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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Edition Volume 1 Hardcover – May 29, 2012
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About the Author
Joss Whedon was born in New York City in 1964. He started out as a staff writer for the 1990s sitcom Roseanne and worked on films, including Toy Story. In 1992 he penned the script for a film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and when the TV version starring Sarah Michelle Gellar took off in 1997, Whedon had his big break—with its female action heroine, Buffy, became a huge hit. Whedon wrote hundreds of episodes for Buffy and its spin-off Angel, and was nominated for Emmy and Hugo awards for his work. Whedon has come to enjoy a cult following. The author lives in Santa Monica, California.
Georges Jeanty is a comic book illustrator and penciller. Born in Brooklyn, Jeanty graduated from Dade University. He is known for his work the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Serenity comic books. Jeanty has been nominated for an Eisner Award.
Michelle Madsen is a colorist and letterer for Dark Horse Comics. Madsen has worked on Lady Killer, Baltimore, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and many more.
Top customer reviews
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If you're a fan of Buffy or comics or just books in general, you're going to love this collection. I plan on picking up the rest of the series as soon as possible.
[Note: In the attached images, I had already wrapped the dust jacket in a protective mylar cover, which is why it's so reflective, and the photo with the Locke & Key comic is there just to show how much larger the collection is than a standard comic.]
Now that I've read these graphic novels, I think this is the PERFECT form for them. This volume feels to me like the distilled essence of the show - zippy dialogue, awesome fight scenes, emotional punch - without the bits that drag. Because when you make a graphic novel, you just don't have ROOM to put in the junk. I love the transition from the screen to the page.
The plot picks up from Season 7, where Willow casts a spell that transforms all girls with Slayer potential into bona fide slayers. Buffy and the rest of the crew recruit and train these girls to fight monsters, but there emerges a mysterious masked villain named Twilight with intimate knowledge of Buffy who wants to destroy her more thoroughly than just killing her. (After all, she has returned from the dead a few times now.)The plot is definitely engaging. One of my favorite things about it is that the world has genuinely changed because of Willow's spell, and the plot embraces that. The characters have definitely evolved - for example, Xander, while retaining his familiar goofiness, is also becoming more comfortable with his authority and knowledge of the occult. Dawn is growing up (that will be funnier once you've read the book) and dealing with familiar challenges of adulthood, while Faith continues to struggle with her place in the world. Good stuff.
As an aside, I have to say that the dialogue is often hysterically funny. Not in a way that distracts from the plot or lessens the emotional payoffs - quite the opposite. But, really, Whedon's dialogue shines in this format.
I do have one quibble. For the most part, the artwork is excellent. I definitely did a double-take at the cover: wow, that looks EXACTLY like Buffy (and Willow, and Xander, and ...). But sometimes the likeness just isn't there - later in the book, Faith especially just doesn't look right. And there are also a few weird proportion issues, like a section where several heads seem too large for their bodies. This is the only reason that I'm calling 4 stars rather than 5, and really I wish I could mark it as 4.5 stars. Mostly, though, the art is really nice, and in many ways it's easier to render dramatic, crazy action scenes in graphic-novel form than on TV. (The special effects would just be too expensive.)
Okay, so you're sold on Season 8. Should you buy this library edition or the skinny regular volumes? Well, there is no denying that the library edition is very high-quality: really thick pages, a sturdy cover, etc. More importantly, the pages are significantly larger, which lets the artwork really shine. It also includes a bunch of alternative covers, artist sketches, etc. at the back which I found very enjoyable. That said, the library can be a bit unwieldy, so the paperback volumes are definitely more convenient.
In short, this edition has created a special place in my heart for Buffy, and I like the graphic novel version of Buffy even better than the TV incarnation. (Gasp!) If you're a Buffy fan, buy this now.
If storage space is a concern, I advise going with the trade paperback editions instead. However, if you want a large, durable hardcover, this is well worth the money.
As for the quality of the story, well, if you're looking at this you're probably already a Buffy fan. Suffice it to say, this is the official continuation of the Buffy series, just in a different medium. Whedon's plotting and writing remains intact, and he has been involved in the creative process and selection of all the other writers on the series. It definitely feels authentic as a continuation of the TV series, only without budget and filming scope restrictions. :) It's a bit jarring at first with the time jump betwen the end of Buffy Season 7 and the start of Season 8, but the interim storyline is filled in gradually much the way Whedon's crew did with the tv show when there were season jumps there as well.
Very, very good, and I can't wait for the next hardcover to release!
The writing is also excellent, especially the dialogue. I love, love, love all the cover artwork by Jo Chen.