This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Haven't clocked you since the Sunny D went from being an outie to an innie."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 25 October 2014




Tweet







August 24 2010

Scott Allie & Chris Ryall interview about Angel's return to Dark Horse. It offers some new info on the new Angel series role at Dark Horse. Allie seems to confirm that a Dollhouse comic besides the one included with the season 2 DVD is on the way.

"We're definitely going to do a 'Dollhouse' comic next year."

Uh...uh...Details!

In other news, I hope this article puts to rest the many misinterpretations that IDW will somehow still be publishing any Buffyverse comics.

I also really hope Joss & co. take as much time as they need to prep the Season 9 launch, even if that means a two year wait.
Yeah, having many many issues in the can wouldn't be a bad idea, in order to avoid months off during the course of the season. I'd gladly wait longer for Season 9's start in order to receive an uninterrupted run. If it's financially feasible to pay the artists for their work months before any of the issues have made DH some profits (though it's almost guaranteed profits, unless Season 8 sours a significant portion of the regular readership and they don't give Season 9 a shot).

I think with Dollhouse I'm gonna switch to "waiting for the trade". I find I can't make myself wait that long for Buffy and, given that I still wanna visit here, I know spoilers will slip through. Plus I wanna be able to read and participate in most of the new Buffyverse material threads when they happen, not half a year later. I've been making myself wait for IDW's Angel hardcovers (though have fallen behind) and that kinda didn't turn out so great, have spoiled myself horribly for some of it. But it was partly for good reason--didn't wanna spend the cash on anything post-"After The Fall" unless I heard enough good things about it. Was seriously doubtful about checking out more after the Armstrong run, was willing to put the title to bed, but then this happens and they apparently canonize IDW's main run--plus possibly some of the Spike/Angel/Illyria mini-series--and increase the chances of some of it being referenced or mattering within Season 9, so I feel compelled to check it all out.

The license switch definitely translated into more bucks from me, headed IDW's way...at least sooner anyway.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-08-24 21:23 ]
More Dollhouse! Fun. :D
Fingers crossed that it's a Dominic and Clyde buddy cop misadventure in the Attic written by Neil Gaiman!
I was vaguely confused by some of the details, why were people even asking if the Spike mini-series was going to remain an ongoing? I mean I rather figured he went hand in hand with Angel so he'd be off limits, but do they mean the possibility that the writer of that series would continue working with the character albeit over at Dark Horse?
@organwaxlion -some people took something said in an IDW interview to mean maybe Spike could continue there.
I still don't quite understand this idea that they will be co-equal comic series but under the 'season 9' banner. The explanation Allie gave really didn't make any sense to me.
Not much new information. Except in the whole C-word debate. It seems ever more clear that the continuity established in IDW's Angel will remain standing.

Under the "Season 9" banner there will be at least two ongoing titles, "Buffy" and "Angel" and some semi-ongoings, which to me can only mean "Spike". But no word on Lynch yet, darnit.
Season 9 is a bad name, no matter what Allie says. I think what he means is that both titles will be just as important, but kind of working in the same timeline, dealing with different aspects of the same issues. Kind of like how the Marvel Civil War played out. The ramifications were felt in all the books. But that didn't make the book not about the title character. I think they need to have a different 'banner'.
helcat, perhaps some event happening world wide in the Buffyverse, that has both the Buffy cast and Angel cast reacting to it, but in separate titles and different storylines.

Either way, seems that Allie doesn't want to give too much info out with Season 8 still wrapping up. Even with Season 8, we didn't get the title of the over all storyline, Twilight until quite a few issues in.
Well, it makes sense to me.

The main title is no longer Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's Season Nine. That's how it should be thought of. Within Season Nine there will be a Buffy and an Angel series playing out with some other one-offs or mini-series going on.

The way I look at, Angel ended with the television series - but was continued in comics (canon or not - I'm not debating, nor care) but was never called Season Six.

So to have Angel in Season Nine doesn't matter for Angel Season Seven because there was no Angel Season Six.

Besides it's time to party because it's crossover heaven. I'm actually rather excited about this whole thing and don't understand the confusion nor do I understand the fan backlash I keep reading in comments.
I think he's saving more info for when Season 8 is done. That's why many things don't make sense.

And for the multiple comics at the same time, I'm kind of worried, that's what I didn't like about IDW's run. It feels like an overdose for me.
Superman used to do five a month (depending on the week situation) that all told the same story. And then there were a few spin-offs that all crossed over with each other every now and then. I think it's a cool idea - but obviously it's not going be an episode format like Season Eight. Which, to be fair, since some were one issue "episodes" or five issue "episodes" it didn't really work for me most of the time anyway - and really lost me during the Predators and Prey arc, as I couldn't tell if each issue was supposed to be its own episode or a continuation of the previous one.

Basically I think people are overthinking this whole.
Again, I think this is one of those things that makes sense if you're a regular comic book reader. Both DC and Marvel has big universes but they'll often get one big event that will alter how that works. So Marvel just stepped out of a fairly black period with the bad guys in charge, and all the books had to fit in that universe. Then, beneath that universe wide stuff there are all the books that share one group. So like the X-men books, or the avengers books, or the batman books. These operate generally separately, but keep together in terms of ongoing dynamics. If they're done well, they all are heading towards the same big idea and are all supporting the same big story.

And that's what should be the exciting part about Season 9. That we'll have two separate buffyverse books coming out and a bunch of mini-series / one shots that all tie together in one ultimate arc is pretty brilliant . Better actually than most regular comic major arcs because they have to continue indefinitely. This gives scope for closure.

It should be epic.
Didifallasleep, some of the fan backlash from many of us may be simply that we were a lot happier with After the Fall, and the Spike comics than Twilight and Season 8. A. Lot. Like really, really hated the Twilight arc. Really.

Is anyone else seeing this whole thing like another Conan vs. Leno situation? Only with Ryall being way more gracious than Conan and not getting millions of dollars in compensation? ;)
As long as I'm being compared to fellow Irishman and actually funny guy Conan and not to Jay Leno here...
No no, you're the less whiny, though poorer version of Conan, Allie is Leno. ;)

[ edited by Xane on 2010-08-25 03:46 ]
Hmm. I'm a little reluctant to throw my hat in here, considering that I had never read a single comic book prior to tackling Buffy S8 & Angel ATF, but I have to say I'm a little surprised that no one has asked who is going to voice Angel and his core series companions in the upcoming Buffy S9/Angel & Friends Sub-Book/however-they're going-to-chop-this-up thingamabob.

I don't think anyone has really captured the tone of AtS (or any other Buffyverse property) in comic form as well as Brian Lynch, and I think the somewhat disjointed nature of both Buffy S8 and the non-ATF Angel books have been the source of a lot of fan distress over not only the plotlines of the books themselves, but the legitimacy of the medium in conveying the scope of emotional impact and character development that made the two series so compelling. If the plan is to slice the Buffyverse into easier-to-digest chunks focused on single characters, I'm intrigued by that idea, but I'd like to know who's lined up for said chunks. In particular, is there any possibility in Lynch's continued (and much welcomed) involvement? Any chance one of the big-hitter Angel writers (Minear, Fury, Edlund, etc) might take a stab at one of these books?

Any of the above would get me to read, but this whole multiple-book plan, as stated, kindof sounds like a cash-grab. Especially since we all know how busy Joss will be with the Avengers for the next 2 years.
Does this mean that fans of the Buffy series have to read up on the Angel series? I'd only continued the Buffy...
I had not been all that happy with the IDW progression with Angel, it seemed fractured and too hard to follow. But we have all of them in the house, and so a few weeks ago I sorted them all together and read them from beginning to the most recent issues.

Turns out it's a great story, I just apparently don't do well with serialized stories a month to two months between issues. BS8 is easier to follow being a more linear style of story telling. IDW really did a great job with Angel and the spinoffs. I'm still cool on the short arcs that retold filmed episodes, though; that seemed like a waste since it did not advance the story as far as I can tell.

Some of the Angel side arcs, especially "Blood and Trenches" have been brilliant. Gunn and Illyria's arc in "Only Human" was likewise excellent. Spike ATF was great and the reveal about Spike in the last AATF was intriguing, to say the least.

Unfortunately the Twilight reveal in BS8 was IMHO a train wreck and the series is out surfing among the sharks, as far as I am concerned. Jeez. It might have made half of the shippers go "squee" but I don't think either relationship is good for Buffy (although as comic book soft porn goes it was pretty spectacular- close to the "Heavy Metal" of the late 70s... aahhhgghh, I am old. Willow's "I know, you didn't know what came all over you" line was almost worth the whole sorry thing, though.). The sooner the curtains close on Twilight, G*d knows, the happier I will be. Unless Joss pulls out something really cool in the final arc to make up for it. Angel is Twilight. I mean, really. Jeez. Harrumph. I have fears for Season 9 but I still have faith in Joss.

[ edited by Scoffing at Gravity on 2010-08-25 04:43 ]
Didifallasleep and Xane: Someone new to Whedonesque might get the impression, judging from the comments, that the IDW comics were much more popular than the DH ones, and that no one hated the IDW ones. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought Season 8 sold as well as the IDW titles.

This isn't just DH vs. IDW. Joss was the impetus for the change. We may never know everything that went down. When Chris Ryall jokes about how, when their Angel run is done, no one will have to read anything more about Angel, etc., I don't see this as a barb aimed just at DH.

I enjoy the Buffy comics. I stopped reading Angel: After the Fall early on, when some of us complained about sexism, and Brian Lynch dismissed us in a condescending fashion. I tried again with a Spike comic and the one on Drusilla, and then I gave up for good.

It's awkward to criticize Brian because, if he replies in a flip manner, 10 fans will follow with adoration. I think it's easier for people to attack Scott Allie on this site because he doesn't comment here. (If he does, sorry, I haven't seen anything.)
I enjoy the Buffy comics. I stopped reading Angel: After the Fall early on, when some of us complained about sexism, and Brian Lynch dismissed us in a condescending fashion.

Thus my trepidation. :P I remember some mention of this issue but admit to being not-so-totally informed. In my personal opinion, ATF never got close to "sexist," although it certainly trended towards the machismo reflected by the series itself (at least in Season 5). Can you point me to what he said exactly?
What Suzie said.
Oh, and just to be clear, I like Buffy S8. I like Scott Allie. He is a delightfully self-depricating and accessible guy. I like Dark Horse and Buffy S8 has generally been pretty delightful. But I think the way Buffy S8 has developed recently has sort of been...less than a good (and not really anyone's fault...people just got really busy in mass consequence)? Comparatively, Angel AtF was just much more cohesive and believable. And, well, ANGEL. It felt like that world. Buffy S8 has always felt like a "writer's showcase," something that lacked a central guiding voice.

I'm not really sure what the right approach to doing a long-running comic like this is, but I am of an accord with Allie's (implicit) notion that they need to do something different. The comic just hasn't been gelling with me lately. I'm not even going to touch the Twangel/starf**king ridiculousness that has lost me most recently, it started a few issues before that...they just need to get back to developing the central characters. Abandon the idea that anyone is interested in the plight of throngs of nameless potential/slayers that exist only as plot devices, stop with the plodding misdirect about Giles' intentions (does anyone honestly believe he won't emerge as a white hat?), and obliterate this rather distasteful plotline about Angel's subversion of Buffy's ideals.

Or...shock the hell out of me, flip all of this around, and make me say "DAMN YOU JOSS!" again, in the best way possible.
Shpadoinkle: Can you point me to what he said exactly?

This is the thread, from 2007.

And yeah, What Suzie Said2. Without getting into it, I stopped reading Angel: ATF around that time, too. But I'd found a few signed ones at Golden Apple Comics on Melrose, which I've been giving each year to various CSTS events to raise money for Equality Now. Somehow that's been pleasing in a roundabout sortof vague way...
It simply isn't said enough here and gives the wrong impression, I love Season 8! All of it. Can't wait to see where it is going. One thing Joss is good at is frakking with your expectations and taking you somewhere that you didn't expect to go. I learned a long time ago to stop expecting, guessing and judging and just go for the ride. Have never NEVER been disappointed. Not a shipper. Could care less about who Buffy is going down on. A girl should have options. Bring on the rest of 8 and I'm ready for the ride of Season 9.

They had me at "Joss wants..."

The rest of you will be there too. You'll be bitching, of course, but you'll be there.
QuoterGal, I have to admit that those comments are pretty crass, but it seems from my rapid scraping of his recent comments/interviews that he has evolved quite a bit. I had no idea who Brian was when I read the Angel:AtF comics and I enjoyed them, so maybe that says something about me.

And thank you, TamaraC, I like to see me some S8 rah-rahing. Even though I can't quite get there with you on the "all of it" part, it's been a fun ride.
I know there are some who loved Season 8. I know there are some who hated it especially the last arc. I am one. I know Buffy sells well, better than Angel, but I have no idea what the proportion of people who buy Buffy actually like the Twilight/Spacefrakking arc. They may be legion for all I know. But from what I have read I would estimate it's more like around 5. Just kidding of course.

I didn't like the last few arcs of the Angel comics either. But they didn't offend me the way the Buffy did.

But really I just find the whole Darkhorse getting Angel back affair just a little too corporate. They gave it up, sold it I guess, then are somehow allowed to just take it back because Joss feels like it. It makes me feel like I'm rooting for the WB or something. But to be honest, I would probably still be more or less okay with it if I didn't hate the spacefrakking so much.
Shpadoinkle: I had no idea who Brian was when I read the Angel:AtF comics and I enjoyed them, so maybe that says something about me.

I really don't imagine it does, Shpadoinkle - if the comic pleased you, that's all to the good, and you should stay with it & enjoy it with my blessing. ; > Not that you need it...

I'm honestly 1) just passing on WHEDONesque-y history/info and a teeny bit about my experience with the whole thing - absolutely not one word about anyone else & their enjoyment or experience. Hand to gods or something else avow-y.
Seems like the fandom would be much more behind Buffy kicking ass in space rather than making love. I'll pick the sex. Sex is better (and usually a little less lethal) than the kicking ass. For me the fan reaction is almost as entertaining as the story itself. Why do you all hate sex so much? :)
Oh god TamaraC, not that question! NOOOOoooooooooooooooo!

I can't take another round of people telling me why I should hate something.
Or another round of people telling me why I am an idiot for hating something.
TamaraC I'm going to have to second your sentiments on Season 8. I LOVE THE WHOLE THING.

Sure there have been a few rough spots, but for the whole I've still been pretty invested. This whole Season 9 thing is what I've been wanting from the Buffyverse for a while so I am beyond happy.
Can't we just all just get along in our mutual hatred of FOX?
It is nice to see Season 8 enthusiasm, sure, but it doesn't change the fact that "spacefrakking" is going to be a moment of infamy that will probably be a meme of creative failure for a generation in comics. There's not a blessed thing that can happen from 8.36 to 8.40 that's going to change that, because it's had half a year to marinate in its own facepalmishness.

I mean, I can make the argument that we've already seen the signs of it in this Riley one-shot that started all this -- the news about the license change dominates the discussion. It's now one week since the one-shot and the somewhat big exposition that (big air-quote) "justifies" Angel's behavior and one week until the concluding arc of Season 8 begins... and what is the only thing talked about in the comic-following Buffyverse? Books that won't be coming out for a year, the undefined and dubiously named "Season 9". It's like Season 8 has just been disengaged.
I was slightly worried by the last paragraph. Surely, Joss's time is always going to be at a premium, since he is always going to be much in demand. If time constraints are worrying both Joss and Scott, then why take on such a large project and why not leave the Angel license where it was, where it can get the time it deserves.
Because the larger story that will be told will involve most of the books under the "Season 9" banner. Meaning that the ANGEL book will be getting just as much time as the Buffy one will, since the coordinated effort that Allie keeps talking about is not just to manage one book, but manage all the different books that will come out, so that a cohesive story can be told.
And there's the problem as I see it. Angel became a seperate show, with its own concerns and its own issues which for the most part had nothing to do with Buffy. Now it is to be brought back into tight coordination with the Buffy comic and it essentially becomes just another off-shoot of the main comic. Angel the series had moved beyond that so actually this feels like regression.
TamaraC I think you know that people who didn't like the spacefrakking don't hate sex. One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other, I'm not even going to bother explaining the differences because it's fairly obvious. I'm tired of even thinking about spacefrakking. And typing it.
Seems like the fandom would be much more behind Buffy kicking ass in space rather than making love. I'll pick the sex. Sex is better (and usually a little less lethal) than the kicking ass. For me the fan reaction is almost as entertaining as the story itself. Why do you all hate sex so much? :)


Oh, come on. This is really the argument you're bringing? That people are all a bunch of Puritans if they don't like a plainly stupid story? Feel free to defend the story all you want, but defend the story. Don't take potshots at its detractors. What's the motto here? Play the ball, not the man?

I think the negative fan reaction is good news for Joss in a way--it shows people still care about his creation no matter how much dirt he kicks over it. Better than a collective shrug at least.

And Buffy and "in space" should never be in the same sentence.
Man, I hate Fox.
This discussion is incredibly fun to read - but I cannot but notice that the whole buzz about 'negative fan reaction' at the Twilight arc is artificial and unfair. Many liked it - I am being in the likers camp cannot see why the displeasure over certain developments of the plot should translate into immediate negative reaction at the whole 'Joss is taking over his verse again and making it roll the way he wants it' development.
Season 8 sales are more than double the sales of the Angel run at IDW. I think the IDW fans are more vocal at the moment because this news impacts them directly.

I'll add another "what Suzie says". I'm sure Lynch is a nice guy, but he's never been nice to me when I've expressed reservations. I've never liked the way any of the non-Mariah folk at IDW dealt with fan concerns. Allie, by contrast, has always been much more pleasant to interact with. Maybe DH could hire Mariah away from IDW.

I suppose if I throw in an "I hate fox, too" I'll be missing the spirit of it. But yay Kairos and BGF.
Dorotea, I don't really think there is much of a negative reaction. There are a few people (the same few people every time) talking often and loudly about how much they hate the developments and a few others bewildered by their reactions. Then there is the majority of readers who are just keeping quiet, reserving judgment and seeing where the story goes. Kind of a tempest in a teapot really from my perspective.

I expect the same 3 or 4 people to vehemently disagree with me. :)
TamaraC, let me respectfully add that Buffy Season 8's sales are the true barometer of fan reaction to the ongoing storyline, not message board postings. The book, from issue 1 through issue 35, has lost considerably more than 3 or 4 readers. In fact it's lost about two-thirds of its readers by my count. 100,000 people have abandoned this book since issue 1. Season 8 is a one of a kind project, a true canon continuation of a television show that has a loyal fanbase numbering in the millions, and it is being produced by the show's creator. You would think therefore, that these readers would be more likely to stick with the book. Well, they haven't: they've left in droves. Feel free to continue to characterize people who don't like season 8 as a few harmless cranks, but what the sales actually say is that the people who support the book are actually the ones in the minority: most of the people who picked up the first few issues of season 8 are long gone now.
HMG, they were long gone after the first year of the comics. Normal decay in readership for something like this. The fact that it has lasted this long is amazing. The decay has no direct correlation to the content in the last few issues. Never called anyone cranks. Those are your words. Just called them a small group of negative and vocal peeps.
My suspicion is that with season 8 so close to the end of it's run those who've stuck with the comic this far will see it through. The season has already lost a lot of readers and I'd be interested to see how many choose to try season 9 when it launches- my guess is that will depend on how happy they are with how season 8 ends up. I am not aware of any way of knowing what the majority of the comic readers think of the storyline currently as the vast majority don't post on message boards about it.
TamaraC, the decrease in sales for each issue has a direct correlation to the content of the issues immediately preceding it, as something a person read caused them to decide to stop paying to read the next issue of the book. And I'm not talking specifically about the Twilight/Angel thing now, but season 8 as a whole. (Just to clarify my position: I don't just object to Twilight. I object to the entire arc of season 8. The only part I actually enjoyed was the Faith story by Vaughn.) In fact for all I know sales may have increased slightly for issue 35's reveal. But the trend remains: people are abandoning the title. And you can't call this a "normal decay in readership for something like this" because, for one thing, there isn't anything else "like this" out there in standard comic books. A canon continuation of a beloved TV show, overseen by its creator, featuring some of the show's writers as well, and actually called a "season"? That's unprecedented in comics and I think Dark Horse would have expected more from it than a typical B-lister superhero comic sales trajectory. Sure, Buffy would have brought out some curious sightseers to sample issue 1, but the large majority of the readers would have been fans of the show, as there aren't enough people reading comics anymore to assume a hundred thousand people will sample your book. And yet the fans of the show who accounted for that lion's share of sales have mostly gone away too.

And the sales didn't freefall in the first year as non-fans left, and then stabilize to a core group of actual fans who love the content, as you seem to be implying. Instead, if you look at sales charts, the book has fallen steadily, issue after issue, arc after arc, year after year. "Wolves at the Gate" sold less than "A Beautiful Sunset", "Time of Your Life" sold less than "Wolves at the Gate", "Predators and Prey" sold less than "Time of Your Life", and "Retreat" sold less than "Predators and Prey". At the end of the day the people producing season 8--not just Joss but Jeanty, the writers, Scott Allie and Dark Horse--have to accept the fact that what they're producing is being passed on by readers, more with each month; that it isn't merely a quirk of statistics or the general malaise of the comic book field. That the actual content matters too, and the readers--most of them fans of the TV show-- have voted with their wallets.

[ edited by Hellmouthguy on 2010-08-25 17:00 ]
I assure you, if there's a "three or four people" on one side an argument about Season 8, it could easily be demonstrated that it's the folk who think 8.33 and 8.34 and 8.35 form some sort of coherent, in-character, and worthwhile plot development.

Are you seriously trying to suggest the mere fact that sales didn't vanish six issues from the end of the season, when people still just want to know how it ends, is a sign that people were generally happy with the direction things have gone in?

Attrition is the normal sales model for all comic books, it's why there are so many relaunches and title changes even for normal characters. It's why Season 9 #1 will outsell Season 8 #40.
If y'all are gonna throw out sales figures, I think you should take a look at this: Sales figures analyzed

For the record, Buffy has lost about 62% of it's initial audience, while Angel has lost 71%. So if readers are voting with their wallets....

[ edited by rocknjosie on 2010-08-25 17:24 ]
TamaraC, let me respectfully add that Buffy Season 8's sales are the true barometer of fan reaction to the ongoing storyline, not message board postings.

Are you taking into account the sales for the TPBs as well? Because they still sell very well;

The Long Way Home TPB Ė 1st Highest of the Month
No Future For You TPB Ė 1st Highest of the Month
Wolves At The Gate TPB Ė 3rd Highest of the Month
Time of Your Life TPB Ė 2nd Highest of the Month
Predators and Prey TPB Ė 1st Highest of the Month

I canít find the sales figures for the Retreat TPB but so far they all seem to be selling very well. I think that shows a considerable amount of readers must have stopped purchasing the individual issues and are collecting the paperbacks instead. Iíve been doing that ever since Issue #15 and I have enjoyed S8 very much. Sure, there will be a lot of people who stopped buying the books simply because they do not like the story but thatís not the whole story. I think itís wrong to try and say that the decline is sales just has to do with dissatisfaction with the story, there could be many other reasons as well. I know that because I am one of them and I love S8.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-08-25 17:46 ]
I would like to mention that the current economic climate,the general malaise that the comic book industry and piracy also plays a part in the sales figures.

And it's worth noting that when Buffy #1 came out in 2007, all the comic books in the top ten were over 100,000 in orders. Now you're lucky if even two comic books in the top ten are over 100,000.
Oh, come on. This is really the argument you're bringing? That people are all a bunch of Puritans if they don't like a plainly stupid story? Hellmouthguy

But Tamara was just using the same argument that was used against those of us who didn't like ATF. When we disliked the cover with Spike and the harem, Brian Lynch characterized us as saying something along the lines of: Well, I NEVER!

Feminists often have been characterized as anti-sex prudes if we call something out as sexist.

At first, I thought the space sex was silly, but I think it subverted conventions, and Joss does love to subvert conventions. Sex has often been portrayed in a wink-wink manner, with trains, crashing waves, volcanoes erupting, etc., as metaphors. The Buffy issue raised the question: What if sex between two characters brought about literal changes to the world? What if we make these metaphors real and destructive?

Despite being in space or crashing through mountains, the sex seemed much more real than what's often depicted, especially in porn. There was humor, talking and not-talking, and respect, in addition to wild lust.

I don't view this as jumping the shark. I think it was an interesting idea that clearly didn't work for a lot of people. And, yes, I know many people disagree with me.

I've never felt the need for Big Bads. I've always seen Buffy and Angel as the struggle against bad, within and without. I'm fine with the Twilight arc, but think it's hard to draw conclusions until the conclusion.

But really I just find the whole Darkhorse getting Angel back affair just a little too corporate. They gave it up, sold it I guess, then are somehow allowed to just take it back because Joss feels like it. Xane

Being corporate would be the other way around -- if Joss wanted more control over his characters, and IDW had refused, saying they had bought them. I respect IDW more for giving them up. Joss is not a corporation. He creates stuff. He has to work within the confines of the corporate world.

Personally, I want Joss to be able to do things that he feels like doing. Xane, I'm guessing that you don't belong to the Joss-is-my-master contingent on Whedonesque.
Vampmogs, I was curious about that too. TPB sales show a similar ongoing decline. Here are Diamond figures I was able to google:

The Long Way Home: 33,692

No Future For You: 20,073

Wolves At The Gate: 16,235

Time Of Your Life: 12,793

Predators and Prey: 9,392

This only takes into account Diamond figures, which means sales to bookstores and Amazon (I believe) aren't part of these numbers. But even if you were to double or triple these numbers to account for bookstore sales of the trades, the overall decline is there. (I suppose one could argue that perhaps the decline doesn't exist in bookstore sales of the trades, but I would need to see hard numbers before I would be ready to believe that.)
I wish this whole topic wasn't canon in the Whedonesque universe. It's getting pointless and annoying.

I think everyone could use a yellow crayon speech.
But Tamara was just using the same argument that was used against those of us who didn't like ATF. When we disliked the cover with Spike and the harem, Brian Lynch characterized us as saying something along the lines of: Well, I NEVER!

Feminists often have been characterized as anti-sex prudes if we call something out as sexist.


Suzie, I notice that oftentimes when comic pros respond to fan enquiries in online forums they like to adopt a sort of coy, jokey persona and not actually answer any questions or really respond substantively to criticisms. (And as far as Buffyverse creators go, I don't think Lynch is anywhere near the worst offender.) For what it's worth I also thought that Spike cover was a lousy idea but I've seen a lot of comics in my time and I'm afraid that sort of "let's titillate the readers with TITS!" mentality has been part of the comics industry basically since its inception, like a termite gnawing at the woodwork. The not only rampant but in fact completely ingrained sexism of comic books, not just in visual ideas but of course in the stories as well (Gail Simone, a female comic creator who is very cool and fighting an uphill battle in this male-dominated industry, coined the term "Women In Refrigerators" to describe the fate of women who are essentially appendages to the male characters) is for me the primary reason why I don't yet see comics as a medium on par with novels or motion pictures or even television dramas. Comics read, too often, as if they are written and drawn by adolescent boys. I'm tired of seeing female chaacters with breasts bigger than their face. Comics are an industry where "Wonder Woman"--a woman who fights crime in a bathing suit and high heels, and has breasts the size of bowling balls--is held up as a feminist icon. Comics have a long way to go. Unfortunately the juvenilia of the medium seems to have entranced Joss Whedon, who has decided Buffy should be able to fly and Angel should dress like the gimp from Pulp Fiction.

[ edited by Hellmouthguy on 2010-08-25 18:27 ]
I think it's interesting that 'spacefrakkin' is seen as this huge face palm moment. I would have to say that there were plenty of moments in BtVS the show that were groan worthy as well. I mean there was seriously a scene of two people knocking a house down with sex? I know there's a difference in scale, but still I don't see the difference.
No difference, Cazador. Both events were awesome! :)
Are those of you discussing Buffy's drop in sales going to continue without acknowledging this from rocknjosie?

"If y'all are gonna throw out sales figures, I think you should take a look at this: Sales figures analyzed

For the record, Buffy has lost about 62% of it's initial audience, while Angel has lost 71%. So if readers are voting with their wallets...."


I've been reading/buying/selling comics for 25+ years. Without looking at the actual numbers of every comic ever published, it has been my experience that a comic will sell less as it continues. It is very, very rare for a comic to stay steady in sales, and rarer to actually increase. I've seen this happen across genres, companies and creative teams. Buffy doesn't stand out to me as any different considering there are plenty of authors and TV/Movie writers now doing comics.

Add me to the list of people who stopped buying individual issues for TPBs (of both Angel and Buffy). And recently, I haven't even done that. I'll get them eventually. (monetary reasons, not storyline)
I'm one of those people who's still undecided on S8 - my first impression of the latest issues and the much referenced spacefrakking wasn't great, but I'm waiting to see what happens as I've enjoyed most of the rest of S8 so far and I'm trying to stay out of discussions like this one because the temperaments on all sides of the argument seem to rise, both with the pro/contra S8 people, the pro/contra IDW people and the pro/contra Angel-move-to-darkhorse people. Just like we had the pro/contra Angel-in-S8-in-the-first-place people a while back. It's all just so very tiring (to me) and the whole 'comic brand loyalty'-thing seems to have sneaked up on this fandom and I'm very nearly as done with the topic as I was with the shipping discussions a few years ago. I'd be glad all the characters are going to be back at one company for that fact alone, even if I liked what IDW was doing and what Darkhorse was doing equally fine or - on occasions - not-fine :). (For the record: I'm not blaming anyone specifically for the tone of these comment threads; it just seems to slip into these discussions despite everyone's best intentions).

Anyway, on to the point of this post (because we were talking about numbers, and numbers are fun):

TPB sales show a similar ongoing decline.


Fair enough, Hellmouthguy, but apparently - if the list vampmogs posted is correct - this decline hasn't helped shift the book in the sales lists much, at least implying the decline has been more universal. I think Simon makes a very good point upthread over the general state of the comic book industry. The decline of the Buffy title means nothing by itself. For the numbers to mean anything, we need to take a look at the overall decline in comic book sales and measure the relative market position. If, for instance, every comic book seems to be dropping by comparable numbers, it becomes ever more unlikely that the story is to blame for the drop :).

But, then of course, comparing Buffy's numbers to a couple of other titles - or even all the other titles - won't be enough either. It's quite possible that the most popular titles haven't taken the same hit in sales, thus skewing the numbers - maybe because people have less money for comic book titles and are saving their money for their favorite comics.

And then there's the issue of the type of readers these books have. Is the Buffy audience the same as the rest of the buyers in the comic book industry? Certainly there's overlap, but there's probably also quite a big share of 'new' readers. So are these readers comparable to the general comic book audience? Do they have higher incomes? Is Buffy higher on their priority lists, overall, than - say - Spider-Man is to a Spider-Man fan? Is the economy even the reason for an overall decline in comic book readership (if there is one)? We simply don't know.


So my point is this: we can massage these numbers every way we wish, making them fit either argument as we please. But at the end of the day, they mean absolutely nothing without more data. They're not even suggestive of one or the other argument without more knowledge. There's simply too many unknown variables to take anything more from them then 'there seems to be a decline in readership' :).
TPB sales figures are much lower than the sales for issues -- unless those numbers are misleading, there aren't teeming tens of thousans of fans who've decided to wait for TPBs.

I'm ambivalent about season 8. I thought the Twilight arc was bizarre, but I want to see how it fits into the story once we know how it goes. We all have different feels for the fandom, but my feel is this. Space frakkin spawned a lot of jokes. Ryall played off that like it's a known fact that we all laugh at space frakkin. That doesn't have to be accurate for every single fan. Obviously it's not. But my read of the gestalt is that more fans think #34 is stupid/cringe-worthy than think it's sexy/hot. I know that when I want to talk about the comics to Buffy fans who haven't been reading the comics, #34 strikes them as a slam-dunk argument for ignoring the whole comic book thing.

Me shrugging about that. I'm not militantly against the Twilight arc. I'm still into the comics and am very much looking forward to Last Gleaming. But my sense is that there was a shift in general attitudes towards the comics during the Twilight arc, and not for the better.
I thought the term "women in refridgerators" was coined to describe the woman in a refridgerator...?

Really has nothing to do with T&A in comics -- which really isn't any more frequent than in movies or even in novels, just more pronounced for the exagerrated visual nature of comics. It's a very strained attempt to parallel the two phenomenon.

EDIT: Maggie, I don't think one has to be militantly against the arc or against Season 8 in general to be horrified by the lameness that was spacefrakking and almost all of this set up.

We've been here before -- there were whole sections of the fandom that didn't even finish Season 7 after the groanworthy feel of "Empty Places", including -- to my great annoyance -- the first Buffy recap site I ever read just gave up and didn't do the last four episodes. And fans have grimaced at similarly flimsy plot (as opposed to character) details, like (sorry for making you a punching bag, Season 7) Buffy-living-again-gave-the-First-its-chance-but-we-won't-mention-it, and The First has a plan for Spike/No it doesn't really.

People feel enough general affection for the characters and the overall feel of the stories they go through to suffer through even things they feel are pretty asinine. The Twilight reveal and the events immediately after it aren't more special or horrible, just more recent.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-08-25 19:29 ]
Does anyone know if the overall comic book sales figures include those of the manga market? It seems to me that sales and hunger for that type of storytelling is increasing. (That viewpoint of course, is based solely on my own observations--by which I really mean, absolute statistical squat.)
Hellmouthguy: the problem with your TPB sales figures is that of course 'The Long Way Home', which has been in print for three years, is going to have sold more copies in total than 'Retreat' which hasn't been out for even half a year yet. As Cordelia would doubtless say, "Duh."

More relevant would be the first month's sales for each TPB:

The Long Way Home: 8,762
No Future For You: 9,493
Wolves At The Gate: 9,253
Time Of Your Life: 8,581
Predators and Prey: 7,225
Retreat: 7,029

So still a decline, but not nearly as steep as the one you implied. 'Retreat' was the second-best selling TPB in the month it launched - and only four TPBs that month even managed to sell more than 4,000 copies, so its 7,000+ was pretty impressive.
GVH, a couple of things.

First, the numbers do mean absolutely one thing: significantly less people are reading Buffy. There is no way to massage down into up.

Second, to the point that comics sales always tend to decline across the life of a title. That's true, obviously, in the large majority of (but not all) cases. But in order for a lost sale to happen a person has to actually decide "I am not going to buy this book anymore." The question in the case of Buffy is, why is that decision being made? Why have more than 60% of the readers decided to drop the book? Is it, as some people are alleging in this thread, that comics readers are dropping the book for the same reasons they eventually drop every book? Spider-man loses sales, Batman loses sales, Buffy loses sales. Are all three cases analogous?

I've bought a lot of comics and I've been a part of a lot of sales trends over the past thirty years. I know what always went through my mind when I stopped buying a comic book I had previously been interested in: the book had declined in quality to the point where I got tired of it, or the book simply hadn't managed to thrill me enough lately to justify the purchase, or I decided to keep buying it, except in trade format rather than individual issues. But always, always, always, especially in the case of the superhero comics I used to buy, was the thought in the back of my mind: "Batman currently sucks, but there's always Spider-Man, let's try that". Or "Spider-Man currently sucks, but there's always Moon Knight, let's try that." Or "I'm tired of all these Marvel and DC heroes, let's try some independent stuff". Or "I'm tired of superheroes in general, let's try something completely different." My point being, it was easy for me to drop comics titles, especially the superhero stuff, because so much of it was of a piece; really, what's the difference between Spider-Man and Batman? Every issue you get to read about built guys in outfits fighting other built guys in outfits. So there was never a sense that I was genuinely losing anything by dropping Batman, because the whole frigging comics industry was essentially Batman and if I didn't read that title I could just move onto something extremely similar that was hopefully executed better. It was all basically interchangable. I dropped titles all the time because I never felt that I was missing anything unique.

But when a Buffy fan drops Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, they have stopped buying something unique, something irreplacable, something they can't get a fix of anywhere else on the comics stands. Dropping Buffy isn't like dropping Spider-Man, a superhero character who keeps running in circles because the book has to be published continually. Buffy season 8 is the only place to get the canon continuation of the TV show, an actual story that will have a beginning, middle and end with every season, rather than running around in circles fighting the same supervillains year after year after year. Someone reading the Buffy Season 8 comic knows that they can't just pick up some other comic about a twenty-something girl who is not a superhero and does not wear a goofy costume, fighting vampires and demons and saving the world from apocalypses with her plucky band of friends, while they all obsess about their love lives and trade painfully ironic Joss Whedon-style puns. While superhero comics will always be a dime a dozen so readers have no problem dropping them with impunity, there is no other Buffy comic to spend their money on. Buffy season 8 is the one place to get the next chapter of the story that went for seven years on television. And the fans of the show are collectively shrugging their shoulders and dropping it. I think at least some of that has to be due to dissatisfaction with the story.

And I think Dark Horse agrees with me. If they really thought the sales slippage was the usual comic book trajectory, and that it was completely unavoidable, why would they be announcing a more streamlined season nine?
danregal I do think we're going to continue to be ignored as folk continue writing their novels in here. But if you wanna see Buffy and Angel sales figures compared to Batman over the same timeframe, you could, y'know, check the link I posted above.
Add me to the list of people for whom Brian Lynch's replies in the Whedonesque threads were a bit too dismissive (and defensive). I stopped posting in said threads for, in great part, that reason. He sounds like a nice guy but doesn't react to criticism well.

Ultimately, I'm guardedly optimistic about the switchover to Dark Horse. My position is similar to Maggie's about the Twilight arc: I thought it was bizarre, and haven't dismissed it entirely. It's easy to describe Dark Horse as the bad guy here, because IDW are clearly the ones who are victims--they have lost their title, and they were hit repeatedly by Dark Horse PR screwups besides. In terms of the stories themselves I'm ambivalent; I just know that for season eight's missteps I am more interested in what they have done than in what IDW has done, even in AtF. Really the difference for me is in the draw of having both universes together, and in Joss having greater involvement. Why Joss couldn't have gotten himself more directly involved in IDW's line is a question no one seems to be asking, and that's part of what's on my mind. I don't know that it's as simple as "Joss doesn't care about Angel!" but it is rather on the strange side.
Rocknjosie, if you're referring to me with the "novel-writing" line, hey, guilty as charged. I tend to ramble.

But I didn't ignore you. You wrote:

For the record, Buffy has lost about 62% of it's initial audience, while Angel has lost 71%. So if readers are voting with their wallets....


You're pointing out the fact that, sure, people have abandoned Buffy season 8 in droves, but they're abandoning IDW's Angel series in nine-percent bigger droves. Which is all well and good and true, but I haven't been trying to assert in my posts in this thread that Angel is a better book than Buffy. I haven't been talking about Angel's book at all really. I've just been pointing out the fact that I think Buffy's lost sales, and the bizarre badness of season 8, are related. So I never responded to you specifically because you didn't seem to be responding to my point. And although it might seem today as if I've decided to live on Whedonesque, I am also doing other things at the moment so not every opportunity for pithy commentary which presents itself can be taken advantage of.
Hellmouthguy, I'm not disputing that Buffy is losing readers. That's a fact. But let's be very clear: that's the only fact. Everything else at this point is conjecture.

You seem to think it's very likely that people are dropping the book because the story isn't up to par. I'd say to that: sure, that might be. But there's certainly no way to prove that and the drop-off in and of itself is not enough to make that any more plausible than any of the other options.

To be clear, though: I know that Buffy and Superhero comics are a different offering in principle. But we have no knowledge of what the buying audience is thinking and we have no way to be sure that Buffy readers even act the same as regular comic book readers, so that the numbers might be incomparable (making the Buffy data a case of N=1, statistically completely insignificant). Just one example of how these readers could be different: Buffy readers might value comic books much less than a television show to begin with, thus being a group preselected to have a much bigger chance to drop the comic book simply because of the format to begin with, regardless of quality. Not saying that's true, but it might be true. Just like it might be true that Buffy fans are more used to pirating stuff than comic book readers, coming from a television fandom, thus feeling less pressure to pay for the books. In the end, we just can't know.

To have a bit more sure footing in interpreting these numbers - though I still hold that at the end of the day we can't read anything into them - I'd like to see some numbers on normal cut-off ratios through the years for all kinds of comic books; not just superhero books, but independent author produced stuff as well, other tie-in comics, etcetera. I'd then like to compare those numbers to the current drop off's to determine if the last few years have featured an abnormal market. This could very well be, given the current economic crisis. Pressing monetary reasons for not buying comic books would be universal, regardless of the cultural make-up of the reading audience, though it might skew the results a bit if either group has more people with high incomes. Again: we just don't know.

So while I agree that the Buffy book has been losing readers (just like the Angel book has, for instance), saying that's because of the storyline is jumping to unjustified conclusions as far as I'm concerned. In the end the numbers mean no more and no less than the factual drop in reading figures.
What about those readers (like, say, me) who had no problem with space-frakkin' or ocean-frakkin' or mountaintop-frakkin' but had a big, knock-me-the-hell-out-of-the-story moment trying to accept that Angel -- not Angelus -- caused the deaths of lots and lots of people and is still supposed to be someone I root for?

I'm a few issues behind, largely because of that what-the-hell moment, so I may have missed the justification speech, but a war of attrition against the Slayers bugs me without apparent remorse much more than an over-the-top sex scene.
Hellmouthguyall I wanted to point out is that A) the Buffyverse books as a whole have been in decline saleswise B) while at the same time some fans have questioned the quality of the books but that C) Correlation does not imply causation
How about we use an N of 1 study? Me? I stopped reading the book- though obviously not commenting here- because the story no longer involved me. I could not recognize the characters I loved, I had no one to care about, the medium was not conducive to the tale, the tale was not interesting, and the scale was no longer human. I simply feel bad that this TV program that I have dedicated 10- years to has been so ill treated by its move into comics. I feel sad that I cannot care about something I really care for- and it is not like I went out to decide to not like Buffy! I love Buffy, and I would love to love it in its new iteration, but I can't. It does not resonate. I moves in directions I don't care about. It elevates secondary characters to no effect and diverts away from primary characters I love. And now it brings in a character whose show so left me cold I never finished watching it. It seems to subvert the feminism that drove it, turning black into white, showcasing sex as soft core porn and making agency and consent secondary considerations; hell, I could buy Carnal Comics to equal effect. I won't be buying S9 in any form.

The question to ask is, what turned off a major fan? I did not set out to be a dissident voice on Whedonesque but lately seem to only have criticisms- on the book, on DH, even on Joss, who drove this business decision no matter everything else. What is going on? That is the question DH and Scott Allie should be asking? Why are fans leaving?
So while I agree that the Buffy book has been losing readers (just like the Angel book has, for instance), saying that's because of the storyline is jumping to unjustified conclusions as far as I'm concerned. In the end the numbers mean no more and no less than the factual drop in reading figures.


GVH, that's a lot like stating, "Saying that people aren't buying Buffy because they don't want to buy Buffy is jumping to unjustified conclusions." There's no way you lose 60% of your readers without the actual book you're publishing having something to do with it. Anything else is hysterical blindness.

100,000 of the people who decided to buy Buffy #1 decided not to keep up with the series. Sure, for some percentage of that group, there could be all kinds of reasons they stopped purchasing that have nothing at all to do with the product. But at the end of the day people either want to buy what you're selling or not, and when people aren't buying, sellers who don't look at their product as a probable cause are going straight out of business. Someone who bought issue #21 but didn't buy issue #22 may or may not have seen something in issue #21 that put them off the series, but one thing is for certain--that person made a decision that issue #22 was not worth paying three bucks for. So however you want to phrase it, issue #22 just didn't wow that person enough to separate them from their money. Maybe this person didn't hate the story at all. But my point is, they most certainly didn't love it enough to spend the three bucks, and that's the ballgame right there. You can bet Scott Allie is looking at the actual content of the book with an eye toward increasng sales for season 9, and not just blaming "the industry".

Take an example from television. A TV show is losing viewers at a frightening clip. A good number of those lost viewers might have wandered away for reasons that had nothing to do with the show at all--maybe they were going out that night, maybe they had other things to do. But that doesn't change the fact that the TV show was not a significant enough draw to keep those people sitting in front of their TV sets. It wasn't "appointment television", and that is a problem with the show--the fact that the show can't entice people out of their routines is a problem. Not hating the show isn't good enough; the viewer needs to love it, to love it enough to sit there and make the time, or the producers didn't do their jobs. And Buffy, for those 100,000 people, was not an "appointment comic". Those 100,000 people didn't love it enough to overcome whatever reasons they had to just skip it instead. It didn't convince them to make the trip out to God knows what comic shop to plunk down their three bucks. Instead they dropped the series, or they pirated the books, or they decided to watch thir DVD's again, and maybe they didn't have a problem with the story. But they didn't love it either--they didn't love it enough to actually buy it.

And I do think the jump to the comics medium was a huge concern for a significant portion of the fanbase, but that's why sales on issue #1 were about 3% of the viewership of the series. The people who just couldn't deal with the comics format under any circumstances were mostly already weeded out, I think.
I stopped reading the comics because I can't be bothered to read a few pages at a time (obviously not much of a comics person) and I don't like the look of TPBs. I'm waiting for one of those big, beautiful hardcovers with everything in it once the season is finished.
...so does my N of 1 cancel out Dana's? :)
all of this N =1 talk has me itching to make a statistics joke, but I don't know any :(
A historian, an engineer and a statistician are duck hunting. A duck rises from the lake. The historian fires first, and shoots ten feet over the duck. Then the engineer shoulders the shotgun and shoots ten feet under the duck. The statistician exclaimed "Got him!"
GVH, that's a lot like stating, "Saying that people aren't buying Buffy because they don't want to buy Buffy is jumping to unjustified conclusions."


Actually, no, Hellmouthguy. It really isn't. It's a lot like stating 'We only know that people have stopped buying the comics, but we don't know why' (in fact, it's stating exactly that ;)).

You're equating 'stopped buying the comics' to 'actively decided to stop buying the comics' which you've - in your previous messages - equated to 'stopped buying the comics because of the story'. Which is fair enough as a theory and even fair enough as a company to consider a viable option (I'm not denying it is) - one should rather be safe than sorry, after all. But that the drop-off is being caused by people disliking the direction of the comics, is in no way a fact implied directly by the numbers. I'm certain those people are there, Dana5140 just offered himself up as an example, even (although we already have a counter example by jcs ;)). But this means nothing. In fact: people dropping the book because of the story is not even a fact that's clearly implied, but technically unprovable, like some unprovable mathematical theorem which pretty much everyone knows holds true in most practical instances. No, in this case we have no way of knowing what the odds are, as we simply lack information to make an informed decision to interpret the numbers either way, because of the factors I've stated in my previous messages.

To get back to the first assumption (people who stop buying the comic books have made an active decision to stop buying said book), I can think of an example from the top of my head of a case where people don't actively decide. Before I give it I'd like to point out that this example - like the others I've offered for why the story might not be the reason for dropping the title in my previous post - are illustrations, but not a proof. I have no way of knowing if these examples are relevant for a significantly large number of buyers to impact sales figures. I might make an educated guess along those lines if I did some kind of statistically relevant survey, but none of us has done anything like that (or, I assume, would wish to do so ;)). The point is, though: there are possible examples like this (there's probably others I haven't thought of). Which means there's no clear logical step from one assumption to the other.

Getting on with it, my example is this: people may not care enough to begin with to actively make a decision either way. We here at whedonesque are massive fans of the show. I enjoy the comics. But keeping up with them is a hassle, missing an issue is very easy (my comic book shop misses some issues from time to time and it probably isn't the only one) and after having missed it there's much extra hassle to get a back issue which sometimes doesn't even work. What's more, forgetting to buy an issue is even more easy. If I didn't get constant reminders from reading Whedonesque, I'd already have missed quite a few. Given all this - and the long times between deliveries - it's easy to just give up and figure 'Ah well, I'll read them sometime' - if you even think about the comics anymore at all. And, this might have happened even if the comic was the most brilliant and engaging storyline since whatever the storyline was that made you fall in love with the show to begin with. Simply because, as a television fan, you're not automatically also a comic book fan. Or because of a myriad of other reasons. Point is: I have no way of knowing if this is the case and if so, how big this issue is. And neither does anyone else.

As for your comparison with dropping viewing figures for a television show: much of the same goes there, but not exactly. Television shows, for instance, are free to watch (unless it's a cable show, but no one pays directly for them) and can only be watched on a fixed time directly. They might be promoted badly, be aired out of order (like Firefly), might have gotten an major competitor in their timeslot, etcetera. Viewing figures are not a clear and direct indication of viewing potential or even of the number of people who enjoy what they are watching.

Of course, we know a lot more about viewing behavior. We know when during the show people tune in and out, for instance. We've been looking at viewing figures for ages and by trial and error we've learned to interpret them a little more reliably. But, moving back to comics, we don't know what's 'normal' for the type of comic book Buffy is, since - as you've pointed out - there has never quite been anything like it. On the other hand, we're pretty sure what - say - an action show on FOX is supposed to pull in. And even then interpreting the numbers for a television show is still an imprecise art (leading to sites devoted solely to spinning them this way or that), but at least it's somewhat clearer. And it's (but this is a completely separate point) also a lot more clear what the numbers mean with respect to expectations and keeping the shows on the air. The television stations have a clear bottom line: drop below these numbers and there's trouble. As far as I can see, the Buffy comics have been bleeding readers, but I've never heard anyone say or even imply anything along the lines of them being in trouble. It's a different medium and the numbers mean different things - although we can never be quite sure what they mean.
Did you hear the one about Angel moving to Dark Horse?
Checking in on this ad hoc poll - I stopped buying the Darkhorse Buffy Season 8 comics for a very similar reason as jcs - I'd rather read a bunch of 'em squooshed together, though I had nothing in particular against the TPB editions. I just didn't feel like springing for them. TFAW just had a nick-and-denty-edition sale and I await a bunch of them as we speak.

BTW, that's partly - but by no means the main reason - that I keep out of the Season 8 threads on here. I've been spoiled on a number of developments just because of the people I hang with online, and no big deal, but I prefer to get my story from the story itself... which is how I did my entire Buffy 1-7 viewing, as well.

I'm not a big comics reader - though I certainly read more now than I did in all my years ages 22-50 combined - but when I do, I've found I only stay engaged in the story without the actors if I do really long hops. I stopped reading BtVS Season 8 around "A Beautiful Sunset", though I read maybe 1 or 2 more. I did adore "Anywhere But Here" which I thought was downright lovely.

Story developments and/or relationships don't for the most part get me bent out of shape - either in TV shows or comics or whatever - because I'm just not that married to an outcome... as long as it's character-driven - and relatively consistent in that respect.

I've yet to see how that plays out in the comics.

There are many kinds of Whedon-y fans...
haha thanks project bitsy! I'm going to have to save that somewhere it's pretty great.
Chris Ryall has an interview with io9 HERE. Nothing new, I don't think, but if someone's a completist, then you'll probably want to file this away.
Dana,

How about we use an N of 1 study? Me? I stopped reading the book- though obviously not commenting here- because the story no longer involved me. I could not recognize the characters I loved, I had no one to care about, the medium was not conducive to the tale, the tale was not interesting, and the scale was no longer human. I simply feel bad that this TV program that I have dedicated 10- years to has been so ill treated by its move into comics. I feel sad that I cannot care about something I really care for- and it is not like I went out to decide to not like Buffy! I love Buffy, and I would love to love it in its new iteration, but I can't. It does not resonate. I moves in directions I don't care about. It elevates secondary characters to no effect and diverts away from primary characters I love. And now it brings in a character whose show so left me cold I never finished watching it. It seems to subvert the feminism that drove it, turning black into white, showcasing sex as soft core porn and making agency and consent secondary considerations; hell, I could buy Carnal Comics to equal effect. I won't be buying S9 in any form.

The question to ask is, what turned off a major fan? I did not set out to be a dissident voice on Whedonesque but lately seem to only have criticisms- on the book, on DH, even on Joss, who drove this business decision no matter everything else. What is going on? That is the question DH and Scott Allie should be asking? Why are fans leaving?


The point I made earlier is that I am a fan of S8 and yet, I'm one of those people who have stopped buying the issues too. I've been a fan of BtVS since the very first episode aired, still remember watching it in fact, and I have very much enjoyed most of the comics. These days I'm pretty much only still in fandom because of the comics and it's all I discuss about on Buffyforums etc. So whilst you might be proof that dissatisfaction with the story is turning fans away, I am proof that the sales are decreasing for totally different reasons as well. I am one of those fans who are now collecting the TPBs instead and I personally know of others (both online and in RL) who are waiting for the season to finish before collecting the whole lot. I've talked to many people who find one issue a month too slow and much prefer to read the season in chunks as they think it flows better etc.

The point people are trying to make is that there could be many reasons why the sales have declined. Nobody is denying that part of it will have to do with dissatisfaction with the story, we're simply saying it's not the only reason. Iím sure thereís many fans out there just like you who stopped buying the book because they hated it. However, Iím sure thereís many fans out there just like me who stopped buying the book for totally different reasons and who still enjoy the story. All I'm saying is that it's incorrect to look at those statistics and make a blanket statement that it proves fans hate the story when I'm one of those statistics and I've really enjoyed it. Others are also correct to point out that there are many other factors that would contribute to the decline as well. So, yeah, the sales will have declined because fans have disliked the story but that's only part of the reason. We're both living proof of that...
I tend to agree with Hellmouthguy and Dana. I am a huge Buffy fan. Seriously spend way too much time watching it, reading about it, talking about it, buying stuff related to it.
I was broken hearted when it ended, thrilled when the comic was announced. I am still grateful to Joss so giving me so many years of enjoyment.
However, the latest arc has made me wish the comic was never made. I never thought I would feel that way about anything Buffy related. I don't know what the percentage of people who like it versus not is, but even here at the Whedon fan board where Joss is god it doesn't seem as popular as one would think.
I don't deny the advantage of having both titles under Joss' direction, that is I wouldn't if I wasn't so incredibly disappointed in the way season 8 went.
Maybe I'll be suprised, maybe Joss will find a way to spin the rest of the story that pleases me and negates my discontent at the way it's gone so far. I would be delighted. But I certainly can't imagine what could pull that off.

[ edited by Xane on 2010-08-26 04:37 ]
Xane, my local comic book store tells me it is their most popular and best-selling comic book series.

So at least in Canberra, it's very popular, definitely more popular than I thought it would be (even though I like it).
Yeah, come to think of it in Adelaide I know that you have to pre-order the book if you want to get a copy. I always ordered my issues from tfaw.com but my friend gets it from the local store and still has to have his name on the list. I have a feeling BtVS was always more popular in the UK and Australia then the US, though. In Oz it used to air at 10:30pm and get an average of 600,000 viewers with Channel 7 estimating an additional 600,000 more taped it. Now, remember Australia has a much smaller population and it's groundbreaking if a series reaches the 3 million mark so for BtVS to get those ratings every week with the timeslot it has was very impressive. I also know for a fact that Chosen actually won its timeslot the night it aired. So if you think about it, it's not all that surprising that in places like Canberra and Adelaide the book sells very well.
Makes sense, vampmogs. Per capita Buffy and Angel were always more popular (as is all genre) in UK and Australia than in the US. Genre is looked down on here. Not so much in the UK and Oz.
Vamp, an n of 1 means we cannot generalize past the 1. :-) I cannot speak for anyone but me and acknowledge that many reasons exist for why people leave or stop buying. I just gave mine, and others may differ, of course.

The real question I was asking is, what is being done about it? Are there marketing studies being done, or surveys or data gaterhing of any sort? I was an editor for many years, and we did run surveys of readership to gather infomration that could lead to change. I would guess no such effort is being done. I think I know why, but it would be pure conjecture on my part, so I'd prefer not to say why.
Yeah, I agree with Xane, and would add that on the whole I've found season 8 to be very poor fare indeed, and that the last few issues I found to be an incredbily embarrasing read for a multitude of reasons. In fact I'd go so far as to say It's the first time that I've actualy felt embarresed to be a Buffy fan. Hell, I have to say I felt embareassed for Whedon too for sanctioning such tripe.

For me the whole thing has actually thrown me as what to expect these days from Whedons writing. I've found it all to be so sub par, that I'f I didn't already know who's name was on the cover I'd have never have guesed it was him. :(
Joss, if you or one of your manservants happen to be reading, I'd like you to know that I love your writing and the writing of your minions.

If the same IDW supporters can keep trashing you and DH, in thread after thread, until newbies think that Whedonesque is a site for people who think Joss sucks, it's only fair for the rest of us to use language as equally strong: Dear Joss and Scott Allie, I will set myself on metaphorical fire outside DH if you hire Brian Lynch. I will never, ever read anything by IDW again even if they put out a graphic novel called Buffy the Lesbian Separatist.
Hellmouthguy said:
"I think Dark Horse agrees with me. If they really thought the sales slippage was the usual comic book trajectory, and that it was completely unavoidable, why would they be announcing a more streamlined season nine?."

Not convinced of this, personally. Couldn't the decision to shorten** Season 9 be more in reaction to their own assessment of how Season 8 was executed, format-wise ? Combined with seeing how the fans reacted to the slow release format ? (think that's a big part of it--you're getting a lot of TV viewers, used to seeing an entire season-long arc of the show play out over nine months, who grew impatient with Season 8 taking over three years to complete). Also, it might mostly be dictated by the story they're planning on telling with S9.


**It's not being streamlined--they wouldn't be talking about publishing multiple titles under the Season 9 banner if they were streamlining, they would keep it to one book like Season 8 has been, or just two, a Buffy and an Angel title.

I'm not being naive, I realize DH might've looked at the numbers and thought about how to reduce the number of readers who decide not to continue buying the comic in any format. However, I hope the less lengthy Season 9 is being constructed as such because of the story they're going to attempt to tell, not purely due to business reasons. The idea that shortening and tightening up the plotting of Season 9 is mostly due to "Dark Horse major fail!" is a huge leap of an assumption. The length-of-season/multi-writer-mini-arc-format of Season 8 was fluid from the beginning--it got longer and longer as the series went on, then they said they were stopping at #40, then realized they needed an extra issue and said it'd end at #41, and now I admit I have no clue where it's ending. It was Joss' choice, how long it should go on for and how it should be set up for the writers on board, not DH's/Scott Allie's. Unless we should maybe start including Joss as an employee of Dark Horse(which he sorta is--freelance, at least--given his writer and exec producer credits and the fact that he must receive a paycheque from them for his involvement in S8) and lay praise & blame more widely/inclusively, blurring the line between publisher and creator.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-08-29 05:11 ]

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home