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Buffy, off the screen and on to the page: seasons 8 and 9 (guest post by Maria Selke)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer appeared on TV for 7 seasons, but that is not the end of the story.  In a unique twist, Joss Whedon continued the story of the Buffy verse in comic book seasons.  So far there has been a season 8 and 9.  They are released as serial comics and then compiled into a graphic novel that works much better for libraries.  I love that Joss Whedon is using the written word to continue to spread his message even though the tv show is no longer.  Today, guest blogger Maria Selke reviews seasons 8 and 9 for us.

I have a confession to make – I didn’t start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer until partway through season two. It was at the recommendation of some online gaming friends that my husband and I took the plunge and started to watch the series. For you young things out there, that online RPG required us to have dialup Internet access! Ahem… but I digress. 

We had a good run, Joss and I. I spent a glorious seven years watching Buffy grow up, fall in love, die, come back to life, fight off every possible form of the apocalypse, and do it all over again. I followed Angel to his show and had a son around the same time he did. Midnight feedings? You’d find me on the couch with a Buffy rerun. Saying goodbye to the Scooby gang was far from easy.

I moved on, though the powerful messages of the Whedonverse stuck with me. So many of the Sunnydale Project posts have done an excellent job explaining exactly what those messages have meant to us all over the years.

Of course, the journey doesn’t have to be over. I didn’t realize that until recently, when I discovered that Buffy had continued into a season 8 comic. By that point, season 9 was about to begin, so I eagerly devoured the trades. In the comics, there were no special effect budgets to consider. No sets to construct. The world could be exactly as the Whedon team wanted it to be – with a world full of slayers who are learning how to handle their power.  Joss being Joss, though, we do lose a few beloved characters along the way.
If you haven’t yet experienced the world of Buffy comics, you may be amazed by the ongoing story.  I reviewed many of the season 8 trades on Fandom Post.
Volume 1: The Long Way Home (the first 5 issues of season 8) is reviewed by one of the other reviewers on the site. http://www.fandompost.com/2011/06/28/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-8-vol-1-the-long-way-home-tpb-review/ 
Volume 2:  No Future for You: This arc brings Faith back into the picture, and also has a heavy focus on Xander. I love the heart of the team. http://www.fandompost.com/2011/08/15/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-8-vol-02-no-future-for-you-review/
Volume 3: Wolves at the Gate: Remember when Dracula was on Buffy? You’ll see him again here. Very funny stuff! I loved this arc a lot. http://www.fandompost.com/2011/08/24/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-8-vol-03-%E2%80%93-wolves-at-the-gate-review/

Volume 4: Time of Your Life: This arc jumps into the future world, with the slayer Fray. I was glad I read this as a trade, because it took a bit to get into the swing of it all. The final issue of this set was a dream Buffy has of being in Sunnydale. Definitely enjoyed that one. http://www.fandompost.com/2011/09/02/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-8-vol-04-%E2%80%93-time-of-your-life-review/

While I read the other parts of season 8, I didn’t review them. This was about when season 9 started up, and I jumped into reviewing single issues whenever I could.
Season 9 is now in full swing, and it has something for every Buffy aficionado. There are two main lines running in this season; “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel and Faith”.
Buffy picks up where season 8 left off, with the loss of magic in the world. The first arc is appropriately called “Free Fall”, as Buffy is tumbling into a life more ordinary than she could have expected.  Spike is here to help, though he keeps warning about something mysterious rumbling on the horizon.
I’ll link up to a few reviews here, but you can find more at Fandom Post:  

Issue 1 http://www.fandompost.com/2011/09/13/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-9-1-review/

Buffy handles a new job, Xander and Dawn juggle helping Buffy with their budding relationship, and Willow deals with the fallout of the disappearance of magic. Andrew even jumps back into the storyline with humorous results. Even though there were some plot points I felt were handled poorly, overall it’s been a fun season so far.

While both series have fabulous teams of writers and artists, I’m finding Angel and Faithto be my favorite right now. 

Desperate to learn more about Giles and his younger years? The first arc of Angel and Faith, “Live Through This”, has some amazing flashbacks to his younger years.  The dialogue between Angel and Faith is dead on, and they make a dramatic team.

Love Drusilla’s broody insanity? Angel and Faith brings her back in the arc “Daddy Issues”. We also get a peek into Faith’s past as we meet her father. Check out a review of the issue 6, which is the start of this arc. http://www.fandompost.com/2012/01/25/angel-faith-6-review/

The current arc, “Family Reunion”, is my favorite one yet. Willow arrives, and the team recruits Angel’s son Connor to help them enter a hell dimension and find a way to restore magic to earth.  Read my review of issue 11, which is the start of the Family Reunion arc. http://www.fandompost.com/2012/07/13/angel-faith-11-review/

Issue 14 came out September 26th, and I haven’t gotten a review in yet, but I’d be a failure if I didn’t show you this adorable variant cover. Check out more information at the Dark Horse site: http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/19-622/Angel-Faith-14-Rebekah-Isaacs-variant-cover

Finally, there are two extra special minis that will be part of this season. The first focuses on Spike, and has already started. Seriously, friends, you want to read this one. My review of the first is live at Fandom Post, in case you want more details. Really want to check it out? You are in luck – assuming you win. I’m giving away a copy of the first and second issues of Spike to one lucky reader!


The second features Willow, and won’t begin until she’s finished with her run on Angel and Faith. The Dark Horse site has it listed as being available in November.

Even if you’ve never been a comic reader, I encourage you to give this season a shot. I hadn’t read any comics, and I loved how the art, lettering, and writing brought my beloved characters back into my life.

Interested in winning those first two issues of the Spike mini? Take a moment and tell us how you feel about Spike (or any vampire, if you don’t know Spike). One lucky commenter will receive both comics!
Maria Selke blogs at Maria’s Melange.  You can read all about it and join her for Sci Fi Fridays.
Slayer Scavenger Hunt
Did you notice some words written in red in this post? If not, go back and take a look. You’ll want to, I can reassure you. Why? Because we are having a Buffy themed scavenger hunt! How fun is that? To find out how to participate, read the details below. And I know you’ll want to participate because we are working on getting some GREAT prizes lined up for the winners!
  • Each week on our Slayer Saturday posts look for the words highlighted. There will be 3 sets of words each weekend, so make sure to visit all three blogs (Bookish Comforts, Patricia’s Particularity and Teen Librarian Toolbox).
  • Write down the words each week (Sept. 8 – Oct. 20), putting them in an order that makes sense. All together these words create a quote from Buffy.
  • During the last week a form will be made available on all three blogs where you can turn in the quote that you have pieced together.
  • On the last weekend of The Sunnydale Project, Oct. 27, the quote will be revealed! We will then draw a winner from those who have correctly completed the quote.
We really hope you have fun with this! We’re still finalizing the prize, but it’ll be worth participating for! An announcement will be made when all details have been finalized.

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