Thursday, 5 June 2008

Page Turners: A new episode of Buffy

I am a big Buffy fan. It's been a while since I watched any, since the series finished five years ago (hard to believe, but true), but this week I indulged in a dose of the seventh and final season, just to get prepared for a new season. Yes, there is a season 8!

You see, our Page Turners 'book' for this month was a graphic novel of Buffy: Season 8, The Long Way Home. In addition, we also read a graphic novel of Angel: Season 6, After the Fall.

Each of these continues the stories of Buffy and Angel after their respective final episodes. In both cases, some time has passed (maybe around a year), but most of the old characters are back. How exciting.

In the Buffy comic, the gang is running some form of hi-tech operative group/army, filled with slayers. (Remember all the potentials who were made slayers inthe final episode?) Buffy becomes the target of a plot to kill her by a mysterious marines-type group bearing a strange, undecipherable symbol etched into their chests. These bad guys are camped on the edge of the Sunnydale crater, probing its depths, and they find . . .

In the Angel comic, Wolfram and Hart have sold LA into hell (somehow) and the place is overrun by demons. Not really sure where the plot is going in this one, as we only covered the first installment (and I don't want to give away any surprises).

Experiencing Buffy and Angel as graphic novels is actually rather cool. They require quite a deal of concentration to follow, as Buffy in particular jumps between scenes/characters/dreams with scant 'signposting'. But, with care, the storyline can be followed.

I find the way graphic novels unfold events -- as in which angles and closeups and actions are selected to depict emotion and mood -- really fascinating. I think it must be more like directing than writing, because the focus is very much on the visual. With the right 'shot' selection, a comic is really dynamic.

It's great to know what happens next, and to know that it's legitimate as well, since Joss Whedon (series creator) was involved in the scripts for both. So Buffy and Angel live on!

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