Comic adaptations of works have grown over time. From the time of Classics Illustrated, comics were used to adapt a work to a format readers would be more familiar with. Adaptations of popular movies allowed readers to re-live the thrills at a time when home video was non-existent. Today, though, the comic format allows creators to continue a work from another medium. It’s not a new phenomenon; DC Comics published a four-part series of graphic novels continuing the story of Village in The Prisoner: Shattered Visage in 1988. Today, though, getting the information out on adaptations is far easier thanks to the Internet and cross-medium works are far more common. The benefit is that a work can find a format that works best to gather and keep an audience. Movies are expensive to make and market, and even if profitable, they may not have enough of a following to justify a follow-up work. Television, while not as expensive as film and able to spread costs over a number of episodes, are still subject to whims of ratings; a niche series may not have the critical mass to survive a season. Comic books don’t have the expense burdens a film would and can be sustained with a far lower number of readers than a TV series can with low audience numbers. Even series that have had a good run can take advantage of the switch to comics. Fans will want more, especially just after a series has ended, and the series’ creator can explore areas that the show couldn’t, either because of expense or network limitations. Such is the focus of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer continuation comic series. The Buffy TV series, itself an adaptation, ran for seven years, a good run. The series had a definite end, with Sunnydale sinking into a Hellmouth to seal it and an army of Slayers defeating demons trying to overrun the Earth. But Buffy’s story wasn’t done. Buffy and her friends still had the army of Slayers, and that issue was worth exploring. Creator Joss Whedon continued the story in the comic series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, published by Dark Horse Comics. A new threat hangs over the world, and Buffy and her army need to discover what it is before the Apocalypse happens. Or, the same old same old for the Scoobies. And the series wouldn’t be Buffy if personal issues came up. Not only does Buffy have an army of young girls with supernatural abilities to try corral, her sister Dawn has run into some problems, and her own personal life is falling apart. Again, nothing new for Buffy. The fans, though, expect Buffy and her friends to have to deal with personal issues while saving the world. Skipping that skips the essence of the TV series. The comic series does deliver. The characters’ behaviour reflects their growth over the run of the TV series, from teenagers in high school to young adults trying to figure out what their place is in the world while dealing with weirdnesses most people never have to worry about. The graphic format allows for effects that would be difficult to achieve on television, either because of time needed, the expense, or because of the laws of physics. Dawn, as part of a curse, grew to be several stories tall; showing this on screen would require green-screening and filming her scenes twice, once with her and once with the regular-sized cast. When TV episodes need to be completed within a week, that’s extra time that could be better used, especially if the curse is season long. In another scene, Buffy and Angel wind up changing settings page to page; if filmed, that would mean setting up in multiple locations for only several minutes of film. It’s doable for an episode but would mean making extensive use of sets instead of location shots to minimize travel time. In a comic, both are easily done. Dawn can be drawn far larger than the rest of the cast without any camera effects or multiple takes and the new settings that Buffy and Angel use are needed in each panel anyway, whether they stay in one location or jump every panel to somewhere new. Buffy Season Eight picks up after the destruction of Sunnyvale. Buffy and her Slayer army have found a home in Scotland with room for the young women to train. Dawn gets cursed while studying at university. A new threat and old adversaries return. Worse, the threat is one that Buffy herself creates. However, the draw isn’t the situation, it’s the characters. How the Scoobies react to the new threat and old problems is the key, and the comic shines there. The TV series was always more than just being about a student staking vampires, and the comic continues with the idea that the heroes are people, too, even the vampires. Comic continuations come with their own shortfalls. Page limits mean a comic can be read in five to ten minutes, unlike a forty-two-minute television episode. Comics are released monthly, unlike television’s weekly schedule. Artwork may not resemble the characters*, though that was not an issue with the Buffy comics. Sometimes, the limitations of one medium that will force a creator to come up with a workaround that results in a better product will be avoided. While the limits of the medium can’t be helped, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight avoids most of the shortfalls, though does get self-indulgent at times. Some subplots linger too long, while others get ignored. However, what one reader finds dragging, another will find enthralling. Overall, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight works as a continuation. The situation that develops in the comic builds from what was shown in the TV series. The characters grew from their experiences; the Xander of the comic is not the Xander of season one, but the Xander of the end of season seven after everything he went through. The hints of what Buffy was doing as seen on Angel were expanded. Like gravity, continuity is a harsh mistress, but fans have expectations. The continuation comic meets these expectations. * When creating a comic based on a live-action property, the actors still have control over their likenesses unless there’s a clause in their contracts allowing for comic tie-ins. Marvel Comics ran into the problem in the Eighties with both their Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica comics, where they didn’t have the rights.to the likenesses. This article was originally published at Seventh Sanctum. Thanks to our friends at Seventh Sanctum for letting us share this content. See larger image Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Omnibus Volume 1 Series creator Joss Whedon brought Buffy the Vampire Slayer back to life with this comics-only follow-up to Season 7 of the television show. Aptly named Season 8, these comics are the official sequel to Buffy and continue where the live-action series left off with the Slayer, her friends, and their ongoing challenge to fight the forces of darkness. After the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers–newly legion–have gotten organized, but it’s not long before new and old enemies begin popping up. Buffy, Xander, Willow, and a very different Dawn are introduced to the season’s big bad, Twilight, and begin to understand the incredible reach of this mysterious threat. Meanwhile, rebel Slayer Faith teams up with Giles to handle a menace on the other side of the Atlantic. It’s a dirty job, and Faith is just the girl to do it! Then, as Twilight’s ominous influence continues to expand Buffy and her Slayers travel to Tokyo to face a new kind of vampire with powers they’ve only witnessed in Dracula . . . And, when trouble with Buffy’s scythe comes to light, Willow and Buffy head to New York to investigate the secrets behind the ancient weapon; ever full of the unexpected, Buffy is transported to a dystopian future where her first chance meeting is with Fray, future Slayer! This oversized omnibus edition is one of two volumes that will contain the entirety of Season 8. It includes the first four arcs of the series along with one-shots and short stories written by Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Drew Goddard, and Jeph Loeb, with art by the acclaimed Georges Jeanty, as well as Karl Moline, Paul Lee, Cliff Richards, and more. “Joss Whedon, the man, the myth, the legend, writes the comic with the same genius as he did the show. The art, penciled by Georges Jeanty, is as faboo as the writing.”—Janet Evanovich, New York Times best-selling author of Hard Eight “Buffy the comic might be every bit as good as Buffy the TV show.”—Entertainment Weekly (featured as one of the Best Comics of 2007) “Vaughan is a fantastic writer that conveys emotion and character to a degree of perfection.”—Wired “Drew Goddard is a rare breed: a genre writer who crafts truly inspired characters and lyrical, emotional scenes.”—J. J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Cloverfield) “Buffy Season 8 is run like the television series from which it came . . . a classic evolving specimen for this era of ever shifting media platforms.”—Los Angeles Times “The whole gang returns, kicking ass and splitting infinitives in Whedon’s inimitable dialogue.”—Wired “Series creator Whedon effectively sucks devotees back into his Hellmouth.”—Entertainment Weekly New From: $16.48 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... 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