Joss Whedon is officially a mainstream name now, thanks to his writing and directing efforts on Marvel’s The Avengers – officially the #1 record holder for biggest opening weekend in movie history.

If you’re a geek (like us), then Whedon’s name is not a new thing; his work on shows like Firefly and Buffy, films like Serenity, and even smaller projects like the web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and the comic book Astonishing X-Men have made him a welcome face within the hallowed halls of Comic-Con for years now. (Remind me to tell you the story of how I stood next to him in line for a Glee panel a few years back.)

In light of all that has transpired since Avengers hit theaters, Whedon himself has written a letter to fans – ruminating on the journey already behind him, and that still ahead – in his usual witty, winking, Whedon way.

Here are some choice excerpts from Whedon’s open letter, which also touches on other subjects such as how Marvel’s tentpole film will fare against DC/WB and Chris Nolan’s upcoming Batman trilogy finale, The Dark Knight Rises:

Dear Friends,

Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.

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… Because of y’all. Because you knew me when… So this is me, saying thank you. All of you…. this [is] 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!

RDA: 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.

This is just a very small sample of Whedon’s full letter – which you can find on his site The longer version touches upon much, much, more –  including the following topics:

  • How he’ll stay grounded after such a big success.
  • If he’ll still focus on TV and independent projects
  • Some shrewd self-promotion for his film Cabin in the Woods and upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
  • The nicknames he hopes he doesn’t get stuck with.
  • Joking reference to the Air Bud reboot he hopes to make (not really).
  • More glowing praise for the fans who supported him all through the years.

Do yourself a favor if you’re a fan: read the letter in full.

At the very least, we can add that we, too, hope Whedon stays grounded in the geek persona that has made him an icon-on-the-rise; we need him to bring that same love, care, insight and fun to the recently-confirmed Avengers 2.

For longtime Whedon fans: are you worried now that the geek guru has gone mainstream?

Avengers and Cabin in the Woods are both currently in theaters.