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Book: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 (The Long Way Home)

December 17, 2009
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We’ve been watching all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series straight through for a few months now. It’s been so much fun introducing Terri to the series, and it’s even better watching them the second time around (for me). I’m struck by how powerful the emotional story is, and how it’s such a classic example of the Hero’s Journey. What they managed to do with a fairly silly premise is nothing short of amazing. If you haven’t watched it, DO. (note: first season is shaky, but it really gets going in the second season)

So, I was doing a little geeky internet-searching over the weekend and discovered that there is a whole world of Buffy comics (of course!). My library had the first volume of the “Season Eight” series — basically a continuation of the story where it leaves off at the end of Season 7 (the last of the TV episodes). I’ve been in a serious reading slump lately so I thought I would give it a try.

So how did I like it? Well, as you might say in Buffyverse, “Not so much with the likey.”

There’s nothing wrong with it, and I’m sure it’s actually a great comic series, but compared to the richness and depth of the show, it really lacked the emotional power. The show has such fantastic dialogue, and you can’t put all those words in a comic, so it really fell flat for me. Buffy’s (the show) has always been great at summarizing giant cataclysmic events in a few witty sentences, but in the comic, we are reduced to a few mere words. I didn’t feel very connected to the story.

The art was good, but it was a little, um… super-hero-y. Which Buffy is, of course. But I didn’t love it.
So, I was a little relieved that I didn’t love it, because there is a whole slew of Slayer comics and such, and my library doesn’t have many of them, and I can’t justify spending the money on comics right now. So… I was saved from a terrible, terrible consumer fate. By Buffy! Go Buffy! Even if I don’t love your comic, you still saved the (my) world.

I think I’ll stick with The Sandman in terms of graphic novels. My library system has all of those and now I’m totally invested in that storyline.

And again I repeat, if you are into Joseph Campbell, mythology, or even just witty dialogue and vampires, please please watch Buffy the TV show. Once you get past the silliness of the first half of Season One, it is something really incredible.
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