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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Jo Chen - "Buffy Season 8" Comic Book - She talks about her cover drawings

Thursday 1 March 2007, by Webmaster

Hi Philip,

Thank you for writing to me. I’m not sure what I could impart that your readers haven’t already learned from the Dark Horse site, Whedonesque and the other Buffyverse sites. Like Georges, I’m bound by a blood oath of secrecy regarding any details.

Since I’m only painting the books’ covers and not penciling the interiors, I’m not that privy to many story details; only where they may affect what I have to paint for the covers. What I can state is that Joss, editor Scott Allie and everybody else at Dark Horse are very excited about the series and can’t wait to spring it on you.

For my part, I had to pass a few artwork auditions of sorts (as do all official Buffy artists) to gain the approval of some of the BTVS actresses/actors before actually doing any real drawing or painting of them. In the end, I guess they liked what they saw because I was off and running in short order.

Actually, I have it a bit easier when compared to the likes of Joss, Georges, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart and Richard Starkings, who must sweat the details of writing, penciling, inking, coloring and lettering pages and pages of your favorite characters in action. Since I’ve done quite a bit of all of those things myself, I can imagine the amount of work; not to mention the pressure of the deadlines. I have no doubt you will feel ecstatic by their massive creative efforts.

Regarding the covers: I got the job because I had already worked for Joss on one of the Serenity covers, part of the mini-series published by Dark Horse in 2005 prior to the film’s release. Brian Vaughan actually introduced us, via email, at that time because, as you know, Joss is a big Runaways fan-turned-Runaways-writer and I’d been producing Runaways covers for years for Brian and Marvel. Joss needed somebody to paint the Kaylee character on one of the variant covers and he wrote to me about it. I don’t mean to sound like Yoko Ono, but truly I had never heard of Joss or Firefly and had to look them up on the web, but I’ve been a fan ever since.

The BTVS covers are all character pieces (so far), and I have to try to paint them so that the characters are easily recognized but not to the point that I’ve simply reproduced photographs of the actors; that would be boring. So, I hope that I’ve done them justice. Ultimately, the fans are the judges, and so far the verdicts you have sent to me in e-mails and MySpace messages have made me very happy. For that I thank you.

Keep the faith. Jo Chen

PS- As far as covers are concerned, I’ve completed 4 and am working on the fifth!