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"I am... very British."
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April 02 2011

(SPOILER) Jo Chen's first two covers for Season 9. The link in the title is for Buffy #1, but she also has done the cover to Angel and Faith #1 here. Only a spoiler if you don't know know Season 8 ended.

Oh Jo!! You do great things with those pens!! Love these! Can't wait to see what they've got inside.
Loved Buffy's pose. Reminded me of Fray and Faith and her own in the last issue. Although why is she jumping off the bridge?
Angel and Faith look like a very sexy detective duo, mostly cause she looks like she's about to party(in a very Cordy-esque halter) and he looks detectivey(and a lot healthier than when we last saw him, guess they're making use of Giles's stuff)!

[ edited by BlueSkies on 2011-04-02 13:30 ]
So very pretty!

That is a very Cordy-esque halter on Faith! But I'm so happy Faith gets more page-time this season!
Love Jo, agree with BlueSkies however: Angel looks way too "OK" given where he should be. Maybe they're dropping guilt-ridden/mournful Angel right off the bat, but in the case that they aren't, he doesn't look particularly broody.
I don't think Jo posted them and they are linked in the link below.
Buffy, I still love you.
I think Buffy was dropped off there on top of the bridge by Spike with his bugship. He was probably tired of her moping around. Spike will be so dead-errr when she finds a way to get down from there.
On a more serious note, kind of suprised we're gonna be staying in San Francisco. Sad that Buffy's not gonna be more of a nomadic worldly slayer. Seeing the world and enjoying her life while slaying every where she goes.
I'm wondering what a Scots Baronial castle is doing across the road from Big Ben. Dracula's joined the other bloodsuckers in Whitehall?
In the last thread someone commented sarcastically that Faith looked good in Caprica Six's dress. And I agree. If you look around in the last thread some of Georges' covers were also shown. Same as these.

I'm wondering what a Scots Baronial castle is doing across the road from Big Ben. Dracula's joined the other bloodsuckers in Whitehall?


Bahaha.

I hope that the who ever is writing this gets London a bit better than people got Scotland from last season.
Oh don't hold ya breath If I were you. I'm sure It's be full of St Pauls next to big Ben kinda thing, with the local populace all sounding like Mary Poppin's rejects. *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-04-02 16:18 ]

Oh don't hold ya breath If I were you. I'm sure It's be full of St Pauls next to big Ben kinda thing, with the local populace sounding like Mary Poppin's rejects. *g*


What was the name of that Season 7 potential who spoke like she was a dickensian urchin? She still grates on me just thinking about her.
That would be Molly.
She was called Molly. Worst accent in Buffy, imo , which is quite an achievement.
Could not ask for two better first covers than these.

When I was a kid I used to look up whenever going over a bridge like that and imagine climbing up and perching there, pretty much just doing what Buffy's doing, and just the thought terrified me. (I'm kidding, of course. That's not something I used to do as a kid. I still do it today.)

Gotta wonder why she's got the stake at the ready, though. If there was a vampire up there with her, I feel like he'd be fairly visible.

So, so glad to see Chen drawing Angel again. Hope this continues indefinitely.
Great covers!

I wonder if Golden Gate bridge is on the cover as a tourist attraction or it's part of the plot. So far, Chen's covers rarely had connection to the actual narrative. But if Buffy really is on the Golden Gate that could be so cool. Maybe she hunts a vampire on a ship that passes under the bridge.

Do artists coordinate their work? Big Ben is destroyed on the Jeanty's cover and is restored on the Chen's cover.
I haven't seen anyone comment on this yet, so I figure I'll ask:

Do Chen's covers look especially long to anyone? They just look very narrow which makes me wonder whether a lot will be cropped or whether more of the cover will be dedicated to a sidebar/frame running down the spine. They've just changed shape from S8's covers and don't match the two we've seen from Georges either. Just wondering if anyone had any ideas?
I suspect that these are cropped versions.
Jo Chen has a gifted talent. So looking forward to her next drawing.
Jo Chen's work never fails to astound me. I love the way her art captures the likenesses of the characters with incredible accuracy, but it never feels forced or unnatural as if she's just copying it from a publicity shot or something. There's genuine movement and feeling in them too. I know the covers be more time consuming to produce, but I for one would love to see even one issue entirely illustrated by Jo, because I think it would be amazing.
The sizes being because of borders on the actual book cover makes sense. Scott mentioned that Jo's work works really well with the border design used on the comics, so maybe this is a way of making that easier, rather than having to shrink the hell out of the image.
Am I the only one noticing the glaring absence of Faith's tattoo? For reference.
Oooh yeah. I always forget which arm that's on. Maybe she got it lasered off? ;)
I believe that's sizee..es..es..sses. Dang, ran out of breath!
Faith's tattoo disappeared in the same magical vortex as Riley's facial scar...

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2011-04-02 22:01 ]
I love them both, but I thought Jo wasn't doing the artwork for S9?
Ooh, good call, Moscow Watcher! I had forgotten about that scar.
BTW, here are links to screenshots of two other covers: 1, 2
I hate Jo Chen and her AMAZING talent. I guess I'm just jealous...
I wonder what the number 25 has to do with everything...
@Shep - on Jeanty's "Buffy" cover she sits on "Dark Horse", so I guess it's about the publisher's 25-th anniversary.
Ohh - didn't see that!
Jo Chen is an amazing artist. I can't stop looking at the Angel and Faith cover. <3 And I absolutely love the Buffy cover.
Do artists coordinate their work? Big Ben is destroyed on the Jeanty's cover and is restored on the Chen's cover.

I forgot, Spike's ship crashed into Big Ben didn't it? I really like that Georges A&F cover. The lamppost with the demons around it is very cool.
@Kaan - yes, Spike's ship crashed into Big Ben, and it was Jeanty who drew it. Apparently he hasn't forgotten his own panels! But it looks like Chen has forgotten them. Then again, her covers are less connected to the narrative - they're eye-candies, incredibly beautiful tableaus, created for contemplating.
@Shep - If each series is 25 issues long than maybe we'll see a countdown on the variants worked into the scene? (Should this be the case, issue #13 will be cool since it'll be the one where both the cover # and the issue # line up)
Loving the move to San Francisco. Well, I'm biased and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall and am excited to know our slayer will only be a bay away (: Oh, and that I'll finally get to live somewhere with a proper comic shop. Can't wait!
Great covers as always! I love Jo Chen!

The Angel/Faith one makes me think of the great cover with her and Giles in it. I hope we get some flashbacks of those two.

So nice to see a Faith relationship FINALLY getting enough time to develop properly. The Giles thing got pushed aside in season 8 and we only saw two meaningful interactions between her and Spike in season 7. And whatever happened with Wood pretty much just got thrown out the window and ignored in season 8. Faith has been getting ignored quite a bit in season 8. Nice to see things changing.

I wonder if anything we see in this series will be similar to what we might have seen with her and Spike if Eliza had agreed to do a Faith: The Vampire Slayer show

I think the co-starring title makes sense. Presumably Angel is too broken to carry a title on his own right now. Faith will be his crutch while he recovers from his suffering and guilt over the Twilight debacle. This is the first time I think we will really see him leaning on someone instead of trying to do everything himself, which he did even back when he had a team
My first impression was that the "Angel and Faith" cover was gorgeous. Then I zoomed in and looked closer and I'm disturbed by the deadness in Faith's eyes.

That's not Faith posing limply in her skimpy clothes. It's Echo.
Yeah there's something zombie-like about Faith's eyes. Don't know if that was intentional or not...

I wonder who's been cropped out of the Buffy cover. I hope it's Spike.
popgoestheshelby: The comic shop in Berkeley I used to go to (on Shattuck Ave. near campus) seemed to be going out of business last time I went there (about a month ago). I was looking for a new comic and the owner told me "we don't have anything new," to which I asked "so when will you get the new books?" and he said "we aren't getting any new comics."

He seemed sad, irritated. I was sad, too, since that shop was the first place I ever bought a comic. Hopefully it's still around and doing OK!
Emmie: Oh good, someone else noticed that she looks more like Echo. I thought I was sorta crazy or something...
I love, Love, LOVE, Jo's covers.

Is it wrong to marry the cover of a comic book?
My first thought at the Angel and Faith cover was that Angel looked dead behind the eyes. Younger and prettier, but empty. I didn't notice the Faith thing. Maybe it's part of the plot.
This Angel guy has no reason to look thus relaxed.
Poor Angel. So misunderstood. Can't wait to see his story and have him turn it all around.
CHRISTOS GAGE? How is it possible I missed Christos Gage writing Angel and Faith? This IS BRILLIANT. That man can write stuff, and he can write teenagers, and he can write groups of people all together bickering. Yes. If this wasn't going on my pull list, it'd go on my pull list again.
Xane -- I think Chen's art can often have that Dead Eyes feel -- it looks like pretty perfection (though sometimes there's wacky body proportions), but the eyes aren't expressive and that's what we're naturally drawn to when we first look at a portrait. Two of the most notable exceptions, imo, being her art for Buffy 8 #25 and Buffy 8 #37 (in both, Buffy's eyes look so sad and haunted). Those were powerfully evocative in emotive expression.

It bothers me how the eyes often don't express anything in Chen's covers. My least favorite covers are when the eyes are just empty like this one. Especially because that's just not Faith.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-04-03 22:17 ]
And her top makes absolutely no sense at all. Given the soft appearance of the fabric, there's no possible way for that top to stick on that way, unless it's taped on good, which makes for a very impractical top.
If it were one of Alexander McQueen's molded corsets, sure, it'll stand, but some kinda weird tube top with straps... no.
It boggles my mind at times how a woman can design women's clothes with no regard for realistic fit...
Mind you, my experience with women's clothing is (largely) from shopping with my mom and friends (yes, I'm the creeper who lounges by the changing rooms), but this isn't even a matter of an eye for fashion; it's common sense and a rudimentary understanding of physics.
wenxina, it's art. It doesn't have to be practical or conform to reality. It's art. It also doesn't have to fit the story or imply anything. It can just be art.

I'll continue to enjoy Jo Chen's fabulous work.
5X5- comic relief may have closed but there are sooo many awesome comic shops in SF right now- I have no idea how they all stay open but there are new ones all over. I like the one on 20th st and the one on castro and the one on fell- all very buffyverse friendly!
@IrrationaliTV: I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for a world where there are vampires and Slayers. Where I draw the line is when I'm supposed to believe that boobs are made to defy gravity.
My argument wasn't that it had to fit the story or imply anything. It was merely a criticism of the ludicrous outfit choice.
Faith can make a basic tank top look sexy (see Chen's cover for Season 8 #6). There is no need to sexify her with a top that makes absolutely no sense at all.
To each their own, wenxina. I was just shocked that people feel free to pick apart and criticize the gorgeous art that Jo produces. Really shocked. I wish I could create something/anything 1/100th as beautiful.
Chen is an artist, but she's not without her flaws. Her likeness of Eliza Dushku is stunning, though it does look like a copy of a screencap of a Dollhouse ep, or a promo shot.
I'm not disputing that her work is often stunning, but because it is art, I feel like sound critique of the work is fair game. In general, I'm not a huge fan of Chen's work. Her likenesses are more often good than not, but I never quite "feel" them. It's pretty, but it rarely invokes any sort of response from me, other than "Oh, that's kinda pretty."
However, that said, when she gets it right, she nails it. I love her cover for Season 8 #5. I love her cover with Buffy perched atop the Golden Gate Bridge.
Since I don't care about clothing too much, I'm in love with the artwork. I can see how people don't like Faith's eyes here but I don't really mind. I think it's lovely.
The criticisms seems nitpicky to me personally, but we are all entitled to our opinions.

I think I tend to look at the covers as a whole rather than zero in on eyes or what top a character has. From that perspective, I always find Jo Chen's art to be gorgeous.

I have seen some absolutely beautiful covers from IDW as well though. The art for Illyria Haunted number 4 was beautiful, sexy and dramatic all at the same time. I really LOVED that story.
Oh, given the unstandard crop ratios on all the covers is the same, I'd assume the the left quarter missing probably is the title bar, which is cut out to prevent us knowing the names of the first arcs and stuff like that.

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