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June 15 2010

(SPOILER) Dark Horse's Buffy and Serenity comic books for September. There's info and cover art for Buffy #36 and Serenity: Shepherd's Tale. Plus a Buffy and a Serenity comic for a dollar each as well?

Interesting. What's the $1 for 1 deal with the Buffy comic? Was that previously released like Those Left Behind?
jclemens, I do believe that's the very first issue of Dark Horse's original Buffy series from the 90's. Which I guess is nice for nostalgia, but not a good way to promote season 8; that book was terrible.
I wonder... Sounds like a good deal, either way.
I'm wondering if Dark Horse's licensing agreement with 20th Century Fox prohibits them from reissuing season 8 on the cheap.
I think it would be cool but doubtful to happen if Dark Horse did a Buffy Free Comic Book Day next year for season 9.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-06-15 11:23 ]
It's the first issue of the original comic. It was the first comic book I ever bought. I was so excited to get it when it came out. Ah, the 90's.
Does anyone know if "The Shepherd's Tale" is hardcover? The cover is gorgeous.
Matt, yes, Shepherd's Tale was previously announced as a HC. That sort of information sometimes gets lost from the online solicits.

It's great that Buffy and Serenity are part of the #1 for $1 promotion, but they should have been more liberal with the "#1" part. There are runs on the original book that I think were better than parts of Season 8, but those very early issues weren't it. (They should have picked the first issue of the "Season Zero" prequel stories--those come first in the Omnibi anyway.)
Both Buffy covers make me miserable. October can't get here soon enough!
56 pages, $14.99, in stores on Nov. 24.

This is a misprint I hope?
56 pages, $14.99, in stores on Nov. 24

It does seem kinda expensive, if that's what you were implying.
Also, 56 pages doesn't really seem graphic novelly in terms of size... it's barely more pages than an issue of S8 (40 pages on average, including ads).
I don't think there will be ads. It will be about 50 pages of story compared to 22 with Buffy, but still, most of the S8 TPB's cost less than that and they have what, 5 or more issues each?
It's slightly dearer per page than the Left Behind hardcover by my calculations (assuming Shepherd's Tale is in the same format). And that tpb came out two and half years ago. So factor in higher costs for the publisher then yeah it sounds about right.
I suppose any comic for a dollar is good, but I have to warn those who haven't read... Andi Watson, the dude who wrote that, is by far the worst writer to ever touch the Buffyverse. He couldn't have less of a grip on the characters, tone, or themes if he purposely tried to muck up the series.

That being said, I'm excited for the first issue of "Last Gleaming." Ahhhh!
An interesting cover for The Shepherd's Tale. Expensive or not I cannot wait to get some insight in the good Shepherd's gloomy past.
Somehow I was expecting Shepard's Tale in late summer, and at 80pp.
Boy was I ever wrong. le sigh.
If anyone's interested, CBR has released the solicitations with hi-res images. Click HERE.
The Jeanty cover kinda reminds me of the posters for the Twilight films lol
The Jeanty cover is supposed to look like the movie poster for New Moon. :)
Yeah, I thought Shepherd's Tale was gonna end up being longer. From the way they were building it up in interviews/Q&As. Oh well, Joss and Zack are able to deliver a quality story in 50 pages. Joss has done it more than a few times with 22-page one-offs ("The Chain", plus a number of others throughout Season 8...dunno how long Sugarshock was, but I felt like I got great entertainment for my buck with that one, once it was put in print). So have a lotta other comic book writers. In the same way that a short story is not necessarily potentially any less great than a full-sized novel, a self-contained tiny hardcover comic is at no more of a disadvantage than a 100+ page comic.

I doubt it'll feel as "Epic/Thorough Book Backstory!" as I was hoping, but small with a surprise or two should satisfy in a different way.

Re: Georges' cover, it feels just a little bit Twilight [wrote this before reading Gazzy & Wenxina's posts, heh] (or Bill/Sookie/Eric/True Blood-ish, if you prefer something closer to Buffyverse quality), but it's okay. Neither cover's very appealing to buy (Jo's Spike likeness is spot-on, but I hate "big head" covers/movie posters/book covers). I hope someone makes Angel take off the crappy costume/what remains of his disguise (I think I only sorta liked the mask, partially probably due to Jeanty's discussion of it. Maybe the boots too). He can keep his coat, the gloves even, but the belts/straps and frilly part need to go, they're an eyesore.

They missed an "e". Final should be "finale", unless the "Buffy final(s)" is going to be a sport featured in the final Season 8 arc. It's just standard promo copy hype. They'll say the same thing about Season 9's finale ("BIGGEST EVAR!", *cringe*). I dunno if The WB/UPN ever promoted the season ender as "The Biggest Buffy Finale Ever!", but which years did it feel to you guys, as we came into the home stretch, like we were about to receive big finishes ? Season 1, even though it did have an arc running throughout maybe half the episodes, didn't feel like it was gonna offer us a for-sure big finish until we got into the episode itself. In Season 2, it definitely felt like we were gonna finish big from the time Angel went bad and it was made clear was staying bad ('cause prior to that, I couldn't see a clear arc for how they would make Spike & Dru come to a head as villains any more threateningly than The Master had been, standard--if more colorfully drawn--vamp villains) through "Passion" and "I Only Have Eyes For You" and maybe a couple other eps in which the arc appeared to a lesser degree (my mileage varies for what "Phases", "BB&B", and "Killed By Death" added to it. "Go Fish" didn't add a thing, Angel didn't need to be there). Season 3, despite all the build-up of the Mayor ascending and the confrontation with Faith, went pretty much as expected and, IMO, wasn't as great an ender as Season 2's. I think a lotta fans who were watching as-aired during Season 4 weren't sure what to expect for an ender (aside from the usual defeat of The Big Bad), especially with the main villain being introduced so late that year (yeah, I know the real obstacle that year was growing apart/the gang divided, but at least in terms of the flesh-and-blood/on-screen villain/challenge), so it was maybe a surprise big-ender for me (the spell, effects, and cohesiveness of "Primeval" and the much-appreciated break from the norm in the form of the "Restless" coda, complete with insighful, meaty character exploration/reinforcement/revelation + new slayer mythology revealed). Season 5 really felt set for a big finish, given the extreme arcyness of the year, the set-up from Season 3 & 4's finales, all the personal developments (the finale itself was only maybe marred by not being 2 hours and pulling out/readjusting two MacGuffins that could've been better explored or set up in terms of the Sphere and Hammer), and delivered big in terms of paying off multiple character arcs and giving almost everyone great moments (Spike, Willow [w/Tara], Giles in a huge way, Buffy obviously, even Xander a bit, with Anya). I think Season 7 finished great (was really unsure/not confident that it would given the middle-to-end of the season) and maybe partially fulfilled the kind of excitement and hopefulness I'd felt by the last scene in "Lessons" and what the threat that "Conversations with Dead People" implied, but the momentum was terribly wasted/misused between that and "Chosen" and the TV series finale really should've been 2 hours (or they could've run the penultimate ep the same night as "Chosen", not sure how that would've played).

I'm not sure what we're in for with Season 8, it's been such a patchwork of ideas and maybe themes. I know they've got demons falling down on their heads and it's all set to be epic and game-changing and it'll likely fulfill what was hinted at in Fray (big approval on that, I enjoy the mytharc during the times they get around to it) plus probably satisfy the season's own foreshadowings, but...I hope we don't lose the characters and the Big Moments that could really provide a lot of catharsis for the readers who've been wanting more of that from the comics (Joss' stuff, especially the ridiculously perfect and Buffy-TV-quality scene between Buffy and Xander in #31, plus a lot else about that last-quarter-of-season issue, has me confident in at least getting what'll be a satisfying wrap-up, for me, even if not a justification for every bit of weirdness or potential character snafu that's been dealt, though very much hoping for a heap of that as well. 5 issues, the plot's already speedily in motion, there's space enough. Honestly wouldn't hate if an entire issue or two were "talking heads"/conversation--two of the middle issues, maybe).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-06-15 22:00 ]
Kris, you just gotta stop with the cryptic. I mean it's like pulling teeth to get anything out of you! ;)

Buffy looks like a baby on Geanty's cover. Season one, big-time. Also she looks like she's kinda scared and half -hiding behind Angel, WTF? Not much for the damseling, as we've heard from her own lips. And yeah, Angel's never gone in for the "flair", I can't imagine he'll keep the swash and/or the buckles much longer. His hair looks like it could stand a good mowing.

Chen's is... remarkable, as always. She never fails to bring the awe in the awesome.
I made a one-line post a week ago ! They do happen. :D

That's a common observation and complaint about some of Jeanty's panels and covers featuring Buffy (I note that you're observing, not complaining). He does draw her young, at times. It's just his style, I feel pretty used to and accepting of it. As noted in posts above, it's apparently supposed to look like the poster for New Moon ? (did Jeanty say so on SlayAlive, wenxina?) Hence, the damseling. They poke fun at the trope, perhaps as sly set-up to shoot it in the face within the issue (hopefully in the context of Buffy neither needing nor wanting either of these dudes at this point, if the issue's touching that at all).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-06-15 22:23 ]
@Kris: Jeanty did confirm that his cover was a homage/parody/whatever of the New Moon poster. Jeanty has also confirmed that the New Moon homage is his final homage cover for the run of S8. If you're interested in comparing Jeanty's cover to the poster in question, click HERE.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-06-15 22:34 ]
I dunno that I'll get used to it, really. I LIKE seeing how B's matured. Seeing her all baby-fied just makes me think it's supposed to represent a fantasy thing, instead of who Buffy is genuinely supposed to be at this stage in her life. It's regressive, and a little insulting to the character, imo.

She's come a looong way, baby.

eta: Wow, wenxina, that is pretty spot-on. Hadn't see it, obviously. Thanks for that.

[ edited by Willowy on 2010-06-15 23:03 ]
Willowy kudos on the use of "swash and/or the buckles" in the context of Angel's outfit. Made me laugh!
@Willowy: Simon posted a link to volume 5 of Watcher Junior last month that contained a pretty good visual essay that explores the different presentations of Buffy that we've seen so far. If you missed it, click HERE to be directed to the essay in question.

Personally, I think Jeanty does a pretty good job of capturing "Buffy". Yes, her face tends to have a little extra baby-fat, which makes her appear younger than SMG looked at the end of S7, but then again, SMG was about 26 at that time, whereas her character was supposed to be ~22. SMG was 22 circa S3 of Buffy, and her face was definitely more rounded then.

I'm not arguing that Jeanty is as analytical about numbers when he draws the character. That, I think can be attributed to his personal take on the character. I don't think it's supposed to be regressive or insulting in any way. If you read that article, there's a rather in-depth breakdown of SMG's face, and why her face is so unique. It really comes down to her eyes, which appear very large and allow for a very vulnerable quality to her face. But larger eyes also tend to lend themselves towards appearing younger as well (see all the chibi stuff). So, drawing large eyes inherently already leads to a younger appearance. And Jeanty has picked large eyes and SMG's slightly crooked nose to be the main points to focus on in illustrating Buffy. But other than that, he's kept her looking quite similar to SMG. She's not bursting out of her bra, nor is she suddenly 5'10". He's even largely kept her wardrobe quite faithful to Buffy's tastes... usually simple, occasionally quirky, generally style-conscious but not extravagantly expensive-looking.

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