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October 31 2007

Buffy Season 8: 'The Long Way Home' TPB out today. It collects the first five Joss penned issues and there's a new cover by Jo Chen. A recent Tilting @ Windmills column pondered on whether season 8 would have been as successful if the first five issues had been released as an OGN (original graphic novel).

I highly doubt, as the article suggests, that the comic would have sold nearly as well; they would have had to change the format for one thing, you couldn't have the cliffhanger style endings every few pages, it wouldn't have worked. Having Jo Chen as a cover artist wouldn't have had the same gravitas either, only doing the front cover of the book. Plus I think the collectible factor attracted a separate (if overlapping) audience.

Really looking forward to picking this up, I haven't let myself read them since I fist did, especially since my copy of 'The Chain' was damaged by a friend, so I'm definitely going to pick this up so I can go back to them.
If you can call dismissing the idea "pondering", at any rate. :) (For what it's worth, I completely agree with his evaluation on this matter.)
Does anyone know how many issues there will be in total for the entire season? I've missed the past 3 issues (but got the jist of what happened by reading posts on whedonesque). I think I would prefer to just read them all in one sitting instead of going issue by issue. Do you think they will bundle them all together at the end of the season? And when do you think that will be?
kerfuffle, there was talk of it being 50 issues at one point, which is - what - 4 years? I don't know if it'll turn out like that, but it certainly looks like it's going to be a long run.

When it's all out, I'm pretty sure they'll put it out in one mega pack for season 8.
Maybe I'm just too old . . . but the comic book/graphic novel format just doesn't do it for me. I'm still buying them, of course, but when reading them I find myself a bit disappointed. Not disappointed by the dialogue, not particularly disappointed by the art work, certainly not disappointed by the plots -- but somehow left feeling less than satisfied by the combination of the three. Live action and print novels both work for me . . . but the graphic form leaves me lukewarm at best.

I think I just don't know how to read comics. Any suggestions or thoughts? Am I the only one who, although really delighted that there is a season 8, really wishes that season 8 - that the continuation of canon - was in some other format?
Is it just me, or did they fix Willow's eye color?

I don't have my issues to compare to, but I was doing the 'Search Inside' option on Amazon and came to page 56, where bugs are swarming over Willow's face. And now her eyes are the brown/green hazel that they should be and not the blue that I remember in those panels.
mwdavis,

I've been reading comic books since I was 11 or so, and that was a long time ago, so it's not a matter of knowing how to read them, plus there are things I just think work much better as comics than in other formats, and I totally agree with you. I wish I were as delighted by the Buffy comics as so many others so clearly are, and I'm glad that the comics are getting such a great reception, but I share the sense of disappointment, that there is something lacking. They just don't deliver for me. (For the record, print novels don't do much for me either. I need the live action).
I think I just don't know how to read comics. Any suggestions or thoughts?

Wow, has it really been that long ? Seems like it's time for my quarterly pimping of "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud ;-). There're also some cool free comics on his website (www.scottmccloud.com).

(seriously, he does a great job of explaining the mechanics of comics while opening your eyes to what they can do - to me, part of getting the most from them is accepting that they can do stuff that's flat out impossible in other media as well as getting over understandable and often long held prejudices)

And always, always print BTW. I like TV, film and comics but books have always been where it's at for me. In a package you can carry almost anywhere you have a window to another world and, as Stephen King has more eloquently said, a (nearly) direct connection to another person's mind, even if they've been dead a hundred years. That's a marvel, pure and simple.
mwdavis--You need to pick up a couple comic book graphic novels to see what else is out there--it may improve your Buffy comic experience to see what can be done in the comicbook format. Remember, they are not a dime like comics of yester-year. Comics are not cheap. But in general they are a bargain for the entertainment value.

I think you would like Fables (you can buy the first 8 or 9 trade paperback books on ebay for about 5 bucks a book) and one of my favorites is POWERS (about cops assigned to super hero homicides in a world where real super heroes live). There is no question they are adult oriented with cussing and nudity where appropriate (not just for the sake of being adult). Give them a shot and then loan your copies to someone else or sell them right back on ebay.

Buffy has been great because we get to see our friends and villians again, not because it has been an earth shattering comic. If the TV show never existed, this comic would have luke-warm sales and would be cancelled after 10 issues. That isnt a comment on the comic itself but the state of the comics industry. People, for whatever reason, want to follow their favorite characters regardless of how good a series is or isnt. That's why Spiderman, for example, sells so many books every month even though most of the titles and storylines suck.

And before I forget, another really great title that has been collected into three trade paperbacks is called Rising Stars (by the guy that created Babylon5, J. Michael Staczynski). I saved the best for last with a comic book cliche'. You MUST pick up a copy of Watchmen. They are making it into a movie due out in 2009. Earlier in the post I said Buffy wasnt an earth-shattering comic, Watchmen is. (Run don't walk.)
Haven't read the comics at all yet. Going to pick this up tommorow!
mwdavis, you might try waiting 'til the TPBs come out before you read the comics. It would give it a little more of the experience of the novel. My brother always reads his comics that way, while I prefer to read them issue by issue.

I've enjoyed the season eight comics thus far, but not as much as other monthly titles I get. I loved IDWs Puppet Spike mini-series, and am really looking forward to Angel: After the Fall. Though not Whedon related, Peter David's (who has written some of the IDW Spike comics) Fallen Angel (no relation) is one of my must-reads.

I don't think age is necessarily a factor. While not Bob Barker, I'm still older than dirt and have been reading comics as long as I've been reading.

And this is my first post. Hi y'all.
This is also my first post (waves hello) but I've been lurking for a good while.

Buffy S8 is the very first comic I've ever bought. I remember reading about the series continuation and feeling disappointed because I was sure that comics weren't going to do it for me. I didn't even know where to buy them either, nor anything about the various covers you can get etc.

It would be fair to say that I am kind of addicted now...
swanjun:
Is it just me, or did they fix Willow's eye color?

No, it's not just you - it's been re-colored. Of course, that got a "Whoa, they fixed Willow's eyes!" reaction from me. And, of course, I then had to explain it to my wife, who, of course, couldn't care less about the comics, the series, or any important things like that, and so responds with the usual smirk and eyeroll.

Well, she'll be sorry, along with all the other cool people in the world! When the Buffy geeks take over, we'll-- um... (ahem!)

So, I guess this means somebody's paying attention to fan feedback, huh? (Psst, hey, Joss, I really want Willow and Kennedy to work things out, okay? Okay? Pretty please? I can grovel if I need to.)
Count me among the many that bought this today. I DEFINITELY think it's a better read as a total arc than as the individual monthlies. I think a large part of that is the natural style of decompressed comics, which isn't a bad thing in any way. It's just that, as much as I like the monthlies, I like them even more as a TPB.

By the by...did anyone ever figure out whose floating feet those are back in issue one? It's after Buffy & co. take out the baddies in the church. The final frame of that page shows black boots and black pants, watching from way up top in the sky. Should I know who that is by now?
Agreed. Reading the TPB today, the flow of the arc was much more like watching the series. I could totally see this as a film.

I suspect that the floating feet belong to But I could be wrong.
I ain't going to pick this up because I buy the issues seperatly and am too low on cash these days to be buying them all over again in the TPB. However, whilst I wished this was a televised season I still find the comics very enjoyable, if only we didn't have to wait a month between issues though!

Oh and the flying boots...

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