Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Buffy Season 8

As people might have noticed from previous posts, I'm a huge fan of Joss Whedon's work: Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity. I liked Fray, although I didn't go into raptures of ecstasy over that one like some people. Even Alien Resurrection, which was as horrible and deformed a monstrosity as the Ripley/Alien hybrid itself, nevertheless showed signs of Whedon's talents. Beneath the horrible, drool-covered grubby fingerprints and suspicious stains, one can just barely detect the faintest signs of an actual good story and interesting characters.

Particularly given the goodness that was Fray, I was hoping for fireworks from the comic book series of Season 8 of Buffy. Alas, it was not to be -- the first four issues haven't impressed me. The story itself is okay, but I expected better than okay from Joss. But it feels simultaneously rarefied and compressed: there's not enough happening, but what is happening happens too fast, if that makes sense. Perhaps that's a limitation of comic books compared to television, I don't know.

But the killer for me is that I just don't think the artist is good enough. There seems to be a tradition now for comics to have really good artwork on the covers and shockingly incompetent artwork inside. Take this example of somebody who supposedly is Giles:

Take away the cup of tea and he could be any guy in glasses -- take away the glasses and he could be any guy. It's not just Giles either -- the artist hasn't really captured the look of any of the characters from the series.

The characters faces are terribly inexpressive. They're supposed to be talking, and yet their mouths look like they're glued shut. There is little sense of kinetic motion in the artwork either: apart from action scenes, most of the time people look like badly-posed wax dummies.

I'm disappointed, and will have to think long and hard before buying any more of the series.

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