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March 30 2011

High-Def Digest reviews Buffy Season 8 Motion Comic Blu-ray. Joshua Zyber of High-Def Digest takes a critical eye to the Blu-ray release of the first nineteen issues of season 8 of "Buffy" in motion comic form.

"Overall, despite looking forward to spending some additional time with the 'Buffy' characters, this first half of 'Season 8' mostly left me depressed. It has a few worthy moments, but not enough to justify its existence. It only serves to dilute the power of the TV series finale. 'Buffy' ended on a good note on television. That should have been the last of it. To be blunt, I wish that I hadn't read any of the comic book or watched this motion comic adaptation."

Oh good god yes!! I so agree especially about the appalling plotting and dodgy artwork.
I’m hardly a fan of the motion comic but I have to say that I found this review to be pretty frustrating. The reviewer was wrong about a number of things and made all kinds of incorrect assumptions, the big one being that Joss was intentionally taking a dig at Stephanie Meyer’s novels by calling S8’s Big Bad “Twilight.” Joss came up with the storyline in 2007 (possibly late 2006) and Twilight didn’t become a phenomenon until well into 2008. Joss has already said that he hadn’t even heard of the novels when he came up with the name and that, if he had, he’d have called Angel something else. S8 does take a dig at Meyer’s novels much later in the season but, no, Angel certainly was not given that name because of the books.

I also find the accusation that Joss created S8 purely for money to not only be offensive but really, really naive as well. It shows a lot of ignorance to think comics earn writers good money (something both Whedon and Brian Lynch have stated repeatedly) and that, if he really were just a sell-out as this reviewer implies, he couldn’t have made a lot of money elsewhere. People tend to forget that Joss is a millionaire and that the money he would’ve earned doing S8 is pittance compared to the pay check he received whilst doing the TV show. If Joss really had done this for the money then he’d have taken the opportunity to bail before S9 starts now that he has The Avengers, especially since Allie has said that they gave him every opportunity to cut down his involvement.

The guy says he gave up on S8 really early on (which is fine) but then goes onto say that he “assumes” the motion comic is faithful to the season “panel-for-panel”, which is the problem with assuming these things, as the motion comics cut out entire scenes and dialogue. That’s why a lot of S8 fans aren’t interested in them because pivotal moments in the issues (like Xander/Renee’s flirtatious banter) are missing entirely and that means the story is incomplete. So it would have been better if he’d done some basic checking with the issues he had read (Issue #1 has missing scenes for a start) and not made comments about the issues he hadn’t. He then goes on to criticise future plot developments in the season even though he admits he’s never read them and they don’t even feature on the Blu-Ray, so why mention them at all? His comment that “we’re told Dracula has turned into a “good guy” now” is another comment that just had me shaking his head. When were we told that and by whom? I seem to recall Dracula’s partnership being described as an “unlikely alliance” and that Dracula was quite open about how much he hated Buffy and her entire organisation, as well as threatening to slit Renee’s throat and wanting to eat Aiko’s corpse.

Like I said, I’m hardly a fan of the motion comic because I think the voice acting was terrible (“where’s my SITH!?”) and that it was pretty poor that they cut out entire scenes and dialogue. But this guy was making a lot if ignorant assumptions and I don’t see why it was necessary to make snide remarks about issues that weren’t even covered in the motion comics or that he admits he’s never even seen. He really should have done his homework or stuck to reviewing things he’s actually read. After all, how many good reviewers start with "Okay, I haven't actually read/watched this but..."

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-03-30 15:34 ]
Although I was extremely excited with the idea of an extended Buffyverse I found season 8 to be disappointing. I found more humor in the issues than this reviewer but I also found some story arcs to be silly and pointless. I agree with Joss when he said that being able to do anything led to doing too much.I guess that is paraphrasing but I felt that was his point. Comics used to be for kids, when I was a kid, and then adults became interested and there was a sense of maturity to some stories. I found a lot of season 8 to be childish and, with the exception of the sex in space issue, should have been left to the under 15 year old readers. What I loved about BTVS was it was layered and complex and meaningful. The BTVS of the comics lacked a lot of that complexity. It was at times fun but not often enough.
I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinions however, when a reviewer presents conjecture as fact, they cross the line from reviewer to something else.

Then, four years later, Joss Whedon got antsy. A subset of fans had been clamoring for more 'Buffy'. Perhaps more importantly, so had some of the title's merchandisers and licensees.

I'd love for the author to cite specific instances of "clamoring" by merchandisers and licensees. More to the point, how could this person have any idea what types of offers Joss received?

Once I read that sentence, I was finished with the "review."
I too gave up on Season 8 as well. For me Buffy the TV show was awesome enough and should have been well enough alone. The twilight reveal just pissed me off and I'm done with both Buffy & Angel comics.
I was NOT one of the fans that was happy that Buffy was over. I wanted more, I was excited about the comic coming, although of course I would have rather had TV or movie.

But season 8 cured me of that. I loathed it in so many different ways.

I really hope that season 9 is better and I can enjoy it, I'm in a wait and see headspace, but very doubtful.
I haven't really read his review, but I fully disagree with it.
Jesus, I was looking for a review of the motion comic not a full on attack on season 8!

I don't see the problem with season 8, I enjoyed getting to see more of all the characters even if I was often left wanting more. I think a lot of the criticism of the season can basically be summed up as 'you didn't do what we want'. I didn't have any expectations going into the comic series so I wasn't disappointed.

I wish the season 8 bashing would stop anyway, it was tiresome enough trying to actually discuss the issues here with all the negativity, and now I have to sit through all the comments again?
Agree with others that this isn't the best review I've ever read (by a long shot). I'm keeping away from the motion comics, though - I'm already cringing inwardly at just the thought of the voice acting mess this probably is. And seeing how big a part the dialogue plays in making Buffy, Buffy, having good voice actors seems the first requirement for this to be worthwhile.

As for season 8 itself - I think it dropped the ball in the end, with a confusing storyarc that crossed the line into unintended silliness just a bit too often, but I also think it started out fine and had a few great high points during its run. I'm looking forward to season 9.
I agree with digupherbones. Was this a "review" of the motion comics, or just jumping at another opportunity to take gratuitous swipes at something the "reviewer" disliked to start with?
Just because a reviewer happens to dislike something doesn't make his review any less relevant imo.

I happen to think he highlighted some very major problems with both this dreadful motion comic and the season 8 as a whole. Complaints that other people have voiced in the past.
And just because he agrees with you doesn't make his "review" any more relevant, now, does it? I'm not a fan of the motion comic either, but anyone who can't even pretend that he's giving something an unbiased view shouldn't be pretending to "review" it. I will give him this, though: IMO, the Season H8ters are just as guilty of gratuitous (not to mention constant and repetitive) swipes as the "reviewer" is, only they were a lot nastier with their personal attacks on the writers, artists, staff, relatives of the writers, artists and staff, everyone marginally involved...........
I have to say you make it sound like everyone has to agree to lurve season 8 with one voice or else. :D

Fine, but last time I looked People are entitled to express their views on a subject without someone jumping on them. A review doesn't just have to be a positive one just to justify It's existence imo.

As you can see above some other people share some of that reviewers concern's about the comic, so not everyone thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-03-31 18:44 ]
It's a review, not an invitation for a fight.
In my opinion, the Season 8 Buffy on DVD is horrible. The comic animation is strange. The voice actors are terrible. I'm surprised Joss signed off on using these actors. I wasn't a big fan of the Season 8 comic, but the reviewer of the DVD is right. Yes, he could have been less snarky, but it's really not up to the standards we've come to expect from a Joss Whedon production.

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