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That Barton Fink Feeling: have the comics got "that buffy feeling"?

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  • #41
    I agree.. I think mostly every Buffy premiere suffers from the "first season episode syndrome" ... No Future For You is so good right now simply because we're getting to know more and more about a characters. Personally, I think the more we delve into it.. the more we'll begin to fall in love with it.

    It's good to see more and more people who were originally not happy sttarting to enjoy it.

    I guess people might disagree.. but I think a beautiful cover or panel.. or a funny panel (HSB Buffy?) can be just as good as a great directed episode. Art can be portrayed through stills just as well.. it just needs to be set higher on the bar.. but it can be done.
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    • #42
      Originally posted by Nostalgia View Post
      I agree.. I think mostly every Buffy premiere suffers from the "first season episode syndrome" ... No Future For You is so good right now simply because we're getting to know more and more about a characters. Personally, I think the more we delve into it.. the more we'll begin to fall in love with it.

      It's good to see more and more people who were originally not happy sttarting to enjoy it.

      I guess people might disagree.. but I think a beautiful cover or panel.. or a funny panel (HSB Buffy?) can be just as good as a great directed episode. Art can be portrayed through stills just as well.. it just needs to be set higher on the bar.. but it can be done.
      Oh yeah for sure. I am always looking at certain panels and thinking they are wonderful. Often I look at panels and try and imagine how they'd look on screen and in my head at least, they'd look pretty wonderful. I think the BHC would have been a awesome backdrop if it were a televised season. It is very gothic like old school Buffy with the library and Angel's mansion and I like those sets the best.

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      • #43
        BHC.. inform me here.. is that Genevieve's mansion?
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        • #44
          The BHC is the Big Honkin' Castle -- a term I proudly coined and has awesomely caught on, a callback to Riley's line in "Buffy vs. Dracula". It's the Slayer HQ.

          The Savidge Estate is much more of a mansion.

          RILEY: I've lived in Sunnydale a couple of years now. Know what I've never noticed before?
          GILES: Uh, a castle?
          RILEY: A big honking castle.
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          • #45
            I am dying for the preview.. I am so curious to what will be the end result of the episode.. What are everyones' thoughts? Any thoughts on Giles still?
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            • #46
              Dark Horse will probably post preview pages this week. Surprised they haven't already, last time they did it the same week. Maybe they are reacting to the comments on the Dark Horse Forum that we'd like it spread out a bit more.
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              • #47
                Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post

                Season 8 is starting to ramp up for me, and I do think it has the barton fink feeling.
                No Future for You is great. This is the first time since the first issue where I'm really looking forward to the next release date. It hits notes from the series that I adore, most notably revisiting old issues, but in a way that forces us to see things from a different angle; playing with the way the characters mirror each other in complex ways. (In case we didn't get that this is happening, we had not one, but two panels depicting infinite reflections. Buffy is Faith is Gigi is Buffy.) And we are opening up to some of the real issues that will be dealt with here -- most especially the question of how slayer power is to be exercised vis a vis humans. All classic Buffy stuff.

                And as you noted, we do get the interesting cutaway technique that Buffy used a lot (which serves the theme that the characters mirror, comment on each other in many different ways). That was true in the very first issue -- and was the one feature that struck me as authentically Buffylike. I agree with those who argue that LWH suffers from first episode syndrome. It might turn out to be great in retrospect -- the way When She Was Bad or Buffy vs. Dracula improve in light of what follows. But considering the issues themselves, there was just no there there. Nothing to think about. They throw out a bunch of mysteries, but with no handle for us to start thinking about them (cf. Who Kissed Buffy 'mystery'); and as far as I can see NO positive content that invites reflection. And to top it off, there are things that seem actively bad. Warren/Amy is just so lame on so many levels. Neither of them have any depth, but we're going to get to see them again -- but Ethan, a character with much potential, is already dead. And the Warren retcon is not just sloppy, it's implausible. Ugh. Finally, I've got no handle on any of the main characters. Buffy has matured into her role as a leader. That's the one substantive thing I can get. I have no idea who this Xander is. And don't even get me started on Willow. It's appalling to me to read four issues of Buffy and find that I'm not ONCE pondering the complexity of the main characters. So I can understand why the LJ community went negative on the comics. My problem with their reaction was that they seemed to me to be too quick to assume that this isn't just a classic instance of weak opening episode syndrome. And it's really too bad that so many of them are missing out on the Faith arc, which is delivering classic Buffy goodness in multiple ways.

                Angel...well, that's an interesting question. Because I never thought Angel the tv show was quite good as Buffy (aside from possibly the Pylea arc and anything involving David Nabbit ), but I wonder if AtS the comic might play a little catch up...? Partly because I never found AtS relied on nuanced acting, it was always a bit more...well, operatic perhaps. So, the loss of the actors doesn't matter as much to me (though, sad to lose DB when he's playing the comedy, he's far far better at that than he as at the serious/emotional).

                AtS could work more as a noir action comic with a bit of funny and fantasy on the side - I'm thinking Slaine-meets-Sin-City...but maybe that's the dragons influencing me.
                Good observation. Angel is better at moral complexity than emotional complexity. And you're right that the sort of stuff Angel is good at is likely to translate into comics better. Someone on LJ has said that where Buffy is about humans fighting the monster within, Angel is about a monster finding the human within. I've always loved that they dress Angel up with all the trappings of a hero, but then portray him as a deeply, deeply flawed human -- one whose monster is present all the time. Angel's actions are often very dark -- despite the heroic trappings they wrap him up in. Best example of this is NFA itself, which looks like a classic heroic ending, except when you take into account Lindsay's execution, the slaying of Drogyn, and the very questionable moral status of starting a war to overthrow things as they are, which you know can't possibly have any good, lasting effect. And A6 opens right in the middle of all that moral murkiness. So that's promising right from the start. It's a great, great story -- and you are exactly right that it doesn't require subtle delivery by an actor.

                Right now I'm a very happy camper. B8 is finally looking like the series I missed. And A6 leads off by playing to its own strengths.
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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Maggie View Post
                  I agree with those who argue that LWH suffers from first episode syndrome. It might turn out to be great in retrospect -- the way When She Was Bad or Buffy vs. Dracula improve in light of what follows.
                  I must have been one of few that really enjoyed 'The Long Way Home.' I thought it was filled with Buffy goodness and really I think people are being slightly over critical with it. The arc served as a purpose to basically lay down the foundations for the season ahead, it showed us where we are now and what our characters have become. Up until the arc finished I had never really heard anyone say anything negetive about it, after each issue people seemed to praise the hell out of it, at least on here, now it is over there seems to be more negetivity towards it which is interesting? Remember that each arc is basically the length of one episode of a season, so for the first episode to have to reintroduce so much new stuff to the fans, evidently things aren't going to get greatly complex it is simply setting us up with the mytho.

                  But considering the issues themselves, there was just no there there. Nothing to think about. They throw out a bunch of mysteries, but with no handle for us to start thinking about them (cf. Who Kissed Buffy 'mystery'); and as far as I can see NO positive content that invites reflection.
                  The Buffy is at war with the human race thing got people talking from memory.

                  And to top it off, there are things that seem actively bad. Warren/Amy is just so lame on so many levels. Neither of them have any depth, but we're going to get to see them again -- but Ethan, a character with much potential, is already dead.
                  Warren and Amy don't have any depth? Huh? Warren had loads of depth as did Amy (though not as much.) It had only been the first episode we see them again, we can't really expect to delve into them that much.

                  And the Warren retcon is not just sloppy, it's implausible. Ugh.
                  That I agree with. But then that isn't new for Joss.

                  Finally, I've got no handle on any of the main characters. Buffy has matured into her role as a leader. That's the one substantive thing I can get. I have no idea who this Xander is. And don't even get me started on Willow.
                  Xander's ability to lead has always been there, sosa and king made some great points about him leading teams as an occupation, giving advice to the potentials in s7 ect.. all evidence this is a natural step for him. Again I think people are expecting a little too much here. It has been a year and a half after 'Chosen' and people expect our characters to be exactly how we left them?

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                  • #49
                    Vampmogs -- I'd welcome help in seeing LWH in a better light. So have at it. What made you ponder? What new insights did you get? I think it's always best to learn from a lover than a hater. You love it. So... lead on. What made you think this is brilliant? What am I not seeing?
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                    • #50
                      Well, I'll help

                      "The Long Way Home" raised a frighteningly significant issue: what is the place for a 'race' of Slayers in the human world? The idea that the old way of thinking that it's female empowerment vs. patriarchy has been thrown out, replaced by the idea that the powerful are an implicit threat to the weak, that humanity will reject benefactors, is awesome. Especially Twilight's apparent fear that the Slayers themselves are *dangerous* (or at least that's what fuels Gen. Voll). That they are going to keep slaying, to establish a 'master race'.

                      The reason this is so thought-provoking is that... Buffy doesn't seem too troubled by it. Buffy invites the challenge Voll makes. That is very cool and very intriguing to me.

                      On a character level, I was already invested in Satsu, Leah, and Renee by the end of the first arc. Renee and Satsu both living and working with role models they are smitten by. Leah and just her cool and quirky sense of humor.

                      I love thinking about where Willow has been and what has changed for her, since she seems so much more reserved and authoritative and in control of her powers than we saw her before -- did doing the Slayer spell bring her some kind of epiphany?

                      I love Xander as a leader -- it really always has been in his personality, and I love that he and Buffy are *close* again. Yes, I 'ship them, but aside from that -- they always used to be so close, side by side, they were the two that thought alike, that thought with their hands first (part of what *is* funny about "Bad Eggs" was those two having to do the research). I love seeing them as confidants and, yeah, what *does* it mean that Buffy has dreams about him and her together romantically? What does she mean "gentle this time"? Is that significant?

                      That's just a short list of things that "The Long Way Home" raised that make me curious. And there are several more I can think of
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                      • #51
                        Thanks!

                        You identify one of the things that seemed promising to me -- namely the question of slayers as master race. I really loved Joss's apparent dig at himself, by having Buffy try to pawn it off on patriarchy, only to get a serious argument back. That she's not troubled by it *is* a bit chilling. It's more a promise than a pay-off, but it was reason for me not to give up on the project. With this as the first sounding of a major theme, NFFY takes on an interesting resonance. Buffy has been accused of launching a master race. And so her first foe is a slayer who is an aristocrat who wants to exercise that power. And mirrors between them. Both in castles; both with red-headed magicians to back them up; both with at least some degree of a sense of superiority. Yeah. This is reason to be optimistic.

                        I lack the ability to invest quickly in new characters. It's why I read novels, and not short stories. Neither Satsu nor Leah live and breathe for me yet. Renee, only cause she provoked that look from Xander. But this I take to be a weakness in me, not in the story.

                        With Willow and Xander, alas, I can't quite follow you. They look like they've arrived. Yay for them -- but stories are interesting because we worry about whether our beloved characters will actually arrive, not because we want a 40+ issue epilogue to the story of how they arrived. What story do we anticipate for them? What internal conflicts are being foreshadowed? What obstacles or temptations do we see looming? Or are we supposed to just watch them battle external foes? Cause I have to admit -- for me the strength of the series isn't its focus on whether its perfect heroes can defeat the evil bad guys; its on how the flawed heroes struggle to become better versions of themselves.

                        Agree there are lots of puzzles. Just not a sense of characters to be unfolded. Consider the beach scene of Buffy vs. Dracula. Plays like a happy scene. Good friends out having fun. Except Buffy is much stronger than Riley. And Willow doesn't quite have control of her magic. We got to appreciate them but at the same time knew there was a story to be told about how the characters were going to be unfolded -- there were clouds on the horizon. Is there an equivalent here that I'm missing?

                        Going back to the top: if the theme of the season is to be the temptation to abuse power -- did we see signs of temptation in the first four issues? Are Willow and Xander anything but wise and masterful? Do we even see signs that they might abuse their sense of mastery? If it's there I'm missing it. I can be happy for characters who are wonderful and wise. I can't get engrossed in their stories -- cause to be wise and wonderful means that the story is over, dramatically speaking.
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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                          I must have been one of few that really enjoyed 'The Long Way Home.' I thought it was filled with Buffy goodness and really I think people are being slightly over critical with it.
                          I liked the The Long Way Home more than the No Future for You. In the first arc I was consistently waiting for the next issue because of what's going on the with the cast. The first episode syndrome wasn't a curse, it was a blessing.

                          Originally posted by Maggie View Post
                          Angel is better at moral complexity than emotional complexity.
                          I can't remember that Angel ever asked him questions like: why do I give Faith give a chance and do I execute Lindsay.

                          Did he give a single damn about the humans working for W&H? So far as I could see, he considered them all evil.

                          Angel doesn't give a damn about morality. He just does what he likes.
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                          • #53
                            I think S8 suffers from one thing. It starts a year and a half after Chosen, leaving fans shocked and confused because of the many changes in characters and setting.

                            It would be stupid and bad writing to have the characters exactly the same since Chosen. Could we honestly say that season 1 Buffy is like middle season 3 Buffy? No. A year and a half have passed between these two Buffys and it ought to change her. Hence the changes we see in Buffy, Xander and Willow in S8.

                            On the other hand, it's annoying the hardcore fans (especially fanfic writers) that they couldn't see how these characters changed and developed. BtVS fans love gradual developing. They don't want to be hit with the development without seeing it.

                            Hopefully #10, which is about Buffy and Willow discussing their past would reveal some of what had happened in that year and a half that we missed.
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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Koos View Post
                              I can't remember that Angel ever asked him questions like: why do I give Faith give a chance and do I execute Lindsay.

                              Did he give a single damn about the humans working for W&H? So far as I could see, he considered them all evil.

                              Angel doesn't give a damn about morality. He just does what he likes.
                              I think she meant Angel the show, not Angel the character.


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                              • #55
                                I thought The Long Way Home was a fresh start.. and there's no doubt in my mind that people are way too critical on it. Most of the complaints have been because of big Dawn, Warren and Amy, and Willow's magical spells.. which to me are all so insignificant to the entire picture that I do not understand why someone would let these bother them other than the fact that they are not welcoming of the season to begin with. One thing I loved about TLWH is that it shows Buffy IS indeed changing.. I love the reflection that she had and that is one of my favorite panel selections in the entire episode. It opens a lot about Buffy.. and shows that although she loves the fact that they saved the world.. she also regrets it (kind of dark for a super hero..). She wishes she still had her past.. she wishes she was with her mom... and having sex with (Spike). All these things cry "The Long Way Home..".. from the beginning when she states "The thing about changing the world.. ". I enjoyed The Long Way Home.. but there definetly were things that were missing from the arc. I loved the character focus.. just Buffy, Willow, and Xander. I thought the beginning issue was the roughest in terms of quality.. simply because it was a beginning issue.

                                In terms of helping others with insight.. can someone explain to me why Giant Dawn is such a tampering problem?? Why do people hate it so much that it affects their entire opinion on season 8?

                                No Future For You is by far better than The Long Way Home, however. Even though the episode has not finished.. it's already looking to possibly make my top 20. It's the best Faith episode I've seen.. aside from "Who Are You?" Something that I LOVE and that others are irritated by.. I love that Faith is still thinking about that scene in Graduation Day.. and that she has a dark side in her. I don't see why anyone wouldn't enjoy that.. it just excels Faith's character even more. No Future For You is an excellent episode.. and I can assume that it will finish with a bang. So far Season 8 is turning into a great piece of work..

                                In terms of episode quality.. where does The Long Way Home and The Chain fall on your rating quality? Are they top 100 ? Top 50? NO Future For You has not finished yet..
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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Koos View Post
                                  I can't remember that Angel ever asked him questions like: why do I give Faith give a chance and do I execute Lindsay.

                                  Did he give a single damn about the humans working for W&H? So far as I could see, he considered them all evil.

                                  Angel doesn't give a damn about morality. He just does what he likes.
                                  Wolfie is right -- I was talking about the show, not the character.

                                  Sosa, you articulate well the problem with the jump in continuity. My reservations are not at all that the characters have changed. It's that I haven't been shown how or why they've changed. The reservation becomes even stronger if I'm suddenly presented with characters who appear to be done growing because they are all mature, stable, wise and wonderful. I feel like I got cheated of their story. It'll be interesting to see if #10 handles it. And I should add that the reservation doesn't extend to Buffy quite so much. Because LWH does not present us with a conflict-free Buffy. Quite the contrary. And the conflicts that they seem to be setting up for her (am I dark, can I be gentle, I'm yearning for things, I've still got problems with my sister, etc. etc.) are all ones that make sense for the character we've known and loved on the series. Anybody who could make a similar list of issues in play for Willow or Xander would help me to better see what it is that I'm missing here.

                                  Nostalgia, NFFY would rate very high for me - I agree. LWH right now would rank pretty low. Though that could change depending on how it looks in light of what follows.
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                                  • #57
                                    In terms of helping others with insight.. can someone explain to me why Giant Dawn is such a tampering problem?? Why do people hate it so much that it affects their entire opinion on season 8?
                                    Because it's a bl*ody stupid idea? I just hate the concept. A mixture of trying to be cute and failing miserably. I wish they'd gone down a different route with her. I just find this element of the series downright embarrassing myself.

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                                    • #58
                                      I think it all depends on which characters you tend to focus in on, because I thought Xander's major character issue for the season was spelled out in his first appearance.

                                      "But when duty calls. . . You don't exactly get to screen."

                                      Like Willow mentions in Same Time, Same Place; Xander has had the luxury of putting the well being of his friends above the big picture. Now that he is an integral part of an institution, he'll be faced with situations which will require compartmentalization of his personal feelings. Im pretty sure that has something to do with his reluctance to be called a watcher. He doesn't want to be in the position where he has to let someone he cares about die for the greater good.

                                      I think a fun issue that could arise is a clash of methods between the un watcher and Giles. I have a hard time believing Giles is gung ho about the technological dependency of Buffy's branch; Xander and his position embody it.
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                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by nester View Post
                                        I think it all depends on which characters you tend to focus in on, because I thought Xander's major character issue for the season was spelled out in his first appearance.

                                        "But when duty calls. . . You don't exactly get to screen."

                                        Like Willow mentions in Same Time, Same Place; Xander has had the luxury of putting the well being of his friends above the big picture. Now that he is an integral part of an institution, he'll be faced with situations which will require compartmentalization of his personal feelings. Im pretty sure that has something to do with his reluctance to be called a watcher. He doesn't want to be in the position where he has to let someone he cares about die for the greater good.

                                        I think a fun issue that could arise is a clash of methods between the un watcher and Giles. I have a hard time believing Giles is gung ho about the technological dependency of Buffy's branch; Xander and his position embody it.
                                        That's helpful! Thanks.
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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                                          Because it's a bl*ody stupid idea? I just hate the concept. A mixture of trying to be cute and failing miserably. I wish they'd gone down a different route with her. I just find this element of the series downright embarrassing myself.
                                          Are you kidding? Giant Dawn is hiiiiiiiiiiilarious. It is so Joss. Not to mention so Dawn! It's this hilarious idea that they couldn't have done on the show's budget. And that she could be a giant because she had (sex with) a boyfriend... Joss is showing Dawn "growing up".

                                          I think it's good for a whole bunch of comedy, and some decent character stuff, because it does put a giant (the puns!!) strain on the sister relationship and just solidifies what has been true in the tv series: that it's hard for Dawn to mature (or... "grow up").

                                          And ah, the comedy... "your butt looks big in those giant pants"... bathing in a loch... and my personal favourite, stepping on Amy like a rat (the puns!!!).

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