TOP 5 Buffy icons.

But do you know how difficult it is to make a post about favorite icons and actually pick just 5 of them? I have SO MANY! So I tried to use a criterion to facilitate my task: all these icons are about the ladies in the Buffyverse - especially Buffy herself and Dawn - and the dominant color is pink. The great thing about this choice is that it allows me to eventually make more posts (Favorite icons in Black, in Red and so on) and share all my love for these awesome and mini works of genius.

(The order is not about best or less best, it's just to facilitate myself)

IMPORTANT! EDIT: I forgot about the rules - because I'm actually the worst - so I'm making some edits with other choices. All icons totally made in 2014.

TOP Buffy pink icons of DOOM - 2nd versionCollapse )
03 January 2015 @ 01:15 pm
Some favorite LJ fanart from the past year (or probably, "favorite non-Spike fanart" would be more correct).
Click either on the links or on the thumbnails to get to full-size images.

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03 January 2015 @ 03:29 am
Hello all! I'm really grateful for all the great recs in this community, so it's high time for my first attempt at returning the favour. Here are my Top 5 favourite dark/dramatic vids from 2014.

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02 January 2015 @ 04:50 pm
I haven't really read a lot of BtVS fics this year, but these five stood out for me. :)

2014 FicsCollapse )
02 January 2015 @ 10:55 am
Some favorite gen short stories from 2014 (and the hardest part here was to chose just 5).
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Building Character by beer_good_foamy (Ensemble, PG-13). Unusual version of "Buffy came back wrong" and at the same time - genial meta-story about writing fanfiction. In order to fix Buffy scoobies are "rewriting" her backstory.
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01 January 2015 @ 03:55 pm
I think we all know I have a taste for angst and these are 5 fics which really whet my appetite last year:

1) Red Frame, White Light (Spike, Xander) by sparrow2000 - If you're looking for something subtle and insidious that will leave you shuddering long after the last word is read, then there's nothing better than this little encounter between Spike and Xander in Season 7. This is a stunner, an absolute stunner, filled with the kind of imagery that takes hold and doesn't let go. Sparrow's use of language, as always, elevates fanfiction to art.

The Next 4 StoriesCollapse )
After last year's Top 5, I decided I'd keep track of stories I liked so I'd have tons of choices when making my list. I October, when I was going through my list of fanfic faves, I found I had enough for one set of five stories written in 2015. Since then I've come up with another seven. I have to conclude I could have been paying better attention in the earlier part of 2014. For example, I just reread aadler's Maxima Culpa, and that totally would have been on my rec list if I'd been paying more attention.

1) Rahirah's Black Friday. I personally can't imagine shopping on Black Friday but Spike and Buffy do seem made for it.

The other four stories have a hand raised and are calling out "Oh, oh, Mr. Kotter. Mr. Kotter."Collapse )
Top 5 stories for this year that I put together when I was organizing stories for the previous years:

Aftershock by kwritten. Helpless AU with Dawn. Yes! It's the we are all powerful together story.

the rest of the stories are patiently waiting for the New Year"s party to startCollapse )
01 January 2015 @ 05:22 am
Five short stories that made me smile.
Any bad English in summaries is mine and shouldn't be blamed on fic authors.

Dark and Fruity... And all mine! (Giles, Buffy/Spike, PG-13) by quinara where is some passionate claiming, but not of the kind you are used to see in a spuffy fic.
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31 December 2014 @ 05:20 pm
Happy New Year! The 2014 session of Top 5 is now open for recs of any fan-created Buffyverse works either started or continued during the past year.

The Top 5 session will run through January 19th. Your mods are yourlibrarian and petzipellepingo. If you have any questions, leave them here or take a look at our posting guidelines.
04 December 2014 @ 06:06 pm
At month's end buffyversetop5 reopens for its 2014 session. Recs to any and all types of fan-created Buffyverse works are eligible so long as they were created or continued in 2014.

Gifting your fellow fans some lovely items to start the coming year with is a great way to celebrate the holiday season, and spread a little cheer to all those wonderful writers, artists, vidders, mods, and more who have given you something to smile (or maybe cry) about during 2014. So after all the eating, drinking, and general merrymaking is done, don't forget about the Buffyverse :) We'll be opening at midnight GMT on January 1st (6 PM on the 31st in the U.S.) and will remain open through midnight UTC on January 19th.

If you want to help spread the news, several artists have made us some starter treats to entice friends to the party. If you have any questions about the session, ask them here!