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August 15 2003

Dark Horse confirms monthly Buffy comic book is to end. But the adventures of Buffy and co will appear in specials and mini-series for a while yet.

This has been floating around various message boards for a couple of months but it's now official. I'd like to see some post 'Chosen' stories but I'm not sure Mutant Enemy would sanction this.

Why is this franchise suddenly going belly up at every turn? I don't get it. What gods did Joss Whedon not appease? Did he skip a virgin sacrifice to Cthulhu or something? First the tv networks and now Dark Horse. This makes absolutely no sense. One would think now that the show is over and continuity is established, this would be the ideal time for the monthly comic book. Are the sales that bad?

Or better yet, they could start from scratch. Buffy season one, using elements from all seven seasons. Totally start over and separate from the tv series continuity. Work Dawnie into the beginning for example, and keep in mind that in five years it'll be realized that she was never real. Just push back how long she was actually around. Kinda like what Buffy The Animated Series might have pulled off. Have The Master, The Mayor, Faith, Glory, Angelus, Adam, The Triad, and all the major players both bad guys and good guys show up at roughly the same time, and keep them around for the entire run of the comic book. Although of course, Buffy'd manage to dispatch one enemy just in time for another to rear its ugly head, but this time no one would actually die. Dark Horse is really dropping the ball here. Call the comic book "Sunnydale" and make it more of an ensemble thing, where Buffy isn't always the focal point, although it's never forgotten that the BuffyVerse does revolve around her. Other characters sometimes take point, but Buffy's everpresent.
I think there's a clash of sub-cultures at work with things like this. Buffy is generally percieved to be a very childish teen soap opera by non-fans. Hence people who buy comic books aren't generally going to pick up the newest "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" issue on impulse. There's a stigma there, however undeserved it is.

And for fans of the show, those who have gotten past the title and have realized what a wonderfully textured and morally complex show Buffy is, they generally have a pretty educated backgrounds and hence the whole "comic books are for children" stigma hits home for them. I'd be surprised if even 1/4 of all Buffy fans buy the comics. That doesn't leave a lot of people left.

There's a weird polarity surrounding the Buffy show, that I think is keeping the sales of the comics down. This is probably one of the first time I've thought one of your ideas was a good one, ZachsMind :). I'm sure the sales simply aren't there.
The comic does not sell that well. For the month of July, BtVS #59 was ranked at No. 147. My comic book store orders exactly three copies a week: One for myself, one for another subscriber, and one for random browsers. The spare copy is frequently unsold.

Lately, the storylines for the monthly have been set between the events of the movie and the first season. The what-ifs of "Normal Again" were expounded upon marvelously. I am glad that the specials will continue to be published, but I'm sure going to miss the monthly.

Source for ranking was http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=2698

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