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October 17 2007

Buffy Season 8: 'The Long Way Home' TPB is NOT out today. This volume collects the first five Joss penned issues and features a new Jo Chen cover as well. And it appears that it will be out in two weeks time and not today as originally thought.

Warning; Strictly personal & egotistical rant follows:


Al(l)-freakin'-ready? And for a tad less than those 5 issues actually cost me? Here I was buying them because I thought I'd have to wait years for the "omnibi" to come out.

This affects my thinking on many things, albeit $3.18 a month isn't really a bite & $15+ at once is.
I'm a bit out of the comic boo-- er, graphic novel loop. So, do all the com -- er, issues come out individually, and then a single volume comes out with all the issues? Is that what usually happens?
Yes, filops, that's usually what happens. And you can say comic book. Although it may be "cooler" to say graphic novel, it's really only a "graphic novel" when the story's long enough and not serialized. Anyway, you can either collect the series as the comics come out individually (and you'll be able to read them immediately) or when the trade paperback collections come out (which'll look better on a book shelf, and you can read a lot at once)
And I wouldn't be suprised if a hard cover version came out down the line as well. I could see an oversized hard cover happening for the first 10 issues.
In fact, "graphic novel" for a single issue is just wrong though some people do use it for trade paperback collections like this (I don't personally, agreeing with Invisible Green that if it wasn't released in one volume initially it's just a trade rather than a graphic novel).

And nowadays DaddyCatALSO, with big titles at least, the trade comes out a few weeks after the arc ends (if it's going to at all), used to be you'd have to wait months, even a year or more (I think this is because more and more people wait for the trade). Whether you wait is up to the individual, some people buy the singles to get the immediate hit and then, when the trade comes out, buy that for their shelf and e-bay the individual issues. Horses/courses.

I could definitely live with a hardback of the first 13 or 18 issues (10's a bit stingy) if there were enough extras. I'd really love a complete script for one of Joss' issues for instance (or, even better, one from each of the writers in the collection to compare styles etc.).
Wow, great cover. I almost want to buy it just for that.
That's weird. Amazon still has it listed as a preorder to be released on October 31st.

I agree with Resolute about the cover. It's wonderful.
The direct market (comic shops) usually get trades a few weeks before everyone else, phlebotinin. Though my regular shop didn't seem to have any idea it was coming out today when I stopped in a little earlier...
I think it was originally solicited for late October/early November.
I would consider Y: The Last Man a graphic novel even though it wasn't released as one book (maybe it's a series of graphic novels).

I think it has more to do with the structure of the story. If it is open-ended, like Buffy S8 (maybe!) or Runaways then it's a comic book. I consider a story with a definitive beginning and ending to be a graphic novel.

The trades and hardcovers that I've seen don't have advertising, and the hardcovers are printed on better paper which IMHO makes a huge difference.

Personally, I'll wait for the HC, but I might buy a couple of these as gifts for Buffy fans who aren't comic book people.
Interesting, RambleOn623. I take you to mean that your comics shop didn't get it today? I wonder if anyone has actually seen it out today in the direct market venues. I also wonder how well it'll sell. Pretty darn well, I'd imagine.

Edited to add: I called my local shop. It didn't come in their shipment today. My shop went on to say that "The Buffy books are the biggest we have." Right on! I'm loving the Buffy S8 success story.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2007-10-17 18:59 ]
Rats. I've had it pre-ordered from Amazon for months, and it says it won't arrive until Nov. 2nd.
Yep, they were definitely in the lacking of copies. The Dark Horse site now says 10/31 for the pub date.
I'm not even going to get into the whole comic book vs. graphic novel debate. You might as well start arguing if a two part part episode is one ep or two. To-mayto, to-mahto.

Anyways, I'll probably get this just for the display factor. And I love Jo Chen's artwork. It's just freakin' gorgeous.
I agree InevitableTraitor, graphic novel vs. trade paperback might be a debate for people that are completely into the comics world. But for newbie comic readers getting their Buffy on, I think either is just fine.

And fyi for those newbies in the room, there has been much discussion and debate for the last few years about graphic novels vs. the weekly pamphlets and if publishers selling the collected books immediately upon the completion of a story arc are actually hurting the comic industry. Comic books pamphlets are sold weekly. Subsequently the pamphlets are turned into graphic novels or tpbs. Some think this is cannibalizing the market. The idea in the worst case scenario is that fewer and fewer comics are sold until the only thing people actually buy are the collections. And with nobody buying the pamphlets, there will be no content to sell in a collected format. This means less choice for consumers and less revenue for the comic company.

Most publishers canít afford to pay creative teams to write, draw, ink and edit multiple issues at a time for one big sales pop. Ask Craig Thompson about this. He wrote a comic called Blankets, that he just couldnít seem to fit neatly into chapters/issues, so he ended up spending the better part of 3 years writing a graphic novel with 600+ pages. (Itís a great read btw, if you have an afternoon to kill)

Iíve heard Marvelís editor, Joe Quesada say (in person at a show) that the pamphlets are one revenue stream and that as soon as possible he wants collections out there to create a secondary (and more permanent) revenue stream with books that can always go back to print as needed. This reminds us that itís still a business to make money.

Others say putting comics into collections immediately after an arc is finished is expanding the market to people that would never buy the weekly version.

There is no correct answer in the debate right now but time will tell. For me, half the fun is discussing and debating online and with friends about what will happen next and how different storylines will progress. Obviously we see that here at Whedonesque every time an issue comes out.
I'll buy it, just like I buy 8-12 copies of each individual copy when they're released. It all goes toward supporting the Buffy series....and more sales of the books means it will continue on and on and on. :)
So if you really love it, pony-up and buy a few and then buy the book too. After all folks, it is a business, and they have to make money on the books (comic & graphic novels both) to keep it going.

Now I'm having flashbacks of the "Save Angel" campaign....getting dizzy now.
You might as well start arguing if a two part part episode is one ep or two. To-mayto, to-mahto.

Like an episode shows then next week the second part's on ? Where's the argument, two episodes is two episodes surely ?

And Y's a comic-book as far as i'm concerned (and that's speaking as someone that's never bought a single of it, always read it in trade), it even has single issues sprinkled through the trade collections, sometimes not pertaining to the ongoing arc. Something like "Pride of Baghdad" is a graphic novel - beginning middle end, one volume, not serialised, structurally a single story. I guess if BKV knew from the start how Y would end (and not just on which issue number) and (roughly) how to get there then there's more of a case but even then I don't call for instance the "Dark Tower" books a novel, I call 'em a series of novels - not sure you could claim each trade of Y is a (graphic) novel in its own right, and if you could, why not say the same for all trade collections, all collections have at least one complete story, right (or they wouldn't be collected like that) ?

Not a huge issue though, there's absolutely no shame in being a comic-book IMO, never really saw the need to stretch categories in order to call a spade a manually operated earth extraction device (and I remember the literati in the 80s doing back-flips in order to call good comics something, anything apart from "comic-books" - they were good, y'see, so they couldn't be). Everybody's M will V though.

Oh and it's tom-ah-to. Definitely ;).
Yup, Dark Horse now has the publication date as October 31st. This TPB is definitely not out today, alas.

Interesting discussion on the naming of things comic-related. Graphic novels and TPBs aside, alexreager's use of "pamphlet" is the first time I've ever heard that term vis-a-vis comics. I learn something new every day.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2007-10-17 21:13 ]
Huh, it was on the shipping list. I'll change the wording tout de sweet.
By your logic, Caleb, Buffy S8 would indeed be a graphic novel because it's got a beginning already in motion, a middle planned, and an end that will lead into S9 after about 40 issues. ;-)

I didn't even know this was supposed to come out today. I'm sure I'll buy it at some point...I just don't know when.
I think Saje's definition sounds right, but it does seem that some comics are more novel-y than others. Watchmen will always be a novel to me because I read it that way. Maybe if they put Y all into one giant hardback & I read it all at a go, it would seem more like a novel. Doesn't seem that way now--a great piece of work--but not a novel.

And I'm going to buy this TPB even though I want the hardback when it comes out (they are sooo much prettier). But this will be good for passing around to people who like Buffy but haven't made the leap to comics. (Or maybe that's just my excuse for buying it.)
Saje: you're right. Y is a comic. I will probably have to find a new definition for what makes a graphic novel. My current definition was told to me by a friend when I got into comics a little while ago. I made a mistake by associating "graphic novel" with books that are more "serious."

Though I wouldn't want to define a graphic novel by how it was originally distributed. I think the distinction is like the one between a movie and a television series. That's probably a good enough comparison that people can understand.

Learning these thugs is good for me because I've gotten a few people into comics and it helps to know the lingo.

[ edited by Caleb on 2007-10-18 01:18 ]
Like an episode shows then next week the second part's on ? Where's the argument, two episodes is two episodes surely ?

Try saying that in Doctor Who fandom!
Libraries buy and catalogue graphic novels. They buy but don't catalogue comic books which are ephemeral. So there you have yet another distinction! And a 1 hour show that starts with a 2 hour pilot - is that one ep or 2? There is the problem.
And a 1 hour show that starts with a 2 hour pilot - is that one ep or 2? There is the problem.

The pilot of Lost is 2 hours. The pilot of Buffy is 1 hour, even though it was aired with The Harvest, which follows directly on from Welcome to the Hellmouth.

Actually, the pilot for Buffy is only 25 minutes - wherein there was a distinct pilot produced before "Welcome to the Hellmouth". Now THAT is confusing.
Technically, I think Joss refers to the unaired pilot as a "presentation", no idea what distinction he's making there (I guess because it was never finished and so would never have aired in the form we - may ;) - have seen it).

And a 1 hour show that starts with a 2 hour pilot - is that one ep or 2? There is the problem.

If it's a single uninterrupted show (and especially if it's structured that way) then it's a single episode, it's just feature length, still don't see the problem. A long episode is still an episode (OMWF runs longer than a standard Buffy episode, does that make it an episode and a half ? ;). And 'Serenity' is officially S1 Ep 1 of 'Firefly', 'The Train Job' is S1 Ep 2. QED ;).

(it gets awkward with stuff like "Encounter at Farpoint" the Trek:TNG pilot which first aired as one long episode and then was later cut to sometimes be shown in two parts - are they still technically one episode ? Murkier IMO)

... I've gotten a few people into comics and it helps to know the lingo.

Good work, Caleb, more converts ;). Yeah, it's a terminological minefield but not hugely important IMO so long as we all know what we're referring to. I just like feeling for the edges of categories, see where they lay ;).

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