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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

"Buffy Season 8" Comic Book - Issue 02 "The Long Way Home" - Buffy sells out

Thursday 26 April 2007, by Webmaster

The last time I wrote something for this space, the first issue was just off to the printer, with the highest orders we’d had for a single-issue comic in years. When the book came out, it sold out overnight, and we’ve since gone back to print twice on issue one. Issue two came out, with an even higher print run, and that issue’s gone back to press. Good times at Dark Horse.

Issue three is at the printer as we speak, due out in just a couple weeks, in early May. It reintroduces yet another major character, and this one, I think will be a bigger surprise than Amy was at the end of issue one. Andy Owens and Dave Stewart are currently putting the finishing touches on issue four, and Paul Lee has just finished pencilling #5. Just an hour ago I got Jo Chen’s final cover art for Buffy #7, after getting the final draft of that script a couple days ago from Brian K. Vaughan.

We’re busy ’round the clock.

MySpace was a major factor in our marketing for Buffy, notably a contest that we held in which Buffy fans were to write essays about how the show affected their lives. We got a few thousand entries, all over the charts. There were some recurring themes—a lot of kids who felt like they didn’t belong in high school, learning that they were better off being themselves. Closeted gay kids who found the courage to come out by seeing the characters on the show. A few real good letters from soldiers who talked about how Buffy continues to be a comfort and a way to blow off steam in the desert.

The winner, Robin Balzer, will be drawn into issue ten of the comic. Joss was working on the story for that issue around the time he was judging the entries, and Robin’s story about battling mental illness really connected with what he was doing, so while the contest promised the winner a cameo in a comic, Robin will get a real role in the history of these characters.

The response to Robin’s win was interesting. As I’d expect from Joss’s fans, a lot of people were touched by Robin’s story, congratulated her, and gave Joss kudos for making such a unique and big-hearted choice. What I wouldn’t expect from Joss fans—and sort of assume these guys might not really be fans of the material—was a smattering of sarcasm and derision, saying Robin didn’t deserve it, that this was somehow "b.s." To read so many great entries about how Buffy had taught viewers about selflessness, about learning to respect themselves for being different, I wondered what these people thought they’d gotten out of the show.

Besides picking a winner and writing her into a comic, Joss also had to select five runners-up, who’d get signed copies of #1 (first printing). Joss, who often delivers over and above, wrote personal notes in Sharpie on the covers of the five books. He clearly went back to the entries as he signed the books, because each note specifically referenced the runner-up’s story. I can’t wait until they get their books. I’m pretty sure no one’s gonna feel like a runner-up. And going beyond those five people, you can see a MySpace blog where other essays are being posted. It’s a hell of a community out there.

The first arc of Season Eight is wrapping up fairly soon. Keep your letters coming to let us know what you think. We’re having a blast here. Brian K. Vaughan’s scripts are fantastic—he’s captured Faith’s voice brilliantly, with all the bravado and balls of that great Boston girl. And don’t worry—he’s getting his chance to write Buffy herself too. Just because Faith blotted out the logo doesn’t mean she’s dominating all twenty-two pages of each issue. Buffy has her issues to work out too...