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March 11 2005

A Willow and Tara ecomic - 'Punish With Me Kisses'. Hilarity ensues as our favourite couple go flower picking.

Do note if these ecomic is as well received as the Buffy/Riley Wham! Rap of an ecomic, "much hilarity" is intended to be sarcastic.

I thought it was magical! I loved the bright colours

-Apocalypse with his five year old worthy response
Cute story, can't stand that manga way of drawing, though. When the whole bottom third of the head is a big black circle? Its just ugly and reminds me of Speed Racer. It worked for that 'toon, but I don't like the look in the comics.
I agree with Willowy on the manga style. Not to my taste. Well, I might like it in say, Sailor Moon or Barefoot Gen, but the continuing adventures of Willow & Tara? Not quite the same thing.

I would have preferred a storyline with less requisite exposition. The story wasn't really about Willow & Tara at all. They were simply used as a vehicle to pique the reader's interest in something totally unrelated to the BuffyVerse. This is one option available to fanfic authors who are conscious of the realization one can't make dramatic changes to the status quo of your principals without offending the audience. Though sometimes used to good effect, here I found the introduction of new characters and a whole backstory surrounding them just distracting, and wanted to get back to the journey of Tara & Willow looking for that stupid flower, because in that I believe would have been more interesting interaction between the girls, and a better connection to the BuffyVerse, but the writer seemed to have been purposefully avoiding this BuffyVerse tale from actually taking place in the BuffyVerse.

Moving Will & Tara to Goddard from Sunnydale would be like taking Sherlock Holmes out of Victorian England and putting him in a nondescript Winn Dixie in modern day. The artistic style and the storytelling was not at all Whedonesque. In fact the two 'principal' characters in the story didn't even need to be named Willow & Tara. The flower thing was a lame excuse to get the principals as far away from Sunnydale as possible, so as not to incorporate the rest of the cast, but then it was a red herring in the end. Now I'd understand this subterfuge if the author's purpose was to explore this relationship between Willow & Tara without the interference of other 'Scoobies.' However, the author never really gets around to exploring anything other than this ghostly lover's triangle. It's like when I saw Highlander Two. One can argue the plot was... entertaining. Certainly there are moments that are eye candy on a special effects level. However, change the names of the principal characters and it has no direct affiliation with the film that was supposedly its prequel. This was an okay story, but a less than okay Willow/Tara story.
Zachsmind, you just said everything I would have. Willow and Tara were not necessary for the story, which had nothing to do with them at all, and did not allow for the two of them to interact with each other. When I first began reading, I was intrigued by the idea of them going to gather the flower, for it would give us a chance to see them away from the Scooby craziness and together alone, which we rarely got to see on BTVS. But then it just veers off into this storyline having nothing to do with anything. A lost opportunity, and I am also not a fan of Manga style bodies for characters we know well enough to know how they should look.
I would have preferred an actual Tara/Willow story rather than a love triangle/ghost story. Also, is it just me or is this art work Archie meets Japanese amimation?
Yeah, story-wise, a big miss. And this is from someone who is a big fan of the writers involved (and I happen to know they are also big fans of BUFFY). But I never believed we were seeing Willow and Tara, there was no real characterization. The dialog had no zip, nothing that said, "this is Willow and Tara." Most of the lines could've been reversed, and it wouldn't have made any difference.

But the art... let's just say I love love love Chynna Clugston-Major, and have for a long time. Part of the problem I have with the art in BUFFY or ANGEL comics is that the artists tend to try to slavishly reproduce how the actors look, failing much of the time (and doesn't SMG have something in her contract that says the artists cannot make her nose look weird? Could've sworn I read that complaint from an artist in an interview. I digress). Anyway, I spend a lot of my time thinking, "that doesn't look like Xander," instead of enjoying the book. But in a rare case like this one, I think the artist has captured the essence of the characters, and it works better for me. Not that I think all the BUFFY/ANGEL comics should be manga-based; as shown by a few people posting here, many folks are put off by it. But I wish the art in the books was more about capturing the character, rather than the look of the actor. Make sense? Eh, probably not... see this is what happens when one has no coffee but much cold medication...
I thought the art was nice myself ... hell, at least the artist could draw, which is more than I'd say for some of the previous ecomics. It had a cuteness to it that seemed appropriate for Willow and Tara, and hey ... Tara in a fedora. How can you not love that?

The story falls flat though. Not that you can do a whole lot in what was it? 6 pages? The dialogue didn't stand out - as dizzy mentions, you could've interchanged whole lines between the girls and not noticed.

But we pick apart because, as fans, that's what we do. I'm still happy to get to keep seeing this stuff, whether it entirely suits my vision/preferences or not.
That type of art really bugs me when its animation on TV. When these characters speak their mouths move wildly as they scream something or other but the entire rest of their heads don't move an inch. It just really bugs me.

Loved the Pokemon skit on Robot Chicken BTW.
These past few stories have left me cold in their narration. The art work is nice, but I've the feeling the story was written by a 10 year old. Just my opinion.
Willow looked like the spirit of Trixie Belden had possessed her. I'm pretty sure that Tara received a simultaneous visit from Honey.
I like Manga but...No! It didn't work for this comic at all...I liked this one a lot better than that Buffy/Riley one...but it came off as really goofy. This is BTVS NOT "Totally Spies"! Hmmm, I wonder what the next ecomic will be...maybe Drusilla can pose as a kindergarten teacher and end up making a connection with the kids. I wouldn't put it past these writers. I mean I know theyre trying to keep BTVS alive for us...but they're doing it all wrong.
I always have trouble with this type of fanfic (if it ain't canon, it's fanfic for me). There's nothing wrong with it as a story that happens to have the two main characters called Willow and Tara. My trouble is that that's the only resemblance to THE Willow and Tara. Story OK, characters not - result: umm....
Just a point to note: this is a really old comic, as was the Buffy/Riley comic from last week. I think they were both in a Valentine's anthology from several years ago.

And the people who did this comic are pretty big in the indie comic scene (Jamie Rich used to head Oni Press). It's actually shocking to see such a bad story from these people, especially considering they are both big BUFFY fans. Belive it or not, this was done with love. It's lame, but the love was there.
I've made my own attempts at writing Buffy fan fiction and I gotta tellya.. Objectively speaking? We diehard Buffy fans are not necessarily the best ones to actually write Buffy fiction, be it for comic books or what have you. I can say this with affection, realizing I'm adversely judging my own work along with the rest of the Buffy fanfic writers out there.

There's some great fanfic out there don't get me wrong, but we fans tend to have blinders on. We get caught up in one facet of the Whedon jewel and fail to take into account the whole package. I wrote a few screenplay style fanfics trying to look at that big picture, and it's way a lot harder than it looks. My failed attempts just helped me appreciate the real thing all the more.

I've noticed many other fans obsess on one possible relationship between two characters and they lose sight of everything around those characters. Slash is the worst culprit at this crime, but most any vignette I've read where the writer focuses on how they think one character feels about another? It reads more like a real bad Harlequin novel than anything Whedon might have produced.

We're great critics, but we're not particularly the best choice to have at the helm of any Buffy storyline. We just can't see the forest for the trees. Our hearts are in the right place, but the best people to have telling Buffy stories are alumni of Mutant Enemy.
Except, Zachsmind, they are not doing that any more, and likely will never do so again. So fanfic is what we got. Me, I am partial to jetwolf's Chosen...
Which can be found where?

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