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StephenT [userpic]

(Meta) Why I love Season Eight

27th September 2009 (18:39)

The 8th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes in for a lot of criticism here on LJ. Write a post condemning the comics and you'll get 15 people replying to agree with you before you've refreshed the screen. It's much rarer to see people talking about why they enjoy the comics, and praising the good things about them.

So that's what this post is about. It's about why I look forward to the first week of every month, and why I make a special trip into town to pick up my copy of Season 8 the day it arrives in the shops, and then read it twice through before writing my review. It's 45 reasons why I love Season 8.

The number 45 has no special significance. I just did a "Find" search on the piece after I wrote it to see how many times I used the phrase "I love..."


 

I love that Joss is willing to take risks with his storytelling. I love that he doesn't feel the need to explain every last little detail of background, because he trusts his audience to fill those in themselves. I love the way this makes you have to think about the story, work out what's happening and speculate on the reasons, rather than just sitting back passively and having it spoon-fed to you.

I love the opportunities for fill-in-the-blank fics this gives, where people can speculate on the real reasons why certain things came to pass - whether these are serious, tragic, or snarky. I've read some great ones. I've written some myself.

I love the jigsaw-puzzle plot development. The way the story starts in media res, and then little clues and elements of both the ongoing plot and the backstory are released to us bit by bit and the picture is slowly filled in. I love that there are no long, boring exposition scenes. I love the speculation on which references are important and which are irrelevant (although I do think it goes too far at times; fandom beats a passing story reference to death and then feels let down when the actual plot revelation is less spectacular than we'd worked ourselves up into believing it would be. And yes, I'm guilty of this too.)

I love that Joss can raise serious issues about power and leadership and organisation and the way the world works, without getting overly preachy and moralistic. I love that he can show that good things often have a bad side, and bad things can have a good side. I love that his answer to the question "Was Buffy right to create an army of Slayers to fight evil all over the world?" is neither "Yes" nor "No", but rather "It depends" or "A bit of both" or "Depends on whom you ask".

I love that he shows that power can corrupt people who start with the best of intentions, but that corruption isn't necessarily a slide into selfish evil mwuh-ha-ha villainry. I love that Buffy is still passionately committed to protecting humanity even if in the first half of the arc she was too focussed on that grand goal to care much about the individual humans she was supposed to be saving.

I love that canon is now open again, and the characters we know and love are moving forward. I love that Joss, unlike 99% of fanfic writers, is willing to introduce meaningful changes and growth into their lives. I love that we have new things to discuss, rather than only ever coming up with yet another interpretation of an episode of the TV show. (Which, I'm not knocking. It has its place. But so does talking about new stuff.)

I love the characterisation, the mix of development and continuity. These are still recognisably the same people, reacting in the familiar way to the issues and situations they encounter. But they're also not stuck in aspic; they've changed. In some cases they've grown and matured, in other cases they've simply changed - and I love that too, because real people do go both forwards and backwards.

I love that Buffy is now a better leader, delegating more responsibility and treating the other Slayers as real people, not disposable cogs in a machine. But she's still got her martyr complex, and she still pouts and whines about the burdens of Slayerness, because she's Buffy. I love it when she gets all firm and decisive and dangerous, and when she indulges herself in quirky wordplay, and when she lays her heart open to her friends about what she's feeling.

I love that Xander has matured into a self-confident and level-headed leader who's also compassionate and insightful - and yet isn't afraid to be dorky and geeky and compare himself to Snake Plissken or Sergeant Nick Fury.

I really love the personality developments Willow 's going through. The idea that part of her is longing to settle down, start a family, have a normal life: but she believes that her own past decisions have made that impossible for her now. She chose to resurrect Buffy instead of moving on and starting a new life with Tara. She chose to acquire almost-godlike magical powers, but that has made her "a force, not a person" in her own eyes, and she doesn't believe she can ever have what normal people have. And (unlike*koff*Buffy*koff) she's not especially self-pitying about it, because she knows it was her own decisions that brought her to that point. That's not a characterisation I've seen other (non-Joss) fic writers give her, but as soon as I read it I knew it was exactly right for her personality.

I love that Dawn is still resourceful and sarcastic. That she initially reacts to the magical curse she was put under with resentment and whining, but gradually learns to live with it and even exploit it to her advantage. And that she gets huffy when other people make jokes about it, but still recognises the funny.

I've even come to love the story of Andrew's slow transformation into a credible and sympathetic character, which wasn't something I ever thought I'd say when Season 8 first started. No disrespect to Tom Lenk, who was acting the role given to him and by all accounts is a great guy in person, but something about Andrew's voice and mannerisms on the show always set my teeth on edge. This is one time the comic format works to the characters' advantage. For someone who often seems to live in a fantasy world Andrew is actually proving to be perhaps the most self-knowing person in the ensemble.

I love the minor characters and new characters who've been introduced or featured. Yes, I wish there was more time available to spend with them, to learn more about their personalities and backgrounds. But I loved watching Satsu grow from the bizarrely-dressed but reserved and polite young woman to someone who is prepared to defy Buffy to her face and argue her down. I adored Renee's cute flirtation with Xander, and was upset when she died. Not 'The Body' or 'Seeing Red' level of upset, but it was a powerful scene. And it's fun looking out to see if Leah or Rowena or one of the other minor characters will get a cameo appearance.

I love the character interaction, especially the fun Scooby banter that was mostly missing from Seasons 6 and 7. I loved Buffy teasing Willow about Saga Vasuki, and Xander trying to discover what they were talking about. I loved Xander teasing Dawn about preferring guys with "no lower half", and her snippy reply that she "Hopes he dies first. With the most wounds." I loved Willow and Kennedy's banter when they first meet after a long separation, especially since a friend of mine who rather reminds me of Kennedy says the exact same sort of thing in similar situations. ("I hate you" and "Who are you again?" in a tone of voice that shows she means the exact opposite.)

In fact, as regular readers of my LJ will guess,  I love that Willow and Kennedy are still together as a couple and in love, full stop. :-) And I love the slow development of the relationship between Xander and Dawn, the way they were shown interacting together right from the start, initially in a purely platonic way that gradually shifted into flirtation and banter and then into something more meaningful.

I loved Willow's reaction to the discovery that Buffy had experimented sexually with another woman. I love the way that Faith has matured into, in some ways, a better people-person than Buffy. I love the extremely begrudging respect that grew up between Xander and Dracula. I love the way Melaka Fray reacted to meeting a character out of the mists of legend.

I love the scope of the story. The fact that the Slayers are now operating on a global scale - and yes, sometimes they make mistakes when depicting the details of foreign countries, which can be an excuse for snarkiness. But at the end of 'Chosen' Buffy changed the world, and it feels right that we see that the world - not just one small corner of it - is now all different. But I also love that we still focus in on the little details. Xander makes Buffy a cup of coffee as she's sitting watching the monitors late at night. Buffy gets over-excited when she first goes to New York and sees the Empire State Building. Dawn, Buffy and Xander sit watching the TV together.

I love the variety of the plots. Some are minor - a band of vampires led by one named after a mediaeval torture device are terrorising a small neighbourhood. Others are epic or global in scale. Some people think that the lack of a special effects budget allows the writers to become self-indulgent, but I love that it means they don't have to hold back for artificial reasons. An army of a thousand vampires on the streets of Tokyo can actually look like an army, not the same ten guys in vampire make-up shuffling around in front of the camera to try and look like a crowd. They can set a scene on board a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, or a forest in Scotland, or the top of a skyscraper, and it actually looks like that location rather than like the car park of the Mutant Enemy studios.

I love certain aspects of the artwork. :-) No, I'm not fond of the fact that sometimes the characters are hard to tell apart, because they're not photo-realistic depictions of the actors. But at its best Jeanty's artwork seems to have a luminous, vibrant quality to it that perfectly captures the characters' emotions. They feel like living, breathing people, not flat, motionless portraits. I love that you can see the subtle nuances of expression - anger, doubt, joy, sadness, surprise - sketched clearly on the faces. I love the sense of motion and movement in the action pictures.

I love the little touches Jeanty includes in his art, that reward a close study of the panels. The Slayer in the background of a scene who's casually slinging a fifty-kilogram bale of hay over her shoulder while chatting to a friend. The revelation that Willow's bedtime reading is 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire, and that Kennedy is in the habit of just dumping her clothes on the bedroom floor when she goes to bed. And that Buffy has managed to acquire a replacement for Mr Gordo. And that Buffy sometimes wears a 'Serenity' t-shirt. And Harmony has a pink 'My Little Pony' poster on the wall of her room.


There's probably even more stuff that I love. But that list will do for now.
:-)

Comments

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Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 18:21 (UTC)

There was a time when I could have written much of this. I was especially enthusiastic about the jigsaw puzzle. But for me it's fallen apart -- there are too many oddities and I don't know how to distinguish what should be wanked from what is meant to seem odd. That means I'm constantly at sea in the story. I don't know what planks are meant to be planks and what is meant to be a red flag that things are off.

Allie hasn't helped. Characterizing what people like me want as a yearning for boring exposition feels like an aggressive dodge of a real complaint. The majority of people I know on-line and off-line who have read the comics don't recognize the characters and have given up the books as a result. You can blame the audience for being immature. Or you can take some responsibility and admit that if you're going to call it a continuation of the series, you need to provide enough kernels to get form point (a) to point (z).

The Allie problem is compounded by apologists (with due respect, yourself included) who refuse to acknowledge that people have misgivings about the story which are genuine. It may be obvious to you and to Allie and to Emmie that Buffy just had to set up a global operation that just had to be financed by bank robbing... but it's not obvious to many of us and it's irritating to be told, in essence, that we are stupid if we can't see how it works.

And the other thing with the apologists is that a lot of the things they defended turned out to be one of those red flags of oddness, and not a plank. Willow's excessive use of magic was a common early complaint. Apologists came out with the cudgels about how it's a natural continuation of the series. Well, we're getting a one-shot in December because this Willow is NOT the Willow we knew. If she seems odd, it's because she was meant to be seen as odd. Andrew is supposed to be easily understood as a leader. But Joss himself puts words in Andrew's mouth that serve as hanging a lantern on the problem that it defies common sense to see someone like Andrew in that role. This sort of thing has happened a lot.

Granted, it would be good if we could stop polarizing and meet in the middle -- recognizing that there are some defenses for things that seem odd, and that there are some odd things that are meant to be odd, and (especially) for suspending a bit of judgment until all the data is in. It might be that it adds up. But it might be that it doesn't.

And sorry for the negative. Like I said, six months ago, I would have said most of your ode to the comics was a well-expressed praise that I fully agreed with. It's not fun to find that I've emotionally gone over to the other side. Your ode just reminds me of how much joy in the comics I have lost over the last several months -- and that makes me grumpy. Am glad, though, that at least some people can keep shouting with joy.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:23 (UTC)

A big reason for me writing this was, I think, a desire to move on - at least for a while - from the endless back-and-forth arguments and negativity. It's all too easy to get knocked into a negative feedback loop. What starts out as a difference in interpretation or emphasis seems to get magnified into a fundamental disagreement over first principles, when it really isn't. But battlelines get drawn, and people start making vocal assumptions about the other side in the argument, and then things get vicious and personal.

So instead of yet more nitpicking against other people's criticisms of the season - some of which, believe it or not, I do actually agree with *g* - I decided I'd do something positive instead and talk about the things I do like.


It may be obvious to you and to Allie and to Emmie that Buffy just had to set up a global operation that just had to be financed by bank robbing

That's never been my argument. I think it's in character for her, and it's something I can imagine happening without any stretch to my credibility. That's a long way from saying she "just had to" do it that way - and with matching due respect to your own, putting those words in my mouth is a perfect example of the way these discussions get polarised.

I was as surprised as anyone when I first saw that scene, so I'm not ever going to say that people don't have the right to be taken aback by it. But then we all discussed it, and I thought about it, and all the earlier examples of Buffy playing fast and loose with legality when she believes she's justified came up, and I thought "Huh. I guess it does make sense after all."

And if other people listen to the same discussions and evidence as me and come to the opposite conclusion than I did - well, of course I think they're wrong. Can't help that. But I hope I'd be willing to accept the difference of opinion, and debate it in a friendly way, and agree to disagree. The problem comes when some people don't seem to listen to the discussion at all, but just state their opinion and throw in a few rude and dismissive comments for good measure. Comments which are, on the face of it, about the comics - or about Joss - but can easily be twisted around to be equally dismissive of people who like them. That's when the tendency to be just as snarky back comes into play.

And no, I'm not including you there. I know we've had a lot of heated disagreements about Season 8, but they've never descended to the level of "Anyone who likes the comics is a stupid poop-head" or "Anyone who doesn't is a semi-literate thicko".

Not yet, anyway. :-)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:14 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 21:44 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 22:39 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 23:12 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 01:05 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:09 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:09 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 16:20 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 18:36 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 15:53 (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 17:27 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 18:06 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 20:37 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 21:19 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 18:19 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 15:21 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 18:40 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:54 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 21:24 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 00:40 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 21:46 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:37 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:44 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:49 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:17 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:29 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 21:11 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 22:26 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 02:37 (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 04:33 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:34 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 15:33 (UTC)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:03 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:03 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:34 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 21:41 (UTC)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 23:04 (UTC)

Posted by: Episkopos Rev. Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL (alixtii)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 00:46 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 13:38 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 18:24 (UTC)

p.s. I do reserve the right to get back to joy if the final quarter of the run ends up resolving things I can't resolve at present. Indeed, I still run to the comics at 12:00 sharp on the first Wednesdays, and I spend an unbelieveable amount of time pondering the comics. So obviously there's a good chunk of me that very much wants to get back to the squee.

Posted by: Nicki (peroxidepirate)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 18:27 (UTC)

I love this essay! :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has more affection than criticism for the comics.

I know they could be better... morally, artistically, thematically... but I like them anyway. I don't think I take them as seriously as I take the show. But for me, that's OK.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:26 (UTC)

Thanks. :-) I agree, they're flawed, there are things that could be done better. I'd love to hear Joss give a long interview after the season's over (or write a foreward to the collected bound version which I assume will be printed) where he talks about what he intended to do, and what he thinks worked and what didn't, and what he'd do differently.

But I enjoyed Season 7 too, and that had just as many - or more - problems than this one.

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:22 (UTC)
Scoobies by maharet83

Reminds me of a post I did a while back :) I'll write a new one when I'm free. I'm an LJ user who adores this season. :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:27 (UTC)

It's nice to know you're not alone, yes?
:-)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:00 (UTC)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:59 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:41 (UTC)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 19:59 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:05 (UTC)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:14 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 20:54 (UTC)

I was just thinking about writing something like this! Ah, but real life intervened.

I'm still pondering doing a post about how the story was never supposed to show how the world was accepting vampires because that too is another thing fandom harangues Season 8 for. I'd only recently realized though that the text never raised this as an important storyline, but that it was Scott Allie unofficially calling the Predators and Prey arc "vampires in public" back in the day that raised these expectations that would never be fulfilled. Fans keep saying that there's been too little showing in the story of vampires in public, but it's never was supposed to be more than the bits with Harmony.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:45 (UTC)

Interesting idea. The way I see it, the main idea for Sesaon 8 is "there are now thousands of Slayers instead of just one (or two), and so the world's all different."

The effect of that on Buffy herself is the core of that story, of course. ("The 'Buffy' of it", as Joss phrases it.) One of the other differences is that Slayers can no longer fly under the radar. There are so many of them that people will start to notice them, and in turn be unable to sustain their mass denial of the existence of the supernatural. The consequences of that are likely to be unexpected - that, for example, humans will decide that the Slayers (a race of demonic-powered Übermenschen built to kill) are the bad guys and vampires (romantic creatures of the night with sexy cheekbones and British accents who do what they must to survive and can grant eternal youth to their favoured humans) are the good guys. It's a symptom, not key to the story. Plot-wise, it means that Buffy is alone (as per usual) and can't simply turn to the authorities for help against Twilight.

Posted by: Martzin (martzin)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 21:27 (UTC)

I love you for doing this. I'm just getting my toes wet in fandom, and I love that this one is alive and growing and spawning new fic and interpretations.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:47 (UTC)

Thanks. :-)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 21:48 (UTC)

Me like comics too. As with AtF, I'd have stopped reading them and definitely stopped posting about them if I didn't.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:49 (UTC)

I gave up writing reviews on AtF when the "Immediately After The Fall" arc started. Three months of detailed backstory filling in what happened to the characters to get them from 'Not Fade Away' to the start of the comic, and I'm convinced fan reaction to Season 8 is what prompted IDW to do their story differently.

It worked for some people, I know. Not me. :-)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 21:55 (UTC)
pic#87400756

This is probably the longest LJ post I've ever found myself agreeing with completely. :-) Sorry to be so boringly agreeable (for once.)

Really, the only thing about this season that bugs me is the implausibility of the "popular vampires" storyline... especially in light of the "Harmony Comes to the Nation" webcomic... but that's more my compulsive nature, always wanting plausibility in a fantasy story.

I'm actually planning to take the day off from work on the day #30 comes out, because I can't bear the thought of having to sit there at my desk and pretend to work until 6 p.m., knowing that the issue is sitting there in my pull box, and other people have read it and I haven't. That's how much I still love season 8.

Posted by: darkestboy (darkestboy)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 23:07 (UTC)
Jack Harkness

Great blog. I think Season 8 often gets a bad rap but to me, it's been more consistent than the Angel Season 6 comics which often confuse me and have some really atrocious artwork.

I am looking forward to finally finding out who Twilight actually is and how Buffy and the gang will stop him or them.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:50 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:53 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:33 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:48 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 13:11 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 27th September 2009 23:10 (UTC)

Right now I basically feel that as someone who isn't reading them as soon as they come out, I'm not able to judge whether I agree on how the comics are. And basically I won't be able to say anything completely definite until they're over, because the mysteriousness of it is a bit troubling, for me.

Basically S8 and the rest of Buffy feel very different to me, for reasons that have surely been expounded upon indefinitely: the different mediums, the ability to go this way and that with the story lines, the globalness.

Most of BtVS is about Buffy and her friends. Period. It's about this one girl, who fights evil and Big Bads and monsters-of-the-weeks, and her relationships with others and things that happen to her and all that.

S7 starts to go beyond that - it's about the mythology, it's about all of these Potentials and their battle against the First.

And then bam. S8 is about a global force of Slayers, and how this has impacted the Scoobies and the world.

It's a major leap, and one that logically had to be made. But it's a leap big enough that I can't mentally connect the two as the same basic thing. It's about the same people, but it feels very very different, because it has these global story lines.

And I get the reasons for the whole mystery thing, and I get that just listing out what happened to everyone wouldn't make for a compelling comic, but...that's kind of what I as a reader ultimately want. If this version of S8 is all about exploring the consequences of this monumental change in Slayerdom, what I want from a S8 is to know what happens to the Scoobies and then go from there.

I don't have any particular solutions for that, other than I'm pretty content with just keeping BtVS and S8 separate in my mind. Because S8 is fairly enjoyable and interesting so far if I don't see it as a canonical continuation of the show.


(In sillier news, I was reading the comments and have a very difficult time deciphering what BtBR meant. I was like...Buffy the Bear Rapist??? Buffy the Bicycle Repairer??? Buuuut I get it now. :D )

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 02:41 (UTC)

Buffy the Bank Robber. :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:13 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 20:03 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 21:47 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 22:08 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 00:41 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 00:59 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 01:35 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 23:16 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 15:10 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 11:46 (UTC)
Xacula by beer_good_foamy

You know it's funny, because just the other day I had a look back over my s8 posts... and at the end of issue 4 I was thoroughly in 'Bored Now' mode. I'm happy that you like them, but they lost me right from the start I'm afraid. (BtBR was the final nail in the coffin...)

(Just deleted the rest of my comment. You've got enough grumbling here already. *g*)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:19 (UTC)

There's never enough grumbling! ... er wait, no, you're right. Thanks. :-)

It does seem to be true that if you enjoy something, you'll forgive its sins; and if you don't like it, they become show-stoppers.

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:17 (UTC)

"I love the opportunities for fill-in-the-blank fics this gives, where people can speculate on the real reasons why certain things came to pass - whether these are serious, tragic, or snarky. I've read some great ones. I've written some myself."

Thing is I've always hated the 'choose your own adventure' way of story telling. It just comes across as so 'lazy' to me personally.

"I love the character interaction, especially the fun Scooby banter that was mostly missing from Seasons 6 and 7."

Shame that for me they barely resemble what I saw in the show then. :0

"I love the characterisation, the mix of development and continuity. These are still recognisably the same people, reacting in the familiar way to the issues and situations they encounter."

Oh dear. See my previous answer for that one.

"I love certain aspects of the artwork. :-) "

Whilst I pretty much hate it when Jeanty's having a crack at it. But then I hate looking at poor character likenesses who look about 12 and often have balloon animal heads.

I could moan on but I won't, as I think you'll already pretty familiar with my views on this subject.

Suffice to say that on the whole I've been extremely disappointed with this series so far. But hey, we all have different tastes, eh? *g*



Edited at 2009-09-28 12:18 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:23 (UTC)

we all have different tastes

Pretty much. :-) I seem to have spent so much time recently nitpicking about details that I wanted to take the space to say why I like the comics overall.

And yeah, when I say "I love certain aspects of the artwork" you can, I hope, tell that there's some tongue-in-cheekness going on there. I don't think everything is perfect; I wish Jeanty was better at drawing recognisable likenesses. But I wanted to point out what I do think he is very good at, which is drawing recognisable emotions and capturing a sense of movement.

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:30 (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 12:45 (UTC)
One positive thing!

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 14:23 (UTC)
[firefly] c.s.i.

I truly like the comics, but I must admit a lot of my fun was spoiled for me when Buffy killed Willow in the future. It just made me really sad and now I can't go back to the books without feeling some of that sadness, tbh.

But the details are cute, I'm really glad for the lack of Xander/Buffy (though I don't much care for Xander/Dawn either) and I'm glad Willow's still with Kennedy.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:10 (UTC)

Awww. :-)

(I do note that the after-effects of that are still having a huge effect on Buffy even in the current issues, so it was supposed to be powerful and upsetting.)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:13 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 09:59 (UTC)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 11:58 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 12:00 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th September 2009 12:30 (UTC)

Posted by: Speaker-to-Customers (speakr2customrs)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 18:37 (UTC)

They can set a scene on board a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, or a forest in Scotland, or the top of a skyscraper, and it actually looks like that location rather than like the car park of the Mutant Enemy studios.

No, they can't. Maybe they could if Jo Chen drew the comics, instead of Jeanty, but I doubt it because the problem is that the writers have no freaking clue what a castle/forest in Scotland, or 21st-Century Germany, or present-day London should look like. Of all the myriad things I hate about the comics the totally unreality of the settings is the one I hate most.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 19:22 (UTC)

Funnily enough, searching a photo library for "deciduous forest Scotland" brings up pictures not unlike those in S8. And searching for Scottish castles will be as successful. And so will doing a picture search for German towns with surviving mediaeval architecture. It looks like my reality is different to yours. :-)

Posted by: jess (soapygirl)
Posted at: 5th October 2009 16:26 (UTC)

When I saw the first bit of Season 8 my response was "HELLS YES" because I just couldn't see buffy hanging out in Italy and partying with Dawn and boning some imortal dude. Well i could see her trying to take a vacation (perhaps at the urging of the other scoobies) but she'd either get restless or bored or some kind of evil would seek her. (sounds like the makings of a fun fanfic, buffy and dawn touring Europe and Buffy keeps expecting to see vampires and demons at every turn but nothing happens and so she gets bored and tries to seek out trouble)

I do wish we had more backstory about why Buffy decided to settle down in a castle in scotland and how she decided to rob a bank and if that was the reason she had a falling out with Giles. I hope that this will be revealed at some point.

Posted by: the infamous Midwestern subterrainean Explodebear. (hkath)
Posted at: 30th November 2009 17:00 (UTC)
puppet dracula is a little realer than u

Hiya. I really enjoyed this post and agree with a lot of what you said. I've actually stumbled upon a couple of older meta posts of yours while clicking around through various bits of fandom, and so I thought, this is definitely someone I should friend. Hope you don't mind!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th November 2009 17:21 (UTC)

'Course I don't mind. The more people interested in reading about Season 8, the better. :-)

Thanks!

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