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"Perpetual torment? Just know that's gonna taste very good."
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June 05 2009

(SPOILER) Cover art and plot details for Buffy #28. This'll be out in September.

That cover is so pretty. They really need to make a special book of just Jo Chen's covers. I'd buy it.

And look, Giles is in it too! Woot!
Yes I was pleased to see Giles. I got a 'The Weight of the World' vibe from the plot info.
Useless to say I once again love Jo Chen cover.
Uhm this issue seems to be the one that will point out the reason why Willow lived for so long until she meet Fray.
She and Buffy arguing over magic can be the reason explaining Willow's actions in the future.
I wish someday there will be an issue explain it.
Beautiful cover by Chen. Interesting to see the next step in the story.
I love Chen’s cover, it reminds me of the ending of Same Time, Same Place.

The story sounds very interesting and as if we’re going to get to the root of the Buffy/Willow tension. It immediately made me think back to ‘Anywhere But Here’ when the demon tells Buffy that the end of magic is her life goal, and we get that panel of Willow looking on concerned/upset/weary of this.

Also so happy to see Giles! :D
As much as I love the image on the cover, this is not meditation, it is sitting on the floor cross-legged with your back arched for about five minutes before your feet fall asleep and your spine starts killing you. Okay, Buffy is tough and can take ten minutes. Still, this is badly researched (again).

Just about the first thing you are taught about mediation posture is:

If sitting on the floor, use cushion(s) so that the knees are below the hips and in contact with the floor (otherwise the back will be collapsed)

The technical term for the cushion in Zen Buddhism is zafu, a word that has spread to the West. Some people put a mat (zabuton) under it, but in my experience it is usually too much of a hassle to move the cat each time.

This is why Buffy (and to a lesser extent, Willow) have arched backs (great realism again by Chen, by the way). My inner 13-year-old certainly approves of what sitting flat on the floor does to their, uh, front sides. But given that people have been meditating for more than 2,500 years and Buddhism is now the third largest religion in the U.S., you'd think they'd take the time to get this right.

Yes, I meditate myself (vipassana). More importantly, I still want that job as Buffy fact checker.
Does it really matter? I mean seriously isn't that just a tad nit-picky?
Gorgeous cover! Though none-too-subtle symbolism in having Willow and Buffy with their backs to each other. So very happy to see Giles, too. Hopefully this will clear up a lot of questions about Future Willow's actions. I can hardly wait.
If we can swallow the Uber Vamp massacre in "Chosen" after seeing how Buffy struggled so hard to beat one in early season seven, how do we even *notice* things as small as wonky meditation positions?
Yet again a wonderful cover by Jo Chen, I too would buy a book of her covers.

And it seems that I took the wrong meaning from this arc's title.
Vampmogs: Of course it is a nit-pick, and yes, I'm slightly obsessive about these things. And it is still a beautiful drawing, and it is better than the way Willow is sitting hunched over on the last page of #15. At least Buffy and Willow can breathe.

However, it is an obvious mistake in a common spiritual practice of a major world religion that was founded centuries before Maria met Joseph. So you're asking me, is it important if we have Christians praying with their hands in their pockets, a Jew wearing a kippah to bed, a Shiite praying away from Mecca, or a Sikh without a beard. It is wrong, and some people think an artist or a writer should take the time to get their facts straight, especially when it takes ten seconds with Google.

It's not on a level with showing Germans as 19th century peasants with no electricity or cars, no. But it is a mistake.
So what if someone didn't have a cushion? They just wouldn't meditate?

It also seems to me that it is unlikely Willow and Buffy are sitting solely for the purpose of Buddhist meditation, even if they are in Tibet, because neither of them is actually Buddhist. It's much more likely they're doing something magic or supernatural. And they just didn't have a cushion handy.

I don't see it as a mistake. To me it's more in keeping with what the characters would likely do. This is a girl who's staked her fair share of vampires with chairs that happened to be handy. I'm sure she could pop into a cushion-less meditation, no problem. If I saw Buffy getting all particular about sitting with a cushion just like my mom, ten-year yoga student and constant corrector of every single little thing I ever do with my body, standing or sitting, it would be annoying.
Also, considering that we saw Willow and others sit for their spellcasting in the exact same way several times on the show, with live actors, seems to me the nit-picking is getting more than just "slightly" obsessive and taking on a life of its own. Does the fact that Willow's practice doesn't resemble real-world Wicca cause the same amount of miffyness?
I can't articulate just how little a burden I place on this writing team to accurately research the mere triviality that is posture when it comes to having them meditate. I hadn't realized that meditation was a closed field in which there was only one exact right way to do it. First it was the wolves, then it was the architecture... just wow. All things, incidentally, that nobody expected them to have right for the televised seasons.

As for the plot -- very interesting. Buffy is buying into this purging or suppression of magic from their existence, which, whether she realizes it or not, means she's as close to defeat as she's ever been. Either she doesn't realize she's doing exactly what he wants her to do, or she *does* realize it and is no longer convinced he's wrong.
Wow, beautiful cover! I wouldn't mind one poster sized and framed on my wall :)
Jo Chen, I love you.
Yes Dark Horse, please, please do a cover book.
(Also I add in the chorus of whoo-hoos for Giles!).

I'm wondering if Giles is overseeing another version of the Hokey Pokey Spell--perhaps to try and ease communication, see what is to come, or something else, which is why I didn't think they were meditating at all. I thought they were waiting for something to take effect and then spell!

Maybe I've been overthinking this.

ETA: Plotline appears spooky and unsettling and I do not like the feeling that Twilight and Buffy now appear to have the same goal. My guess is Twilight has a gloved hand in this plan and nobody knows. Also, I think there is going to be some ugly tension between the Slayers and the newly depowered Wiccas. Eek.

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2009-06-05 13:45 ]
Just cause no ones done it yet...OZ Oz Oz Oz Oz.Yay. Yes there is a little dance that goes with this.
Yeah, have to agree that the meditation nit-pick borders on the obsessive to me as well. It's not as if we even understand the nature of what they are trying to do on the cover yet, let alone the specifics of how they should be positioned to do... whatever we aren't totally sure they are going to be doing.

My entirely unclear point being that this is the Buffyverse, not reality. Nothing that we see happen there has to be based accurately on how things happen in our reality. If that was the case then either it would be a far less interesting story about a girl who goes out at night hunting for imaginary demons and monsters and then goes home or alternatively vampires would actually be real.

Or, basically, don't worry about the details of a fantasy based story and try to enjoy it for what it is.
Another truly beautiful and confident piece of art from Chen. The least said about Jeanty's offering the better sadly.
It's juat a niptick guys.
scotws didn't said that Buffy and Will are budists but: As much as I love the image on the cover, this is not meditation, it is sitting on the floor cross-legged with your back arched for about five minutes before your feet fall asleep and your spine starts killing you. What, I believe, is coming from someone who stay in a meditation position often.

About the plot: So, The First's plan for Willow will be in the road.
The First had a plan for Willow? The First tried to get Willow to kill herself, to remove her from the playing field (perhaps perceiving the exact threat that Willow later presented, but more likely just wanting to A) get rid of Buffy's most powerful ally and B) shake Buffy up).
Wasn't taken by Jeanty's cover either. I don't know if it's just because they have to compete with Chen's work but it seems to me like Jeanty sometimes simply takes a random image from the art he's done for the story, makes it a full page version and calls it a cover. There's absolutely nothing dynamic about what we see on there at all and in no way would that image interest me enough to pick up the book if I wasn't already a fan.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still a big Jeanty fan. Fantastic artist. His cover work though? Often not up to standard, in my opinion.

And, The First? Did I miss something?
I don't think so... but if any Big Bad could make a justifiable comeback, it would be evil incarnate.
Nice to see the magic-less aspect will be going somewhere in this arc.
sorry guys if my post was taken much serious. I was only joking about The First, in CWDP, given Willow two choices: A full stop with the magic or kill herself.
I'll be interested to see where Xander and Dawn figure in this. A guy on BuffyForums pointed out, quite cleverly, that Xander and Dawn are probably the only two Scoobies or members of Buffy's organization that are free to manuever right now -- Slayers can keep their heads down, but they still are supernatural, and therefore possibly could be known to be supernatural. Xander and Dawn are the only two "normal" folk, who would only have the "normal" concerns a possible fugitive might have -- BOLOs and warrants and such.

That Buffy is happy to be forced underground like this is not at all surprising, perfectly in character. And now she can do it without the cognitive dissonance, since it seems legit that it's her "job" now to stay low profile.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-06-05 16:33 ]
I like the Jeanty cover, too. It has very nice design and pattern elements, and to me, this is a very interesting part of the story. Buffy tilling the soil?!- That is really a place the slayer has never been before- or even come close to imagining. And, yay Oz. Can't wait.
I never ruled out The First as something connected to Twilight. There are too much ties to S7 in there for it to be dismissed, and there was also a sorta-semi-somewhat-Caleb-reference in "A Beautiful Sunset".
I'll avoid the nit-picking issue; I'd be prejudiced since it's my favorite sport.

As to the cessation of magic, I'm surprisingly, considerign what I've said before about it, actually glad it's come back up so very "not-quite-late-really" in the season. I'm hoping it'll be developed as a major arc issue, then partly resolved by "Episode 22" so that the future we saw is no longer the future of the world we're following.
Beautiful. No space for internal organs, but beautiful...
Don't know if anyone posted, but go to ComicBookResources for better pictures

http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=21477
Another amazing cover! Kudos, Jo Chen. Looking forward to the issue.
I wish Jo Chen would draw more background stuff. Her covers are usually just characters and nothing more. She's amazing though.
curlymynci, have you seen Alyson's locker-cheesecake shot? ;-)

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2009-06-06 03:10 ]
This looks superb and like the series will be pacing back into its groove.. got a little wavy after Time of Your Life and the whole cartoon shout out (which was wonderful and sad) departure but I'm feeling it again.

Maybe it's cause Buff finally exceeded my life experience (minus punchable demons) but I've been a bit aprehensive and fuzzy on Joss's big picture concept with the metaphors under the plot in season 8--BUT I'm definitely getting it now with where things are going. He's still stealthfully and subtly ripping open the jugular of collective consciousness. And things in general have been apprehensive and fuzzy in the world all with the dolls waking up and the demons finally parading about in the media these days, so it definitely makes sense.

And this is the lesson I learned a while ago that even when his 'product' seems to waver and loose touch or pfoot, he knows what he's doing but takes his time climbing the mountain to get at all the good stuff. And you should always trust Joss (at least creatively, i don't know him so i'm not sure about how he'd be with dog sitting or in a canoe).


Yay with the not forgetting all the character still exist and play into each other's emotional/psychological history (Giles' part & addressing Oz). Fingers crossed for a Faith thread-in that isn't totally contrived and hollow (I'm pointing at you Issue #24, what happened? out of all of the imperative things that could have popped out from Faith's regrets manifesting into reality, what the hell was that? WHAT? Maybe a rushed space filler much or are we just afraid of competing with Brian Vaughan?)

So I'm hoping she's stuck in the arc here somewhere to leave a better taste in our mouths of her own character arc..like, that its still there. Have out with the Buff maybe in a non-action setting this time? (I just can't believe after season 7 & however many years since they haven't vocalized a word of that crap yet.) They don't even have to converse, I'd be satisfied with paths crossing and a bitchy and slightly emotional gaze from the background of a panel somewhere.
also..
|KingofCretins: "I'll be interested to see where Xander and Dawn figure in this. A guy on BuffyForums pointed out, quite cleverly, that Xander and Dawn are probably the only two Scoobies or members of Buffy's organization that are free to maneuver right now"|
-Yeah I kinda got that brewing up with all the 'you're gonna have to ride me' pokes. This conjures vague images for me of Dawn & Xander leaving the proverbial 'castle' together at some point with scowls on their face, and probably mating.
@Rowan Hawthorn

Yes I have. As frequently as possible. :)

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