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July 14 2014

First volumes of the Buffy Season 9 and Angel & Faith Library Editions get listed on Amazon. Buffy Season 9: Volume One is out on January 27th of next year and the first volume of Angel & Faith is out on March 24th.

I've still not decided whether I want to get the library editions for these books. it seems like it would be the coolest way to read them when I finally get to them, but it also looks like my progress would be significantly hindered by the release schedule.
I'm guessing there will be three volumes for each title so maybe it all be wrapped by Xmas 2015/first quarter of 2016?
Yay, just ahead of probably official announcement (maybe covers) during SDCC next week.

Although I'm curious how the issues will be split, if we get 3 volumes each. And with that, where will the Spike and Willow minis be fit.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2014-07-14 10:12 ]
Surely they will include the Spike and Willow mini's in a library edition of each series each, bringing each to a rounded 30 issues.

The only question is how they choose to order them.... interesting!

Spike follows through into A&F's Death and Consequences and Willow comes after Family Reunion. Or Spike follows Buffy's Apart of Me and Willow leads into The Core... any of those placings will fit - who knows what they'll do!
This is very cool. Can't wait to see cover art - hopefully it's Jo Chen doing them again. Although I was kinda hoping we'd get a ten-issue volume that contained an arc from both series (i.e. Volume 1 contains Buffy #1-5 and A&F #1-5).

I suspect we'll get the two miniseries in the second volume of each (i.e. Buffy #11-15 and Spike #1-5; Angel #11-15 and Willow #1-5; reading order this is their closest alignment too) - either that or they're gonna have to get creative in how the arcs are broken up.

Someone should ask Scott next time he does a SlayAlive Q&A.
There must be enough content to do two or three Serenity Library Editions.
Considering how Serenity comics are among Dark Horse's top sellers, surprised they haven't done that yet. At least 2 volumes (One combining the first 2 hardcovers, and a second one with Shepherd's Tale and Leaves on the Wind) would be amazing.

Now I'm flashbacking to how surprising was to find the 1st supersized collection they did with the Tales collection years ago, what a pleasant surprise that was, makes me wish they would do large size collection for Fray, but that's my collector side being greedy.
The library editions of Season 8 are HUGE and gorgeous. So glad to see this happening!
Fray would be great. They could include that story from Tales of the Slayers.
Onto that, just realized Fray's original mini is the only major story featuring that world not collected in large sized collection. Her story from Tales of the Slayers, is collected in Tales, while that Season 8 arc, is of course collected in one of the Season 8 volumes...
Yay! Finally! The S8 ones are GORGEOUS! I wish I wasn't so far away.
By the way, the cover art for Buffy Season 9 is up now!

[ edited by libradude on 2014-07-14 18:09 ]
Cool. That didn't take long.
Neat. That's Steve Morris, right?
Looks really good !

[ edited by Stelian on 2014-07-14 19:10 ]
Not bad. Would've really loved more Jo Chen artwork. I guess she's moved on ;(
Could anyone tip me off on which of the IDW comics are worth reading? It seems like After the Fall #1-17 are supposed to be good and relatively canonical, but I'm unsure about any of the other ones. Aftermath doesn't seemed to be terribly favorably looked upon, and there are lots of spin-offs and one-shots and things that I can't keep track of. Comics are confusing.
I also wondered, of the 4 Season 8 Library Editions, was there any issues left out? One shots or spinoffs that came out during that time?

Non-spoiler answer if it applies.
The 4 season 8 Library editions don't have all the Season 8 stuff, what is missing are the two Tales of the Vampires stories that were released and set during season 8, don't fear though, these have also gotten Library edition treatment by being added to the Tales Hardcover that collects the Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires stories in Library edition packaging.

In terms of the IDW stuff the answer depends on what you care about, I'll try and explain but this will get a little confusing because there is a lot up in the air, if you want to read the confirmed Canon IDW stuff pick up issues 1-17 and the Spike 8 issue series both by Brian Lynch, those are the only stuff that is 100% confirmed canon and still used in current Dark Horse.

I would recommend checking out all of Brian Lynch's stuff: Spike Asylum and Shadow Puppets are great and are what got him the job to do AtF, they also introduce characters and settings used in AtF and his Spike series, he also has a Spike After the Fall mini too that fits in well I would recommend reading after Vol. 2 of AtF(also known as First Night). In terms of the Angel Series after issue 17 I would skip Aftermath and go straight to the Last Angel in Hell collection, which features Brian Lynch's follow up to AtF as well as a Dru story written by Juliet Landau. Those are the best stuff from IDW and I would consider the required reading.

Going into the other stuff this is where stuff doesn't really fit with the Dark Horse stuff. I'll just go in the order that the books I have have them in.

Spike: Old Times: Very Meh, story about Spike set in season six about him and Halfrek came out before AtF and doesn't affect anything

Spike: Old Wounds: Meh again, set during Angel season 5 about Spike's adventures in LA in the 40's came out before AtF and doesn't affect anything

Spike: Lost & Found: Vampire is running around Season 5 AtS in the Daylight came out before AtF and doesn't affect anything

Spike vs. Dracula: Entertaining series about Spike and Dracula facing off throughout the years, fun enough read if you want more Buffyverse Dracula, doesn't really affect anything.

Angel: The Curse: Haven't read it yet all I can say is that it came out before AtF and thus doesn't affect anything there.

Angel: Old Friends: Same as above

Angel: Spotlight: Again I haven't read it yet, has 5 different one shots focusing on different character at different times during the series

Angel: Auld Lang Syne: Haven't read it yet all I can say is that it came out before AtF and thus doesn't affect anything there.

Angel: Smile Time, A Hole in the World and Not Fade Away: are just comic redos of the episodes avoid

Angel: Barbary Coast: Angel(when still trying to get rid of the soul) has adventures in San Fran, I'd call it ok, it leaves some unanswered questions but the time period is cool.

Angel: Only Human: This is a miniseries set after AtF, I would only read it if you're wanting to read the rest of the IDW Angel series, it's Ok, and is about fighting the scourge.

Angel: Aftermath: The only reason to ever read this terrible story is if you want to continue reading the Angel comics past Lynch leaves when Willingham takes over as they introduce characters that get reused.

Angel: Immortality for Dummies: The first arc of Post-Lynch Angel written by Bill Willingham of Fables fame, I really enjoyed Willingham's stuff on the book, but be warned, consider everything past Lynch's stuff a different universe from the Dark Horse stuff as this goes off in a direction that makes stuff from Season 8 not really make any sense. If you can handle it not meshing with the Dark Horse stuff it's an enjoyable read with the only weakness being it making Aftermath required reading, but it does kind of fix some of the flaws in Aftermath.

Angel: Crown Prince Syndrome: Continues on from Immortality for Dummies, still enjoyable, it's around here that Willingham left the book amid some controversy surrounding the Season 8 reveal.

Angel: The Wolf, The Ram and The Hart: Final volume of the main series of the IDW Angel series, it's ok still pretty enjoyable though a quality downgrade from the last two arcs, if you've read this far in the series might as well finish it, it will probably be the last seen of some of the characters showing up(which is sad)

Eddie Hope: Eddie and the Crew: This was a backup story throughout Willingham's run and it feels like it, think of it sort of like Supernatural Punisher it's worth a read.

On the other side of Eddie Hope though is Spike: The Devil You Know: It's set in the Willingham Angel Universe and not really worth the read, pretty dull the whole way through if I remember correct(which is hard because it isn't that memorable).

Angel: Illyria: Haunted: I liked this story, it's about Illyria trying to figure stuff out if you like Illyria it's worth a read, it is for sure the Willingham universe and cannot co-exist in the Dark Horse universe though.

And the John Byrne stuff:

Angel vs. Frankenstein 1&2: Flashback stories about Angelus and Angel getting into disagreements with Frankenstein's Monster I enjoyed them, they are fun Flashback stories.

Angel: Blood & Trenches: Black and White and Red story with a Sketchy look, it is about Angel going to fight Vampires in World War 1 I enjoy it, worth a read.

Lorne: The Music of the Spheres: A tribute to Andy Hallett, it's a Lorne focused story about the music of the universe being threatened, it's definitively worth a read.
To follow up on what Judedeath said, what's easy-ish about collecting the Angelverse IDW comics is the existence of the Omnibus volumes. Similar to Dark Horse's own Buffy Omnibuses, the Angel IDW omnibuses are consistently non-canon (with the exception of like the semi-canon "Buffy: The Origin" in Buffy Vol 1.

Angel Omnibus Volume 1 contains "Angel: The Curse", "Angel: Old Friends", "Angel: Spotlight", and "Angel: Auld Lang Syne.

Angel Omnibus Volume 2 contains "Smile Time", "A Hole in the World", "Barbary Coast", "Only Human", and "Not Fade Away".

These books are largely non-essential. Several of them are just retellings of TV episodes. I'd say this are for completionists only. Usually, the artwork outshines the writing in these.

The Spike Omnibus contains "Old Times", "Old Wounds", "Lost & Found", "Spike vs Dracula", "Spike: Asylum" and "Spike: Shadow Puppets". This Omnibus is worth buying for "Asylum" and "Shadow Puppets". Those are maybe the two best noncanon Angelverse comics. Highly recommended.

Bryan Lynch's 8-issue "Spike" series - which is really good as well as canon - can now be bought as one book. Highly recommend.

Bill Willingham's lengthy tenure on the core "Angel" title is also collected in one book, simply titled "Angel: The End". It's a beautiful hardcover. 460 pages of comic and you can probably find it for like $35. I enjoyed this run quite a bit, though you definitely have to mentally separate it from the Buffyverse. Willingham was definitely doing his own thing. Recommend.

So, to collect the core "Angel" series in as few books as possible, get:
"After the Fall" Volumes 1-4
["Spike: After the Fall" is also recommended]
"Aftermath" (horrible comic, sadly)
"Last Angel in Hell"
"The End"

Ans finally, the few John Bryne Angel comics are conveniently collected in "Angel: The John Byrne Collection", containing "Angel vs. Frankenstein", "Blood and Trenches", and "Lorne". I haven't read these stories yet.
Now those are some exceptionally complete and informative answers, and I thank the both of you for them. More than I could have even hoped for.
I'm gonna bookmark this thread for reference, but I think I'll start out with the Brian Lynch books and expand from there. I'd like to read the Lorne spheres story, since he was often my favorite character from the show, but it seems difficult to find it.
Also, does the Brian Lynch Spike series (not the After the Fall one) fit in anywhere, with respect to reading sequence, or does it stand on its own?
Thanks again, your answers have been brilliant.
A couple things Trevor missed is that Angel: Illyria: Haunted and Spike: The Devil You Know are both available separately Only Human is in Angel Omnibus Volume 2 and the Music of the Sphere's story is in the John Byrne book which is to my knowledge the only way to get it outside of the original release. I will echo that The End is a great collection and the best way to read the back half of the IDW stuff.

For reading order I'd say:
Spike: Asylum
Spike: Shadow Puppets(These two Spike stories are set pre-Not Fade Away and introduce characters that Lynch keeps reusing in later Spike stories.
Angel: AtF V.1
Angel: AtF V.2 First Night
Spike: AtF
Angel: AtF V.3
Angel: AtF V.4
Angel: Aftermath V.5
Angel: Last Angel in Hell V.6
Angel: Only Human(this fits in after issue 23 of the Angel series called After the Fall epilogue, it's pretty much a direct sequel to that)
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS COMPLICATED
Angel: Immortality for Dummies V.7(Unless reading in The End released as V.1)
Spike: The Devil You Know
Eddie Hope: Eddie and the Crew is in here somewhere it sort of jumps around and I remember thinking Devil You Know took place in the middle of it.
Angel: Crown Prince Syndrome V.8(V.2)
Lorne: The Music of the Spheres fits in about here
Angel: Illyria: Haunted
Spike (This series begins after issue 2 of Illyria's series and is over before Twilight Part 4 from Season 8)
Every IDW Angel series now all comes back to this (other than the Spike series which goes off to Season 8(Bug Ship is introduced in it))
Angel: The Wolf, The Ram and The Heart V.9(V.3)

Best Trade Way to get this is:
Spike: Omnibus
Angel: AtF v.1-4
Spike: AtF
Angel: Aftermath
Angel: Last Angel in Hell(trade)
Angel: Omnibus v.2(Or Only Human if you can find)
Angel: The End
Spike: The Complete Series
Angel: Illyria: Haunted
Angel: John Byrne Collection
Spike: The Devil You Know

If you pick those up you should have everything you need, and you can pick up Angel: Omnibus V.1(the IDW one) and get everything else you're missing.

EDIT: I guess I should mention that if you decide to skip the post-Lynch stuff go directly from Last Angel in Hell to Spike: The Series.

EDIT 2: As for the question of waiting for Library Edition or not, I personally would wait if you can handle that, going from the season 8 stuff the library edition are huge and great, the paper is thick and nice and the size of them are huge like look up the size of them, they're like 1.5 times the size at the very least, they tower above the rest of my collection.

[ edited by Judedeath on 2014-07-15 19:51 ]

[ edited by Judedeath on 2014-07-15 20:00 ]
Damn, Judedeath, you are better than Wikipedia. I've just ordered AtF volumes 1 and 2, and Spike AtF off of amazon. I'm certain that I want to read all of the stuff that's true to current canon, but if I find that I'm particularly enamored with the comic interpretation of Angel, I will likely pursue the rest of it. I find the idea of purchasing books with inessential or inferior content a bit unappealing, but if my completionist tendencies kick in then I'm sure I'll end up with all of the books mentioned here.
I'm looking forward to starting season 8 with those big, sexy library editions though. I saw one at Barnes and noble once and it seemed quite lovely. Hopefully all of this angel stuff will hold me over until the season 9 ones come out. eventually I will catch up though, and it may be difficult to wait, particularly when it comes time to read season 10.
I'm glad to be able to help, good to hear you ordered those I'm sure you'll enjoy them. If Whedonesque had PMs I'd give you my email for if you have anymore questions at a later date, do you have a slayalive or something that could work?

In terms of the Library Editions don't forget the Hardcover called just Tales, which is a season 8 Library edition in all but name and totally worth a pick up.
Unfortunately, I do not have a slayalive. In fact, I had to google it just to see what it was. I'm not sure it would be worthwhile to open an account chiefly for one PM. Tell you what - just look at my account profile here and send me an email.

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