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October 09 2015

Dark Horse announces "Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks and Geeks" graphic novel. The Mary Sue has an interview with the writer Faith Erin Hicks and there's artwork from Yishan Li to look at as well.

Ooh, I love Faith Erin Hicks - both her writing and her artwork are really good. If you haven't read anything of hers, I would recommend Zombies Calling, which is very Buffy-esque, or The Adventures of Superhero Girl, which is just hilarious. (She's also the one who made a comic about meeting Joss Whedon and geeking out, I believe.)
I think Buffyfest is going to a a report or interview as well later today
My knee jerk response was "no thank you" but after seeing the art and reading the article, I could get into this. They seem to have found the right people to make this a good comic. I like the manga style. I was kinda hoping it would be a full-out reboot though. That could bring in a new and younger audience while sidestepping the awkward movie reboot shenanigans.
I think the movie reboot rumors have died down now, though.
Like any fan, I have kneejerk reactions but this actually seems like a really good idea.
If she can capture that tone of early Buffy successfully, this could be pretty enjoyable. I too have un-jerked my knee.
So I guess this won't be considered canon like the season 8-10 comics?
I don't care for the manga style at all. The twee takes me right out of the story.
I really enjoyed the conceit of Season 8's "After These Messages" so this is welcome. From the sounds of it there's no Dawn, though. Not sure how I feel about that.
I was wondering that too - it doesn't really make sense for Dawn to be absent, so I'm not sure how I feel about that either.

Edit: thought I should add, I am excited for this, I think the concept and artwork look great. I would love some more introspective, character-driven Buffy stories.

[ edited by insistondoubt on 2015-10-09 19:54 ]
AndrewCrossett,For what it's worth,Buffyfest had a clearer look at the promo announcement art.

http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2015/10/dark-horse-panel-at-nycc-currently.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Buffyfest+%28Buffyfest%29

The image does say Joss is executive producer like on the seasons 8-10 books.You can make part of it out under the DH Classified emblem.That credit was absent on the Spike:Into The Light cover if I remember.
I think on a conceptual level it absolutely makes sense to have Dawn be absent. Love her or hate her, she's one of the most complicating elements in Buffy's life, and this is all about bringing it back to the basics.

I think it works on a narrative level, too--why wouldn't it? We're just seeing a new story from the original first season, the one that we all saw. This just takes place before the monks did their thang, even if that thang was retroactive in effect.
I agree that conceptually it makes sense (though with some caveats - see below), but in terms of the typical approach taken to writing pre-season five content (I think uniformly, Dawn has been retconned in) it doesn't really make sense.

I think conceptually my caveat is that excluding Dawn from this content detracts from the presently existing reality that our characters are experiencing - from their subjective point of view, there was no universe without Dawn, and so to write about it as if it did exist (even though both the audience and the characters know that it did, though the latter have no memory of it) kind of detracts from the emotional gravity of both the past and present circumstance. It's kind of like a really meta breaking of the fourth wall somehow.

Anyway, that's just my two cents on the matter, I'd be happy either way, though would prefer Dawn be included in pre-season five content in general.

[ edited by insistondoubt on 2015-10-09 20:01 ]
If this story is meant to fit seamlessly into season 1 like a regular episode, happening "now" and not in someone's memory, then Dawn shouldn't be there. If this story is going to be canon I prefer her to be missing, because that fits in with the rest of the first season.
I think conceptually my caveat is that excluding Dawn from this content detracts from the presently existing reality that our characters are experiencing - from their subjective point of view, there was no universe without Dawn, and so to write about it as if it did exist (even though both the audience and the characters know that it did, though the latter have no memory of it) kind of detracts from the emotional gravity of both the past and present circumstance. It's kind of like a really meta breaking of the fourth wall somehow.

I fall down on the other side of this debate--I'd rather stories that take place in 1-4 leave Dawn out unless they're specifically being recalled by the characters from some point 5-onward (and this theory would extend to an S10 issue that took place in 1-4; by being inserted into S10, it implies that the characters as of S10 are in some way recalling/recounting it, rather than this just being a free-floating story actually from the first four years).

But mostly I just love that this debate can exist. I almost brought up the existence of Buffy 1-4 DVDs that don't have Dawn, then decided maybe I was trying a little too hard here. The Dawn twist did some funny, cool things to this universe.

[ edited by sumogrip on 2015-10-09 20:15 ]
I tried to stop myself but couldn't. Did Dawn actually exist through seasons 1-4 or does everyone just REMEMBER her existing during that time now that they know her?
I was wondering that too. Buffypedia states that the monks altered reality, implying that she did exist. The comics at present seem to contradict this, since I think now the characters seem to be able to access two sets of memories - a past where Dawn did exist and where she didn't exist. This latter case (memories rather than reality) is consistent with Connor's circumstance too I think.

So there might be a discrepancy between the series (where the monks created memories and a new reality) and the comics (where the monks seem to just have created 'false' memories for everybody).
My main question is: why do we need this new series? There is already a non-canon Dark Horse Buffy series (collected in omnibus editions now).

Also the name is kind of silly. It's overly long and draws comparisons to the cult TV series, "Freaks and "Geeks".

[ edited by libradude on 2015-10-09 22:07 ]
@libradude: There was a non-canon Dark Horse series. It's over. The only comics out now are the two direct continuations.

Plus, this isn't an ongoing comic, it's just a single OGN (Original Graphic Novel).
The way I understand the Dawn thing, she "existed" in S1-S4 as a ball of magic energy. At the end of "Buffy vs. Dracula" the monks turned it into a human and altered everyone's (including the Angel cast) memories into thinking she was always there. So for the comics that one dream Buffy had was after the memory spell so Dawn should be there. But if you want to do original content without referencing the future, Dawn shouldn't be there if you strictly follow continuity. If you are doing a story where S10 Xander remembers the events of "Ted" or something then dawn should be in the flashbacks because Xander's mind has long since been altered in S10.
That's what I mean alliterator. The old series is done and dusted- why create a new one? The author clearly wants to do more than just a single issue if this one becomes popular enough. I just don't see the appeal, but if others do, to each their own. I'm happy sticking with the canon continuations.

[ edited by libradude on 2015-10-10 00:32 ]
If Joss's name is on the cover of the book, then it's probably canon.

Dawn didn't exist before season 5, episode 1, although the Key did exist as a "ball of energy." I've never been sure if that ball of energy was sentient or not. Apparently we'll be finding out more about the Key before season 10 is over. We really need to find out what it's actually for, and why the monks were so desperate to protect it.

The spell cast by the monks altered the entire world's memories and history to seamlessly insert Dawn into it. Not only did all of her friends and family get 15 years or so worth of highly detailed false memories, but somewhere there's a doctor who remembers delivering her, and people who remember babysitting her, and teachers who remember having her in grade school classes. She has a birth certificate, medical and school records, a social security card. Some serious mojo there, the spell's only weakness being that insane or mentally impaired people could see through it to varying degrees.

Wolfram & Hart cast a similar spell to reboot Connor's life at the end of Angel season 4.

It begs the question of WHY the monks considered her so important as to go to all that effort, and lay down all their lives for her. I'm just hoping the answer doesn't involve her death.
I guess I thought the key's purpose was simply to open the portal and allow Glory to go home (also opening access to several hell dimensions).
I guess I thought the key's purpose was simply to open the portal and allow Glory to go home (also opening access to several hell dimensions).

Then it wouldn't make sense for the Order of Dagon lay down their lives to the last man in order to protect it. They clearly weren't working for Glory, since she killed all of them.
I thought the monks were just in charge of Glory *not* getting it. When she proved too strong they gave the Key to the Slayer to defend, making it part of her family so Buffy would literally give everything she had for their purpose.
I thought the monks were just in charge of Glory *not* getting it.

But then wouldn't it have made more sense to just destroy the Key, like the Knights of Byzantium wanted to do? If the Order of Dagon wasn't evil, why would they be so fanatically devoted to protecting something that only exists for an evil or destructive purpose?

You also have to wonder why they didn't simply take the Key out of our dimension and take her to another world where Glory couldn't reach it. Maybe she can't safely go through a portal, at least until she figures out how she works. I can't remember any instance of Dawn travelling to another dimension, even though most or all of the other main characters have done so at one time or another.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2015-10-10 14:00 ]
They may have considered it a holy object for whatever reason. Or perhaps killing Dawn results in some sort of mystical catastrophe. She almost faded in S9 but that was because their was no magic energy left. With it in the world perhaps Key energy could create another Magic Town or something if it's "shell" is killed.

Perhaps they couldn't move it either since she is/was a Key for *this* world maybe she's bound to Earth.
I think the most likely explanation is that the Key has a much more important function that we haven't been told about yet. That's even more likely since Christos Gage has said that Dawn's key-ness will be an upcoming story point.

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