“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Season 8

April 3rd, 2007

It’s a comic book.  Season 8, I mean.

Today’s U.K. Guardian tells us all about it.

 [ "Joss Whedon, the show's creator, has launched "season eight" of Buffy - not as a TV series, but as a comic. There have been other Buffy-related comics since the TV show finished, but this is "canon", the official Whedonesque version of events post-season seven. In America, the first instalment, from Dark Horse Comics, sold out in a matter of days." ]

After reading the description of this first installment of “Season 8″ this reader thought it sounded so dreadful that it is just as well the thing sold out and she shall never see it in this life.  If she’s good.  Not bad.

In other tenuously related Buffy news, Jane Epson, on her website, passes on the information that Danny Strong, who played Jonathan Levinson in the nerd trio that constituted Buffy’s Season 6 Big Bad, has sold a script to HBO.  The project is a movie about the 2000 U.S. election, focusing on the month during which the dems challenged the pubs, and what happened.  It is to be directed by Sydney Pollock.

Love, C.

22 Responses to ““Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Season 8”

  1. [...] “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Season 8 [...]

  2. Jean B.on 04 Apr 2007 at 8:53 am

    Well, I read it, and I’m about as diehard a fan as you can get, and I loved it. The voices are there, the humor is there… the *spirit* of the show is there. The story is painted on a grander scale, seeing as how there are no budget constraints to deal with. What might turn some people off is that this one issue felt more like a first act than a full episode, but as it’s the first of a four-issue arc, I imagine that once the arc is done it will make up an entire episode. For those who think having to wait a month between acts is too tortuous to bother with, I’d advise waiting until the trade paperback compilations start coming out (probably a few months after the sixth issue) so you can read them all at once.

    What I really love about it is that we’re finally seeing things from inside Buffy’s head. She was always so closed off, especially in the latter seasons, that it was often pure guesswork trying to understand where she was coming from. But now we’re privy to her thoughts, and it’s awesome.

    But you should definitely give it a chance. The second issue comes out today, and waiting until I can go pick it up after work, I feel the way I used to feel every Tuesday.

  3. Constance Ashon 04 Apr 2007 at 9:54 am

    Jean B., thank you for your feedback! It’s a 360 from what the writer in the U.K. Guardian thinks. It’s so important to hear other points of view on such a subject when one hasn’t been able to see the work oneself.

    Around here all the new comix releases are bought out before they ever get to the stands, there are so many long-time collectors.

    I’m not one of those in the least — there are only occasional comix in which I am interested, so I am not elegible for one of those accounts, you see.

    If anyone else has seen this “Season 8″ issue and has an opinion, I’d love to see yours too.

    Love, C.

  4. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 04 Apr 2007 at 11:50 am

    When I read the article, it read to me as the standard reviewer’s trick of “Be bitchy–it sells more papers” mixed with the new writer on the totem pole tapped to deal with “pop culture phenomenon” and not getting it because the comic is written for the die-hard fans, as opposed to the new reader off the street, or worse, the person whose only introduction to “that sort of stuff” is Harry Potter.

    I’ll probably wait for the graphic novel, as I don’t have a trusty local comic shop anymore. Or maybe I’ll pick things up around issue two. The nice thing about popular issues is that they do reprint them regularly with new covers, so I expect there to be more next month.

  5. Elio M. García, Jr.on 04 Apr 2007 at 12:27 pm

    The second issue is actually being released today.

    I thought the first one was very fun, with a couple of great bits (Dawn, the reveal at the end), and it felt very true to the particular sort of whimsy of the show back in the first couple of seasons.

  6. Constance Ashon 04 Apr 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you for posting your thoughts on the Buffy season 8 comic.

    But really — Dawn as a giant works?

    Love, C.

  7. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 04 Apr 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Not having read it, I’m thinking that “Dawn as a giant” is either A). reviewer snark about the artist drawing the taller Dawn notably taller than Buffy, or B). an actual interest plot element. Since Dawn was initially formed out of cosmic energy so as to hide “The Key,” there’s no reason her shape can’t be changed again. And we saw Willow do a giant/midget spell in season 7 (the night out with Amy where she goes crazy with the magic), so it’s not that out out there, especially if they’re going in with the whimsy and want something that will easily show up on the comics page.

    I really do have to pick this up.

  8. Constance Ashon 04 Apr 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Kevin — I’m so glad you’re gonna pick it up! You’ll share, right? And tell us what you think?

    Love, C.

  9. Marie Brennanon 05 Apr 2007 at 8:14 am

    I haven’t read the comic yet, but I quite liked what Whedon did with Fray; he managed to create a Buffy-verse story that was also distinctly Its Own Thing. And I’m given to understand that Season 8 will explain how the world got from here to there, which I’ve always been curious about.

  10. Constance Ashon 05 Apr 2007 at 10:51 am

    Marie — Did you always perceive ‘Buffyverse’ as a ‘real world’ change at some point from this world that we perceive as having evolved through all the history, etc. ‘we’ know? (Or, sorta know. Can’t know everything ….)

    Love, C.

  11. Marie Brennanon 05 Apr 2007 at 11:39 am

    Sorry, I was unclear. Fray is set in the future, and there haven’t been any demons for a long time (or Slayers, for that matter . . . .); the “here” I meant was current Buffy timeline, while “there” is the setting of Fray.

  12. Constance Ashon 05 Apr 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Ah. O.k. That makes sense.

    I guess! :)

    So many ‘verses, so little time.

    Love, C.

  13. LauraJMixonon 06 Apr 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I read a strong positive review of the comic on a feminist blog, that alleviated some of my concerns. I’ll probably wait for the graphic novel, though, as I like to get my story fix in bigger doses.

  14. Brittanyon 14 Jun 2007 at 11:20 am

    Ya know. I really really love buffy. But on this website that I go on, there’s no season 8. I would really like to see that season. I love buffy and i would enjoy it. The main reason why I watch it is so that I can see Buffy and Spike together. Because I think they make a great couple. Now thats’ just my opinion. So if any of you guys know a website that I can watch season 8 on that would be great if you would tell me.

  15. Constance Ashon 14 Jun 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Season 8 is a series from Dark Horse comix. For reading and looking at, but not for ‘watching,’ i.e. it is not on tv.

    Love, C.

  16. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 28 Jun 2007 at 1:45 am

    Okay, I’ve picked up the first two issues (in their third and second printings respectively) and may be able to pick up a copy of #3 tomorrow. (They had it last week, but not 1 & 2 and I wasn’t going to buy it without them. Now they’re out of 3 & 4.)

    Anyway, apart from the reprints having oddly retouched covers (not as pretty as the originals, but distinctive), these are not only good comics but good continuations of the story from before.

    Yes, Dawn is a giant. Yes, I predicted right that this is something to do with her cosmic power. However, I don’t think it was chosen for how it would look on the comic book page. It’s an easy camera trick in Hollywood, and I expect it was something Joss was planning for Season 8 anyway if they got to film.

    Having read the first two issues, it’s rather like giving a review to a Buffy episode halfway through. I expect a full-hour show is a four-issue mini-series. But it’s all good and entertaining. Buffy’s there. Xander’s there. Andrew has a fun scene. Amy’s back to cause trouble. Mysteries are spiced in. The end of Issue 2 and exactly at the half-hour commercial break is the dramatic reappearance of Willow, who I know has a featured role in Issue 3 when I paged through it last week.

    Without spoiling much, there’s Joss’s usual clever dialogue as well as good characterization. Xander has his eyepatch since losing an eye. He’s in charge of a whole bunch of slayerettes at the new command central and has gotten dressed up as commando guy in a black sweater and slacks, which do look good with the eyepatch. But being Xander, when one of the slayerettes keeps calling him “Mr. Harris,” he corrects her, telling her to call him “Xander. Or Sgt. Fury.” Hee. Thereon follows entertaining comic book geek banter, since it has been established that Xander likes comic books and of course would style himself as Sgt. Fury. (Plot development later: The Slayerette in question is not actually a geek herself but has a thing for Xander, so has studied up on his interests so as to talk to him.)

    I’m sorry for not seeing it on the screen, because the actors and set designers would be having fun with it. That said, the artist did instead, and it’s a very fun and satisfying read. Not the best Buffy ever, but better than the average season opener, and busy spicing in mysteries for later, including “Kenny,” Dawn’s mysterious and likely evil boyfriend and first time who we don’t see but hear discussed. Ditto Amy’s mysterious boyfriend.

    There’s also, in the first couple of pages, a marvelous bit for folk who followed Angel as well. Remember the episode where Spike and Angel went to Rome, only to see Buffy in the distance ignoring them and slutting it up with someone called The Immortal? Well, it turns out this was a plan of Andrew’s, expertly played, since that Buffy is actually another slayerette who’s acting as body-double.

    All-in-all, very good fun. If you’re a fan of the show, pick them up and continue the story.

  17. Constance Ashon 28 Jun 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Kevin — Thank you so much for giving us a synopsis of Season 8 so far.

    It is much appreciated.

    I just finished watching the last 3 eps of Season 4 … wow, there is so much in that which we see again in Whedon’s Serenity movie, right down to Tara in “Restless”, in Indian dress and jewelry, sort of foreshadowing Innara.

    Do you think these will be put together into one ‘book’?

    Love, C.

  18. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 29 Jun 2007 at 1:11 am

    Constance,

    Doubtless. The standard plan for comic books, especially miniseries, is to publish the individual issues serially, then compile them together for graphic novel. If it’s popular enough (and this certainly is, with a third printing of issue one when issue three is new on the shelves), there will also be a hardback collection and sometimes even a prestige slipcased hardback.

    There’s also a possibility of reprinting them as digest/manga-size, as that’s a popular format for libraries.

    I’ve got the latest Girl Genius compilation on order for the extremely limited puffy-cover hardback, partly because I love the series, partly because I’ve gotten all the previous books in the same format and its nice to have a uniform set.

    However, with the format of the reprints of the individual comics right now, I think you may be better off as a reader to just get all the individual issues in whatever printings and read them all together. There’s a certain pleasure in the lightness of an individual comic which a graphic novel can’t quite satisfy.

  19. Things From Another Worldon 29 Jun 2007 at 11:40 am

    Dark Horse just collected the first 5 issues for Buffy Season Eight: The Long Way Home. You can pre-order it at TFAW.com save 20% off the retail price.

    Just Letting you know.

  20. Constance Ashon 03 Jul 2007 at 10:36 am

    I’m conflicted about whether to let the above post remain or not.

    It is a commercial site.

    On the other hand, this is real information that may well be welcome for people who read here, who care about Buffy.

    So, unless the other contributors object, the post will remain.

    Love, C.

  21. Adamon 03 Jul 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Conflict adds depth…

  22. Larryon 29 Dec 2007 at 1:18 am

    For anyone this might apply to: a 360 would, by default, mean you agree completely with the original (say, a writer/reviewer in the Guardian). A 180 (half 360) would mean the opposite – i.e. complete disagreement.

    That would be because either refers to a circle which contains 360 degrees.

    Regardless, Season 8 looks fine to me. Would be great if someone would film it.

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